>Recently, someone asked for my opinion on whether I thought dating was good or bad. I responded with the following,
I guess it all depends on your definition of “dating”. According to the modern usage of the term, it’s bad.
Modern dating messes with emotions and opens opportunities for really bad things to happen. There is no commitments and it can place the couple into really awkward situations.
I personally do not believe in dating, but I do believe in courting. Courting is when an individual (or individuals) are seeking a mate. When a young man is seeking to court a young woman, he (or his authority) goes to the young lady’s authority (usually her father) and they discuss the matter. If her authority approves (or agrees), arrangements are set up where both families can meet with the young couple spending time together (with family!!!). Over the course of time, the relationship is evaluated by clear heads and a decision can be made.
1. God works through authority! Authority is set up to guide and protect. If it is His will for this young couple to be married, God will work through the authority. If it is not His will, this is a way to protect both parties and guide them.
2. This protects both parties from emotions. Emotions can LIE. Emotions are deceptive. If a young man is head-over-heals for some beauty, the possibility of his father or mother being deceived is far less. If a young lady doesn’t want to court a particular young man, she can safely and easily say “no” through her authority without her feeling intimidated as well as protecting her.
i.e. a young man comes to a girl’s father and speaks to him about courting his daughter. The father goes to his daughter and talks to her about it. She personally thinks he is a jerk, and doesn’t like him. The father can protect his daughter and be the one to break the news to the poor slob. The girl is protected and feelings are kept to a minimum.
3. The families plan out the gatherings in order to get to know each other better. This also protects the young couple from winding up in bad situations. Church services and events are ideal. Family dinners and picnics, etc.
4. Who else knows the young couple more then the parents or guardians? Who else loves that young man or young lady more than their parents? Who else wants the very best for them than their parents?
This isn’t perfect, but it’s far better than the modern dating practices that happen today. Dating feeds on emotions. A young man or young lady cannot think straight when they are combating emotions and hormones. They are under lots of pressure from their friends to either produce a relationship (or even break one apart). The young couple even might be convinced that they have to “act” a certain way, or to “do” something if they want the favor of the other. This all is wrong, and a Christian should never be caught in such a situation.
One last opinion. Though this is so far beyond our American culture, I personally don’t have a problem with parents arranging marriages. If done in the right way and with the right motives, marriage arrangements by loving parents can be the best way to go.