Principles of Dating and Courtship

Is dating the best method for building a relationship? Is there a best method for relationships? In every society, there are methods and customs for romantic relationships, such as betrothal, arranged marriages, and courtship.

Dating has taken the forefront on American soil, sprouting from the freedom and liberties of its Constitution. Other ways, such as betrothal and arranged marriages, have lower divorce rates, although the suicide rates tend to be higher in these cultures.

Courtship has had a bad rap in recent times as being legalistic. Dating protects a person’s pride and freedoms. Yet, one-third of first marriages in America end in divorce. That excludes second and third marriages. In fact, in the first four to five years of marriage, 80% of couples start heading that direction. Divorce causes a lot of pain and heart-ache, much like a break-up in dating. Anyone who has been “dumped” knows that dating can be hurtful and defective.

Is dating the best option? Joshua Harris states in I Kissed Dating Goodbye that “The Bible doesn’t provide a one-size-fits-all program for us. Our lives are too different, our circumstances too unique, and our God too creative to have only one formula for romance.” While he is correct that there is not an ordained method for romance in the Bible, one concept does stand: a relationship is to lead to marriage.

Last week marked the beginning of our summer-long theme on relationships. Every Tuesday, we’ll be posting articles on dating, courtship, love, and romance. All from a Christian perspective. Christian romance is a mystery to many. How should we go about it? Should we go about it? Is there a “most godly” method, or are we left completely on our own?

Hopefully, we’ll be able to answer your questions by the end of the series. Stay tuned for next Tuesday when we will discuss God’s plan for romance and love. See you then!

*Note: A full bibliography from this series will be released at the end of the series. Any statistics, articles, books, or websites will be included.

*DISCLAIMER: In light of the controversy over Joshua Harris’ book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” I considered removing it from this series. However, during the time that he wrote it, he was seeking the Lord and His will for Christian romance. It is for that reason that I decided to retain his quotes. I do not agree with his recent choices and apostasy from the faith.

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