So here’s a question I was asked a while back; “what’s the difference between courtship and dating?” and in doing some research on the arguments out there, I came across this article which I thought was pretty comprehensive. I must say though that this whole idea of dating and courting has a lot to do with culture…and not necessarily the Godly culture. I can’t speak holistically about other cultures, but in Jamaica, it seems we have two kinds of thinking on this: Men Date, Women Court. We’ve all been caught in it at some time..getting all tangled up in “getting to know” someone (believer/unbeliever alike) without purpose aka for the fun of it, believing “this is the one” without seeking God for direction etc.
Anyway, im sharing this one out of concern for the next generation of godly people and even those who think they are already seasoned in it, because i want to see less of us getting tangled in a web we cant fix. It is through knowledge that we become elevated. Hosea 4:6 says My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…. so let’s get it right peeps! Here goes!
How is courtship different than dating?
Courtship is a relationship between a man and a woman in which they seek to determine if it is God’s will for them to marry each other. Under the protection, guidance, and blessing of parents or mentors, the couple concentrates on developing a deep friendship that could lead to marriage, as they discern their readiness for marriage and God’s timing for their marriage. (See Proverbs 3:5–7.)
Courtship is a choice to avoid temptation and experience the blessings of purity. 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.
It is a choice to wait for God’s best, for His glory. It is a decision to walk by faith, to trust in God, to honor others above yourself, and to believe that God will deal bountifully with you, because He is love. (See II Corinthians 5:7, Psalm 9:10, Romans 12:10, Psalm 13, and I John 4:8.)
Because each individual, family, and set of circumstances is unique, each courtship will be unique. While those who choose courtship will hold to general guidelines for the relationship, their specific choices about when, where, and how to court may differ according to their needs and circumstances.