There is a significant difference between Courtship and Dating, and if you are a Christian, especially if you are a parent or a youth, understanding the concept can either assist you with obtaining a life of inner joy and peace, or finding yourself dealing with guilt and attempting through out the rest of your life repairing damages done from not taking the time to understand the differences between the two concepts and applying them to your lives.
Click here to read a short article that does a great job explaining the differences
I once knew two men who were roommates in college. One of them was a Christian man who understood the concept of courtship and was in the process of locating and identifying a woman whom would be a good partner for him, had similar values, and who he could commit his whole life to.
The other man lived a life of dating, often had different girlfriends, had intimate / sexual relationships with, and then moved on to others when he felt the need.
The Christian man was often questioned by his roommate regarding what type of activities he partook in while courting this particular lady, and received harassment from the roommate often. The non-Christian just couldn't understand why the Christian man wouldn't try to have some "fun" (i.e sex) with the girl he was courting.
When asked, the Christian man would reply, I not only owe it myself, to protect myself, but I owe it to the lady that I am courting to protect her purity and honor as well.
Years went by after college, the two men went their separate ways, the Christian man ended up not marrying the lady that he was courting.
Out of the blue, the Christian man received a phone call from his old roommate, the roommate stated that he had finally found a wonderful woman and that they were now married. He stated that even though she had a boyfriend throughout all of college, she remained pure, and that he had married a virgin.
He stated that one day he asked his wife how she remained pure through college, and she replied that the man that she dated believed in the concept of courting and not dating. With further inquiry, he found out that the man who dated his wife in college was in fact his old roommate.
The same Christian roommate who received such taunting from the other roommate by his loving act of courtship was in fact unknowingly protecting the purity of this woman for the roommate.
The Christan man, through his act of courting and not dating, protected himself, protected the lady, benefiting all and especially the man who made fun of him.
The old roommate stated that he just called to say "Thank you," that he now understands, and will make sure that their children understand the difference between "Dating" and "Courtship."
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