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This is different from my generation, which is encouraged to “wait until you are ready to get married” before pursuing a romantic relationship.This advice, when combined with the fact that “the purpose of courtship is marriage”, makes asking a girl out for dinner the emotional equivalent of asking for her hand in marriage.Marriage will always be a bit like jumping into a pool of cold water.A humble realization that you are not ready and in need of God’s help may be the more healthy way to start a marriage.When my grandmother dated in middle school (yes, middle school) her parents had one primary rule for her.The Primary Dating Rule: Don’t go out with the same guy twice in a row. She explained that the lack of exclusivity helped them guard their hearts and kept things from getting too serious too quickly. The lack of exclusivity helped the girls guard their hearts and kept the boys from feeling entitled to the girl.Dating was evil and Courtship, whatever it was, was godly, good and Biblical.
This telegraphed to everyone at school that she was “off the market” and that she had a “steady beau”.
So I humbled myself and took my grandmother out for dinner to hear why she thought courtship was a bad idea all those years ago.
She had predicted the failure of courtship back in the 90s and I wanted to understand how and why. After 20 years there still is no general consensus as to what courtship is.
I explained what courtship was and quoted Joshua Harris, chapter and verse. “I don’t think courtship is a smart idea,” my grandfather said.
“How can you tell who you want to marry if you aren’t going out on dates? I ignored their advice on relationships, preferring to listen to the young people around me who were passionate advocates of courtship.