Written by: Kerrington Sweeney
For many, Courtship may seem like such an old-fashioned, outdated word that conjures up images of a young couple sitting in a tidy living room, under the very watchful eye of the daughter’s parents, until the fella gets down on one knee and proposes, but in reality. Courtship is a beautiful friendship between a young man and a young woman in which they seek to determine, if it is God’s divine will for them to marry each other.
Under the safe protection, guidance, and blessing of parents or mentors, the courting couple concentrates on developing a special deep friendship and bond that could lead to a future marriage, As they discern their readiness for marriage and God’s perfect timing for their marriage. Courtship is a choice to avoid temptations and experience the blessings of purity.
1 Corinthians 7:1-2 says…”Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is not good for a man to have sexual relations with a woman.”But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with only his own wife, and each woman with only her own husband.”
It is a choice to not emotionally give away your heart, piece by piece, to many others like through the ‘casual’ dating relationships and instead of having the pleasure of giving your whole heart to your ultimate life partner. Most teenagers and young adults these days, just date because it is the thing to do. It is an established cultural norm to be followed without further question. The fact that “everybody does it” is not a reason for continuing to do it, but a reason for questioning it.
1 John 2:15-17 says this…”Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life…is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
Courtship is a choice, a powerful choice. To wait for God’s best, for His glory. It is a decision to walk by faith, to trust in God with your whole heart, it’s to honor others above yourself, and to truly believe that God will bless you bountifully because, He truly is the creator of love.
I look forward daily to my future courtship one day, because it’s so very special and unique, it’s nothing like the normal “dating” of today’s culture. It’s a much more deeper way of getting to know one another, without any physical attachments. When I think about my future courtship, I look forward to having the pleasure of saving our first kiss for our wedding day…I know many people think, that is cheesy, super lame, and undoable in today’s culture, but personally I think it’s a beautiful display of honor and respect towards one another. Courtship, could easily become just another type of “worldly casual dating” very quickly, if some simple Guidelines are not followed. Here are a few tips to make sure that won’t happen in your Courtship:
- He **MUST** be a Believer of Jesus Christ!
2 Corinthians 6:14 states…”Do not be yoked together with ANY unbelievers…”
Make sure you both are on the same page about your faiths. He should have a very solid relationship with Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior! Is this the man you want to be the Spiritual leader of your home, one day?? Keep that in high priority in your mind, while you are in this long deciding process.
- Honor your Parents!
It says in the Bible in…
Exodus 20:12…”Honor thy Father and thy Mother.”
What a better way to show honor and respect, towards our parents, then having them assist us in this new-exciting experience of courtship?! Have them highly involved in your Courtships, ask for their wisdom often! Especially, while making any decisions with your courting ‘partner.’
- Have Accountability Partners!
Learning to be Accountable can be a bit of a difficult task for some, but it is a must in the beginning steps of a courtship. We all are way more responsible when we are held accountable for our actions. Make a list together of your resolutions and guidelines for your courtship and give that list to some mentoring couples and accountability partners. These could be your parents, other married couples from your Church, friends, roommates, family members. Basically, you are looking for people you trust and respect to be able to talk with openly about your relationship. They should be able to ask you at any time how your are doing….if you are properly keeping your resolutions–and you need to be able to answer them honestly.
- Pray, Pray, and umm….Pray!
Pray tons together during your courtships, have God’s presence with you both, all the time. Seek His Face together, do your devotions together, do your Bible reading together, speak words of encouragement over each other’s Life. Keep this a fully-Christ centered friendship.
- Don’t ever be ashamed!!
When people ask you…”So are you two Dating?!”
Never be ashamed to answer back, with “Actually, we are courting and loving every minute of it!” When they ask…what’s the difference between courting and dating? You can then begin to explain, what makes your friendship, so very different than the worldly relationships of today. Never be ashamed as a couple of your Courtship!
6. HANDS OFF!
2 Timothy 2:22 states…”Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts…”
During a courtship, it’s not time to see if he’s a good kisser or not. It’s a special time, to seek The Lord’s guidance in hope of a future marriage. Many people in casual dating relationships, have the mindset of “It’s just holding hands and kissing…nothing will make us go past over the “cliff.” But it just takes one little step, to tumble over into that dark pit…’the loss of purity.’ Keep yourselves as focused on God as possible in your courtship. Remember, words can be just as touching and lovey dovey, as holding hands or kissing. Speak your love for each other instead of showing it in the ‘physical’ ways.
- Don’t let your complete Guard down!
Guard your hearts and do not dive emotionally into a courtship relationship head first. Give yourselves time to learn about each other. Do not open up all your intimate secrets, desires and longings to each other immediately, just because you are courting. Allow your relationship to grow stronger naturally. Keep the mystery alive by not revealing everything all at once…The problem with “dumping” on each other emotionally early on in a courtship, is that if you later discern that you are not called to marriage you could have many regrets over having shared those intimate thoughts and secrets with someone who will not be your husband. You need to be honest with each other, but that does not mean you have to reveal everything right away. As the friendship grows, you will discover a natural pace for sharing those emotional intimacies.
- Be active together in your Faith community!
Courtship is a great time to grow in your faith together and to spend time together in your faith communities 🙂 In this way your relationship is supported by like-minded people who will become for you that community that celebrates with you in times of joy, consoles you in times of grieving, and that lifts you up in times of hardship! We cannot live in isolation, we need that community to be there for us, which means, we need to be there for them as well.
- Be involved!!
Have fun attending church events and activities together, volunteer service time together, and join in prayer groups and Bible studies together. These opportunities to spend time together, in a larger group settings, help you to learn much about each other by seeing how each other deals with a variety of situations and other persons…and are great opportunities to dedicate your time together and talents to The Lord.
- Keep the Romance alive!
Remember romance doesn’t just mean kissing and holding hands, Romance can be simple sweet gestures. Roses, pandora charms, chocolates, walks in the park, picnics, etc. Without all the Physical attachments in your courtship you have more time to focus on the little romantic things to do, to make your partner smile 🙂
…To end this post, I would like to be completely clear that if you are a Christian and are in a casual dating relationship, I’m not at ALL saying that what you are doing is a bad thing… Your life, your decisions! But for all the single ladies out there (including myself)…I want you today, to make a choice. A choice that could very easily change the entire course of your life. Don’t just date because it’s the thing to do, evaluate the situation you are in and never forget to consider a Courtship.
Until Next Time,