Counseling: Courting 2

Mr. Saunders,

Trying to do things in a Christian way when you live in a non-Christian world can be difficult at times. And men do get lonely and pretty s do help while away the time, even if the guy keeps his hands to himself. But let’s go back to a few basics here.

What’s the point? Does the young man want to get married, or is he just lonely and wants companionship? If he sees a pretty and wants another conquest, wants to be bolstered by the fact that he has a pretty friend, wants to experience the thrill of seeing how far he can go, wants to simply hang with a softer human being who sees things from a different perspective than he, whatever, that’s all cool, but do it with someone else’s daughter.

The world is a messy place. While I know that everyone says a guy and a can be friends, but I’ve yet to see it when both people are normal. One way of testing this is to ask a guy if once he were married would he like his wife to have the same kind of relationship with another man that he wants to have with your daughter. A guy can’t spend time with a woman (especially a pretty woman) without one of them falling in love. Then they either get married or they break up and break a heart (that’s why they call it breaking up). If the man is in it for the thrill, it is the woman’s heart that breaks. Not my daughter, not if I can help it. And not for my son either.

The pattern of dating until you find something wrong with the other person is not a good example of what the Bible calls “loving your neighbor.” As one fellow said, dating is preparation for divorce, not preparation for marriage.

Okay so let’s go back to your phone call. Bob asks Suzy out for dinner. She says, “call my dad.” Bob calls you. He says, “I think Suzy is cute, can I take her out for dinner?” You say, “what are your intentions? What is your goal? Why do you want to spend money on my daughter?”

If he’s just met her in a class and has no intentions past dinner you’re tempted to say, so what’s the big deal. They’re just having dinner. But how much gets done over dinner? Let’s suppose he’s a really nice non-Christian fellow. He opens Suzy’s door’s, eats with his mouth closed, knows which fork to use, is totally polite and upstanding. What’s going on in Suzy’s heart? After 2 or 3 hours of being treated like a queen, who cares that he doesn’t love God? He loves Suzy, or at least he’s made good love to Suzy. He didn’t even try to touch her. But all that did was raise him up a zillion notches on her heart chart. And you are almost sunk. How can you tell her that she can’t see him anymore because he’s not a Christian?

It is much safer for you and Suzy to find all this out before you let her go with him to dinner. And cut it off before it gets to be an emotional issue.

You need to meet with him before you let him take Suzy out. If he is a non-Christian, you know there can be no future for him and Suzy. If he is a different brand of Christian, without a lot of work, there isn’t a future for him and Suzy. If you don’t like him right off the bat, there’s no future between him and Suzy. If you meet with him and he says, “Mr. Saunders, I am a Christian, and am not opposed to marriage, but if you’re asking me today if I’m ready to marry your daughter, I’d need to honestly tell you I don’t know if she’s the one yet, but I would like to find out. I also know I have another year of college ahead of me. I only know at this point that I think your daughter is attractive and very sweet. I’d like an opportunity to get to know her better, since we don’t have much in the one class we take at school together. I’m just asking if I can get to know her better such as you are doing with me” here’s what you do:

You say, “Bob you need to go where Suzy goes and be where she is in a group setting. If you love Christ and want to treat the younger women in purity, you’ll go out of your way to avoid causing her emotional pain. You may not “single her out” or pay undue attention to her as opposed to all the other college students. The best way to do this would be for you to change churches and attend my church. You should get involved with things at our church in the same way you are currently involved where you are now.”

While doing this Bob could get to know Suzy in an informal and none threatening way. He wouldn’t have to tell anyone that that is why he changed churches; he could just change, and hang with the college group at your church. While doing this he could get to know Suzy from a distance, and she and you could get to know him from that same distance (though you’d know what is going on). If he finds after six months or a year that Suzy is not the woman for him, he could just as quietly go back to his old church, or stay and tell you he isn’t interested in Suzy anymore. Or you could tell him that you aren’t interested in him any more. Remember you’re in contact with Suzy all this time too. You can ask her what she thinks of that Bob fellow you’ve seen around. If she isn’t interested in getting to know him better or in that way, you can tell Bob (don’t mention Suzy) and that would be that.

If after a year or so (times vary based on wisdom: yours, not Bob’s) Bob decides he’d like to pursue Suzy in a more specific and concentrated way (i.e. he’d like to court her), then you can invite him for dinner and move on from there into the courting proper.

Remember the goal is to give glory to God by loving the saints. In this scenario Bob is respected, Suzy is protected, and the church is strengthed.

I hope this helps,

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