Dating versus courtship
Our attitude to dating is not so much a matter of church policy but a matter of family government.Laying a solid foundation in this area is a parental reponsibility, but the church has a responsibility to hold the family accountable to the Word of God.If we want our young people to be prepared for marriage these are the questions that we must ask: In answering these questions, we need to know the criteria by which the answers must be judged.Our culture finds it hard to make such judgements because the dating scene seems to be an expression of "teenagers in love" - and love is thought to be something that just happens, over which we have no control.All that is unknown is its degree, or the speed of its intensification. Without her father's protection, she alone must determine the degree of sexual intimacy, and that in the heat of the moment.Furthermore, there is no commitment beyond the next date; relationships (and thus marriage) are initiated out of a romantic attraction.Is it just an innocent cultural expression; the way we do things in the west in the present century? " Jim West has defined a date as, "Any planned event involving a shared activity between a man and a woman" - one person asks the other to share in an activity, and a publicly recognizable pairing occurs.
Most parents continue to allow dating because it is the way that they did things in their day, and they believe that they survived.
But they are still reaping what they sowed, often in a later generation who bear the fruit of their careless immoral ways.
Parental foolishness starts early on in the pre-teens, where crushes are condoned, and the habit of living in fantasies is established.
" In our day, dating arrangements are made entirely by young people apart from parental involvement.
The date is planned by young people with a known expectation of physical intimacy.
Only marriage relinquishes ownership of one's "good" body to one's partner.