Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dating's Downfall

In recent years some strong critique against traditional dating has been marshalled by conservative Christians in favor of a more old-world, courtship model. I won't dispute the many benefits of replacing dating with courtship. At the same time, unless courtship faces up to the fundamental sinfulness of both parties and their desperate need for the gospel, courtship, as much as dating, may add up to a form of false advertising and portend future heartache on both sides. Paul Tripp agrees:

"Honestly, most dating [or courtship] is only about half a step from used-car sales. Stay with me here! To put it bluntly but accurately, the idea in Western culture dating is to sell yourself [or, in courtship to sell your son or daughter]. The last thing you want is for the other person to really get to know you. Consequently, a man who doesn't like to shop will suddenly be saying things like, 'Sure honey, I would love to go to another twelve stores to look for those special shoes you have in mind.' A woman who doesn't appreciate sports will find herself volunteering to watch sports with her date and his buddies for hour upon endless, grueling hour.

Having presented one another with only their best behavior, the man and woman each convince themselves that they have found a nearly perfect person. As they move toward that day when they will actually begin living together in the world's most comprehensive relationship, they do not factor into their expectations the difficulties of life in this broken-down house of a world. Then, when the marriage takes an unexpected turn they are shocked, saddened, and utterly unprepared. Six months after the wedding, the wife is crying and saying, 'This is not the man I married!' But, of course, he is. He is precisely the man she married. It's the guy she dated who was the fake."

- Paul David Tripp, Broken-Down House, pp. 27-28

1 comment: said...

Get to know the person very well before spending the rest of your live with him or her.