Courtship | Courting vs Dating | Top 4 Differences!

Courtship | Courting vs Dating | Top 4 Differences!

There are lively debates around courting vs dating for Christian singles to consider. The definition and idea of courtship may sound outdated to some in our modern world. When hearing the term, many have images of their grandparents being chaperoned by their parents with their special someone. In those days, courting was about getting to know your potential partner as much as possible in a safe, pure environment. Often, these courtships led to successful marriages that lasted lifelong. Fast forward to today’s dating scene and we see surface-level connections, one night stands, and high divorce rates. Obviously, many things have shifted in our culture and the practice of dating is definitely one of them. It’s time for Christians to resurrect the idea of courting and redefine what godly relationships should look like.




The first component to courtship is spiritual. God instructs us to “..not be yoked together with unbelievers..” (2 Corinthians 6:14, NIV). Therefore, we should intentionally court other Christians. Unfortunately, many people compromise this principle because they are unable to find enough Christian singles to date. However, we’ll never experience the same level of connection with an unbeliever as we would a Christ follower because they share our values, beliefs, and worldview. In addition, courting other believers creates wonderful opportunities to do spiritual activities together, such as attending church, Christian concerts, reading the Bible, and serving. These activities will help us to not only grow closer with God, but closer to one another as well.




Considering the variety of ways to think of courtship, a second major component is mental. Unfortunately, our sex saturated culture encourages people to lust over the person they are pursuing, which is dishonorable both to God and to them. Instead, we must“….take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV) by edifying them with our mind. We need to intentionally get to know them. How do they see life? What makes them tick? How does their mind work? Discovering the answers to these questions will give us a glimpse into the fascinating way God has uniquely crafted them, rather than looking at superficial outward appearances alone.


courting | courtship vs dating




The third component to courting is emotional. Unfortunately, many people in the dating scene today withhold their emotions for a variety of reasons. Some don’t want to be hurt again because of previous negative experiences. Others don’t want to feel tied down so they keep their emotions surface-level. Still others avoid feeling anything substantial because they are only concerned about personal gain and physical pleasure. These approaches all hinder true intimacy. Instead, if the connection feels safe and warranted, we must allow ourselves to develop authentic feelings to cultivate god-honoring relationships.  We must also be willing to share our emotions about life, others, and them to allow our hearts to become slowly integrated.




The fourth component is physical. Sex is promoted as casual and meaningless everywhere we look in our society. Consequently, most people in the dating scene expect to have sex within the first few dates. However, as Christians, we must ascribe to a higher set of morals that honor God by preserving sex for marriage alone. When sex is permitted before marriage, it often becomes the focal point of the relationship, stunting the emotional, social, and spiritual areas of intimacy needed for a successful long-term relationship. Also, when sex is acceptable, many men use women merely for physical gratification, leaving both partners feeling empty and unsatisfied. Therefore, we must develop a “no sex” policy with the special someone we are courting and commit to spending time with them in public to avoid sexual temptation and to keep our relationship moving in the right direction.

So, please join us in Godly courting by pursuing other believers, honoring them with your mind, allowing yourself to develop feelings, and preserving sex for marriage alone.


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 Dr. Wyatt Fisher is a licensed psychologist in Denver, CO and founder of a Christian dating site, Christian marriage retreats, Couples Bible Study, and a Porn addiction seminar



 What are some other major differences between courting and dating?

Comments (27)

GalaTrevailWe are lights in darkness, it's important we share unconditional love in view of the public as a witness too. Patience makes it perfect work. My redeemer.
By GalaTrevail on February 20, 2018 @ 8:25pm MT 39

Dr. WyattThanks for your insights gleaned from the courting article....we are to be lights in darkness indeed!
By Dr. Wyatt on February 21, 2018 @ 1:30pm MT

Thanks Doc....i just joined, and your words are so encouraging
By on September 26, 2016 @ 2:53pm MT 39

Dr. WyattMy glad you're finding encouragement!
By Dr. Wyatt on September 27, 2016 @ 10:05pm MT

cuddlybearsThanks for the enlightenment Dr. Wyatt. Many Churches don't even stress over the topic important. Thanks once again Dr. Wyatt
By cuddlybears on September 10, 2016 @ 4:46am MT 39

Dr. WyattMy glad you found it helpful. This topic certainly needs to be addressed more.
By Dr. Wyatt on September 12, 2016 @ 5:46pm MT

By Hotkittyfast on August 12, 2016 @ 11:09pm MT 39

Dr. WyattYes....thank you for that!
By Dr. Wyatt on August 14, 2016 @ 3:49pm MT

Thanks for the enlightenment Dr. Wyatt. The painful truth is that some of our modern day Churches don't even consider the topic important... that's why they don't stress over it. The Bible has proven it. 'Can two walk together except they be agreed?' The warning of the apostle not to be unequally yoked is not only an authoritative word to the Christian believer; it is a wise human word that it is fatal to ignore. An unequal yoke is bound to chafe. Do not think that being `in love' is enough and that after marriage you can win your partner to discipleship. It may not be so. Besides, Christian marriage is a sacrament made before God. You must both start from the same place. The two must be one in Christ. May the All God help us all. Most importantly, to finish strong. Amen.
By on April 21, 2015 @ 3:34am MT 39

Dr. WyattWow Olu....very impressive response....Amen and Amen!
By Dr. Wyatt on April 21, 2015 @ 8:34pm MT

MssongAbsolute truth... Thanks for putting the words together in a manner understanding to anyone!
By Mssong on May 30, 2017 @ 9:59am MT

I agree and am encouraged with this well stated article. Well done.
By on January 11, 2015 @ 4:01pm MT 39

Dr. WyattSo glad to hear the article brought you encouragement!
By Dr. Wyatt on January 11, 2015 @ 6:01pm MT

DunamisI pray Christians should revisit the idea of courting and redefine what godly relationship should look like.
By Dunamis on January 9, 2015 @ 2:39pm MT 39

Dr. WyattI join you in that prayer Dunamis!
By Dr. Wyatt on January 11, 2015 @ 6:01pm MT

Mountain SunshineThank you! As single believers, we have the opportunity to be salt and light through how we live our lives in ways married adults cannot. And when we find that special someone, we can be salt and light together. The standard doesn't change. Wish churches could speak to this significant portion of the adult population, too.
By Mountain Sunshine on June 17, 2014 @ 9:29am MT 39

Dr. WyattThank you....yes, I agree Churches need to be more vocal about that topic.
By Dr. Wyatt on June 17, 2014 @ 4:13pm MT

wonderwggGood article. right on
By wonderwgg on June 12, 2014 @ 10:41am MT 39

Dr. WyattThank you Wonderwgg!
By Dr. Wyatt on June 12, 2014 @ 7:38pm MT

cecilyThank you Dr.Wyatt, all you've said is correct. My church here in Nigeria encourages courtship. I kissed dating goodbye and i am looking forward to courting my life partner. People may think it's old fashioned, but it spares a lot of emotional headache.
By cecily on March 31, 2014 @ 3:37am MT 39

Dr. WyattThanks sure does....
By Dr. Wyatt on March 31, 2014 @ 4:53pm MT

surfjaxThank you Brother :) Very Encouraging
By surfjax on March 23, 2014 @ 9:58pm MT 39

Dr. WyattThanks surfjax, glad you found it encouraging!
By Dr. Wyatt on March 24, 2014 @ 7:55pm MT

Sal_FYes. Very accurate.
By Sal_F on January 2, 2014 @ 11:04pm MT 39

Dr. WyattThank you Sal!
By Dr. Wyatt on January 3, 2014 @ 7:18am MT

Right on! Great article!
By on December 25, 2013 @ 11:32am MT 39
Dr. WyattThanks Janiceyes...glad you found it helpful!
By Dr. Wyatt on December 26, 2013 @ 7:49am MT

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