Dating courtship and engagement
Courtship takes the position that the two people have no physical contact at all (no touching, no hand-holding, no kissing) until marriage.
Unfortunately, however, our culture teaches our singles to engage in multiple dating relationships as though it were a normal and useful practise.I don't want to date more than one guy at a time, but I might not want to marry that one guy, either. These terms are often used interchangeably, depending on which one the person feels most comfortable using. You never hear a non-Christian use this term at any time.So courtship, just as a term, has meaning and value to a Christian.They are two very different words, with different meanings, and indicate two different places in the process towards marriage.In fact, with regards to “dating” I should not be too quick to say that this term necessarily included in the process towards marriage.I intend to expose the flaws I see in today's dating model, and at the same time point out how Biblical courtship addresses these flaws.
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.
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.
What is the difference between courtship and dating?
Is the only difference that dating is casual and courtship is exclusive with movement towards engagement?
Many Christians see dating as little more than friendship and maintain the friendship aspect of their dating until both people are ready to commit to each other as potential marriage partners.