When my grandmother dated in middle school (yes, middle school) her parents had one primary rule for her.
” my grandmother wondered every time the topic came up. They both obstinately held to the position that courtship was a foolish idea. As I grew older, I started to speak at homeschool conferences and events.
I talked with homeschool parents, students and alumni all over the country and started to see some challenges with making courtship work.
I explained what courtship was and quoted Joshua Harris, chapter and verse. “I don’t think courtship is a smart idea,” my grandfather said.
“How can you tell who you want to marry if you aren’t going out on dates? I ignored their advice on relationships, preferring to listen to the young people around me who were passionate advocates of courtship.
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.So if she went out for soda with Bob on Tuesday, she had to go to a movie with Bill on Thursday before she could go to the school dance with Bob on Saturday. The lack of exclusivity kept the interactions fun and casual. How could a boy have a claim to her time, heart or body if she was going out with someone else later that week?She went on to explain that by the time she graduated from high school, she had gone out on dates with over 20 different guys.They were not the Bible-reading, small-grouping, mission-tripping Christian young people common in evangelical churches today.And yet her community of friends all got married and then stayed married for decades and decades.This meant that by the time she was 17 years old she knew which Bob she wanted to marry.