And so, for a time, those Courtship scare-tactics totally worked! Here’s why: Just like different personalities respond to different kinds of music, food, hobbies and career goals—we’re all wired to respond differently to relationships.
For many years, I didn’t date at all, partly because I wanted to be in God’s will, but mostly because I was terrified of relationships! Some of us thrive under strict rules, regulations and expectations; while others of us implode, rebel or feel paralyzed under the weight of the confinement.
In the past when I’ve asked guys about their intentions with the woman they are dating, I’ve often heard the biblical-sounding language of God’s will. It is good to live humbly under God’s sovereign will, for we cannot ultimately determine our future (James -18).But in his wise design, God has left it largely up to the man whether or not he will get married.Ever since Joshua Harris kissed dating goodbye in 1997, the dating vs.courting debate has raged within the evangelical community.Adding difficulty to an already difficult situation is the reality that men, also since the fall, have an inward propensity toward passivity: that a man should initiate a romantic relationship and continue to initiate that relationship is a principle that either sits uneasily upon the conscience or is simply disregarded as unimportant.
But the relational structures that God has put in place will inevitably rise to the surface of our experience, and men and women will often find they are most satisfied when the man takes the helm of leadership in the area of romance.Let these questions spur you on to greater diligence, not unproductive self-loathing. The truth is, different personalities need different approaches to relationships. My only problem comes, then, with how “Dating” gets compared to “Courtship” in such a flawed and negative way.I’ve seen far too many Christian men tow their girlfriend along in relational haze, neglecting to provide them with any certainty that their current dating excursion will eventually lead to marriage.Men, when you indulge in this passive approach to dating, you will soon be guilty of defrauding your girlfriend. I thought that was old news, that we’d laid to rest the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” era and moved on to new topics. Maybe you’ve noticed, but the Courtship movement has recently received some major attention from both national television and recent entertainment. I am not putting down the concept of courtship, and I never will.