I’ve listened to many, many hours of workshops about the courtship movement in homeschool Christian circles. The premise is that young people should not date. When they are ready to get married, they “court” a pre-approved person (that the parents have checked out thoroughly), and the young people are never alone together. They never kiss until their wedding day. The parents of the young people seem to be orchestrating the entire thing from beginning to end, to avoid any emotional pain on the part of the daughter or son.
At first I just soaked it all in, having no opinion. I highly value purity before marriage, so the topic appealed to me. But the more I listened, the more uneasy I became. I couldn’t put my finger on why I was disturbed. I talked to my husband about it, and he basically said that he trusted our kids, and that he didn’t want to micromanage who they were going to marry. My husband and I did not court. We dated. We kissed. We were alone together. I wouldn’t trade those days for the world. I was walking on air in anticipation of becoming his bride. Those pre-marriage kisses were absolutely fantastic. We both remained pure before marriage.
Scripture only gives two commands concerning future marriage: no fornication and not being unequally yoked. To add lots of rules to what God has written is sin, especially when you are putting those rules on other people. It causes people to feel like they have an anvil too hard to carry. That’s because God never intended compounding rules to weigh down His commands. Young people who can’t stand the suffocation of the situation end up breaking a real command of God, which has been lumped in with the artificial rules. This is a recipe for disaster.
A better thing to do as a parent is to have a deep, rich relationship with your kids, where you trust them. Realize that the Bible says to leave father and mother in this process. The person should pray about his or her spouse and feel peace from God that this is their soul mate. The man should lead the woman in the relationship; the parents should not be leading the man like a puppet. Otherwise the woman is submitting to the man’s parents, and this horrible, unbiblical interference in marriage is established as a habit.
People who court still break up and have emotional pain. That is not avoided unless you’ve not involved your heart.
No, people need to be accountable under God. Presumably if they’re Christians they care about purity. Other than that, they’re free. If they want to sit down and have a 3-hour conversation about God without having anyone else in the room, they should be able to do that.Tweet