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Definitions The following teachers have defined "courtship" or "betrothal" as follows: Gothard: Courtship - "A fathers agreeing to work with a qualified young man to win his daughter for marriage." Lindvall: Courtship - "A romantic relationship between a young man and woman in which both were of marriageable age, had the full blessing of their parents, and were seriously contemplating marriage." Thompson: Courtship - A stage/period in Scriptural Romance prior to Betrothal.Courtship constitutes the process of investigating a person with marriage in mind: evaluating character, values, beliefs, practices, interests & life purpose to ensure a godly match.In Thompsons, betrothal is a stage that follows courtship.There are numerous minor differences but only a few major ones.Bill Gothard was teaching a "biblical" dating back in the early 1970s, that advocated all young men being approved by the girls father before ever having a date, and again before marriage was ever discussed with the girl.Gothard indicates he was influenced in his early adulthood by a Christian speaker (perhaps even the same one Elisabeth Elliot mentions that influenced her during her Bible School days).Jonathan Lindvall was influenced by Gothards teachings and went a step further in defining something called "courtship", with which he challenged the youth group he was leading.Gothard then appears to have picked up some of Lindvalls ideas, and began teaching "courtship" as opposed to dating.
It follows a careful investigation that occurs during the Courtship period. Concerning courtship: Parental authorization and guidance appears in all to varying degrees.No physical contact occurs until after the wedding.