Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What kind of courtship is Biblical?

By far the shortest book I’ve read this year, at 46 pages What kind of Courtship is Biblical?, by Jeff Zakula, was also very thought provoking. Most books I’ve read on the subject of Biblical Courtship start with principles, and then look to scripture for supporting passages. Mr. Zakula takes the reverse approach. He starts this short book by examining the different courtships found in the Bible— considering not only the stories themselves, but also Old Testament law and New Testament passages. The results of this tour through the Bible actually surprised me—and this isn’t exactly the first book I’ve read on the topic. It’s just that most books I read are about Biblical courtship, as opposed to Biblical courtship.

The final three chapters focus on putting the information in the first chapter to practical use, and avoiding pitfalls common in courtship. In the second chapter there is an excellent section about avoiding feminism in courtship. This is a problem I had not considered before reading this book, but is quite obvious now that it has been pointed out. The third chapter “Helping our children find life partners” focuses on helping parents see their role in Biblical courtship. The final chapter focuses on raising children who are mature enough in Christ to handle courtship—and more importantly, marriage.

This was a thought provoking book, and one I will read again (it certainly will be easy to read it more than once!). One thing to note is that the book is geared toward parents, rather than toward those who will themselves be courting. I cannot say that I agree with all of the applications Mr. Zakula made, however, I cannot argue that the framework is soundly Biblical. I appreciate his dedication to look first to what the Bible says, and not be swayed by popular fads in Christian circles.

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