Under the protection, guidance, and blessing of parents or mentors, the couple concentrates on developing a deep friendship that could lead to marriage, as they discern their readiness for marriage and God’s timing for their marriage.

(See Proverbs 3:5–7.) Courtship is a choice to avoid temptation and experience the blessings of purity.

When a person makes a growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ the foundation of all decisions—as he or she seeks God’s kingdom—God will provide all that is needed, including the marriage partner prepared by God just for that person.

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On the contrary, the courtship was successful, because God gave the direction that was sought through it.

Although the termination of a courtship most likely will be painful, damage and hurt—which can lead to bitterness—can be avoided.

Both parties, as well as their families and all the people who love them, should continue to trust in the Lord and accept the grace He gives to deal with any disappointment or unfulfilled hopes. The main difference between dating and courtship involves the goals to be reached by spending time with a potential marriage partner.

Men and women who choose to date often have no commitment to consider marrying the other person.

The dating couple is merely attracted to one another in some way and often pursues an exclusive relationship that is independent of others’ influence or counsel.

Since the boundaries of the relationship are self-determined, the couple may easily succumb to temptation and fail to consider their responsibility to honor each other in purity and genuine love.

It is a decision to walk by faith, to trust in God, to honor others above yourself, and to believe that God will deal bountifully with you, because He is love.

(See II Corinthians 5:7, Psalm , Romans , Psalm 13, and I John 4:8.) Because each individual, family, and set of circumstances is unique, each courtship will be unique.

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