Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Lost Art of Courtship

I have been blessed to behold a beautiful thing. Several of the young people in our congregation at GPC have begun courting.

Not dating. Courting.

While dating turns young people loose on their own (an utterly foolish notion, I can testify from sad personal experience) to entertain themselves (think about that for a moment), courting keeps them within the protection of the family circle.

I said protection. I can recall quite well the irresistible high as two sets of hormones come crashing together. Listen to the words of songwriter Jim Steinman in the song, "Paradise by the Dashboard Light (the title itself should be enlightening, so to speak)."

"Parking by the lake with not another car in sight."

"It never felt so good, it never felt so right."

"The feeling came upon me like a tidal wave."

"I started swearing to my God and on my mother's grave, I would love you til the end of time (sound familiar?)."

And the sad denouement:

"And now I'm praying for the end of time to hurry up and arrive."

Courtship can protect young people from all this. They meet in the homes of their two families. They can observe each other in the context of a gathering of friends. They sit together in God's house and worship.

Sounds more like a couple of friends than two young lovers? See, you're getting it.

Not many things more precious than the love of a dear friend. Why not start the most important relationship in our lives (other than the one with Jesus) with a friendship?

Ours is a culture where we are urged by Disney characters to "kiss the girl." The biblical ideal is reflected in Solomon's Song where the anticipation builds amidst the simple delight of each other's company.

Restraint. Tom Petty observed truly that "The Waiting is the Hardest Part."

I don't know how that worked for you, but I could have used some help in that department as a young man. A little protection. From myself.

Courtship. What a concept!

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