1999 James A. Fowler
You are free to download
this outline provided it remains intact without alteration. You
are also free to transmit this outline electronically provided
that you do so in its entirety with proper citation of authorship
I. Courtship and dating are not Biblical words. Some distinguish
between courtship and
II. Cultural determinations of courtship process.
A. Hebrew society.
Families usually arranged - Gen. 21:1; 38:6
Groom sometimes selected, and had family arrange - Judges 14:2
Family sometimes sought consent of daughter - Gen. 24:58
Romantic attraction in mate selection - Gen. 29:20
was as binding as marriage. Usually less than 1 year.
Marriage present from groom to bride's family. Compensation for
loss of daughter.
34:12; Exod. 22:16; I Sam. 18:25
B. Roman society
selection usually arranged by families.
as early as ages 5-7 for daughters. Marriage - 12-17.
Bride's family pays husband's family or husband.
C. American society.
selection by romantic attraction, dating process.
Early puberty and late marriage.
III. A Christian courtship process.
A. Discern commonality of spirits.
1. Is this
person spiritually regenerated? John 3:1-6
time to observe their values and attitudes. (Matt. 7:16
they pray with you? ...study Scripture? ...attend church?
counsel of pastor or spiritual leader.
B. Determine correlation of minds.
there common interests?
2. Do you
share "the mind which is in Christ Jesus?" (Phil. 2:5)
3. Is there
common desire to "renew the mind?" (Rom. 12:2; Eph.
C. Discover concerns of emotions.
start with "feelings;" these should be by-product.
your affections directed toward the highest well-being of the
3. Do you
detect anger, fear, jealousy, pride, etc.?
D. Develop commitments of wills.
there common objectives and priorities?
short-range and long-range goals. Career choices.
3. Is there
a mutual decision to follow God's leading together?
E. Desire companionship of bodily presence.
to share recreation, entertainment, social occasions in each
sexual relationships are contrary to God's intent. (I Cor. 6:12-20).
IV. Fundamental realities of Christian marriage.
A. Conjunction of spirits within God's
divine oneness. (I Cor. 6:17; Malachi 2:15)
B. Communications of minds within a context
of considerate understanding. (I Peter 3:7)
C. Connection of emotions within a context
of compassionate love. (Eph. 5:25)
D. Commitment of wills within a mutual
covenant relationship. (Malachi 2:14)
E. Consummation of bodies within a context
of co-habitation. (I Cor. 7:3-5)
V. Learning to love.
A. Love is NOT
you "fall into" - a black hole.
Emotional loss of control. "Flipped out.." "Couldn't
help myself." Romanticism
sentimentalism. "Puppy love." Boy-crazy; girl-crazy.
another by external criteria. "She's a #10"
Interested in "getting" to satisfy my needs.
advantage of another (age, height, weight, looks, intellect,
maturity, social standings, social skills, psychological understanding,
financial superiority, etc.)
need fulfillment. Need for love, acceptance, relating, bonding,
belonging, to be
affirmed, excitement, identity, etc.
Hormones. Lasciviousness, sensuality. "Let's get physical."
"..........is my life." Totally preoccupied in attention
B. Love is...
of the other person's values, standards and opinions.
3. A decision
to relate to the other person at every level - spiritual, psychological
of oneself to the other.
to seek the highest good of the other person "for better
or for worse."
in action. (Rom. 5:5; I John 4:8,16)
VI. Physical limitations in courtship.
A. Sexual intercourse is sin outside
of context of marriage. (I Cor. 6:9; 17,18; II Tim. 2:22).
B. Sublimation or suppression of temporal
gratification for long-term benefit.
C. Mutual determination of limits made
before God. Love will not seek to go beyond.