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A lot of Christians are talking about courtship instead of dating as a way to prepare for marriage. Dating is a process of getting to know members of the opposite gender to begin to discern whether it is appropriate to make an increasing emotional commitment to any of them.
Dating is provisional.
How is courtship different than dating?
No commitment is implied, other than the basic commitment to treat a person with respect. In fact, it is probably healthy to do so as long as emotional commitments are not made or implied. That was a mistake. I made an emotional commitment to her too quickly.
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My goal should have been to get to know her well enough first to discover whether or not she was a person whose heart I should seek to win. Courtship, by contrast, is an exclusive relationship. If, while dating, you believe you may have found a person worthy of marrying, you stop dating other people.
You communicate about your intentions. You focus on that one person to discern whether this is or is not someone to whom you can make a lifetime commitment. When I was dating the woman I eventually married, I sat down with her and asked her if she would be willing to consider us as an exclusive couple.
Courtship, engagement, and the wedding
I then outlined what I thought it meant for us to court one another. She agreed and we began a more serious process of discovery. Courtship is a time to evaluate your relationship to determine if you can each make a lifetime commitment to each other.
Engagement is a time of preparation for the wedding, and more importantly, for the marriage. An engagement can be broken off, but you should have your questions largely answered before you become engaged.
Courtship should not be rushed, but if a couple has done courtship right, engagement needs only be long enough to make all the plans for starting a new life together. Simplify discipleship for families and small groups with a Pursue GOD partner. Dating and Courtship.
The Purpose of Dating Dating is a process of getting to know members of the opposite gender to begin to discern whether it is appropriate to make an increasing emotional commitment to any of them. The Goal of Engagement Courtship is a time to evaluate your relationship to determine if you can each make a lifetime commitment to each other.
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