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Dating was evil and Courtship, whatever it was, was godly, good and Biblical.
My grandparents would often ask why I wasn’t dating in high school.
” my grandmother wondered every time the topic came up. They both obstinately held to the position that courtship was a foolish idea. As I grew older, I started to speak at homeschool conferences and events.
I talked with homeschool parents, students and alumni all over the country and started to see some challenges with making courtship work.
“If I had only gone out with 3 or 4 guys I wouldn’t have known what I wanted in a husband,” she said.
It is not that her parents were uninvolved; it is that they played an advisory role, particularly as she entered high school and they relaxed the rules about not going steady.
The Greatest Generation was encouraged to date and discouraged from going steady while in middle school.They were not the Bible-reading, small-grouping, mission-tripping Christian young people common in evangelical churches today.And yet her community of friends all got married and then stayed married for decades and decades.Visits and comments poured in from all over the country about how to make courtship work and why it did not work. I’m talking the kind of couples who first kissed at their wedding were filing for divorce. The deal was that if we put up with the rules and awkwardness of courtship now we could avoid the pain of divorce later.Each year I waited for courtship to start working and for my homeschool friends to start getting married. The whole point of courtship was to have a happy marriage, not a high divorce rate.So if she went out for soda with Bob on Tuesday, she had to go to a movie with Bill on Thursday before she could go to the school dance with Bob on Saturday. The lack of exclusivity kept the interactions fun and casual. How could a boy have a claim to her time, heart or body if she was going out with someone else later that week?She went on to explain that by the time she graduated from high school, she had gone out on dates with over 20 different guys. I grew up as a member of the homeschool community back when we were hiding from the cops and getting our textbooks from public school dumpsters.When I was a teenager, my friends started reading this new book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. After reading it myself, I grew into as big an opponent of dating as you could find.But here are the elements most conservative communities have in common: My grandmother grew up in a marginally Christian community.People went to church on Sunday, but that was the extent of their religious activity.