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Someone recently directed me to an article hearkening us to a better time when women were wooed and men weren’t metrosexual. Marrying for love became popular a little more than 200 years ago.Before that, a woman’s parents would arrange her marriage to a man who could provide for her financially.I believe that she is such an important figure in 20th century American religious history, and yet there is almost no scholarship on her.For evangelicals of my generation, she had enormous influence on our ideas of gender and sexuality.

Marriage was so devoid of passion that people started committing adultery so they could fall in love.

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Hi Letha, As you know, I’ve just returned to school, after spending a summer working in the Pacific Northwest. I love the possibilities of the month of September—ever since I was a young girl, I have delighted in this season of new beginnings and fresh notebooks.

Courtship is rooted in a model that treats women like childbearing pieces of property. Being honest and open with no guarantee of a positive outcome is intimidating and sometimes crazy-making. Is it OK for a woman to ask a man out (people fight to the death about this one)? Dating is about two people figuring out what it means for them to grow closer to each other while remaining close to God. So do Lauren Winner, Joshua Harris, Neil Clark Warren, Harville Hendrix, Henry Cloud, Chap Clark and Donald Miller.

Men fumble around with antiquated practices that don’t correspond to modern female power. It’s messier than courtship and more cumbersome than a casual hookup. But nobody can give you a formula that eliminates risk.

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