What is the difference between courtship and dating, and is one more biblical than the other? Dating, a more modern approach, begins when either the man or the woman initiates a more-than-friends relationship with the other, and then they conduct that relationship outside of any oversight or authority. Biblical courtship has one motive — to find a spouse.I will provide a working definition of each, describe how the two methods are broadly different, and then recommend why one method is fundamentally more biblical than the other. Courtship ordinarily begins when a single man approaches a single woman by going through the woman's father and then conducts his relationship with the woman under the authority of her father, family or church, whichever is most appropriate. A man will court a particular woman because he believes it is possible that he could marry her, and the courtship is the process of discerning whether that belief is correct.Disclaimer: By necessity, not all of the answers provided are complete and exhaustive. A fresh and accurate approach to questions such as: “Is the unborn human less than human? How can you still be a friend to someone you know that has a “reputation”, while keeping your reputation pure and blameless?
And if we can enjoy a little physical or emotional comfort along the way, great. The process just described is hurtful to the woman that the man purports to care about, not to mention to himself.
And it clearly violates the command of 1 Thessalonians 4:6 not to wrong or defraud our sisters in Christ by implying a marriage-level commitment where one does not exist.
The Song of Solomon showcases the meeting, courtship and marriage of a couple — always with marriage in view. Biblical courtship recognizes the general call to "do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3, NIV).
I am not advocating arranged marriages; rather, I am pointing toward the biblical purpose for why young men and women associate with one another. It also recognizes the specific call that Ephesians gives men in marriage, where our main role is sacrificial service.
These passages do not argue that marriage should be the direct goal of such relationships so much as they assume it. We are to love our wives as Christ loved the church, giving himself up for her. Biblical courtship means that a man does not look for a laundry list of characteristics that comprise his fantasy woman so that his every desire can be fulfilled, but he looks for a godly woman as Scripture defines her — a woman he can love and, yes, be attracted to, but a woman whom he can serve and love as a godly husband.