My Story · Uncategorized

My Story: Sex and Dating

Dating, sexuality, lust, and fornication

I would like to do another series just on dating in the future so this major issue for me as an adolescent and college age Christian, will be comparatively brief.

Dating vs Courtship

Among the home school movement of the 90’s there was a significant push to reject typical dating and instead use what people referred to as courtship. This was made popular by books such as I Kissed Dating Goodbye and similar authors who said that normal dating was wrong and Biblical dating followed their model of courtship.

Courtship basically was group dating. Going out with groups of friends with perhaps an older adult supervisor in the mix and getting to know the group without the emotional and romantic pulls of dating. When it came to actually pursuing a relationship there were a couple of rules.

One the couple should not consider a relationship until the man was able to “provide for his family”. This archaic notion held that men should be making enough money to support a family on his own. While there was some perhaps Biblical merit to this idea of men being the head of the household, few Christians consistently apply the passages used to support these idea. Simply put, even those who supported courtship, still used the pick and choose approach when it came to selecting scriptural support of the matter.

Two, the couple should never be alone. This was of course because of temptation. Normal sexual drives must be repressed in order to save oneself for marriage. This is more consistently taught by most Christians though not consistently practiced. Basically sex outside of marriage is wrong. However, courtship proponents took it to the extreme saying that even hand holding in some cases was wrong. They certainly advocated saving the first kiss for marriage as well.

This courtship was to take place in the context of family gatherings. Of course when you go off to college and perhaps end up settling quite far from either of your parents this is quite impractical. These issues were never addressed by the courtship movement. Although it may be assumed that the originators of this method also wished their daughters to stay at home till marriage and their sons to return to the home church after college to find a wife.

Finally, the courtship should not even begin with out the consent of the girl’s father. The man should ask the girls’ father not for permission to marry but in essence for permission to date. Eventually he would further ask for permission to marry if the courtship was to the father and daughter’s liking.

While I found this all quite interesting, I never bought this concept. The slight scriptural support which I won’t go into seemed to be a stretch. And the idea that holding hands leads to sex was ludicrous. Almost like having a gun will lead to shooting it, which will lead to hunting animals with it, which will eventually lead you to want to kill humans with it.

Once I went to college I nearly instantly realized the complete impracticality of such beliefs and since I had no reason in my faith to hold on to them, they fell by the wayside.

I cannot help but believe me parents, and many of the supporters of these ideas, actually thought they would work. I remember at 17 when my father first found I was interested in a girl how shocked he was. He could not believe that I would have romantic desires despite all the sheltering from society, media, peers, and dating that he had done. But human nature is a power hard to shut out and without a logical reason to restrain myself from feelings, I found no purpose in trying.

The odd thing was I clearly remember liking girls from a young age. A very young age. Like four or five years old.

Follow my world adventures on Instagram @Jeltown

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17 thoughts on “My Story: Sex and Dating

  1. That was utterly ridiculous to think fears will suppress human nature, yet this sectors still tries to control us. I’ve been there actually as my parents are from strict religious upbringing. It’s a nasty and ugly situation to be at.

  2. I can’t see anything good or useful in suppressing feelings in the name of religion. Guess it flows over at some point anyway at a later point, not necessarily in good ways. Saying this, and coming from a much more liberal background – I can neither promote too liberal attitudes in dating or sex. But having made both some bad and good decisions, would say I know at least not what to do.

    A difficult subject, where do you draw the line? I don’t have the answer.

    1. Trust me there is nothing good about it. But so many people read verses in the bible written in a context of 2000 years ago without an understanding of human psychology and try to blanket them to all people in all situations. I think you draw the line at first and foremost looking out for yourself. This sounds selfish but how can I love you if I can’t first love myself in a healthy manner. The next step is honesty. Being honest about intentions and desires without divulging too much information too fast. Finally be open to new ideas and new approaches as long as you don’t put yourself at unrealistic risks

  3. I was also raised in a similar manner to you. My parents never accepted my bisexuality and still sadly don’t, to this day. I’ve had to hide a lot of my romantic life away as a result, but luckily, my current boyfriend accepts me for who I am unconditionally. My parents seem to be dropping archaic ideas about relationships, too, and they’re not like they used to be over LGBTQ stuff, either. X

    1. It’s sad when parents reject their kids for being themselves. I always wondered if I was gay if my parents would have rejected me. I think they may have found that more sad than me being an atheist! I’m happy for you that they are becoming more open minded. I think many good parents do when they realize their beliefs are hurting relationships with real people whom they love. Good luck with things

  4. Fascinating blog! You address a lot of topics of interest to me, and ones I can’t always address on-topic-wise on my neuroscience blog.

    I’m familiar with BJU’s materials, legalism and “courtship” (particularly among some hardcore Calvinist friends), and some of the other things I’ve seen you address so far. I wasn’t raised that strictly – in fact, I only encountered BJU’s books because my parents homeschooled me for a portion of my childhood (yet not for religious reasons, though we were Christian and fairly conservative) – but I know of people who live like this, and it’s not as perfect as they (or the Duggars, the supposed “model” family of those associated with this kind of living, lol) make it out to be. There are also some frankly silly, incorrect beliefs about women, too, inherent in the movement (like us supposedly not being able to be tempted by lust – as a former porn consumer who still gets excited by good-looking guys, the “women don’t lust” idea is one of the latest absurdities I’ve had to address recently among this crowd).

    I’ll try and look at more of your entries when I have more time. Gotta go to an appointment in a few, and then evening work.

    1. Haha I love your comment. So much of my research and life experience confirms just what you say. And of course I would say that “lust” is simply the natural desire for sex we all have and not harmful at all unless we allow it to hurt more valuable relationships. I was home schooled as well and learned of bju through that and then attended their university for a year. I’m sure your study of neuroscience has revealed all sorts of interesting contradictions between science and the teachings of ultra concervative christians

          1. Not sure. I have an old Polldaddy poll up and it seems to work (except that no one contributes data! 🙂 )

  5. Oh man, not sure my words are wise, but it does pay off to know what you value and wht8&#a217;s most important. I don’t go out to lunch as much as I’d like (or out at all as much as I’d like).

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