So, really, who hasn't talked about the whole courting versus dating thing? It seems like everyone talks about it, so why would I do a post about it? I think because it's been a topic that's been brought up a lot lately and I want to throw my views into the mix.
In case you want a short and simple answer, here you go: I am not so much into WHAT it's called as HOW the relationship is. I believe there are God glorifying dating relationships and I believe there are some courting relationships that don't please God. Basically, to me, the label isn't as important as the intent. I believe a relationship needs to have God at the center and it needs to be between two people who 1) are serious about marriage, not a casual relationship, 2) feel it is something God is calling them to, and 3) are dedicated to honoring God through the relationship.
Now, for those who want more than just a simple answer, here you go: If you went by what most people think of as "dating" and what most people think of as "courting", I would DEFINITELY fall into the hardcore courting category. I would never want to go into a casual dating relationship. I read "Boy Meets Girl" (by Josh Harris) twice; once when I was about 13 and again this past spring. I agree with pretty much everything he says.
I would be the last person to tell you that someone who dates is more sinful than someone who courts and I think the label can lead to some very serious judgments. As I said earlier, I think there are people who would say they "date", yet if you examined their relationship you would see a relationship that glorifies God. Likewise, I am sure there are people who are "courting", yet if you were to look at their relationship, you would see aspects of the relationship that would displease God. It's dangerous to rate a person's godliness based on what they decide to call their relationship.
So, what about me? What will I do when my time for a relationship comes? I hope after reading this I have been clear enough on my opinion. However, as to not leave any questions in your mind, I am definitely a firm believer in courtship (the way most people would define it). I won't enter a relationship until I am:
~ Sure it's one that God is calling me to.
~ Ready to be selfless (obviously, I am a sinner and know that I will be selfish. However, I want to go into a relationship with the goal being to serve him, not to have him serve me)
~ Willing to honor God through the relationship and make Him the focus of it.
~ Able to accept and respect the counsel of those wiser who speak into my life about the relationship. Or in other words, I want to be teachable. I want to be accountable to wiser people. For example, if being in a relationship is causing me to shut out my family and friends, I would want someone to share that with me so that I could ask God to help me change.
There you have it, my view on the whole courting/dating issue. I hope I didn't step on any toes. I know this is a controversial issue so I hope I did not offend anyone. Please feel free to ask me about anything I write, this post included. I'm not out to offend or be controversial so I want to clear up any confusion and answer any questions that anyone may have.
~How do you view dating and courting? PLEASE share even if your views are different. I love hearing what people think!