So what on earth were they doing that worked so well?Over dinner, my grandmother shared her story about what dating was like back in the 30s and 40s.They were not the Bible-reading, small-grouping, mission-tripping Christian young people common in evangelical churches today.And yet her community of friends all got married and then stayed married for decades and decades.When my grandmother dated in middle school (yes, middle school) her parents had one primary rule for her.The Primary Dating Rule: Don’t go out with the same guy twice in a row. She explained that the lack of exclusivity helped them guard their hearts and kept things from getting too serious too quickly. The lack of exclusivity helped the girls guard their hearts and kept the boys from feeling entitled to the girl.“If I had only gone out with 3 or 4 guys I wouldn’t have known what I wanted in a husband,” she said.It is not that her parents were uninvolved; it is that they played an advisory role, particularly as she entered high school and they relaxed the rules about not going steady.
She went on to explain that by the time she graduated from high school, she had gone out on dates with over 20 different guys. I grew up as a member of the homeschool community back when we were hiding from the cops and getting our textbooks from public school dumpsters.When I was a teenager, my friends started reading this new book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. After reading it myself, I grew into as big an opponent of dating as you could find.Dating was evil and Courtship, whatever it was, was godly, good and Biblical.My grandparents would often ask why I wasn’t dating in high school.