Theme: Knowing the expectations and responsibilities of relationships.
Friendship, dating, and courtship are three methods of beginning a relationship with the opposite sex (the final relationships are engagement and marriage). Friendship is the preferred starting point for teens. The friendship period is the time to find out if another person is truly a Christian. Dating is the next step and it can be set up in a way that maintains the friendship goals, at least until both people are ready to commit to each another as potential marriage partners. Courtship is not a third step but an option to friendship/dating; it takes the position that two people have no physical contact at all (no touching, no holding hands, no kissing) until marriage.
The idea of being just friends is not to get involved romantically or to be committed to just one person. Group settings are important, not being alone one-on-one. During the group activities, observe others: how do they think, act, and interact with others? Do all boys act goofy and talk nonstop about sports and games? Why do girls spend so much time discussing makeup/clothes and other people? These are not dates, but group activities at church, adultsupervised outings, or parent-approved functions. These are not times to “pair up” with someone or for romance, but to spend time having fun and enjoying others.
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