Friday, August 22, 2014

Courtship: a response to a response to a response to a critique

Seriously. 


So, first, for context (you don't have to read all of these for my post to make sense, but do know that my post did not appear ex nihilo):




And now, for my response to a response to a response to a critique; namely, some thoughts on Mr. Woodward's concerns with the courtship model as advocated by Mr. Wilson.

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I'm a young man who has been graciously "turned down" three times by fathers who I really respect.  I'm a big fan of young marriage; I would love to have a wife, and continue to pray for one, and I'm very much looking forward to finding the woman that God has for me.

So, on first impression, it might seem that everything Mr. Woodward wrote is "on my side," and I should be very happy to see it stated publicly.  But that is not the case.  If Umstattd's article was a bowl of frosted flakes sprinkled with mushrooms, this article simply splashed a straw man into the milky mixture.

Mr. Woodward comments that, in the case of Mr. Wilson rejecting 14 of 16 suitors for his daughters, "That’s a failure rate of nearly 88%!"

Mr. Umstattd, in his article, rightly pointed out that the goal of courtship is marriage- at least if that is understood, in response to the idea of "casual dating," to mean that courtship is a marriage-focused get-to-know-you process.  Courtship isn't just chaperoned hanging out so that we can update our Facebook status; we're actively seeking to know whether God wants Boy and Girl to become Man and Wife.

So courtship is marriage-focused... but I would contend that the goal of courtship isn't marriage, if I may perform a little pirouette on my use of the term "goal" (bear with me).

One of the things I love about the courtship process is that the success or failure of a courtship is not and cannot be judged by whether or not it results in marriage.  A successful courtship is one which results in all parties concerned being able to move forward in singleness or in matrimony confident that they are doing so in the Will of God, and without having succumbed to a bunch of preventable temptations.  That's the goal of courtship.

I would say that, in the case of Mr. Wilson and his two daughters, both now wed to The One that God had for each of them, the success rate of their courtship would be 100%- and not just for the girls, nor for the happy husbands, but also for the rejected young men, who were blessed by God with clear direction coming in the form of a gracious "no" from the young lady's father.

To say that it's a matter of fatherly pride or a snobbish and highfalutin' family- does this not assume a great deal about the father and family of the daughter, to the point of being slanderous of them and planting seeds of bitterness in the hearts of the rejected young men?  Does it not also make the young man out as a helpless victim?

Encouraging fathers and daughters to not be over-picky and to have Biblical standards is a good thing, but laying the blame entirely on their shoulders and never stopping to tell the young men in the equation to man up, learn from the rejection, strive to improve and grow, press on, seek first the Kingdom, and praise God for giving clear direction- no wonder so many rejections happen!  We're making a bunch of rejectable young men!

"It's not my fault... it's those mean fathers... they just don't realize what an AMAZING HUSBAND I WOULD BEEEEE!!!!!  WAAAAAA!!!!"

"Oh yeah, he's totally the one for my daughter."

I don't mean to mock my wife-seeking brothers in Christ (remember, I'm in this boat too, y'all), but to say that it is just as much our job to be Godly, responsible men as it is the job of the fathers we talk to to shepherd the hearts of their daughters.  If we begrudge them for doing their duty, however imperfectly they do it, that's shame to our account.

For that matter, the young man has just as much right to conclude that the marriage isn't right and to move on!  The young man is no more under the magnifying glass of the father than the father, daughter, and their family are under the magnifying glass of the young man!

Thus, the boast of the courtshipper is not that courtship leads to rejecting a bunch of suitors.  The boast of the courtshipper is that courtship leads to rejecting the suitors that need to be rejected.

But the larger question is- what system of spouse-hunting is the one advocated by Scripture?  Courtship, ambiguous and imperfect though it be, represents the best model I have seen so far for playing out Scriptural principles like those found in Numbers 30.

And until the courtship approach is shown as unscriptural, all anecdotal evidence against courtship is really just anecdotal evidence for the fact that sin is a real bummer.

39 comments:

Lisa Dales said...

"...the goal of courtship isn't marriage..."

THANK. YOU! You stated the goal *perfectly*! I so appreciated this post.

Elanee said...

Well said:) I think this was the first genuine response I've seen to the article in question:)

Brytni Jade said...

Thank you Mr. Hudelson! I enjoyed reading your response to a response to a response to a critique... I was recently encouraged by a "mother" in the Lord by these words: "It is a false concept that because you are not married before you hit your mid 20's you are broken, it means the LORD has a different path for you! And look at it this way, you have more opportunity to prepare for the duties that there are in wife-hood" or in your case...husband-hood. "And opportunities to serve God's people in ways you won't necessarily be able to do when married.(1 Cor 7:32-34)" I am thankful that marriage is in the LORD's capable hands and I can serve Him in singleness 'til the day He gives me to Mr. Right or you can 'til He brings you Miss Help-Meet-For-You :) Thank you again! I hope the post encourages your male readers. Press on, you're not broken! :)

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Amen and absolutely, Brytni. We should all be serving God and seeking His Kingdom... singleness and marriage are two different situations in which to do so; both different, both good, and both to be burned up passionately for His Glory, not withered away in wishing we were somewhere else.

RE Parker said...

THIS IS SPOT ON: "One of the things I love about the courtship process is that the success or failure of a courtship is not and cannot be judged by whether or not it results in marriage. A successful courtship is one which results in all parties concerned being able to move forward in singleness or in matrimony confident that they are doing so in the Will of God, and without having succumbed to a bunch of preventable temptations. That's the goal of courtship."

Thank-you, Gabriel! :)

Lydia said...

Dear Gabriel,
You have such godly wisdom and I was really encouraged by your post.I agree with all you said and so many I think feel rejected or broken because they are "turned down" by a father(s).
The goal truly is to find the right one and I will be praying for you too. We as a family also believe marrying young if God allows. God bless you for your mature stance.
By the way we really enjoyed getting to know your family together in AZ and hope to see more of you guys.
Stand strong continuing to follow God's lead.
Sola Deo Gloria!
In Christ,
Lydia Hoppman

Sara said...

Hi Gabriel!
I've been following your blog for about a year now, and I've enjoyed your different posts and been encouraged by them. :)
I'm commenting on this one because it's something that my family has been learning/studying about over the last 2 years, and because of your comment, "Courtship, ambiguous and imperfect though it be, represents the best model I have seen so far for playing out Scriptural principles like those found in Numbers 30." I would like to suggest to you another option: have you ever heard about Betrothal?
I actually just wrote about Betrothal on my blog in response to Umstattd's post
(http://forever4hisglory.blogspot.com/2014/08/part-2-gods-plans-are-not-fundamentally.html)and I thought you might be interested in it.
Questions, comments and critique welcome. :)

"If God has shown you who you are to marry, why do you need to court them to make sure God is right? And if God has not shown you that this is who you are to marry, why are you courting them?"

In Christ,
Sara

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Sara, that's quite an interesting concept! I think I'll just comment on what you said here:

"If God has shown you who you are to marry, why do you need to court them to make sure God is right? And if God has not shown you that this is who you are to marry, why are you courting them?"

Because God has shown Boy who he might be supposed to marry, and Boy is pursing Girl in courtship to see whether that might be is a yes or no. :-)

Sara said...

But why would you have to do a courtship to find out whether the person is the "right one"? You're having a special relationship, and somewhat playing with the other persons heart-strings, without any commitment. You don't have to court to find out about someone. Just be friends with them and talk to them. And then if you think that she is the one, keep praying, and have your parents pray, and have her and her parents pray. And then if God says yes, get engaged or bethrothed. Then you don't have to go through any of the emotional attachments that happen in courtship (and aren't really scriptural).
Courting stems from a lack of faith in what God has said, and also a lack of faith in waiting and trusting His timing. If God hasn't told you you're are going to marry this person, then you shouldn't be building an emotional connection with them. Courting does not treat the other person as a brother/sister in the Lord. :)

Vaughn Ohlman said...

Wow, Sarah, some great thinking. We've been thinking and writing about betrothal for the last ten years, and would love to interact.

We will be responding to this post soon, pointing out where we differ from the ideas mentioned here.

Von
(author at 'truelovedoesntwait.com')

Perry Elisabeth said...

Sarah--
I wanted to respond to your comment, specifically this portion:
"You don't have to court to find out about someone. Just be friends with them and talk to them. And then if you think that she is the one, keep praying, and have your parents pray, and have her and her parents pray. And then if God says yes, get engaged or bethrothed. Then you don't have to go through any of the emotional attachments that happen in courtship (and aren't really scriptural)."

I fail to see how your description (namely being friends, talking, and praying for and about the other person) differs AT ALL from courtship. This sounds exactly like the courtship my husband and I experienced. When God said yes and the time was right, we got engaged. Your description differs only in that it lacks a name.

My husband and I as well as my parents have all noted that the idea of avoiding all emotional attachment is a complete myth. It is not natural for humans to be able to be friends, talk, and pray for one another without any emotional attachment. There is something seriously wrong with you if you can pull this off in actuality. The human soul is made of the mind, the will, and the EMOTIONS. It is part of the way God made us.

I don't believe God would have us be completely devoid of emotion (like little robots) in a relationship with the opposite gender. Think of it this way: if you were friends with another girl, talked about both important and mundane things, prayed earnestly for one another, and then stopped doing those things... it would hurt. Ending the friendship is always painful whether it's with a view toward possible marriage or not.

By showing consideration for the other person's heart and avoiding romantic and/or physical aspects, you can avoid giving your heart away before you've made a commitment.

Courtship is not about hiding from emotions, disappointment, or pain. It IS about intentionally seeking God and letting Him show you whether this person is who you are to marry.

From a sister who's been there and had to wrestle through all this stuff.

Sara said...

Hi Von,
I'd love to check out your blog and talk more about it with you! I'm going to send your blog to the rest of my family for them to read. :)


Hi Perry Elizabeth,

The problem with [the way that most people] court is that you are not treating the other person as a brother/sister in the Lord. (2 Timothy 5). You are having a special "romantic" relationship without any commitment. I have yet to see a courtship where the couple didn't start falling in love before the engagement, which isn't treating the other person as a brother/sister in the Lord.

When I said "And then if you think that she is the one, keep praying, and have your parents pray, and have her and her parents pray", I was referring to the time before betrothal, when God has shown a guy a girl, and they're praying about whether or not they're supposed to get married. Before this time, they should be just friends and treating each other in a brotherly/sisterly way. If you're "just friends" with someone, you should be able to talk to them. Granted, that doesn't mean I'm going to go to my best guy friend and pour out my heart to him; discretion will be needed. Or that I'm going to spend all of my time with just one guy.

Some ways that courtship and the time before betrothal differ is in their timing - courtships generally lasts from 3 months to several years, whereas most people are only praying about betrothal for 2-3 weeks, and that they're not "a couple" or thinking of themselves as a couple during the praying time before betrothal; they don't do things "together". They are guarding their hearts and seeking God's will for their lives. They only move on with the relationship if God tells them to get betrothed/married.

That's the point of betrothal: you don't get emotionally attached without any commitment. Granted there are going to sometimes be thoughts, "I wonder if he's the one...." But the solution isn't try to avoid it like the plague, the question is, "What do you do with those thoughts?" Do you think about them, and dream about him, or do you give it to God and say, "I know you made man and women to be attracted to each other, but I do not want to be outside of your will, and I do not want to stumble my brother/sister. Help me to view them in all purity until you make it absolutely sure that this is who I'm supposed to marry."

God definitely did not create us devoid of emotion! Though sometimes I wish He had turned mine down a little. ;)

In Christ, Sara

Vaughn Ohlman said...

If I could post a slightly different perspective than Sarah.

I agree with her underlying principles. We take them a bit further. Our process would look like this (ideally. Obviously when real people are involved...)
1) The boys father (not the boy), realizing it is time for his son to have a wife, start's looking around for a likely girl.
2) Having found one, he begins speaking with the girl's father.
3) They both pray about it, discuss it with other respected people, but the boy and girl involved are, ummm, not involved :)
3) Before any of this went on it should be said that the fathers have talked this over with their children, and their children have asked their father's to do this.
4) When the father's and the others are convinced, they then commit their children in Betrothal.
5) The young man and woman can now begin their 'romantic' relationship in the full confidence of a committed covenantal relationship.
6)When they're ready they then come together in marriage... ie the young man comes for his bride.

Hopefully you can see how this allows them to go from being 'brother and sister' to 'husband and wife' in full confidence, and without any intervening inappropriate relationship.

Vaughn Ohlman said...

>>"...the goal of courtship isn't marriage..."

Ironically Jeff (the one's whose article was being responded to) would also agree. In fact, that was his point!

We believe it is a very, very bad thing that "...the goal of courtship isn't marriage..."

Vaughn Ohlman said...

Our initial response to this post can be found here:
http://truelovedoesntwait.com/answering-objections/begging-the-circular-question/

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Sara, you said this: "Do you think about them, and dream about him, or do you give it to God and say, "I know you made man and women to be attracted to each other, but I do not want to be outside of your will, and I do not want to stumble my brother/sister. Help me to view them in all purity until you make it absolutely sure that this is who I'm supposed to marry."

I think that's an excellent point, and is exactly what courtship is all about! :-)

Vaughn Ohlman said...

>>I think that's an excellent point, and is exactly what courtship is all about!

And I think it is one of courtships most signal failures.

Caitlin Baughman said...

Great post! Wonderful way to look at it!
Blessings!
Caitlin
http://daughterofdestiny-generation78.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Hi Sara. Regarding this:

"...if you think that she is the one, keep praying, and have your parents pray, and have her and her parents pray. And then if God says yes, get engaged or bethrothed."

Specifically, in what way do you believe God tells everyone "yes" (or "no")? How are you discerning His will?

"If God has shown you who you are to marry, why do you need to court them to make sure God is right? And if God has not shown you that this is who you are to marry, why are you courting them?"

Specifically, in what way does God "show you" who to marry?

Anonymous said...

Gabriel: What a blessing it was to read your post at such a providential time in our lives! Even when the (girl's) parents realize they must end a courtship, her parents' hearts (not just the young man's or his family's) can hurt for a long time. We WANT our daughter to marry, yet the serious spiritual ministry & responsibility to see her given to GOD'S BEST MAN TO HUSBAND, CHERISH & PROTECT HER cannot be ignored. Sometimes God doesn't make manifest serious problems until near or at engagement. (A lack of honesty in a young man and his family, or deliberately hiding truth, does not allow the other party to know who you really are.) May the Lord help all young men who are turned away, whether at the beginning of a courtship or after a longer period of time, to have the spiritual grace and gentlemanly courtesy to respond respectfully as a Christian gentleman ought. *When a young man does not respond accordingly, it only confirms that a parent's decision to end the courtship was right. *Our goal in courtship is one of parting as friends, if marriage is not God's Will. Yelling, angry, harsh and disrespectful words or back biting gossip should have no place among those who claim to love and follow Christ. It does not edify or preserve the kind of Christian friendship whose end goal is to honor one another as believers, whether a marriage can take place or not. *Because of our trial, we are starting a prayer list of young Christians we know who desire to marry. We are asking God to pour out a rich spiritual blessing upon them, continue to prepare & use them for His work & service in the Kingdom and orchestrate the bringing together of HIS CHOICE of a wife or husband for each, according to His Perfect Will & timing. We hope everyone out there who reads this will join us in praying!!! Soli Deo Gloria!

Vaughn Ohlman said...

The false doctrine of 'Anonymous' directly above is part of the cause of the incredible dearth of marriages in our Christian culture nowadays. The idea that this search for 'the best', and the false idea that a father's turning someone down is a revelation of God's will, are destroying the church, and our young people.

Anonymous said...

I am very thankful to have been turned down twice by two other young women in my youth who I courted for a year each. I wanted to marry at a young age, but God had other plans for me. Was it painful? At the time very much so, but I learned that God uses all things for our good and His glory. Years went by and then I met "the third one" who after proposing, overwhelmingly accepted my hand in marriage and she has been my wife for quite a while now. I cannot imagine being married to anyone else. Our marriage has been very fruitful. It has built the church and grown the church (many children born.)And as I look back on years past, I am very thankful God did not allow me to marry anyone else but her. She was more than worth the wait!

Vaughn Ohlman said...

An anecdotal, and anonymous, story will not help courtship survive its unBiblical origins, goals, and methods.

I have this strange feeling that, had you married either of the other two young ladies (hopefully without a years courtship!!) you would be equally praising the wife that you had.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Mr. Ohlman, with all due respect, it seems to me that your response is just as anecdotal and significantly more hypothetical than Anonymous' comment, and almost seems to suggest that it would have been better if one of those other marriages had happened- in spite of the fact that I would contend that God's revealed Will through the history that we can now look back upon shows that to be very much not the case!

I appreciate how you are advocating a very un-represented system of spouse-finding, and I think the principles of betrothal have a lot to contribute to this discussion, but to treat those who utilize a different approach which they are still deriving from Scripture as purveyors of "false doctrine" and "unBiblical" teachings I think hurts rather than helps your opportunities to show others the merits of the betrothal model.

Vaughn Ohlman said...

Gabriel,

Yes, obviously, I was using a hypothetical. The issue of 'the Lord's will' is always an interesting one, involving several different meanings floating about at the same time.

But one cannot merely quibble about God's will. We know that all things happen according to God's will, but at the same time that doesn't mean that everything we do was according to His law, His teachings, etc.

I speak of courtship as unBiblical because that is what I think it is. I had thought, when I first started these discussions, that people would be willing to come forward and say 'this is what Scripture teaches' but, when faced with what we teach, they don't.

Their reactions are usually to say things such as: 'Scripture doesn't teach about this' or 'You can't treat Biblical examples as normative' (particuarly problematic when we are not discussing examples, but problematic at all times.).

What they never seem to do is to actually hope up Scripture and say, "What you are teaching is taught against in this passage, or this verse."

I call courtship unBiblical because that is precisely the benefit of the betrothal model... it does take Scripture seriously, old and new, teaching and example, and particularly the principles that Scripture actually say concern marriage.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Do you believe that the advocates of Courtship do not take Scripture seriously?

Vaughn Ohlman said...

It isn't so much a question of 'taking seriously'. It seems to very much be a question of how much they wish to look to Scripture, how much to modern culture, and how much to worldly wisdom.

Courtship people are fond of quoting verses when arguing against dating: but few of these verses actually have anything to do with marriage, or the path to marriage. They reject every Biblical example as non normative.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Courtship advocates may not accept Biblical examples as on-par with Biblical teaching (and there are Biblical examples of a variety of different approaches to spouse-finding... I'm thinking of Samson. "She looks good to me."), but you would have to argue for why those examples should be taken as didactic "thou-shalt"s. Courtship advocates do look to the "thou-shalt"s of Scripture and endeavor to play the principles there out as best as they can.

What I'm trying to get at is that I would rather see this issue discussed in a more Romans 14 way, where we're all seeking to play out Scripture as best we can and are giving grace to one another where we disagree.

Vaughn Ohlman said...

It is disingenous to speak of courtship advocates 'not accepting Biblical examples as on a par with Biblical teaching' when courtship can point to NEITHER Biblical teaching NOR Biblical examples to support their theories.

Whereas in betrothal we see the clear Biblical teachings on marriage illustrated and detailed in the Biblical examples. We see law, teaching, prophecy, and psalm all being worked out in God selected examples.

The day when I see a courtship advocate bring forward the example of Sampson as an illustration of courtship is the day that I will (with great rejoicing) turn to that example to demonstrate just how unBiblical courtship is.

As for Romans 14 you mistake the passage. In Romans 14 we are encouraged to live together (which we do) but Paul, in Romans 14, clearly teaches doctrine. He rebuked people for acting against Scripture and against their own conscience.

If you take Paul as arguing, in Romans 14, against 'doubtful disputations' and wish to list the courtship/betrothal discussion as such; then you should perhaps first speak to the courtship advocates selling all of their books, lectures, etc. etc.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

...with which the advocates of Courtship would heartily disagree, of course. Yes, "Courtship" folks do advocate and argue for their position, as they should, and as you should, too!

But to do so in a "y'all are heretics" sort of way... I don't think that helps anything. To say that you disagree with the Scriptural foundations that advocates of Courtship would point to is quite valid, and that debate can be had and edify all!

But to say that Courtship folks, in effect, are rejecting Scripture, and to insist on your own interpretation/view/practice of Scripture as the only one that can be held without rejecting Scripture... I think that treads dangerous ground, and doesn't help what you're trying to promote.

Vaughn Ohlman said...

>>To say that you disagree with the Scriptural foundations that advocates of Courtship would point to is quite valid,

You may feel very free to tell me what 'Scriptural foundations' courtship advocates point to when arguing against the position we hold and advocating courtship. But if you do so, you will be the first. The courtship advocates that we have read, and that have discussed such things with us personally have NOT laid any such foundations, NOT pointed to any such foundations.

When arguing against what we teach, which they call 'arranged marriage' they state: "Well, our position isn't Scriptural, but it is wise' or 'But Americans can't/won't do such a thing' etc.

Please, please, feel free to point to any book, website, etc. which makes any kind of Biblical case for courting over and against what we teach.

>>But to say that Courtship folks, in effect, are rejecting Scripture, and to insist on your own interpretation/view/xxxx of Scripture as the only one that can be held without rejecting Scripture... I think that treads dangerous ground, and doesn't help what you're trying to promote.

Unless, of course, it happens to be true. But I am surprised that you seem to hold it as a value that what we teach should be promoted.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

"You may feel very free to tell me what 'Scriptural foundations' courtship advocates point to when arguing against the position we hold and advocating courtship."

I have no argument against the position that you hold. I have no problem with it. I am happy to see you promoting it.

I advocate courtship because I see it playing out Scriptural foundations like:

- Father's authority (Numbers 30)
- Purity (Song of Solomon 2:7)

Principles which I also see betrothal playing out. Sometimes better, depending on the situation; sometimes I think a courtship approach makes more sense.

My issue is not betrothal, but rather acting as if betrothal is the only valid approach and all others are heretical/unBiblical. I believe there are lots of ways for marriage to happen within the purview of Biblical principle, and that we need to leave room for one another to walk out our own faith within those boundaries.

Vaughn Ohlman said...

>>I have no argument against the position that you hold. I have no problem with it. I am happy to see you promoting it.

Well, that's nice. Now let's talk details. Because, you see, several 'principles' that courtship advocates bring forward flatly contradict what we believe Scripture teaches. Assuming that you believe in the law of non-contradiction we both cannot be right.

Let's start with a fundamental principle. All of the courtship advocates that I have read teach that the authority of the father over his sons ceases at their marriage. Scripture, and the historical commentators, frankly contradicts this. Both cannot be true, as they are contradictory.

How would you resolve this difficulty?

Vaughn Ohlman said...

>>We should all be serving God and seeking His Kingdom... singleness and marriage are two different situations in which to do so; both different, both good, and both to be burned up passionately for His Glory, not withered away in wishing we were somewhere else.

Or, take this principle of courtship that you list. As you know we teach something almost diametrically opposed (with very different words). How do you call us both right.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Are there any areas of Scriptural application where two people can disagree and can still be within the purview of liberty in Christ?

Say, someone who eats meat, while someone else eats vegetables only?

Vaughn Ohlman said...

>>Are there any areas of Scriptural application where two people can disagree and can still be within the purview of liberty in Christ?

Say, someone who eats meat, while someone else eats vegetables only?

I had to read this a few times in order to decide on my answer. The clear answer from Romans 14 is no. In the very case you mention the person who does not eat meat is not acting out of liberty: it would be a sin for him to eat that meat. He is also acting out of ignorance.

And the person who eats meat may be acting out his liberty: unless his eating of the meat causes his brother to be offended, or to stumble: In which case he is actively sinning.

However this is neither here nor there for the purposes of this discussion, where the question would be, instead, "Can two Christians believe literally contradictory things and have them both be true? Can one person believe that Christ rose literally and physically, while another believes the resurrection is just a Spiritual myth, and have them both contradictory opinions both be true?"

Gabriel Hudelson said...

OK, so what is something you believe, Mr. Ohlman, that is contradictory to what I believe? I'm curious.

Vaughn Ohlman said...

Well, to take some examples that have occurred during this discussion, and to speak lightly not in rigorous 'proof' mode:

GH: "The goal of courtship isn't marriage"
VO: It should be. It is an active evil that it isn't.

GH: "singleness and marriage are two different situations in which to do so; both different, both good, and both to be burned up passionately for His Glory, not withered away in wishing we were somewhere else."
VO: We shouldn't use the word 'singleness', being 'single' is a bad thing (God sets the solitary in families), the young man or woman who, except for the very rare gift of celibacy, finds themselves unmarried should 'be not content' but should be actively seeking to immediately change this bad state.

GH: "Courtship advocates do look to the "thou-shalt"s of Scripture and endeavor to play the principles there out as best as they can. "
VO: Courtship advocates deliberately and actively ignore Scriptural principles which run counter to courtship, particularly Biblical examples but also many teachings.

Stuff like that....

Gabriel Hudelson said...

OK, I guess we do disagree. :-)