Knightly Discussions
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
But again we are coming back to the issue of understanding: What is Courtship, and what is Dating?

For the young man in the story we read (Courtship and the Male Ego) Courtship meant going to a lady's father, asking for permission to see her, and then effectively dating her.
For my church, on the other hand, Courtship until very recently meant asking a girl's pastor and father to court her, drawing up a covenant of courtship, and then following a rigid set of rules for courtship complete with homework and four different 'stages'.

For some people, Dating means going to clubs and hooking up immorally. For many Christian singles, Dating means pursuing a friendship with a mutual understanding of interest in each other and standards for the relationship that both parties have talked through and agree are wise.

Which of those two does the Bible say is the real Courtship?
Which of those two does the Bible say is the real Dating?
What then does the Bible indicate is a Courtship which avoids the pitfalls of Dating?
And how does the Bible indicate that it's good for Courtship to grate against the Male Ego?

The answer would be that the Bible doesn't directly answer any of the above questions. It doesn't even directly set out standards for how a young man is to pursue a young lady.

The Bible does say not to sin. And that if your hand or your eye causes you to sin, better to lose it than to go into sin.

But the problem is, we come up with a set of rules to keep ourselves from sin, make it a tradition, and then start defending it as a packaged deal straight out of Scripture. And then confusion reigns.

I do agree with the apparent point from the story that Courtship should not become a program but should be a heart matter of personal conviction.

But I think as a whole that instead of coming up with a program or a new social order, the Christian church would be better off just emphasizing personal holiness and conviction, and counseling young people to run to accountability and set up standards for themselves when they realize they like each other.

Yes, and also that if you just make it about a set of rules, it does not go to the heart of the matter. And that Courtship can be the same as dating if it is not followed with a heart that is open to the Holy Spirit.
Pretty thought provoking.

It seems like part of the point of the story was to point out how the process of courtship is good because it grates against the male ego. Is that a fair assessment?

(Also see Tim Eatons explanation of the article at the bottom of
You are correct that there is no substitute for personal integrity and self control. So I give you a story that looks at this topic from that viewpoint.

Courtship and the Male Ego

Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Uh... actually, Chris, you used that Webster's reference as support for the argument that we have lost in society today what was "common knowledge just 100 years ago". And what you seem to be indicating we have lost is the way fathers, young women and prospective suitors interacted in the 1800's.

OK, yes, I'll admit that from a convenantal standpoint Numbers 30 does indicate that ladies should be under the arbitrating coverature of their earthly father and husband when it comes to vows and oaths.

But it sounds like you are saying this also means a young man has to pursue a young lady through old-school formal courtship with a log book of man-made rules. Or that a young man needs to ask a young ladie's father before he pursues any kind of friendship with her.

(Some of these might actually be decent ideas in certain situations. But they are no substitute for personal integrity and self-control, which is the real issue, and cannot be legislated.)

So I don't believe Numbers 30 was intended to mean anything like what you seem to be implying it means. I believe instead it addresses exactly what it says it's talking about.
Friday, June 06, 2003
Hey Ted,
My example of the Dictionary was this dictionary

Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Description: The American Dictionary of the English language is based upon God's written word, for Noah Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions. Hardcover, over 1800 pages.

No as secular as you would have imagined :)

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