The casual dating versus courtship love debate rages on in some conservative Christian circles. Ever since Joshua Harris’ bestselling book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye came out, this question has come to the forefront: Should Christian singles interested in the opposite sex practice casual dating or Christian courtship?
But let’s pose another question that cuts to the heart of the matter: Which model, casual dating or courtship, has better end results viz-a-viz pre-marital sex, domestic violence, infidelity and divorce rates?
Both sides voice their highly dogmatic views, but the raw truth of the matter is that we simply don’t yet know the answer. It’s going to take several decades before Christian social scientists can measure what real difference, if any, the modern courtship love movement has made on marriages and families. Until then, I believe both sides should put James 1:19 into practice: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to listen, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”
By the way, what do most single Christians feel about the issue? They’re mostly apathetic and the vast majority date in traditional ways as their parents and grandparents did.
For our part, Christian Dating Service PLUS does not believe in the concept of casual dating because we feel:
- A romantic relationship should never be an end in itself, but should have the goal of working toward marriage. Additionally, if the couple are single Christians, we would expect that this relationship would be under the lordship of Jesus.
However, we also believe there is a place for traditional dating outside the teen years, and so don’t feel the courtship and dating issue needs to be couched as an either/or proposition. The best of dating and courtship can be combined.
Are you a singles pastor or Christian single with a different take on casual dating and courtship? Please help other singles sharing your views on courtship and love.