Courtship (#1)
I am Jessie Mills, Ph.D.
Child & Adult Clinical Psychology - Mills






In our last two lessons we have stressed the need for preparation in marriage. Before one can marry, he must first of all choose his mate. This is no easy task. Neither should it be taken lightly. The period before the engagement is usually called COURTSHIP, or some may prefer to call it DATING.

It is usually during the dating period that one first becomes aware of the "LOVE" emotion. This emotion passes through many stages before it reaches the level essential to the selection of a mate and the establishment of a home. Let's notice some facts about the progress of this emotion:


1. This is usually the first step taken before one starts to date.

a. However some begin their acquaintance on a "blind date".

b. How do you feel about blind dates?

2. There are many important factors in developing friendship.

a. Factors are more important than looks:

(1) Personality

(2) Personal appearance

(3) Cheerfulness

(4) Cleanliness

(5) Dependability

(6) Cooperation

(7) Ability to take criticism

(8) Generosity in judgment of others

b. Factors (Habits or characteristics) that hinder friendship:

(1) Bad temper

(2) Jealousy

(3) Selfishness

(4) Lack of consideration for others' feelings

(5) Moodiness

(6) Laughing at or making fun of others

(7) Attempts to dominate

(8) Holding grudges

(9) Gossiping

(10) Boasting and bragging

(11) Arguing & Contradicting others

(12) Sarcasm and cutting remarks

3. A good friendship will usually lead to dating.


For some people the first date stands out, marking a turning point in the social experience. Others drift naturally into "group" dating, then double dating and single dating.

1. Some uncertainties in the dating period:

a. Establishing more independence and freedom from parents

b. Must we launch out and learn everything for ourselves, or shall we counsel with parents and sponsors?

c. How to get dates and to make them successful after we get them.

d. When to start "steady dating"? (Discuss pros and cons) (at age 15 yes ... 42%; 35% no; 23% undecided)

2. Standards of Behavior while on a Date:

a. Necking and petting:

(1) You can argue until you are blue in the face that everybody "pets" and that there is really no harm in it, but you won't change the fact that promiscuous petting is not REAL love, it is a CHEAP substitute. Chances are that it will have dangerous consequences, and it is way out of bounds for the dedicated Christian. (I Tim. 4:12)

(2) By "petting" we mean that rather wholesale type of fondling and kissing that's common today. It is variously labeled necking, pitching woo, etc. Many young people today mistake it for genuine love.

(3) Don't misunderstand me. I am not objecting to loving someone. Love is basic and old as life itself. What we do object to is the idea that young people can't go anywhere together without feeling they must engage in a heavy "petting" session before they depart from each other.

(4) The sad thing is that many Christian young people are not careful here (Phil. 4:9). Boys and girls who claim to be entirely surrendered to Christ are guilty of almost indecent, certainly immodest familiarity with each other. THAT'S WRONG!!!

(5) Listen to me -- it's all right to end a date with a sincere expression of appreciation. No girl need feel obligated to pay for an evening's pleasure by submitting herself to be mauled and pawed over on the way home. And the fellow who demands such "pay" isn't worth having as a friend.

3. Expression of Affection While on a Date:

a. Basic moral code to be maintained:

(1) A girl's kisses and caresses are her choicest possession.

(2) To give them to everyone is to make them cheap, common and worthless.

(3) Promiscuity in petting robs every girl of her self-respect and her desirability. The girl who pets with every boy who happens along just isn't wanted. While the girl who reserves her caresses for the "one and only" man in her life is much sought after.

(4) This is not only "old fashioned"; it is also good common sense.

4. Personal standards and popularity.

a. How to make people like you

b. There is difference between Liking and Using!

c. Can a person like you and not want the best for you?


Good times and high moral spiritual evaluation need not be opposed to each other. The following questionnaire may help to determine the value of one's dating experience. Let's ask ourselves the following questions:

A. AM I:

1. Broadening my knowledge and understanding of people?

2. Acquiring a favorable acquaintance of the opposite sex?

3. Learning the social skill necessary to function smoothly whether dating singly or in a group?

4. Developing self-confidence?

5. Learning what type of people seem to fit my personality, moral and spiritual needs?

6. Developing a warm affection for the opposite sex, without being gushy and overly affectionate?

7. Ready for steady dating?


1. Learned to avoid petting, lewdness, etc?

2. Learned how to maintain my personal standard of conduct without deliberately making others feel ill at ease?

3. Develop enough interests so that I can make people of different types feel at ease?

4. A proper concept of the most important things in a good date?

C. DO I:

1. Conduct myself as a Christian at all times?

2. Ask "What would Jesus do in this situation?"

3. Place Christ and purity first?

4. Resist evil?


1. The period before engagement is usually called ____________________________________________.

2. During this period of time one usually becomes aware of the __________________________________.

3. Does this emotion pass through stages? __________ Yes  __________ No

4. What is the first step one usually takes before dating? _______________________________________.

5. However some begin their acquaintance on a ______________________________________________.

6. _________________________ are more important than _____________________________________.

7. List six (6) important factors that are important (more so than looks).







8. List ten (10) factors that hinder friendship.











9. A ____________________ friendship will usually lead _______________  _______________________.

10. Does the first date usually stand out? __________ Yes  __________ No

11. How does dating usually start? __________________________________________________________.

12. List four (4) uncertainties in the dating period.





13. Should one have a standard of behavior? __________ Yes  __________ No

14. Petting is not ____________________.

15. It's a _______________  ____________________.

16. Does petting have dangerous consequences? __________ Yes  __________ No

17. What do we mean by petting? __________________________________________________________.

18. Should Christians be careful of petting? __________ Yes  __________ No

19. Can one have a good time on a date without being immoral? __________ Yes  __________ No

20. Am I _______________ a favorable ____________________ of the other sex?

21. Am I ____________________ self-confidence?

22. Am I ready for ____________________ dating?

23. Have I __________ to _______  _______________,  _______________, etc?

24. Have I a proper __________ of the most __________ things in a ______________________________?

25. Do I conduct ____________ as a ____________ at ____________ times?

26. Do I _______________ what __________  __________ do __________ this situation?

27. Do I _______________ Christ and ____________ first?


Jesus, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matt. 5:8).

Socrates, "I pray thee, Oh God, that I may be beautiful within."

Jeremy Taylor, "A pure mind in a chaste body is the mother of wisdom and deliberation..."

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© Copyright 2015 by Jessie Mills. All Rights Reserved by the author, Jessie E. Mills, Jr. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior express written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or other publications. Such quotations must be used with proper reference to their context and give appropriate credit to their authorship.