Dating advice for single pastors

So I humbled myself and took my grandmother out for dinner to hear why she thought courtship was a bad idea all those years ago.

She had predicted the failure of courtship back in the 90s and I wanted to understand how and why. After 20 years there still is no general consensus as to what courtship is.

She went on to explain that there used to be a linguistic differentiation between “dating” and “going steady”.

“Going steady” meant you were going out with the same person multiple times in a row.

Dating was evil and Courtship, whatever it was, was godly, good and Biblical.

My grandparents would often ask why I wasn’t dating in high school.

They were not the Bible-reading, small-grouping, mission-tripping Christian young people common in evangelical churches today.

Its purpose: to instigate a national conversation about how to make courtship more practical. Then couples who did get married through courtship started getting divorced.

But here are the elements most conservative communities have in common: My grandmother grew up in a marginally Christian community.

People went to church on Sunday, but that was the extent of their religious activity.

Visits and comments poured in from all over the country about how to make courtship work and why it did not work. I’m talking the kind of couples who first kissed at their wedding were filing for divorce. The deal was that if we put up with the rules and awkwardness of courtship now we could avoid the pain of divorce later.

Each year I waited for courtship to start working and for my homeschool friends to start getting married. The whole point of courtship was to have a happy marriage, not a high divorce rate.

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