The Biblical Design for Marriage
Dating exists not for mating; it exists for collecting data. The biblical design for dating is friendship, courtship, engagement, and then marriage. Friendship is two people walking together in agreement and accountability, learning and growing together. Courtship follows the mutual agreement to commit to one another exclusively--it is the phase where the couple forms a romantic, loving relationship to further get to know each other possibly leading toward marriage. Engagement is the decisive turning toward the agreed-upon goal of the marriage altar. It is a period of laying a foundation and preparing your life together after marriage. Marriage is where sex is shared between husband and wife. This act of intimacy is the ultimate gift you can give to your spouse. It is as close as you can possibly be with another person, and meant only to be experienced within marriage.