While everyone wants to be happy—and assumes that following the established norm is the right way to achieve happiness—most remain miserable and never know why.
This is especially true in the world of modern dating. Dating, followed by courtship, is supposed to lead to a happy marriage. But marriage cannot be happy if it is not built on the right foundation. Most couples have no idea that the foundation of a successful marriage begins long before the wedding day. In addition, a direct by-product of the wrong foundation is that most people have no idea how to select the right mate.
Just what is dating? A sampling of opinions reveals a variety of definitions, with seemingly no two alike. In the simplest form, a date is merely a set time agreed upon by two people to engage in an activity. Most know little or nothing of this lost art, and many no longer know—let alone use—the term.
Those few who do, know virtually nothing about the principles of courtship—or its true purpose. Even if both were serious, and technically courting from this point this is often the case today after just two dates , most would still refer to this as dating. In fact, there is no common understanding of just what dating and courtship are, or the plain difference between the two—and there is a big difference! Many simply slip or tumble into dating situations, seemingly not caring how this happens, or even what happens.
Too much is at stake not to. There are many important principles behind dating that one must consider in order to successfully date—and be able to eventually move on to the more serious courtship and pursuit of marriage. You must have a means of knowing if or when you have found that special person. There are specific processes involved in proper dating that will help lead you down the right path.
Again, this term is very rarely used in society today, and most do not have any idea what it really means. Courting is a separate but important and intricate part of the process pointing toward and leading to marriage. Therefore, you must also come to understand and apply the right way to court. And then there are those who may want to date, court and marry for the second time.
Of course, some lose a spouse to death. These people need guidance as well, and this book offers it. There are many manuals available, written from the human perspective, on how to date, court and find a mate. And there seems to be no end of sociologists, psychologists, marriage counselors and others considered to be experts, who are only too willing to offer what are no more than the opinions of people.
This book does not merely present my perspective—my view—of the subject. That would be of no more worth than so many others. Consider the intensifying debate about the status and legal recognition of same-sex couples. The United States and other Western countries are caught in the middle of a conflict—an outright war—over whether homosexual partners should be granted marriage licenses.
In America, civil unions have already been permitted for some time in certain states. As the battle lines continue to form, the U. President and his allies are pursuing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. If so, then is it also human beings who should define the traditional means of selecting a mate pursuant to this goal? While religionists and theologians assume that this is God's world, it is not!
Let me repeat, this is not God's world—it does not reflect His Way. Its customs, beliefs, values, philosophies, traditions and practices are not of God. But God is calling—and working with—a small number of people, whom He is training for a very special purpose. Who and how one chooses to date, which can lead to courtship and marriage, is inseparable from this purpose.
It is God's perspective—His view—that offers the way to everything good in life. God intends that every human being enjoy a happy marriage. This is directly tied to whom and how one dates—and courts—prior to marriage!
In order to fully grasp the many principles that apply to dating, courtship, engagement and marriage, much foundation must first be laid. Be patient with the need to establish the right framework. It is essential to appreciating—to truly comprehending—all that follows. While it does contain, later in the book, a great many specific points for application, these latter chapters simply cannot be properly applied without first understanding the vital backdrop of the preceding chapters.
A word to parents and teens: Parents, this book can be absolutely invaluable to you in training and preparing your children throughout the years preceding the eligible age of marriage—if you use it! Teenagers, this book will also guide you—and will protect you from endless, and usually unseen, traps and pitfalls. You will be enormously glad you did! Is there a right and wrong way of dating or, like learning to walk or ride a bike, can people just naturally figure it out as they experience it?
The cold, hard facts are that today's standards of dating, courting and engagement are wrong—all wrong! But how can I say this? All you need do is look at the astonishing array of ill effects to realize that the dating and courtship practiced today are far off-track. But, before we address this, the principle of cause and effect must be explained. Most do not recognize that for every cause there is an effect—or, conversely, for every effect there is a cause.
Nor do they know that this is a law. Scientists recognize this in physics, but society is unaware that the same is true in life—that the law of cause and effect is no less immutable than any law of science.
Let's reason together, considering a few basic points. How does the law of cause and effect work in one's life? If you routinely eat too much, what happens? You will become sick or overweight—or both! There is no mystery to this. If you drink too much alcohol, you will become intoxicated.
This could lead to a long list of bad effects: A next-day headache, being arrested, or even an auto accident resulting in injury or death to yourself or others.
Again, there is no mystery here. If you break society's laws, the effect is that you might go to jail or prison. This will hurt your family, your career opportunities and your entire future.
Once again, no mystery to this. In this fashion, the law of cause and effect directly impacts your life—and the life of everyone on earth.
The ways that this happens are endless. If industry pollutes the environment, the result is contaminated air or water, or even the much-debated problem of global warming. If countries go to war, the results—the effects—are economic upheaval, disease, famine and general misery for all involved.
If parents neglect the proper rearing of their children, or if children do not obey their parents, the effects could be poor performance in school, drug addiction, criminal conduct or worse. Of course, none of this is hard to understand. God's way of life—including the principles of right dating, courtship and engagement—is also based on the law of cause and effect. The Bible contains hundreds of laws and principles, each carrying the power of cause and effect for those who keep—or break—them!
Whether one identifies and knows all the laws and principles of the Bible is not relevant to whether breaking them will bring certain punishment. Just as speeding can result in a ticket, whether the driver knew the speed limit or not, so those who break the laws of God reap penalties, whether they know they are violating specific laws or not.
Look at the world around you. It is littered with broken families, unhappy marriages, single-parent homes, STDs, astonishing ignorance and widespread misery. Have you ever asked why? WHY has mankind never been able to solve these and other great problems? Why do they only grow worse with the passing of time? Because the laws and principles of God are being routinely broken by earth's billions of human inhabitants. Again, consider the basic understanding of cause and effect.
When God's laws and principles are obeyed, they bring countless blessings, benefits and good things into the lives of those who obey them. But mankind has routinely rejected—and even lampooned—the instruction book that reveals the cause of all its problems, evils and ills.
The Effects So how does the law of cause and effect apply to dating and courtship? Where do these practices lead?
The answer is simple. Dating, and the courtship that may ensue, are the precursors to relationships—and ultimately marriages. The effect—successful or failed marriages—is what results from either right or wrong forms of dating and courtship. The cause-and-effect principle goes both ways. For every cause, there is a resulting effect, and for every effect, there is a traceable cause! So, let's look at the effects of modern dating. To determine whether the dating practiced today is correct, we should first examine its fruits.
In other words, we must analyze the effects of dating today.