New Christian Take on the Old Dating Ritual
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Casey Moss and Kara Price never dated each other, or anyone else. They never shared a meal alone, never talked about their dreams or plans. They never kissed and never held hands.
Yet two years ago, when Kara was 14 and Casey was 20 and heading off to medical school, they pledged their lives to each other in an improvised ceremony at their church that they called a betrothal. They exchanged matching signet rings, promised to be faithful and considered their vows as binding as a marriage.
Only then did they set about getting to know each other and thinking of themselves as a couple. Last month, with their parents' permission, they decided they could start holding hands.
While their story may seem a throwback to the Victorian age, Casey and Kara are actually on the front edge of a small but growing movement among conservative Christian youths who are rejecting the dominant culture's approach to dating and romance.
They are not simply saying no to premarital sex. They are essentially saying no to premarital romance. Convinced that dating causes emotional pain, broken promises and sexual straying, they are trying to rewrite the rules for relationships.
Although a formal betrothal like Casey and Kara's is rare -- even in conservative Christian circles some would consider their union extreme because of her youth -- many people are promoting a similar hand-before-heart approach they call courtship. The commitment to marriage comes first, before a couple is allowed to begin drawing emotionally close. In some cases, they are little more than acquaintances. Even then they are chaperoned and kept accountable by parents, pastors or responsible peers.
For more of this article go to: New Christian Take on Dating?
What do I think about all this?
We have not totally figured out exactly how we are going to handle courtship, yet.
We know that there will always be chaperoning and no kissing. No dating at all. We feel that purity means purity of body and emotional purity (purity of the heart). If the heart was given away to someone already, then this seems the same as giving away the purity of the body.
Anyway, our children know the standards we expect. So far, no arguments.