In this series, I have been examining primarily two topics: courtship and dating (modern dating as of today). So what is the major difference between these two? Dating does not have marriage as the end goal. Courtship does have marriage as the end goal. As I have said before, do not get so caught up in the terms. It is the principles that we need to get caught up in.
The three areas of difference between dating and courtship are motives, mind set, and methods. The motive in the modern dating process is selfishness, and the motive in courtship is (or at least should be) selflessness. The mind set of dating also goes back to selfishness, i.e., what do I want? The Biblical mindset (courtship) asks rather, how can I be the man for her? The mind set is in finding a woman who I can serve as a Godly husband. (For the ladies – finding a man who I can serve as a Godly wife.)
Finally, methods are completely different between dating and courtship. It comes down to this: in dating, intimacy precedes commitment; in courtship, commitment precedes intimacy. The processes between each are different (covered in an earlier part). Dating is essentially acting as if you are married and seeing if you like it. With the courtship process, both people should seek to find out, before God, whether they should be married, and whether they can serve and honor God better together than apart.
A Biblical relationship looks so different than a worldly relationship. We should seek to honor God in everything that we do, including our relationships.
Earlier in this series I covered some stuff in Joshua Harris’ book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” about defective and effective dating (part 5). I will not re-cover those, but they would be good to back and read again. Also, in part 6, I listed from an article six standards to follow. You should check those out as well.
Finally, in another article that I was reading, I found some stuff about communication methods that I thought was good. I think this author was a little exaggerated, but he did make some good points. He did say that there should be no phone calls between two people that someone else shouldn’t be able to listen in on. Also, in this increasing age of online and digital communication, he said email, instant message, and text messages should be kept to a minimum because of the temptation. I might agree with the temptation part, but that isn’t because of emails, IM’s, or texts. Here is what I recommend for that. I would say do not send an email, do not send a text message, and do not send an instant message that you would not be willing to show to the other person’s parents. I think this type of communication should be more than fine if we would follow that principle.
Remember, we are called to be counter cultural. I always love to throw out Romans 12:2 whenever I get a chance (my life verse):
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
If a relationship is done according to God’s standard, Christian women will be honored, even while being pursued, and God will be glorified. Friends, seek God’s will in ALL that you do and He will be glorified.
So, is Biblical Dating an oxymoron? No, not necessarily.
– Adam Smith
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…” – Matthew 6:33