Sunday, June 30, 2013
Dating vs. Courtship
Courting vs. dating is a popular topic amongst homeschoolers, and often the source of debates between homeschool kids and their public school friends. Please keep in mind that these are my personal thoughts, and that I have not dated or courted yet.
When I was 9, Mom took me to a hotel and we stayed the night there together. It was at that time that I got my purity ring. (We later decided that 9 was a little bit too young and my siblings all got theirs at 12.) We talked about what purity (in body, and mind) meant, because I honestly had no idea. I hadn't really thought about boys at all, besides the "crush" I had on the little neighbor boy across the street that one year...
Anyway, the way Mom explained "saving my heart" was this: "When you date someone, imagine this paper heart. Imagine that with each guy you date, you write his name on a piece of that heart. When you break up, tear his name off. The heart gets smaller and smaller. One day, you'll find the guy you were meant to marry and you'll give him your heart. He'll see that you did not give him your whole heart and be sad. You want to give him your whole heart, but you know you can't because you already threw pieces of it away."
I love it when Josh Harris is explaining it in his book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye." He pictured himself standing by his bride on his wedding day, but one by one, his ex-girlfriends all walked in the door. He was very embarrassed at not being able to give his bride his whole heart.
You know, it's hurts me to see girls, both public schooled and homeschooled, who nearly once a week are changing their relationship status on Facebook. To think that they have a new boyfriend every month, or even every week... Why are they wasting their lives like that? What is wrong with our society that kids think they have to have a boyfriend or girlfriend hanging on their arm....mouth....etc. to be cool? Why are we training our kids to live lives of divorce? Because, really, isn't that what dating is? A precursor for divorce? When you get into a relationship you need to stay committed. You can't just decide that person is boring now and leave them. The only reason to leave a relationship/marriage is in an abusive situation.
And sex. Boy. Where in the WORLD did we get so off track there???? First of all, it is NOT okay to have sex outside of marriage! And kids! Really? 13 year old kids! Sometimes even younger! People refer to sex so casually now. It's like everyone does it. It's not private anymore and you're weird for waiting until you're married. Ugh.
Courting. Now THAT is something special. Courting is typically with the intent of marriage. Meaning, when two people enter a courtship they are learning the person, getting to know their family, etc. The thought of the only time you spend with a person you're interested in being around their family freaks a lot of people out. But really, think about it. When you marry someone, you marry their family, and they marry yours. There isn't really any way of getting out of it. So, way not start off right with the prospective in-laws?
Rarely will a couple break off a courtship, but it does happen. They come to realize that going into a marriage together is more harmful than good. Another thing about courting is when you court someone, you're going to be spending a lot of time around them and they are going to see how you interact with your family (which we all know is not always the best.). They're going to see some of the worst sides of you. And that's okay. Because it's dumb to go in to a marriage thinking someone is perfect. When you date someone you typically put on your best self, because no one who would notice is going to be there, so people tend to get false opinions.
Yes, I know that there are "lots of fish in the sea," but I also that God just happens to have someone picked out for each of us and He just happens to have a time set up for us to meet that someone. :D Let's not date people like we're going in to the dressing room to try on clothes, then tossing them over the door if they don't fit, or look good on us. Remember that when you are in a relationship with someone you are messing with their heart. Please don't date someone just for fun. Everybody is going to do things differently, I know that. I know that God has written a different love story for each of us. I just ask that you really think through how this could affect this person's heart, as well as their future spouse and your future spouse.
You can visit my personal blog at The Journal of a Country Girl.