How is courtship different than dating? Courtship is a choice to avoid temptation and experience the blessings of purity. It is a choice to not emotionally give away your heart, piece by piece, to many others through casual dating relationships and instead to give your whole heart to your life partner.
It is a decision to walk by faith, to trust in God, to honor others above yourself, and to believe that God will deal bountifully with you, because He is love.
See II Corinthians 5: Because each individual, family, and set of circumstances is unique, each courtship will be unique. While those who choose courtship will hold to general guidelines for the relationship, their specific choices about when, where, and how to court may differ according to their needs and circumstances.
On the contrary, the courtship was successful, because God gave the direction that was sought through it. Although the termination of a courtship most likely will be painful, damage and hurt—which can lead to bitterness—can be avoided.
Both parties, as well as their families and all the people who love them, should continue to trust in the Lord and accept the grace He gives to deal with any disappointment or unfulfilled hopes.
Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. The Difference Between Dating and Courtship Purpose of the Relationship The main difference between dating and courtship involves the goals to be reached by spending time with a potential marriage partner. Men and women who choose to date often have no commitment to consider marrying the other person. Maturity and readiness for marriage are not considerations in the decision to date. Instead, couples usually date with the selfish goals of having fun and enjoying romantic attachments.
In contrast, courtship is undertaken only when both parties are prepared to make a commitment to marriage. Dating tries to answer the question, How can I find the one who will make me happy? Courtship strives to answer the question, How can I honor God and discern His direction regarding my life partner?
Accountability to Authorities In a dating relationship, there is little if any accountability for the couple and little or no interaction with family members. Since the boundaries of the relationship are self-determined, the couple may easily succumb to temptation and fail to consider their responsibility to honor each other in purity and genuine love. A couple participating in courtship seeks the accountability of their parents or other mentors.
As they establish guidelines for their relationship, they can more easily recognize that God also holds them responsible to honor one another. Exposure to Temptation In a dating relationship, self-gratification is normally the basis of the relationship.
This oblivious self-centeredness can lead only to dissatisfaction, promoting an attitude of lust taking what I want rather than the Scriptural attitude of love giving unselfishly to others. Consequently, dating opens the door to many temptations.
If defrauding stirring up desires that cannot be righteously satisfied occurs, the couple can foolishly and tragically give away both emotional and physical affections that should have been reserved for a life partner. Thus, in a dating relationship, frequently intimacy precedes commitment.
A courting couple can evade numerous temptations by the choice to be held accountable to God-given authorities. The dangers of defrauding can be avoided more successfully, and an honest, open friendship can be nurtured and protected. Thus, in courtship, commitment precedes intimacy. A dating relationship is usually based only on what the dating couple presently knows about each other. In contrast, a Biblical courtship is based on what God knows about each partner and on His plans for their futures.
Jesus gave this instruction with a promise: