The Courtship Mask

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I recently posted excerpts from an article written by Shoshanna Pearl, which began like this: When I got married, I expected my husband to be that alpha male that my dad was; but he was not. We would be driving down the road and he would say, “Where do you want to eat?” I would smile and say, “Wherever you want to eat,” expecting him to quickly turn in to this or that place without hesitation. Instead, he would smile and say, “I don’t care. I want to take you where you want to go. Where would yo … [Read more...]

My First Crush

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Growing up on the conservative Christian homeschooling culture of courtship and purity rings made a lot of things about boy-girl interactions different. Everything was ramped up, accelerated somehow. Our mothers jumped straight from simple attractions on our part to the possibility of marriage. We did too.I still remember my first crush. I was seven. He was nine. I was homeschooled, but he wasn't. My mother and his mother knew each other from church. Finally, I got up the courage to ask him w … [Read more...]

More Voices Speak out against Courtship

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I've noticed more and more voices speaking out against courtship, and the interesting thing is that it's no longer limited to those who have questioned more of the beliefs and ideologies conservative Christian homeschooling culture. No, it's some of those who stayed in the fold, who did everything right, who have remained the poster children to this day who are now speaking out. And I find that fascinating.Today it's Thomas Umstattd Jr., a proud homeschool graduate active in conservative … [Read more...]

Israel Wayne on the (Patriarchal) Father’s Role

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Israel Wayne is supposed to be a voice of reason in the Christian homeschooling community. A homeschool graduate himself, and now a homeschool father, he travels the convention circuit and has written blog posts criticizing various patriarchal homeschool leaders. It's a pity he's unaware that he is himself one of those patriarchal homeschool leaders.Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve heard the smash pop hit, “Rude” by the group Magic!. It speaks about a young man, seeking p … [Read more...]

Should Parents Be “Involved” in Their Children’s Love Lives?

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Blogger That Mom recently began a series on courtship. I don't know where she will take the subject as she goes on through the series, but I did want to touch on the premise she begins with---that parents need to be involved. The Necessary ParentWhen we attended Bill Gothard’s IBLP Basic Seminar back in the mid-80s, one of the topics he covered was dating. This was before he had moved into his courtship teachings and even before anyone we knew of had started discussing things like courtship … [Read more...]

Courtship, Hand-Holding, Parody, and Me

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I recently came upon an article titled "The Christian dating site for those saving hand-holding for marriage." When I saw the title, I thought it was real, because saving hand-holding for marriage doesn't actually seem foreign or that far out to me.The article, which is actually parody, centered around this video:The Duggar girls are saving hand-holding for engagement. The Duggar family has already spoken about its dating and courtship standards on the TV show. In a TLC interview a … [Read more...]

Child Marriage and the Rest of the Maranatha Story

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Maranatha's courtship story has been told and retold in homeschooling circles at least since the 1990s, and is held up by many as an ideal. But there's one thing that is routinely left out of the story. Just how old was Maranatha Owen when she married Matthew Chapman at the culmination of a parent-guided courtship/betrothal process?We often think about child marriage as something that happens in other countries, but not here. I've generally thought of it that way too, even with my … [Read more...]


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