Today's list focuses on the good that can come from courting in high school or later.
(For clarification, when I use the term "courting" I'm referring to the process of a male and a female purposely entering into an exclusive relationship in order to see if marriage is the correct course of action. Both sets of parents are actively involved in the courtship and work together to see if the relationship will be beneficial to all parties concerned. In my view, both the male and the female get veto-power. No forced marriages should happen.
This definition may sound dull, but the real process is much more exciting. Also, you may have a better definition. If so, please leave it in the "comments" section.)
This list is by no means exhaustive. If I have left out any obvious positives, please let me know.
The following list of ten good things that can come from courtships are in no specific order. As you can see, some are of the positive nature (what happens) while others are more negative (what doesn't happen).
1. Commitment is the focus instead of romantic feelings.
2. Romance comes after commitment, so there are far fewer instances of heartache.
3. Priorities can remain intact (God being number 1) without subjective feelings interfering.
4. Much discussion occurs of whether or not core values and expectations match up well.
5. Families get to know each other very well before the marriage takes place.
6. The process brings individual families closer together because the subject is so important and personal.
7. Temptation is at a minimum because there is little-to-no alone time for the couple early in the relationship. The early focus is on getting to know each other.
8. Time during the high school years can be concentrated on growing closer to God and growing in how to live in this world for Him. No time is wasted on "recreational dating."
9. There are few regrets by those involved in courting (it's not fail-safe, but it is much better than dating).
10. There is no "divorce practice." Since breakups don't occur during courting, those involved don't get accustomed to dumping and getting dumped. Ideally, the male and female end up marrying the first person they really care about.
This is not a perfect list. I'm sure I have left out some important things and/or written these in a manner that is not the best. However, I believe the primary themes are accurate. Some will call me "fundamentalistic," "old fashioned," or "less evolved than a cave troll." Nevertheless, courting is the much better way (better than dating) of bringing about the beginning of a joyful, godly marriage.