Nearly 17 years ago my dear husband first wrote to my Dad introducing himself with the desire to court me. He had heard of me through a mutual friend. You can visit my blog to read more of our beautiful courtship.
Now we have 7 beautiful children and they are quickly growing up. We will soon be on the other end of courtship as the parents.
Throughout the years we have seen courtship flourish and be a blessing in some families and miserably fail in others. That is not due to the fault of the courtship model, but to the misunderstanding of what courtship truly is, I believe.
Having said that, here are a few of my thoughts on courtship:
- The courtship mindset must begin early. While your children are young, there should be conversations about your sons and daughters keeping their hearts for their future spouse. Boyfriend/Girlfriend talk which is so rampant even in the church, should be discouraged.
- Courtship should not even be considered until the child is of marriageable age and of maturity to enter into that estate. 13 year old girls and boys do not need to have in their minds relationships of a romantic nature. They should be freed from this until they are ready to commit to a relationship headed towards marriage.
- Courtship must be built upon trust. We have seen some parents so heavily regulating the courting couple that they hardly know each other before marriage. If we had desired my husband and I could have “escaped” the boundaries and taken liberties, but we didn’t because our hearts desired to stay within the confines and please the Lord. There was a mutual trust between our parents and us. We willingly placed ourselves under their care and direction, and they lovingly gave it without suspicion and a heavy hand. But having said that…
- Courtship is not glorified dating. We have seen some say they are courting when it is merely dating with parental consent. Biblical courtship involves much family involvement, being careful of all appearances of evil, chaperoning of the courting couple, and a gentle winning of the woman’s heart only after the father has given full permission.
- Beware of putting the cart before the horse. We have seen devastating results when young men and young ladies become attached in their before the parents have given their full blessing. Please, for the sake of your daughters hearts, do not let a young man grow intimately close even emotionally to her, until you are fully convinced he has your approval. Which leads to my next point…
- The winning of the daughter’s heart should begin only after the parents are sure that if the two desired to marry, they would have your full blessing.
- Finally, courtship is not an arranged marriage. It is a sweet guarding of hearts, lovingly directed by the father, as he seeks the Heavenly Father. If after the father, as the gatekeeper, has allowed the young man to seek to win his daughters heart she is not so inclined…then the courtship should not continue.
My husband and I both have a special place in our hearts for this topic and would love to encourage anyone who desires to turn aside from the modern concept of dating. We are practicing for divorce by continuing in these patterns of heartbreaking relationships without purity and commitment.