Is Traditional Courtship A Thing Of The Past?

What are the benefits to traditional courtship?

At 15 years old, Jim met his sweetheart and walked 8 miles every day to see her. He gives God the credit for the love they still share.

Video Source: Ben Eaton

Years ago, the focus was how to honor God in pursuing a Biblical model for courting which leads to marriage. Walking down the sidewalk in front of your parents while holding hands was a sweet representation of traditional courtship.

Unfortunately, the traditional courtship model has become obsolete as progressive ideas influence the culture. A father no longer has the ability to be in complete control over the boy his daughter spends time getting to know. Purity is being trampled by the culture as “abstinence only” morals fade away. I coach more and more Christian girls that have become teen moms under the traditional courting model because the temptations delivered through social media far outweigh the parental plea for purity. Statistics for traditional courtship are no longer in our favor.

Song of Songs 2:7

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

The good news!

We CAN shift our thinking, guide our children and restore Godly values in this fallen world. The answer to the question of dating or courting lies not in what we call it but in the behaviors, beliefs, and disciplines that are cemented by the family, friends, experiences, events, and the culture. The dating disciplines we will explore provide a healthy, Biblical model to prepare teens for a Godly marriage someday. It is taking all the best from traditional courtship and yes, even dating, as it applies in this current culture. Scripture should be a relevant tool to guide a teen to live in the world but not of the world and at the same time restore safe, responsible, healthy relational choices.

Ephesians 6:1-3

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—  “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Traditional courtship may be old school but the precepts don’t have to be. Healthy dates can have an incredibly positive impact on gaining wisdom, discernment and awareness. If the rules around dating are set in place correctly, it becomes the best vehicle to give our kids the best chance of a successful marriage someday. Isn’t that why we encourage “Daddy/Daughter Dates?”

“Dating” can be what you define.

By taking traditional courtship ideals and making them current, “dating disciplines” will provide the structure and boundaries necessary to build a strong relational bridge between parent and teen, teen and God and eventually invite God to be at the center of marriage. Let’s be bold and teach the world that there is a healthy way to prepare for marriage in spite of what the culture is trying to promote. We can teach our children how to act as Paul did and  “conduct themselves in the world with integrity and godly sincerity” in all situations.

2 Corinthians 1:12

Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.

Having an open mind and a willingness to consider the benefits of restoring reasonable pieces of traditional courtship in this culture can lead to developing safe, healthy dating. The journey is just the beginning to inspiring others to stand up and stop reckless, uneducated dating. Whether we call it dating or courtship is not the hinge point; lowering the divorce rate for the next generation should be a bigger concern. Our teens are 47% of our population, but they are 100% of our future.

Love Quote: If we can teach teens to be safe, responsible drivers, then why not teach them to be safe, responsible daters?

For more practical tips on teaching safe, responsible Christian dating with marriage in mind, CLICK HERE

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