Universal Courtship: If so, would you be here?

In one discussion list that I was on that discussed the pros and cons of courtship along with kissing dating goodbye, one person made a good point. Very few of us are here because our parents courted. Another way to put this, is that very few of us would have parents and thus exist if our parents were forced to meet and marry through the courtship “model.”

There may be advantages as well as disadvantages to the courtship model but just something to think about. This was your short thought for today.

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5 Responses to “Universal Courtship: If so, would you be here?”

  1. steve c Says:

    Re: “Very few of us are here because our parents courted.”

    This statement does not prove that courtship is not beneficial or not better than dating in specific cases or in general. To relate an illustration, if a new type of energy resource was discovered saying “Our parents never used this” doesn’t mean the new resource isn’t better than what we were using before.

    Just because courtship hasn’t been widely popular in the past does not prove that it does not work. Who knows? Given the opportunity our parents could have gotten together through the courtship model. We can’t say none of us would have existed because we are speaking in the realm of possibilities. It’s also possible that our parents would have married other people in the courtship model and still had kids. What the statement in question does affirm is that you don’t need courtship to have kids. Many people did not court and still had children (including me!).

    I’ve actually given serious thought to this issue. I’ve studied the Bible looking for answers by myself and with others. My conclusion is kind of nuanced. It’s not “dating is evil!” and it’s not “in order to glorify God you must court”. I’ve seen situations where courtship worked well. I like the emphasis it puts on having a God-glorifying direction for the relationship. I also know that models on paper have to be modified or scrapped altogether in real life when appropriate and especially given a certain cultural context. The way courtship looks in America isn’t necessarily a helpful model for a new Christian in an Indonesian tribe. In India pastors still arrange marriages.

    All in all, I want to go back and say it’s not experience or these examples which should ultimately determine our views but God’s Word. It doesn’t address romantic relationships between unmarried people directly in many places but it does say to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. It says purity is important. It says we should live in a way that honors God and flee from sin, etc. I think you’d enjoy some sermons from Harris’ own church on relationships, especially the one titled “Wisdom Rules.” It’s a play on words because it isn’t a list of rules, but rather it promotes wisdom as supreme. Wisdom isn’t limited to rules, it dynamically assesses a situation then responds accordingly. http://www.covlife.org/one/audio_archives.php

  2. steve c Says:

    I just went back and read your other posts and it sounds like we agree on some things. I like putting my roommate’s copy of “I Gave Dating a Chance” beside “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” on my bookshelf. In a lot of ways, what one calls “dating with boundaries” is like what another would call “courtship.” The point is to act in a loving way, in a biblical way. Yes, that does sometimes mean making firm stands and setting out definite boundaries as safeguards, but they’re going to be different for people with different temptations. Anyway, I just wanted to compliment you on your other posts because it seems you have been doing your homework and have really been trying to think things through. God bless.

  3. steve240 Says:

    Steve C

    You bring up some good points. I agree with you that just because it our parents were able to meet through marriage doesn’t mean courtship isn’t better.

    I remember when cell phone were new one company president not wanting to pay for them for employees because they had survived without them for so long. A similar argument could be made for not needing air-conditioning etc.

    The person who shared this on another list’s point was to realize that most of our parents were married another way. Also, addressing your point, the courtship model certainly hasn’t gained widespread acceptance like some new inventions do. Many still question if it is a better system or at least point out it has its own share of problems.

    Thanks for your first and second post (that you wrote when I was first writing this comment). Also I will listen to the message you recommended. It isn’t by Harris but from his church?

  4. steve240 Says:

    Steve C.

    Interesting how we both have the first name.

    I listened to the “Widsom Rules” message you gave me the link to. There were some good points made including the presenter suggesting that the people he was talking to get “assumptions” about courtship on the table and discussed. Hopefully that is being done and people’s comments when justified are being properly received.

    I have been following another blog I reference on my blog’s front page:


    People there are reporting that when people do what the presenter suggests they aren’t typcially received. Hopefully that won’t happen with this if the people have legitimate concerns about the courtship system.

    I am glad you agree with some of what I write. I hope to encourage discussion from people with different viewpoints here.

  5. SavvyD Says:

    My parents sort of fit that model. But my grandaparents knew each other yes my dad did have to ask permission to date my mom. They also had to be back by 11 or so. My dad was nuts about my mom. đŸ™‚ My mom said that my dad grabbed her butt a few times before they got married so he was also really attracted to her. But back then, before the sexual revoution, they waited until they got married to have sex. I wanted the same thing.

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