Friday, August 15, 2014

What's the Agenda?

O.K. so I'm older than dirt.

Still I remember quite vividly my teenage years and my experience of dating.

Everybody had an agenda. I was an average kid, a little bit shy, raised in church and respectful of my elders. But let me tell you that in my heart of hearts, a place of which I was only vaguely aware, I was up to no good.

And that's the problem I have with this article's idealization of the dating process. I have no experience of courtship so I won't comment on the author's remarks on that subject.

But I am a veteran of the dating scene, both as a teen and later as a divorced adult. My attitudes were more out there (and more crass) by the time I reached my early thirties, but at bottom the physical attraction was always there. It's the underlying tension in all guy-gal interactions (am I exaggerating?) and the struggle to remain pure at heart is one of titanic proportions.

Thus it follows that to take a young man and a young woman and place them alone in a car (parked or moving) with their hormones, is a recipe for trouble.

As for the author's contention that the courtship process is the underlying cause of many a divorce, I call b.s.

Marriage is the second hardest thing a Christian person will ever do. It requires certain preconceptions. And they are biblical. Here are the ones I have found most helpful, in no particular order:

Read the Song of Songs. The poetry of love expressed here, even when taken only at the surface level is such a beautiful picture of desire for and dedication to the beloved. We are called to this ideal.
And to remember how it expresses the perfect love of Christ for His bride.

Which brings us to Paul's words in Ephesian 5:22-33. This requires careful reading and re-reading as well as thoughtful discussion between you and your beloved.

Finally, guys, I highly recommend that you bookmark Proverbs 31:10-31. This is the ideal and realize that without your love, respect and support, your wife will find this ideal very difficult if not impossible to achieve.

As long as we mix fallen human nature into the process, both dating and courtship are flawed concepts. I suppose arranged marriages are the alternative. Hmmm. Not too sure about that one either.

Anyhow, these are the opinions of an old married man.

And you can take that for whatever it is worth.

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