Friday, January 06, 2006

Myths of Christian Romance: Risk-Proofing (2)

How important it is that we as Christians take pains to guard our hearts. It is right both for ourselves and our romantic interest that we do so. Yet we cannot forget that the pursuit of love always involves risk, and more than this, that God has built risk into the process for the continuation of our sanctification. Today, we'll look briefly at the ways in which a man and a woman benefit from risking in romance.

A woman benefits from risking and dating a man by putting her heart out there. She guards it for so long, and this is right. But the wisdom of God calls many a young woman out of singleness, for the betterment of all. In order for this to happen, a woman must risk. There is no way to take this element out of the romantic process. She must risk getting hurt and, to be a little cliched, give love a chance. If she does not, she guarantees that she will never find a man's love. She can pray all she likes, but if she never risks and enters a relationship, she does little to meet a man who will care for her and cherish her in the spirit of Christ's love for His church. Because courtship encourages women to risk only with a man they think they could marry, it discourages many from needed interaction with men. In seeking to protect them from hurt, it removes risk (or puts it at a very high level, initially). The castle that would protect becomes something of a prison.

Men need to risk because God has wired them to be leaders. Being a leader means risking, putting oneself out there, taking a chance, all without any guarantee of success whatsoever. It's a tenuous thing, this risking, but how good it is for men. No one wants to get hurt, but neither do we want to stay static in our faith and life. We want to grow, to learn to persevere, to put ourselves out there and win. We learn so much about ourselves when we men do this. We discover courage in the classroom of romance, a lesson that no textbook or sermon can bring into us. We learn resilience as we experience rejection and yet resolve to fight again another day. We discover great joy when we actually succeed in our relational ventures. None of this is possible without risking. And when asking a girl out on a date means that you are seriously considering her for marriage, guess what?--you're not going to risk much. We need a new paradigm, one with the responsibility and accountability of courtship and the freedom and interaction of dating. So, take a risk. Give "dateship" a second thought.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Courtship of Fools?
I Kissed Dateship Goodbye
Give Courtship Its Day in Court

by KC

If courtship is indeed a prison, then a good many women (including my wife) have been sucessfully "on the lam" for some time now.

On a (slightly) more serious note, I wonder if salutary risk is exactly what courtship offers. It seems as though dateship promises "little risks" which men and women are willing to take and grow as a result of taking. But courtship promises more serious risks: you are REALLY putting yourself out there when you ask a young lady to court. It seems that a better criticism of courtship (or maybe a point in praise of courtship) is that it IS "risky"--that is, it asks for more committment and decisiveness than dateship or dating.

This said, I think courtship can always use some rethinking. The answers it gives are sometimes not as clear as they first appear.

I like this blog.

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a serially-rejected individual, the lack of up-front risk in arranged marriage is starting to look really attractive. I've never been able to get to step 1 (coffee), so I have no idea what sorts of awful mistakes I'll make if step 1 ever happens. It's a scary situation.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think dating and courtship always involve risks, as highly as you put it. There are cases where two individuals meet and the feeling to date is almost mutual, insantaneous, risk alien.


9:52 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home