Difference of dating and courting
As Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, "Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction." So to have a successful marriage, the most important thing is to ensure that you follow His principles that He laid down when He designed marriage.The irony is, when we focus on His principles instead of our pleasure, we end up having a very satifying and pleasant marriage!
Once we are married, we recognize that certain things are sacred to our partner.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.Sometimes the parents found partners for the children, and then the children were consulted for their opinion.Other times the son would approach the daughter's father and make arrangements with him.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.
In the Bible, the parents were always involved in the marriage process.
They did not arrange the marriage without the childrens' consent, although they were certainly involved in the arrangements.
On the one hand, we save sex for our partners (and some even do that sparingly), but on the other, we engage in rampant emotional promiscuity, giving pieces of our hearts away until one wonders what will be left for that special, life-long partner.
I have adopted the view that the Bible holds the truth for life today.
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.