Long before a couple gets married, they date. But what makes dating different from hanging out? The three dating "P"s: Planned, Pay for, and Pair off. This means the boy asks a girl out, one on one. He has the date planned and is ready to pay for the girl. Though there are many young men who would make complaints about the boy being obligated to pay for the young lady, it is an important practice for when he becomes a husband and will be taking care of a wife and children.
It is the duty and obligation of the father to follow three more "P"s: Preside, Provide, Protect. In these, it is the duty of a father to preside over the family, see to it that the family is holding together and living righteously. As a man of employment, it is the duty of the father to provide for his family when ever possible in all means, physical and spiritual. And at last, it is his duty to protect his family at all costs.
There are many parallels between the two sets of "P"s. Plan-Preside, Pay for-Provide, Pair off-Protect.
As a youth, a young man planning a date is like unto a father presiding over his family; he is taking initiative and giving order to an event. He is taking control and does his best to create a night that will bring joy to his date and will allow them to keep their integrity.
As a young man takes a young lady out, he is prepared to pay for her, he is providing for her that she might be at ease.
As a young couple who is pairing off, the young lady has become the young man's responsibility for the evening. He must protect her, both physically in the incident that something tragic occurs, but also morally and spiritually, not allowing anything to happen to her that would degrade her.
Dating is prepping for marriage, it is very important to see these parallels and to act upon them. To let these opportunities slide, is to prepare for an uncertain and unpredictable future.