My friend Hannah just shared this article with me this morning:"Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed," by Thomas Umstattd - http://www.thomasumstattd.com/2014/08/courtship-fundamentally-flawed
Myself being someone who, a number of years ago, read and loved (at the time) I Kissed Dating Goodbye, its mention in the opening paragraph grabbed my attention, and never released me. (for the record, I'm now in the camp of a newer book, How To Get A Date Worth Keeping, also written from a Christian perspective, but with a very different outlook).
I encourage you to read the article in its entirety, but if you don't have time, here are some of my favorite quotes:
"If I had only gone out with 3 or 4 guys I wouldn’t have known what I wanted in a husband," [the author's Grandmother] said.
This advice, when combined with the fact that “the purpose of courtship is marriage”, makes asking a girl out for dinner the emotional equivalent of asking for her hand in marriage."
I am not convinced that anyone is ever truly ready to get married. Readiness can become a carrot on a stick, an ideal that can never be achieved.
The courtship movement eliminated dating and replaced it with nothing. Or, put another way, they replaced dating with engagement. The only tangible difference between an engagement and a courtship is the ring and the date.
With Traditional Dating, asking a girl out on a date is no big deal. All the guy is asking to do is to get to know the girl better. Maybe this leads to a deeper relationship, maybe it doesn’t. Either way, the interaction is easier and more fun when it is not so intense.
Dating also trains people to continue dating their spouse after they get married. It is important for married couples to be able to have fun with each other.
When applying Scripture, particularly the Old Testament, to our lives, it is important to differentiate between Biblical precedent, principle and precept. Just because Jacob had two wives and a seven-year engagement does not mean that God wants all men to have two wives and seven-year engagements.
But the Bible is surprisingly quiet when it comes to laying out a system of courtship. Courtship Systems are cultural, and the Bible rarely advocates one cultural approach over another. God’s heart is that every tribe and tongue come worship him without having to surrender their food, language or other cultural distinctives in the process.
The benefit of traditional dating is that the lack of exclusivity reduces temptation. It also helps young people find out who they are and who they are looking for faster. Early marriage reduces the number of years a young person must resist sexual temptation through celibacy.
Finally, I should say this: Where sin abounds, grace abounds more. I understand Grace to be the power of God to do the will of God. The power of God is greater than the power of our sexualized culture. There is nothing new under the sun and no new temptation that is not already common to man. This is not the first time Christians have lived in a sexualized culture.
And the entirety of the "Suggestions for [Single Women|Single Men|Both Single Men and Single Women|Parents]" sections.