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Disclaimer: Interpreting the teachings of many others has been necessary for comparison in this article.I have tried to be very careful to not misrepresent these teachings and to present them as fairly as possible.It is a binding commitment to marry, approved & supervised by the fathers, attested by a bridal provision (bride price / dowry) and by witnesses and/or a document.It follows a careful investigation that occurs during the Courtship period. Concerning courtship: Parental authorization and guidance appears in all to varying degrees.A purpose of considering marriage is present or implied in all.A degree of readiness for marriage is stated or implied.From there I see many cross influences between the different teachers.
"A reformed version of dating under the supervision of parents between a man and a woman who are ready for marriage in the near future." Myers: Courtship - consists of three main elements: 1) accountability to parents and other trusted adults; 2) building each others character rather than focusing on physical attraction; and 3) waiting to develop serious relationships until you are ready to get married.
No physical contact occurs until after the wedding.
Thompson: Betrothal - A stage/period in Scriptural Romance, following the stage of Courtship.
The most obvious major difference is that between "courtship" and "betrothal", yet even here the root of the difference comes down to the same few key areas that differentiate one courtship teaching from another.
These include: (1) The degree and form of parental involvement; (2) How to choose whom to court/betroth; (3) the timing of romantic emotions; and (4) the timing of forms of physical contact.
Some stress investigation while others stress the cultivation of romance.