As stated yesterday, the Bible does not provide a model for how to find a spouse. However, this does not stop Ron Luce and Teen Mania from putting words in God’s mouth and insisting that they teach a truly Biblical way of “courtship.” In today’s post, I’ll summarize two of Ron’s main points regarding courtship.
1) You must be friends first before starting a romantic relationship.
@21:00 Unless you have been great friends with somebody for at least 6 months, there is no way they are ever going to be qualified. They could never be qualified (to be romantic with you). You don’t know this person! So you are allowing your heart to start to get entangled with somebody that you don’t really know. That is how things get upside down.
Ron goes on to preach that if your first year of marriage is hard, its because you weren’t good friends first. (@25:30)
There is nothing Scriptural about this concept. In some cases, it may be a wise course of action but NO WHERE is this mandated as THE Biblical way to pursue romance, even though that is EXACTLY what Ron suggests.
Many, many people did not start with 6 months of friendship before dating their spouse. I met my husband on eharmony and after our 3rd date, we were officially a couple. We’ve been married 6 wonderful years. Take that, Ron!
2) You must not make “emotional decisions” or “give your heart away” or “fall in love.” You must be an “emotional virgin” and not just a physical virgin.
Where is the Scripture for this? Ron likes to quote Proverbs about “guarding your heart” but the context in Proverbs 4 has nothing to do with dating, romance or marriage!
Ron is currently teaching the interns that if you date a lot of people before getting married….
This blog post at Darcy’s Heart-Stirrings insightfully critiques this idea. (If this is an area you struggle with, I highly suggest reading the whole thing.)
It was Josh Harris in I Kissed Dating Goodbye and the Ludy’s in several of their books that popularized the idea that everytime you fall in love or get “emotionally attached” to someone, you give away a piece of your heart. The more pieces you give away, the less of your heart you have to give to your spouse someday. He even went so far as to say that each of those former flames actually have some sort of hold on you. This has got to be the most bogus and the most damaging teaching of this entire movement. Love doesn’t work that way. The more you give, the more you have. My 3rd child doesn’t have less of my heart just because I’ve loved two other children before him. And, really, I haven’t given them “pieces” of my heart. I’ve given them each all of my heart. The miracle of love is that it multiplies by being given.
Each person I love has “a piece of my heart”…my best friend, my sisters, my husband, my parents, my kids. It is ridiculous to suggest that there is not enough of my heart to go around.
There is a lot more to be said about Ron’s fear of making “emotional decisions.” I’ll tackle that tomorrow.