When Your Dad Dates Your Boyfriends: Inside Christian Courtship / More Erroneous Christian Ideas About Marriage, Dating, Singleness
Regarding the article about courtship linked to much farther below (I had a bunch of things I wanted to pontificate about before getting to the article itself):
I do not support this, where the parent “chooses” the spouse for the daughter.
One reason: we are Americans living in 2015, we are not in India, where the culture is into arranged marriages. We are not in 3,000 BC in Israel, where arranged marriages were common.
I almost never hear of a situation where, in Christian culture, the father (or mother) chooses a mate for the son, it’s almost always for the daughter. So this practice reeks of sexism, for one thing.
I have no problem with parents advising their daughter on what traits to look for in a mate, and what qualities to be leery of, but this nonsense where the dad basically has “final say” over this choice?
As a parent, you are to raise your daughter to be a fully independent adult, which means, when she is young, conveying your values to her, but it also means allowing her, when she gets older, to make her OWN choices, even if they are choices you may not agree with.
For a father to make these sorts of major life choices for his daughter is to infantalize her, and this will be dangerous to her as she grows older.
The daughter needs to be able to determine for herself what her boundaries are, and when and how to say “no” to men she dates.
There will be cases where dear old dad will not always be there for her, to hold the daughter’s hand through the dating process, so she will have to be able to fend for herself.
Another issue I have with these sorts of teachings, even the more “watered down” variety by run of the mill evangelical families, is that they are ensuring that their kid will face a lifetime of singledom, because the parents create mate selection lists that are too long and too stringent.
The typical Christian lists of requirements for a mate I have seen are so absurdly complicated and strict that there are NO MEN ALIVE who will meet the criteria on such lists.
Regarding this quote from the article:
- Instead of relying on OkCupid’s [dating site] matchmaking algorithms, [in Christian families who believe in courtship] women and men entrust God to find them an eligible spouse.
If these parents believe it is up to God to send the girl a mate, why are the fathers getting involved at all? To be consistent in their beliefs, shouldn’t they be stepping aside?
At any rate, I too was raised to believe that I should “entrust God to find me an eligible spouse,” and here I am, over the age of 40, and still single.
All my years of waiting on God, trusting God, praying to God, going to churches to meet a potential spouse, and so on, left me single.
Using faith to get a spouse simply does not work.
Christians need to stop promoting belief and faith as a tool to get a spouse, because God is not involved in the process, apparently.
Regarding this summary from the article of what one Christian mother is teaching her daughters about being married one day:
- And if God doesn’t like what He sees, He may not bless her with a kind and loving husband.
This mother’s views are incorrect and un-biblical. Marriage is not a reward for “good girls,” or girls who follow all the rules; it’s surely not presented as such in the Bible, and I can tell you based on real life experience, things do not work this way.
God is not going to with-hold a spouse from you because you sin, or have sex prior to marriage, or what have you.
I have blogged about this topic before, in two or three posts, including these:
- (Link): Does God Require Singles to Be Perfect Before He Will Send Them a Spouse
- (Link): Cheating Married Christian Women and Lessons I Take Away – and Being a Virgin aka Sexually Pure Does Not Guarantee God will Send You a Spouse
- (Link): Magical Christian Thinking: If you have pre-marital sex you won’t get a decent spouse
I am a virgin over the age of 40. No penis has been in my vagina; I was a super sweet, godly Christian lady for many years – and yet, God did not “bless me” or “reward me” with a husband.
If anyone deserves a husband from God based on merit, surely it is myself – but God never sent me one.
Conversely, I have a long list of examples on my blog of ungodly, fat, stupid, drug addicted, or child molesting, wife abusing, serial raping, self-professing Christian people who ended up married.
If it were true that God doles out marriage as a reward to the obedient and faithful, then I would not be seeing the numerous stories on news sites about Christian men who do things like look at porn all day, who beat their wives up, who cheat and lie on their jobs, who sell drugs, who molest children, and so forth. But such scum of society, some of them Christian, do eventually get married.
Regarding this quote by the pro-courtship Mother:
- “When you are born a girl, it doesn’t matter whether you give her all the guns and G.I. Joes in the world, she’s still going to dream about her wedding day,” Dawn says in the film. “We have the hormones. We have the makeup. It’s just who we are.”
Speak for yourself, sister.
Look, I had long wanted to be married, but I didn’t think strongly about the topic until my mid 20s or so.
I did NOT spend my youth or teen years “day dreaming” fondly about the dress I would wear one day, and so forth. I did not give getting married a lot of thought.
As a matter of fact, I do NOT like the idea of a big, expensive wedding, not then, and not now. Such weddings are impractical and a waste of money.
I grew up being a tom boy. I loved Bat Man, science fiction movies, riding my bike, and I wanted to buy and ride a motorcycle one day. My life was not defined by getting married one day. So it’s not a universal truth that all girls fixate on marriage and their wedding day.
I have some more observations below this very long series of excerpts:
- Ron Wright sees it as his duty to date his daughters’ prospective boyfriends to ensure they share his family’s Christian ideals.
- A Courtship, which debuts at the Tribeca Film Festival this week, documents an Evangelical alternative to modern dating: Instead of relying on OkCupid’s matchmaking algorithms, women and men entrust God to find them an eligible spouse.
- We meet the Wright family in their nondescript hometown outside Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Ron Wright runs an educational website promoting Christian courtship, .When he isn’t working as a snowplow dispatcher, Ron and his wife, Dawn, proselytize courtship to other Christians.Dawn homeschools their two daughters, aged 11 and 9, who are taught that secular dating is forbidden under Christian courtship.