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As you strive to continue raising godly girls, I encourage you to teach them the difference between courting and dating. Though I believe the Lord had a plan for my life, I also believe that if I had truly understood the clear difference between the two when I was a teenager, I would have spared myself an awful lot of heartbreak.
When I was 14, Juanita, my youth group leader, proudly announced she was courting a young man named Eric. Eric was a pastoral intern. He was in his early twenties, and he was a little awkward. He was quiet, reserved and had absolutely no sense of fashion. Juanita, on the other hand, was someone I looked up to. She was kind, friendly, stylish, and way out of Eric’s league in my mind.
I was baffled by the very odd pairing, I didn’t get it, and I was even more confused when she went on to explain the difference between courting, and dating. It was like she and Eric were from another planet.
One of these things is not like the other.
Earlier this week, ABC reported that 5.7 million viewers tuned in to “The Bachelorette”.
I confess, I watched probably 2 to 3 episodes of earlier seasons, however, my sole purpose for watching was to ridicule the contestants. Believe me, my intent, is not to judge anyone for watching, regardless of your purpose, but to simply help you realize that though we know this is not the most wholesome of shows, we are watching.
The Bachelorette is just one in a series of dating shows. Shows where young girls are told they can learn to be confident, strong, decisive, and sought after. Handsome intelligent men compete for The Bachelorette’s affections, making it appear almost chivalrous, yet the premise of the show is to win by deception.
Dating is a battleground filled with deception and infidelity.
– Andrew S. Trees
Courting, on the other hand, has a completely different purpose.
Merriam-Webster defines courting as ‘the activities that occur when people are developing a romantic relationship that could lead to marriage’; however for the sake of today’s topic, we will refer to the definitions provided by the Urban Dictionary. These best reflect our culture today.
Why raising godly girls who understand courtship, is important.
The urban dictionary defines courting as:
the experience of developing a deep relationship with someone, with a view to seeing if marriage is right for the couple, without the complexity of sexual intimacy being part of that relationship
I love that this definition clearly points out that there is complexity in sexual intimacy. This is a fact our society often misses. A woman’s promiscuity was once taboo, and today, it’s almost celebrated. Purity is rare, girls are ridiculed for being prudes.
Courting intends to develop and eventually establish a deep relationship that will one day become a successful marriage. A marriage that is pure, and committed. A marriage focused on unconditional love and trust.
The end goal of courting is marriage. It’s as simple as that.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.
As we are raising godly girls, let’s take time to teach them that like purity, courting should not be taken lightly, and for the Christian, it should be regarded as an agreement, a contract, a pledge, to commit to wait and be faithful to one another.
How dating has everything to do with self and nothing to do with God.
The urban dictionary defines dating as
Where two people who are attracted to each other spend time together to see if they also can stand to be around each other most of the time, if this is successful they develop a relationship although sometimes a relationship develops anyways if the people can’t find anybody else to date them, or are very lonely or one person is only attracted to the other and pretends to be in love with the second unfortunate person who has the misunderstanding that they have found love. This occurs quite often and eventually leads to something called cheating.
Seriously, read that again.
Though this is not the most eloquent of definitions, in my opinion, it’s pretty right on.
In other words, dating is about fulfilling a personal need. Whether it be that of companionship, sexual, financial, intellectual.
Dating is really all about sex. In the conventional context, this means that the man invites the woman to go through a social encounter, the ultimate purpose of which is sexual engagement.
– Alexander Mccall Smith
The Bible, on the other hand, instructs us to do otherwise, and as parents who are raising godly girls we must steer them away from the world’s definition of relationships; and steer them instead, into a relationship with God.
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22
Christ above all things.
Whether the godly girls you’re raising are still little, or if they’re already grown, I ask you to consider teaching them the differences between courting and dating. As a mom of five girls and one boy, I can attest to the sometimes subtle ways the enemy will try to poison and corrupt our children’s thinking.
Please understand my intention is not to condemn dating but to encourage you to raise godly girls who long for a relationship with Christ above all things. Everything else will be added.
ARE YOU A BOY MOM?
The picture of us raising our children to shoot them out into the world, as straight as arrows, ready for battle, will always stick close to my heart, and I pray that it will continue to mold and shape my heart as I help them make good decisions for themselves and to be SHOT OUT into the world and impact the world for HIS GLORY.
Join Christi Galy of Dwelling Well Mom as she shares her heart on Helping Our Sons Overcome The Battle In Their Hearts!
∞ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ∞
Tatiana is a follower of Jesus, wife, and mum to one boy and five girls. Her mission is to inspire, encourage and equip mothers to raise children who long to walk with Jesus. She is a compulsive organizer, lover of books and coffee, aspiring apologist, and is an avid supporter of school choice. Connect with her below!
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Tiffany Montgomery says
As I watch my girls grow up I see the enemy already planting that desire toward the worlds way of love… or lust and the disney fairytale that never comes true. It is hard to talk about without ending up in a conversation that feel judgmental because others aren’t doing it this way. But courting is what I teach and I pray my girls don’t fall into the dating trap.