How do you feel or have personally experienced the Christian subculture’s treatment or approach towards dating/courting/romantic relationships?
You know, I had really bought into the modern “Christian” idea of dating because it appeals to the legalistic Pharisee in all of us. It’s not all bad, but it often results in a panicked paranoia about the opposite sex that leads to unhealthy self-slavery.
Basically, the Christian subculture of dating says:
– Don’t date.
– If you date, do “courtship,” which is dating only for marriage.
– The warning: if you decide to date, you give your heart and soul away.
– If you break up, you’re practicing for divorce.
– Sex is bad, filthy, gross, and disgusting. So save it for marriage.
The thing is, I completely understand this rigid idea of dating. It’s a reactionary philosophy to all the messed up Hollywood values perpetuated in dumb romantic comedies. So to the average Christian, it makes sense to “only date for marriage” and “guard the pieces of your heart.”
But the opposite of one idea doesn’t make a good idea.
To unabashedly quote myself, this is essentially what “Christian” dating is saying:
Screw all those people who have a traumatic past of dating because they’re obviously evil serial daters and life is black-and-white and there’s no hope for people who have given away pieces of their purity. Just line up all your ex’s in a room and look at how dirty you are. Jesus can restore broken people to a brand new life, except if you dated some loser who played your innocence and stole your childhood when you didn’t know any better since Freud says that’s subconsciously all your fault. Sorry, Jesus saves — his salvation-juice for only the good people.
I absolutely believe that we should be careful about who we date and to set high standards for it. You should never have to settle for less than what you feel you deserve. There should definitely be safe physical boundaries, and yes, sex is awesome and it’s only awesome within marriage.
BUT: We need to relax a little here.