The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
Courtship vs Dating
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Christians need to take a new look at an old tradition. Courtship is God’s way of preparing us for marriage.
The concept of dating is taken from the world’s point of view instead of the Scriptures. If we desire marriages made in heave, we must go back to God’s Word for the answers.
The Principle of courtship
According to Jeremiah 10:2, we are told, “learn not the way of the heathen.” Dating is pagan, ungodly and unscriptural. It is not found in God’s Holy Word as His divine plan before marriage. Dating is a relatively new institution in America. Before the 1900’s, courtship was practiced which included the supervision of the female. The dating game as we know it today is a one on one relationship apart from marriage or commitment. In other words, it is a casual tryout. Dating has eliminated the father’s rule with his daughter and has left her vulnerable as a weaker vessel to the aggressive make. Dating is destroying our society and is the cause of heartache, unwanted pregnancy, disappointments, guilt, shame and divorce.
Courtship is defined as the process of developing a relationship for young people while maintaining their integrity. There are no casual tryouts in courtship. For example, in Genesis 2:18, the one on one relationship between a man and a woman had marriage in view. God himself chose Adam’s wife and brought her to his side. Courtship is reserved only for couples who are spiritually and financially ready for marriage. This eliminates courtship during school years. A man should not consider a relationship with a woman when he is not prepared for marriage.
In courtship (opposed to dating) if a young man becomes interested in a young lady he first begins by praying to God about the relationship. Secondly, he gets approval from the young lady’s parents. Thirdly, if the young lady has an interest in the young man, the courtship begins. The young man and the young lady’s father should spend time together and get to know one another. Courtship is centered around the young lady’s family.
Courtship has physical, emotional and spiritual safe guards over dating. It avoids disappointments and protects young people from temptation. Courtship reduces hurt feelings if the marriage does not come about. Courtship keeps our focus on what God’s will is for our life rather than our own desires for He alone knows the future.
The Purpose of Courtship
The purpose of courtship is to avoid fornication and to choose the right mate in obedience to God. The Bible says in I Corinthians 7:1-2, “ . . .It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” Fornication (sex outside of marriage) has a devastating effect upon an individual (II Corinthians 6:15-7:2). Please notice in verse 1 that a man is not to “touch” a woman, that is, he is not to touch her in a casual or sexual manner outside of marriage (Proverbs 6:29, Ruth 2:9, Genesis 20:4,6). Except for a holy hand shake, physical expression between a man and a woman must be confined to marriage (Proverbs 5:15-23, 7:13-18). Petting, hugging, touching, or even holding hands can stimulate a person sexually, for every part of the body is subject to sexual stimulation. Remember petting is the first step to adultery. As I heard someone once say, “don’t touch a girl unless she is falling out of a bus that is running 75 miles an hour.”
The Practice of Courtship
The practice of courtship is found throughout the Bible. A good example is in Genesis 24, where Abraham sent his elder servant to get a wife for his son Isaac. First, God is consulted in the matter. (see verses 1-9, 12-14, 26-27, 40, and 63). Secondly, the parents if the young lady are consulted (see verses 32-57). Thirdly, the young lady, Rebekah, made the final choice as to whether she would marry Isaac (verse 57-67).
Other Examples are
Genesis 30, Jacob dealt with Rachel’s father before marriage.
Genesis 34, Jacob’s daughter (Dinah) went out on her own and it brought a curse and trouble upon the rest of the family.
Ruth 4:7, Boaz's first business was to secure betrothal which involved gaining favor from a near kinsman. He desired to obey God in the matter of marriage. Ruth was under orders to go Boaz, (not a date). Notice Boaz never even kissed Ruth before marriage.
In 1995 I made two trips to the mission field in Belize, Central America to preach to the Maya Indians. In one of the villages in which I preached they had the following custom: If a young man saw a young lady he wanted to marry he would first go to his father and discuss the matter. Then, his father would go to the young lady’s father and discuss it with him. In the village, this practice is called “engaging”. The young man’s father is allowed to engage the young lady’s father three or four times. If the young lady’s father agreed tot he courtship, it was then up to the young lady for the final answer. There is no dating as we do here in America.
Consider the Following Scriptures
I Peter 1:15-16, “Be ye holy for I am holy”
Romans 21:1, “Present you body as a living sacrifice”
II Timothy 2:22, “Flee youthful lust:”
Romans 14:23, “whatsoever is not of faith is sin”
I Corinthians 10:31, “. . .whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
I Timothy 4:12, “let no man despise thy youth”
Romans 12:17, “provide things hones in the sight of all men”
Ephesians 4:27, “neither give place to the devil”
I Corinthians 9:25-27, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.”
Marriage is not only the oldest institution in the world, but it is a divine institution. Marriage between a man and a woman is a type of Christ and should be regarded as hold. The purpose of marriage is for procreation (Genesis 1:28), partnership (Genesis 2:18), purity (Ephesians 5:23-32), pleasure (Proverbs 5:18-19) and protection (Malachi 2:15).
Before marriage a young couple can choose courtship (God’s way) or they can choose dating (man’s way). Not only should families adopt courtship, but churches should consider this as well in order to promote God’s perfect will and protect our children.
“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” Jeremiah 6:16
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523