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The history, ramifications, and discernment regarding courtship and dating.

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Presentation on theme: "The history, ramifications, and discernment regarding courtship and dating."— Presentation transcript:

1 The history, ramifications, and discernment regarding courtship and dating.

2 CAVEAT There is no New Testament law regarding the rules for courting/dating. There are a number of Christians who instill and practice a godly form of dating. What is shared over the next two lessons are modern realities with todays dating scene and biblical principles employed for a healthy courtship that can be applied.

3 Imagine… Hormones are raging. Two young adults/teens like each other… A LOT. Status Quo: Both are left alone (or, with a group of others). Parents trust(?) their son/daughter: wishing/praying nothing happens while having a good date.

4 How did we get to this Status Quo? While temptations associated with teenagers/young adults have been around since the dawn of mans existence the practice of dating is relatively new and often a dangerous season of life.

5 This Lesson: Historical path of courting and dating. Note difficulties, concerns, and temptations when faced under certain circumstances.

6 Man can Learn a lot from History Value comes when reflecting on the good/bad examples set before us learning from them. It gives us a barometer between our actions and the standard of Gods word. It provides us the opportunity to employ wisdom to our current walk in life (making better anything that is lacking).

7 Arkansas Gazette, Feb., 1841 WIFE WANTED: Any gal thats got a bed, calico dress, coffee pot and skillet, knows how to cut out britches and can make a hunting shirt, knows how to take care of children can have my services till death do us part.

8 Waterloo, Iowa, newspaper in 1860 A young lady residing in one of the small towns of Central New York, is desirous of opening a correspondence with some young man in the West, with a view to a matrimonial engagement... She is about 24 years of age, possesses a good moral character, is not what would be called handsome, has a good disposition, enjoys good health, is tolerably well-educated, and thoroughly versed in the mysteries of house-keeping. (note:Sarah Plain and Tall / Love Comes Softly)

9 Colonial times (up till the 1840s). Cp. Gen. 24 New towns, farming, movement out west, low life expectancy necessitated large families. Children grew up knowing each other very well (because they lived their lives in close proximity): Through church and other local activities. Males courted in the parlor of the female home.

10 History Of Courting and Dating Many believed that love developed only after a marriage progressed and not before. The love referred to, however, was not romantic love for romantic love was seen as childish. Much of the customs of courtship during the Colonial times revolved around rational needs and not lust (Cate & Lloyd, 1992). A man was only able to marry when he could support a family with his income and possessions. Many believed that love developed only after a marriage progressed and not before. Nevertheless, this quickly changed during the 1800s when love started to become important. The love referred to, however, was not romantic love for romantic love was seen as childish. Instead, couples sought openness and sincerity in a mate (Cate & Lloyd, 1992).

11 History Of Courting and Dating The importance of romance spurned from the need of the woman to ensure her financial security since women relied almost entirely on their husbands economically.The importance of romance spurned from the need of the woman to ensure her financial security since women relied almost entirely on their husbands economically. Women would even test their new suitors to see if their suitors would remain loyal to them, regardless of the circumstances. These tests included feigning illness, family disapproval, and possibly even breaking off the relationship (Cate & Lloyd, 1992).

12 1840s-1900: History Of Courting and Dating Gender roles between men and women lead to formal roles regarding courtship (notice the separation of men/women even in church services). Purity during this time were generally of utmost importance: parlors place of courtship. Romantic love began to be central in the courtship leading to marriage.

13 Early 1900s: History Of Courting and Dating Among the poor: many began living in city apartments or smaller homes without parlors leading the courtship from the home to public gatherings. The rich liked the idea of going out and began following this exciting public courtship custom. These public outings also lead to private getaways… and sexual encounters.

14 Early 1900s: The Dating Experiment This experimentation (public dating, MD) developed out of a need of sexual fulfillment during marriage. One requirement was, though, that the woman only have sexual relations with the man she intended to marry (Cate & Lloyd, 1992).

15 History Of Courting and Dating These relationships are also frequently intense emotionally in that the couple will see and talk to each other daily Today, adolescents consider dating to be a fun activity that is not so much delegated by authority figures. Young adolescents often date in the sense of becoming boyfriend and girlfriend and these relationships are usually short in duration (Feiring, 1996). These relationships are also frequently intense emotionally in that the couple will see and talk to each other daily.

16 Todays Dating Dating, generally, transitioned from a philosophy of seeing if their partner would make for a good spouse. This was a try and see practice. The dating scene has moved more into a fun activity, while some relationships evolve into a serious courtship.

17 DIFFICULTIES, CONCERNS, TEMPTATIONS

18 The Purpose: Looking At History To see the philosophical shift from necessity… to romance… to fun activity. moral implications More importantly, to see the moral implications behind the courtship practices during the various courtship eras. To note current difficulties, concerns and temptations in todays dating scene.

19 Difficulties with Todays Dating Scene intimacywithout commitment Double standard: intimacy without commitment. Rom. 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:39 not necessarily a healthy pattern Constant breaking of relationships (and hearts) not necessarily a healthy pattern for commitment. Temptations Temptations for couples left alone. 2 Tim. 2:22 Double standards Double standards: applying marital commitments (w/out the covenant) to the dating arrangement.

20 Conclusion The modern concept of courting is foreign to history and especially the Bible. Christian parents shouldnt settle for the status quo…or worse, provoke our children to temptations. Next Week: we look at suggestions to promote a healthy practice of courtship and better equip our children for biblically blessed marriages.


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