before I start, this post is almost entirely a word for word copy of an essay I had to write after reading Pride and Prejudice. :
What a statement. Among the generation we’re living in, it’s not uncommon to hear this, especially in the younger teen/tween age. But the biggest question everyone seems to have is, what does this even mean anymore? And should Christians support it? Let’s lay it out.
Most of the time when you hear the famous phrase “we’re going out” it means these two people think that the other one is cute, they have a somewhat compatible personalities, and they think it’d be “cool” to get to know one another. So they slap a label on it and BAM they’re magically a thing and they’re “going out“. Going where?
But this acceptable-to-society practice in the world doesn’t always mean it’s the best thing. Before “dating” there was courtship. In courtship when you find someone who expresses a good deal of interest in you, you basically tell everyone that you no longer have interest in anyone of the opposite gender who happen to be looking for a significant other.
So what’s the difference between courtship and dating? They sound pretty similar.
In courtship, you’re usually looking to marry. You aren’t just fooling around, you really like this person and you could see yourselves living a future life together. Now dating, in the infamous words as described by my mother, “is like going to the grocery store without any money.” You think you may want to marry somebody, but not really right now in this moment. You don’t want anything too serious, nothing that could really make you attached.
There it is. A major problem in our era is the fear of commitment. We’re afraid of devoting ourselves be cause it may require us to be less self-less. Which is something most people aren’t willing to do.
“How will you find a spouse and know he/she is the one?”
Another frequently asked question. I believe like everything else in life, God has a plan and a time. If we trust God to lead our lives, shouldn’t we trust Him to lead our whole lives and not just the parts we want? Including finding a spouse and knowing their “the one”? I think so.
If we follow God faithfully, He will direct our paths, even when there doesn’t seem to be any. Why be a path finder when you can follow the Way Maker?
“What character traits do you look for in a spouse?”
Simply put, someone who strives to be like Christ and loves God more than he loves me. 🙂 Sure, I’d like someone who is passionate about music just as much as I am, who’s cute and funny. And doesn’t mind sporadic coffee dates and walks. But in the end, if you’re building the kingdom together, what could be better?
One of the amazing things about God is that His love and devotion to you is so strong that if you wait on Him and His perfect timing, He can give you everything you look for and a spouse and then some! His love for you is that deep!
Last, but for sure not least, “What role will your parents have in all of this?”
I think your parents role in who you court/date is very important. Although it doesn’t always seem like it, parents almost always know what they’re talking about. They’ve been in your shoes and know just exactly what you’re going through. So if a parent doesn’t approve, it may be better to take a bit of advice from them rather than brushing them off.
In closing, what has this concluded to?
I think courtship (and following God’s will for your life!) is better than low-commitment dating. I think marraige is a beautiful thing and should be valued. I don’t necessarily put a age limit towards courtship (other than maturity level, ya know?) because I know happily married couples who have been together since highschool and happy couples who have only just met in their thirties and forties. God’s timing is key in this all! Having aspirations for all this is okay because God wants you to have the desires of your heart! All-in-all courtship, dating, and marriage can all be pretty rad things God gave us because He loves us and to glorify Him!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
mucho amor, as always,