I started this impromptu series last week with a challenge that we stop bashing courting AND dating and letting everyone redefine those terms--which I think has left much margin for error in what those terms truly mean and many heated (but necessary) posts around the internet. So I propose a change. Something called "dourting".
I’ll define “dourting” in a quick one phrase summary: “a chance for two people, of the opposite sex, to meet, get to know the other without the pressure of a ‘ring by spring’ mentality at the end, in a safe, comfortable environment for both parties with clear boundaries set in place, but an understanding of truly getting to know this person that you may end up committing yourself to.”
When you dig into the layers of what “dourting” is, it’s really just a combined method of both courtship and dating. Thus the name.
Here’s my terms for it:
I don’t believe in arranged marriages by my parents.
I do believe that our parent’s wisdom and discernment in these situations is vital. Out of respect to them and my heart’s desire, I want anyone I “date” to talk to my dad first. No, this is not my parent’s ultimate decision. It is my life, but I am still under my father’s headship until the day I marry.
I don’t believe in never holding hands, kissing or spending time alone (eg: restaurant, public place, etc).
I do believe that a couple needs to be careful, aware that other’s are watching and their lives and relationship together is an example and witness. Everyone has personal convictions on the above mentioned topics. Personally, I will be saving my first kiss until at least after my engagement.
I don’t believe in dating for the sake of dating.
I do believe in getting to know someone within very loose confines that some may call “dating”, but I consider an opportunity to know if this person is someone to get to know more seriously.
I don’t believe that all “dating” or “courting” is a serious debate on theology, parenting or values.
I do believe that those things are vital and incredibly important. However, you’ll be doing life with this person full time should you decide on marriage. Thus, you need to know: do you have the same interests, similar hobbies or passions? In your free time are your desires mutually compatible?
This only truly scratches the surface of what it means to get to know someone—the person you could be spending the rest of your life with. And honestly, I won’t know most of it until I actually start the process.
But the #1 truth that should always surround every relationship whether it’s courtship, dating or dourting?
Praying together. Praying separately. That He would be working in your hearts. That you would be
open to His discernment and wisdom.
If this is not the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, they are someone else’s spouse. And their heart and emotions should be taken into consideration in every part of this journey. Just as yours should. And keeping your heart and mind aligned with God’s is the only way to truly succeed at something like this.
It’s a dicey subject anymore in Christian circles. We seem to be stumbling around in the dark with a white cane with a red tip. It doesn’t have to be. It doesn’t have to be a complicated, hyperventilating inducing, one-size-fits-all kind of model.
In fact, I have to admit my hackles come up just a bit when one person or side picks a fight against the other. Every method is not going to work for every person.
But the point remains strong. A relationship should be so devoted to Christ’s best interest for the other party that in their being together—as friends—as potential mates—in any situation, they reflect Christ and His love for the church.
Everything else? It’s petty arguments and technicalities. The standards that rise above all others?
Those are the ones we never back down from.
Do you have an opinion on the whole dating/courting/dourting concept?