A friend of mine sent me this link on Facebook. I couldn't agree more with the context of this article. Here is a snippet of it, but for the whole thing you can follow this link: http://tbm.org/dating_verses_courting.htm
Dating verses Courting
By Tom Brown
By Tom Brown
Joshua Harris wrote a book with a provocative title, "I’ve kissed dating goodbye." You need to kiss dating goodbye. I believe that dating is the world’s way to find a spouse. Many might be wondering, If I don’t date, how am I going to find a spouse?
You should find a spouse through courting. Courtship is more of a scriptural way to meet a prospective spouse than dating. What is the difference between dating and courting? Let me say first of all: Don’t get hung up on terms. It is possible to use the word date but not necessarily have the same understanding as my definition. I am giving you my definition of dating. If you say you date but don’t do what I define dating as being, then I feel you are practicing courting, although you might still use the term dating.
My definition of dating is that it is a modern game where intimacy is practiced before commitment. It often involves romantic talk, holding hands, kissing, making out, and oftentimes sex. Commitment never proceeds intimacy. The word date comes from the word mate. It doesn’t sound good to tell someone you are mating with Mr. X. You prefer to use the word dating. It sounds so much better, but in reality, dating and mating are sometimes the same. I looked up the worddate in my encyclopedia and it said, "see Sex and Teenage." Even my encyclopedia agrees with my definition.
Courtship is the time-honored and successful practice of learning about someone enough to know whether or not the two is compatible for marriage. It often involves friendship, discussing each individual’s future plans, knowing the parents if they’re alive, and praying privately for God’s will in the matter. After deciding it is God’s will to get married, the couple prays together and then go to their parents to seek their blessings and finally to the pastor to seek his approval. After engaged the couple still avoids intimacy until marriage. Commitment comes before intimacy.
Someone might be thinking, How old is this writer? I’m under forty, and my wife, Sonia, and I proved that courtship could work in this modern age. We both were virgins when we married each other. So don’t tell me that this is unrealistic. We never kissed or even held hands until we were engaged. It can work. We’ve been married for almost 18 years, and are still in love. J
Why people fall away from the Lord?
I’ve been pastoring for almost two decades, and I’ve noticed that the number one reason people are led away from God is because they get involved in a relationship which is not honoring God. People rarely fall away from God as a result of drugs, alcohol, or cults. Christianity is a relationship, so it stands to reason that an unholy relationship will be the number one cause of backsliding.
We are relational people. Our faith is based on a relationship with God. We need a relationship with God to fulfill us. Satan knows this, so he tries to replace your relationship with God with a wrong relationship with another. If he can succeed, you will discover that your relationship with God will suffer.
Dating is Satan’s method of getting you distracted from God. As I said before, dating involves intimacy. Once a person develops intimacy, they can easily make each other out to be idols. The Romeo and Juliet syndrome takes place.
"Oh, I can’t live without you! I need you! You are everything to me!"
Like Romeo and Juliet you will began to despise the advice of your parents and others who care for your spiritual well being. You will soon give more and more time to this person. You will began to spend less time with your family and Christian friends. Before you know it, you rarely attend church.
"Who cares, I’m in love!" you say. Remember the end of Romeo and Juliet: they killed themselves! That is not exactly a romantic ending.
Satan tried it on me
Hey, I am a guy! I know what I’m talking about. Satan tried to get me involved in wrong relationships with different girls. Oh, they were so pretty! But they weren’t born-again, Spirit-filled girls. I knew God had called me into the ministry, so I realized my choice for a wife was critical. None of the girls I liked were interested in being a preacher’s wife.
Satan almost got me on several occasions. One girl, who was drunk at the time, said to me, "Tom, with you being religious and all that, and me being such a sinner, we would make a good couple." Yea, sure?
When I met Sonia at church, I asked her to play tennis with me. We saw each other every week at a nursing home that we ministered at together. We went out a couple of times. In all those months, we never saw each other as idols. We were simply good friends.
The trouble with many marriages is they are built on sex, not friendship. There is more to a marriage than sex. Yes, sex is fun, it has its place, but friendship is even more important.
Many argue that unless you have sex before marriage, you might not be satisfied with your spouse’s performance. They say, "Better find out if you are compatible sexually before marriage than after marriage."
You know this argument is so lame. Common sense tells us that sex will be wonderful so long as you are in love with the person. It doesn’t matter if they can do gymnastics in bed, what matters most, is if they love you. Sex is meaningful with someone you love. You can learn to perform better as you go along. That is part of the fun.
Get it out of your system
Another argument of the proponents of sex before marriage is this: if you wait until marriage to have sex, then you will always desire more; better to get it out of your system before marriage than to do it after marriage.
This argument is so ridiculous. I would argue just the opposite. Sex can be addictive. I’m more worried about playboys settling down.
Take for example a man who hates to shop. He decides to go to Wal-Mart and gets himself some overalls. Let me ask you this question: how long do you think he will keep his clothes? Remember he doesn’t have many clothes. Yet, you and I both know he probably will keep those overalls for many years.
On the other hand, a woman who loves to shop will buy some expensive clothes and add them to her dozens of outfits. How long do you think she will wear them? Not very long.
You see you don’t have to try on many clothes before you will be satisfied with what you bought. My wife loves to shop. She will take hours trying on different dresses to see which one she likes. Finally, she decides on a dress, only to take it back later. On the other hand, I try on one pair of shoes, it fits, and I take it home. I will wear those shoes out until my wife encourages me to get another pair.
Trying on different people does not make it less likely that you will want to keep the one you picked. Actually, chances are you will more likely become dissatisfied with the person you married, because you know what others are like, and you might start to reminisce about the other guys you slept with. But someone who knows only one person, does not have anyone else to compare him with, and is more likely to be satisfied with their "one and only".