Church and Dating
The concept of dating is about 80 years old-as, as old as the automobile. In old times the reason you express romantic feeling/interest was to woo the person toward that lifelong commitment- usually take place within the context of family. When the car was invented, the idea of courting divorced from spending time with the family as well as the whole point of spending time together shifted from discernment of marriage to wooing for the sake of wooing- simply because you fine the other to be cute and fun.
Is dating allowed in Tewahdo? courtship? what is the difference?
Dating is not allowed in Eritrean Tewahdo Church.
By definition dating is:- an intimacy without defining a level of commitment.
“Hook-up mentality”. It is emotional, sensational,and selfish.
Dating is like going to climb a mountain with a partner who isn’t sure s/he wants the responsibility of holding your rope.
Dating is like:-
The right thing at wrong time Dating often mistake a physical relationship for love, It gives the sense of love and sex are interchangeable. Many people measure the seriousness of their relationship by the level of physical involvement. Just having physical relationship and no commitment with someone indicates what they have in common is just LUST. Person should be discouraged from entering into an exclusive dating relationship unless each partner is in a position to move toward marriage within a relatively short period of time.
Plucking flower before it blossoms Dating often isolates a couple from vital relationship. Dating can distract young adults from their primary responsibility of preparing for future. Dating is often about focusing on each other without intending , both had foolishly and selfishly cut themselves from others- The rest of the world fades into background. It distract from developing their God-given ability and skills. Maintaining relationship takes a lot of time and energy. The majority of dating relationships don’t end up in marriage, but some become so intimate and intense that the couple might as well be married- if a breakup occurs, then the experience a sort of emotional divorce. Unless a man is prepared to ask a women to be his wife, what right has he claim her exclusive attention.
What is the Right way
While there is nothing wrong with becoming friends and spend time with members of the opposite sex, committed relationship should be entered into for the sake of discerning marriage- called Courtship: defined as:-
it is an intimacy of by product of commitment based love. It is mature, thoughtful, open, and responsible.
“It is finding /pursuing love on God’s terms’’
Principles of Courtship
Ask God’s blessing at the beginning of the relationship
Enter it with direction toward discerning marriage [talk to your Confession father before it gets serious]
“Plans fail for lack of counsel but with many advisers they succeed."
~ Proverb 15 ~
Involve families, be accountable to others
Pace yourselves as you spend time together
Keep it private till you reach to the point of engagement [this is the time where you work on the relationship with your fiance under the guidance of a priest]. Engagement does not mean it is final and shouldn’t be publicized on media more than it should.
Always listen for God’s guidance.
Part two..... Practicality of Courtship from the Church Perspective