Monday, November 19, 2012

Going Courting...


"Going courting, going courting, oh it sets your senses in a whirl..."

Or at the least puts a weird look on all your friends' faces when they hear the word!

Courting.  Ummmm...WHAT?!?!

We have seen the faces, we have seen the glazed over eyes and we have heard the protests.  So, I have come to set the record straight.  Hear me say that again, I have come to set the record straight...not to argue, not to appear better than anyone else, not to change your mind.  The decisions you make are up to you, and are hopefully made with guidance from the Holy Spirit.  But, because we get asked so often, I thought I would take a moment to explain what our family believes. 


Nope, we do not allow our children to date at a young age.  Nor do they want to date. Usually the motive for dating is fun and it is usually temporary. In our opinion, there is nothing casual about finding a spouse, therefore there is not a reason to casually go out with numerous people, especially at a young age.  Giving numerous people their hearts is not what we want for our children.  What we do encourage of our children is to find who they are in Christ and establish their relationship with Him first and foremost.  Then, to get to know people and make friendships that will last a lifetime.  We pray that those friendships are based on like- mindedness, a genuine concern for each other, and a devotion to the Lord.  Our children have found beautiful relationships through the years with both boys and girls using those criteria.

It is our hope and prayer that if the Lord sees fit, one of those relationships with someone of the opposite sex will begin to develop into more than a casual friendship.  At that time, after prayer and consideration of both our children and the other family involved, we will allow our child to enter into a "courtship".

Does that equate to just sitting on the front porch or in the front parlor?

Of course not.

But instead, "seriously and prayerfully considering whether or not you are called to the sacrament of marriage." Dennis Gundersen

See, for us that is the bottom line- are you meant for each other?  Is this the one that God has meant for me? Are you ready to serve the Lord together?  Are you ready to serve each other?  Are you ready, emotionally and financially, to become a family unit?  And yes, for the romantics out there, do you make each other happy?

But we are trying to teach our children that while physical attraction is indeed important and created by God, there are equally important factors to consider.  Things that hold a marriage together when the star lust wears off.  Are they taking the time to "discuss things that will help you decide whether or not you are compatible in areas like finance, household responsibilities, childbearing, child rearing...everything." Gundersen  Anyone that tells you those things are not important and worth talking about are feeding you a line!  Relationships based on feelings alone will come and go.  Ones grounded in the Lord will last forever.  Now THAT is romance.

The other thing we encourage with courting is family participation.

No, we do not intend to spend every minute with them...  BUT, we do intend to be a part of the process.  How exactly that looks will obviously be dependent on the unique situation of each child.  Here's what I would say to those that roll their eyes on that point...
I do not intend to  choose any of my children's spouses, but why would I not give my opinion and guidance? You see, I have been doing that for years, on various subjects.  Yes, I like that haircut.  No, that outfit is not acceptable.  Yes, that is a good idea.  No, that was not the best choice.  Why would a good parent all of a sudden say to their child, good luck on that one when considering one of the most important decisions of their lives.  Makes no sense to me.

The other thing that parental involvement does, in my opinion, is to help protect hearts from being hurt.  My husband and I came from a dating background.  We did date each other on and off for many years before getting married,  and YES, our marriage turned out great, by the grace of God.  But that does not mean that there were not a lot of hurting hearts along the way.  We want our children to learn from our heartaches, trust that we have a little more knowledge, and accept our authority and guidance in the process.  We want them to adore ONE person with all of their hearts, not just the piece that is leftover after many failed relationships.

Do we have all the answers?  No! Do we know exactly how this will all flesh out? I wish! We are still figuring it all out and have yet to walk down that specific path. In the meantime...

We pray for our children and we pray for their future spouses.  We are learning along the way and appreciate other families that have decided to navigate the same path.  There is no right way or wrong way to "court".  After all, it is just a man made word.  Our prayer is that we will make it a God honoring journey!

There are MANY resources for families concerning Biblical Courtship.  I encourage you to explore as many as you can to find what is right for your family.  If you find one that tells you EXACTLY what to do and how to do, put it down and find another resource!  Follow God, not man.  He will provide the way!

Remember, it is not what you call it that's important, it's what you do and why that's important.


Resources for you to consider-
Courtship-Does it Really Work by Mark Fox (CD)
Courtship or Dating - So What's the Difference? by Dennis Gundersen (See my review here)
Before you Meet Prince Charming- Sarah Mally


Song credit-
Going Courting- from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

This post is linked up with Caroline at The Modest Mom!  Visit her site, you'll love it!

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7 comments:

  1. Wow, I really enjoyed this post! We want to do this for our daughters when the time comes because we believe it's so essential. With so many marriages ending in divorce and such a focus on the "physical" aspects of relationships, we want to guard their hearts from that kind of hurt. We're in prayer now for their future spouses. You're right -- it's a huge decision so why should we just abandon them on this milestone of life?

    I'm pinning your blog post, if that's okay. I want to show my husband! You really did a great job of conveying the message here. Excellent!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Sara. There is so much more I would like to say, but figured people would get tired of my rambling! I could write a book on this one! :). Thanks for pinning it!

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  2. That was VERY well put.

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  3. This is a very encouraging post. After talking to my family about courtship vs. dating, I have decided that I would rather be in a courtship than date. This post was very encouraging, thank you.

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    1. You are so very welcome! Good for you for talking this through with your family.

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