To take some variation of the practices above and arbitrarily slap them onto a relationship can actually end up harming the relationship.
And here’s the kicker: believe it or not, the Bible doesn’t actually say a whole lot about dating/courting relationships.
He was trying to help young men and women stop hurting each other through the endless hooking up, breaking up, hooking up, breaking up, etc. Dating/courting has turned into an elaborate set of unwritten rules which must be followed to the letter, no matter what the circumstances. But the reality is, you can’t slap these practices on top of every relationship and expect the relationship to go well.
A guy must ask a girl’s dad first, then the guy must ask the girl, then the girl must say yes, then the couple can start seeing each other IN GROUPS (! If things go well for the first eight months or so, the couple may or may not be allowed to spend semi-unsupervised time together and possibly even (GASP! Once the young man has firmly established himself financially and is sufficiently godly, he can ask the girl to marry him. Both families, as well as lots of church members, must be involved in the entire process, from start to finish. There are so many variables in each relationship: the age of the couple, the spiritual maturity of the couple, whether or not both sets of parents are believers, how long the guy and girl have been a Christian, the ethnicity of the couple, and on and on.
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