In overview, courting should only happen once and ends in a life-long covenant relationship.Dating happens lots of times, and ends in many hurts, heartbreaks, scars, and if you're lucky, a partner that just is a word that has been adopted to describe a biblical model for the relationship leading up to marriage.And it is my conviction that the wordly system of dating, as it is currently conducted by most people, is far from God's original plan, as described in the Bible.
Instead of enjoying their teen years as they build skills and character, they are getting distracted into the quagmire of relationships that they are not equipped to conduct.
The teen years are those where they have the fewest responsibilities at the same time as having their greatest energy level. They should be an opportunity to develop a deep, intimate and personal walk with God, establishing themselves as young warriors who know the Father and have overcome the evil one (1 John ).
As Christians, our primary purpose in life is to seek and serve God, and fulfill our destiny in Him. We need to find out what God's plan for relationships is, and then follow it. Let's study what we are doing now against what God has described in His word, and draw up a new standard. Other terms, such as 'betrothal' or even 'biblical dating' could be used, although they would possibly be confusing.
The current model that we are using is ineffective, at best. Dating was invented in the early part of this century.
Unfortunately, however, our culture teaches our singles to engage in multiple dating relationships as though it were a normal and useful practise.
The truth is, the modern dating system has only been around for less than a century.Prior to that time, marriage always involved much more input from the parents, and "trial relationships" leading up to marriage were not conducted at all.Courtship, as discussed in more detail subsequently, seeks to emulate the Godly models described in the Bible that were conducted by God's people up until the invention of dating.In the Bible, the parents were always involved in the marriage process.My basic premise is that regardless of how we about things, we should follow God's model, because it will be the most effective and fulfilling.My intention is to convey that conviction, then to describe my current understanding of His model.