Grift Your Hearts generated some interesting responses, most of them coming from people on the business end of the debris of the commandments of men. Those people could relate. On the other hand, it riled a few of you up, and all of the standard responses and talking points came in. Love it. (those last two words were sarcasm, for those with busted or improperly functioning meters)
What I'm writing here is in no way, shape, or form a disclaimer. I'll stand by every word I've ever written about courtship all the way to my grave. Where adults are concerned, courtship is stupid. S-T-O-O-P-I-D. I don't care about the intentions of the people involved. I don't care if courtship "worked" for you. It's stupid.
I'm firmly convinced that if some dude wrote a book about the godly wonders of broccoli, a large portion of the Christian community (particularly in conservative sectors) would soon be eating nothing but broccoli, wearing clothing made only from broccoli, developing homeschool curriculum that centered around the godliness of broccoli, teaching men that godly fathers should guard their daughter's broccoli until a man comes along who maybe is deemed worthy to steam it. People would buy in, just like they did with this courtship crapola. People would buy in.
Let's look at a few of the standard responses...
You're throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Ugggh. I'm not a drinker, but that phrase makes me want to tie one on in righteous fashion. My last post made my position clear on the matter. It isn't my fault if you still want to sift through the piles of human debris in the wake of the "courtship model" to find some reason to be justified in clinging to it. We all make mistakes. If you've chosen, practice, or promote courtship, you've made one. Stop it. Acknowledge it, correct it, and move on from it. And, for the record, the above is the final time that phrase will ever be published on this blog - and although it isn't my policy to moderate comments, any comment espousing that phrase in defense of the P/QF lifestyle (and all of it's seedy little offshoots) will get the boot. I give you my word on that.
Courtship isn't a formula.
Yes it is. To say otherwise is intellectually dishonest. The most dangerous lies are the lies we tell ourselves.
Courtship looks different for every family.
No it doesn't. That's a lie that the proponents would have you believe to convince you that you aren't following a formula. How do I arrive at this conclusion? Well, everyone who tells me this feels compelled to tell me how their family did courtship. Guess what? It sounds just like every other case of courtship I've ever heard of. Once you, as an adult, let someone else (your parents) dictate the parameters of your personal/emotional life and micro-manage the process on your behalf, you're no longer practicing SELF-control (a fruit of the Holy Spirit, btw), but rather you're BEING controlled. Courtship invites the Holy Spirit right out the door.
Any person would be wise to seek the input of their parents.
When it's needed, and when the parents are qualified to offer input, I agree whole-heartedly. But relinquishing SELF-control, and relying on someone else to set your personal boundaries isn't healthy spiritually or emotionally - regardless of any "good intentions" behind it. Frankly, too many parents are compensating for their own past failures through the use of the courtship model on their children, and that's blatantly unhealthy.
Structure is needed to counter temptation.
Despite what brocco...err, I mean "courtship model" proponents would have you believe, not all men are horny toads looking only to get into a women's pants, not all women are gullible and "easily deceived" into becoming harlots and hussies, and a man and a woman bumping into each other in the hallway isn't a guarantee that they'll be bumping uglies in the backseat of a Buick moments later. If any of these things ARE true of you, you've got problems a lot deeper than anything courtship can remedy. But if you want to believe this cheese about temptation and all, well, living a life predicated on potential failure and defined by fear is always a good thing, right?
I'm pretty sure the bible tells us that God always provides a means of escape from temptation, and being it comes from God, it probably has something to do with SELF-control, not with running away from a tempting situation to avoid dealing with it when it can be dealt with. But, if you guys prefer, keep on buying that broccoli, believing in your inevitable, looming failure, and believing in the puniness and powerlessness of the Holy Spirit within you.
My marriage is proof that courtship works when done right.
No it isn't. Your marriage is proof that courtship wasn't the utter catastrophy in your relationship that it is for most of those who read here - probably because you willingly surrendered your brain to the movement and never questioned any of it. Your marriage is no more proof of the "rightness" of courtship than a successful bank robbery is proof that robbing banks is the best way to get out of debt. I'd dare say that if you HAD questioned, if you HAD used critical thought, if you HAD said "thanks but no thanks" to the courtship model, things might not have been so rosy, both in your relationship with your future spouse or with your parents, and a great deal of under-the-surface dysfunction (the fruit of conservative and fundamentalist Christianity) would've become surface. Again, I've nothing BUT evidence to support that position. I hear all the time from grown women who had a seemingly healthy and happy family life - until - they dared to examine the family belief systems, and then...Hell on earth. Facades are funny things, and religious systems provide great ones as long as everybody dutifully and unquestioningly buys in.
It's troubling how those who practice and advocate courtship all speak the same group language, use the same buzzwords, use the same illogical, canned, and rehearsed defenses. It's very cultic and strikes me as very unhealthy. When you surrender your own voice, you're living dangerously. When you surrender your mind, turn out the lights cause the party's over.
Courtship is ridiculous on every level. It's stupid. Don't be duped by religious fads.
Guard your own broccoli.