That it was “practice for divorce.” That it was for people who weren’t “waiting on God” but rather taking life into their own hands. I was a young woman who wanted to please God with all of my heart. But eventually, I learned that there WAS a way to honor God in my relationships with the opposite sex, and it didn’t necessarily involve side-hugs, chaperones, a commitment to marriage before the first date, or even the no-kissing-before-marriage rule (though these are all fine goals to have so long as God puts them on your heart! What I am saying here, is that maybe churches need to stop pushing courtship or certain ways of dating and consider that there are truly other ways to honor God in relationships.
And so, for a time, those Courtship scare-tactics totally worked! Here’s why: Just like different personalities respond to different kinds of music, food, hobbies and career goals—we’re all wired to respond differently to relationships.
For many years, I didn’t date at all, partly because I wanted to be in God’s will, but mostly because I was terrified of relationships! Some of us thrive under strict rules, regulations and expectations; while others of us implode, rebel or feel paralyzed under the weight of the confinement.
All that to say is that there is no cookie-cutter answer for relationships.
As long as we stick to God’s principles and deal with one another in a God-honoring way, we have the freedom to pursue relationships in the way that works best for each of us.