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The First Step to Successful Dating/Courting -- And What Married Couples Can Learn From It

Aug 18, 2007
If you're anything like me, you learned a lot about dating and marriage from the world. The ways of the world are so enticing. They feel so good they just can't be wrong. But when you tried them, you discovered that the world's idea of dating causes a lot more broken relationships than it does successful ones.

As Christians, we know that broken relationships are a tragedy. Someone always gets hurt. And those wounds often leave deep scars. It happens so frequently today that many of us have become battle hardened. As a result, some run away from relationships. But some people actually develop cravings for the battle. That's why we have such problems with perversions and criminal acts today.

The world tells us that the physical side of the relationship should come first. Even the way we find relationships is based on physical attraction, sizing each other up, and I've even heard people talk about the other person's smell. It gets pretty ridiculous.

But there is a better way. And it starts with how we handle relationships with the opposite gender from the very beginning.

Many Christians have turned to courting instead of dating because of how it encourages two people to get to know each other. But even courting has its problems. I know many people who have the same scars from courting as others get from dating.

Why? Because courting has behind it a purpose -- marriage. When that purpose isn't fulfilled, there's a broken relationship, wounds, and scars.

Courting is a great way to move through the period between friendship and engagement. But too many people take short cuts through friendship because of a deep desire to be connected to someone else.

But doing so can be a disaster. The friendship phase of a relationship should be the longest phase. It's a time to get to know the other person. Find out what their likes and dislikes are. How they respond to different problems. Do they solve problems biblically? Are they willing to compromise in areas that you aren't? And it's a great time to evaluate without any pressure of dating/courting, engagement, or marriage. Thoughts about these can easily skew our judgment.

Spending a lot of time in the friendship phase doesn't always guarantee successful relationships. There is no perfect formula when it comes to fallen people. But it can help you keep things in their proper perspective and protect you from too many deep battle scars. It also lays a super foundation for your relationship with the one you do end up marrying.

And whether you're married or still single, remember that you should always base your friendships on service (serving your friends) and building them up in the Lord. Married couples often say their spouse is their best friend, but then turn around and tear them down at every opportunity. That's the world's view of relationships. Avoid it!
About the Author
Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and also publishes Wisdom's Edge. You can get Biblical tips on health, finance, relationships, parenting, and success, delivered to your email inbox every week. Simply visit http://www.wisdomsedge.com and sign up for this free e-zine.
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