Written by Rachel Lamey
“[I] started to see some challenges with making courtship work. Some of the specific challenges I identified were:
- Identification (Finding that other person)
- Interaction (Spending time with the other person)
- Initiation (Starting the relationship)”
This summarizes the problem that prompted Umstattd to write his post in the first place. Let me first point out that identifying challenges in making something work is not sufficient reason to throw it out. If Thomas Edison had espoused that philosophy, we’d still be reading by candlelight! If the thing isn’t working, we might just need to find solutions to those challenges! The primary purpose of this post is to suggest some options and open up discussion about them and other potential solutions to these challenges. But before I do that, I want to tackle one other significant concern.
“Realize that many of their rules were created out of fear.”
This is a legitimate concern. It is absolutely not true that every courtship-minded family has created its family culture out of fear. But when this is what has happened, it’s a problem. Parents reacting out of fear tend to be less reasonable and more overbearing, push their children away rather than drawing them close, and (often) fail to equip them for life. If you are a parent, it would be wise to ask yourself about every major decision, “Why am I doing this?” If the goal is to avoid something, rather than to achieve something (that is, if it’s negative rather than positive), in most cases that’s an indication that you’re acting out of fear rather than faith. Fix it quickly or you’re likely to alienate your kids! Now, on to (some of) the questions that calm, well-reasoned parents still need to answer…