Dating or courtship
Dating tries to answer the question, In a dating relationship, there is little if any accountability for the couple and little or no interaction with family members.The dating couple is merely attracted to one another in some way and often pursues an exclusive relationship that is independent of others’ influence or counsel.Instead, couples usually date with the selfish goals of having fun and enjoying romantic attachments.In contrast, courtship is undertaken only when both parties are prepared to make a commitment to marriage.If, during the courtship, one or both parties realize that marriage is not God’s will and they end the relationship, the courtship has not failed.
It is a choice to not emotionally give away your heart, piece by piece, to many others through casual dating relationships and instead to give your whole heart to your life partner.
Jesus gave this instruction with a promise: (Matthew ).
When a person makes a growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ the foundation of all decisions—as he or she seeks God’s kingdom—God will provide all that is needed, including the marriage partner prepared by God just for that person.
Although the termination of a courtship most likely will be painful, damage and hurt—which can lead to bitterness—can be avoided.
Both parties, as well as their families and all the people who love them, should continue to trust in the Lord and accept the grace He gives to deal with any disappointment or unfulfilled hopes. The main difference between dating and courtship involves the goals to be reached by spending time with a potential marriage partner.
This oblivious self-centeredness can lead only to dissatisfaction, promoting an attitude of lust (taking what I want) rather than the Scriptural attitude of love (giving unselfishly to others).