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Some realized that Christian young people were falling into the same hazards secular individuals were, such as sexual immorality, emotional over-extension, false self-representation, misplaced priorities, and directionless relationships. Courtship is an alternate social structure for the pursuit of romance and matrimony that emphasizes (1) intentional consideration of marriage, (2) romantic relationships that begin as friendships, (3) the authority and oversight of the father of the young woman, and (4) the pursuit of the relationship in the context of family and church community.
It was hoped that courtship would reinforce biblical values and better guide young Christian adults into healthy marriages.
For decades, dating has been the accepted social structure in America to be used for the pursuit of romance and marriage.
However, in the early nineties, some Christians began to push back against dating after seeing harm produced in the lives of Christians through bad dating experiences.
Popularized chiefly by author Joshua Harris at the turn on the 21 century, courtship has been accepted and practiced by many Christian families and church communities.
Within the last several years, however, criticism has been aimed at courtship much like criticism was aimed at dating.
In studying the writings of both dating and courtship proponents, I’ve noticed something significant.
We need to stop saying, “Dating is flawed, use courtship to pursue godly romance,” or “Courtship is flawed, use dating to pursue godly romance.” Instead we should say, “A person who lives with character as a disciple of Jesus Christ will succeed in pursuing godly romance through both dating and Courtship, and he or she should choose whichever social structure best serves his or her unique circumstances.” It’s time for American Christians to lay down the debate over social structure and recognize that who you are in Christ is what really matters for godly romance and matrimony. Justin Megna is a blogger and speaker on the subject of Christian romance.For such a normal and age-old activity, finding a matrimonial partner has become a rather convoluted process for modern American Christians.One has only to survey the many books that have been written on the subject and their differing opinions to realize there’s a wide spectrum of persuasions on how romance and matrimony should be pursued as a Christian.The way they lived is what really mattered.” What is this principle that causes Harris to grant that there’s a scenario where the couple that dates is better off than the couple that Courts?It’s the principle that really matters when it comes to finding wholesome, godly romance.
Since dating has some strengths in places where courtship has weaknesses, critics of courtship argue for sticking with dating.