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As Christians, our primary purpose in life is to seek and serve God, and fulfill our destiny in Him. We need to find out what God's plan for relationships is, and then follow it. Let's study what we are doing now against what God has described in His word, and draw up a new standard. Other terms, such as 'betrothal' or even 'biblical dating' could be used, although they would possibly be confusing.
The current model that we are using is ineffective, at best. Dating was invented in the early part of this century.
If you feel that the Bible is not the standard for your relationships, then you might find some interesting information here, but you may remain unconvinced.
If you're still not sure about this whole Christianity thing, now might be a good time to check out my essays on Christianity.
Sometimes the parents found partners for the children, and then the children were consulted for their opinion.
The teen years are those where they have the fewest responsibilities at the same time as having their greatest energy level. They should be an opportunity to develop a deep, intimate and personal walk with God, establishing themselves as young warriors who know the Father and have overcome the evil one (1 John ).
My basic premise is that regardless of how we about things, we should follow God's model, because it will be the most effective and fulfilling.
My intention is to convey that conviction, then to describe my current understanding of His model.
In the Bible, the parents were always involved in the marriage process.
They did not arrange the marriage without the childrens' consent, although they were certainly involved in the arrangements.