Arranged Marriage –> Courtship –> Dating

9 Mar

In my previous post, I talked about family-arranged marriage as found in Genesis 24 (how it worked and what it represents with us and our relationship with Christ).  This model was gradually modified through the centuries to fit changing cultures and the desires of families and societies.

Although some marriages were still being arranged, courting eventually became a more popular way for couples to meet and marry. Often the parents would choose a man as a likely marriage partner for their daughter and allow him to socialize with her under their watchful eye. Or, a man could approach a girl’s father and ask to court her, aware that their meetings would be faithfully chaperoned.

During the courting period, the couple could get to know each other, see if they were compatible, and decide whether they wanted to become engaged. If they did, the man was expected to approach the father and ask for his permission. As in the arranged-marriage era, the full intent of courting was to eventually marry and raise a family together.

In time, the parental involvement and social restrictions within the courting process relaxed, and couples were given more and more opportunities to spend unsupervised time together. They also began choosing whom they wanted to marry with or without family approval. These trends continued to grow and have become what we now call dating.

Unlike the arranged marriage and courtship eras of the past, modern dating practices often have little to do with marriage. They provide a social avenue for couples to meet and have fun—more and more with no serious marriage intentions behind it.

Do you want to have a better understanding of dating issues? Then you won’t want to miss my next post. We’ll look at current dating trends, draw some valuable conclusions, and gain some practical wisdom.

“Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” Proverbs 4:7 (NLT)

Until next time,


photo credit to Poppy Thomas-Hill


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