This meant that by the time she was 17 years old she knew which Bob she wanted to marry.
They got married and stayed married till my grandfather passed away half a century later.
So what on earth were they doing that worked so well?
So I humbled myself and took my grandmother out for dinner to hear why she thought courtship was a bad idea all those years ago.
She had predicted the failure of courtship back in the 90s and I wanted to understand how and why. After 20 years there still is no general consensus as to what courtship is.
I explained what courtship was and quoted Joshua Harris, chapter and verse. “I don’t think courtship is a smart idea,” my grandfather said.
“How can you tell who you want to marry if you aren’t going out on dates? I ignored their advice on relationships, preferring to listen to the young people around me who were passionate advocates of courtship.
So if she went out for soda with Bob on Tuesday, she had to go to a movie with Bill on Thursday before she could go to the school dance with Bob on Saturday. The lack of exclusivity kept the interactions fun and casual. How could a boy have a claim to her time, heart or body if she was going out with someone else later that week?
She went on to explain that by the time she graduated from high school, she had gone out on dates with over 20 different guys.
She went on to explain that there used to be a linguistic differentiation between “dating” and “going steady”.
“Going steady” meant you were going out with the same person multiple times in a row.
They were not the Bible-reading, small-grouping, mission-tripping Christian young people common in evangelical churches today.
And yet her community of friends all got married and then stayed married for decades and decades.
“If I had only gone out with 3 or 4 guys I wouldn’t have known what I wanted in a husband,” she said.