Courtship



If you listen carefully, you will hear many teens in the Christian faith mention “courtship” or “intentional dating” or “dating with a purpose”.  It doesn't matter if they come from a some what liberal family, or an ultra conservative family – the term “courtship” or it's “relatives” are used.

I've had several people ask me the three following questions:

What is courtship?
Why is courtship becoming popular?
What does a “biblical” courtship vs. dating look like?

When I felt led to do this mini series, I knew I wanted to mention what I have observed in some of the courtships around me, and how I plan on implementing what I have learned to my courtship (whenever my time comes).

What is courtship or courting?
According to American Heritage Dictionary, courting means the following:

To attempt to gain the affections or love of; woo.
(there were many other definitions, but I loved this one)

Dear reader, I must tell you, I am having the most difficult time typing out what courtship is – and here is why.

Courtship is not biblical – I mean seriously, if you do a word study on courtship you won't succeed (although you may learn some new words from your concordance).  The only thing remotely close to courtship that I have found in Scripture is betrothal.

While I can tell you what other people say courtship is and isn't, there wouldn't be any merit to the answer because it wouldn't be based on Scripture.

Before I go on to the next question, I want to tell you what I think courtship is.  This is simply how I view courtship, everyone is entitled to their own view/opinion.

Courtship is a form of commitment and shouldn't be taken lightly.  It should be set apart from the dating scene, and treated with the attitude of seriousness + responsibility.

Why is courtship becoming popular?
I don't have all the answers nor do I claim to, however I truly believe that people are searching for something more than what they've been taught.  They see young people who are not dating, so they decide to implement what they see in their own family – which is absolutely great!
People like to be challenged (or at least they used to be).  True “biblical” courtship presents a challenge to others.  No matter what, nor no matter if they want to admit it or not.  A challenge is set to raise the bar for the current generation.  However, people also need to realize that just because you use the term “courtship” doesn't mean you are actually courting.  Courtship is intended to be set apart from the world, not conform.


What does a “biblical” courtship vs. dating look like?
Today you hear about how “Sally and Joe are courting” or “Joe and Sally have entered into a dating-courtship relationship” (the last one just gets to me – arrrg) or something like that.  So what's the difference between courting Joe or dating Joe?

Remember how I said that “{Courtship} should be set apart from the dating scene, and treated with the attitude of seriousness + responsibility”?  That's the difference between the two – allow me to explain.

Dating is based on mutual attraction, lack of respect, lack of commitment, and usually done for the fun.
Courtship is based on friendship, prayer, God's guidance, commitment, and respect.

I have seen so many young ladies get hurt from dating (and courting) because of a lack of commitment.  It breaks my heart to see that and thankfully I have learned how I can prevent heartbreak in my own life (Lord-willing), when the time comes.  The steps of precaution could be as follows:

** Make sure you are entering for the right reasons, and that God is leading you to this step.  If you simply think God wants you to enter into a courtship, then you need to wait and continue to pray for however long it takes.

** Ask the young man important questions (yes before you say “yes” to courting him).  There is nothing wrong with asking questions before (unless of course they are not appropriate before courtship).  It's better to ask him now, than to have to call the courtship off three – six months down the road.

Questions could be as follows:

** Why do you wish to court me?
** Will you find me beautiful after 10 years of marriage?
** Do you plan on this leading into marriage?
** What are your views of modest dress after marriage?
** What are your convictions in music?
** How many children do you want?
** Are you open to homeschooling?

You all may think that these questions are ridiculous, but I have observed so many courtships fall apart (or engagements called off) because these questions weren't addressed before.

When you ask the first question “why do you wish to court me?” you will most likely get the answer “because you're beautiful”.(let's admit it, guys like pretty girls LOL – and they like to let girls know that).  Ladies, don't settle for that answer – keep asking him, and make sure you get that correct answer: “because I feel God leading me to court you”.

When I first thought of the second question, I laughed at myself!  Why would his view of beauty, after you are married, matter???  However, as I slept on it, and thought about it, I understood the importance of it.

Reader, you are beautiful – always will be!  However, you will be a different beautiful 10 years from now.  You wont' have youthful beauty, you'll have the beauty from having kids, new wrinkles, perhaps a couple gray hairs.  You'll have beauty of an older woman – a blessed woman of God, raising her kids + honoring her husband of 10 years.  While others will find you beautiful, will your man?

** Ask your parents to help you put him in situations (without him knowing) in which he'll be comfortable so you can see how he responds to criticism, if he takes no for an answer, if he takes instruction, etc.  Do this while you're still observing him.  Pray and ask God to allow you to see him in some of those circumstances without “setting him up”.  I have done this recently, and I'm amazed at how God granted me what I asked.

What do I mean by commitment?

When I talk about commitment, I'm not talking about promising each other that you will remain faithful.  I mean you walk out the new season of life you both are in as if you are getting married.  Instead of saying “if we get married” say “when we get married”.  A couple shouldn't enter a courtship unless they have the plans of getting married.  Otherwise, they are simply dating – let's simply call it like it is.  If a couple doesn't plan on getting married, that's the same as dating – if they get married great, if not oh well, there is someone else better.
Also, if a young man is seeking to enter a courtship, he needs to make sure he will be ready for marriage when God says “marry her”.  How is a young man supposed to obey that call from God, if he doesn't even have a job?  Before a young man ever goes to the father of the young lady, he needs to have a job of some sort.  If God were to tell him “marry her” will be able to say “yes Lord” and have confidence that he can support her??

Courtship isn't to be taken lightly!  It's not like dating – we need to understand that in a courtship there is a huge responsibility that comes with saying yes to a courtship.  You are to take the steps with God's guidance, and caution, and faith, and full trust in the person you've said yes to.

The most important thing I've learned about courtship is:

it needs to reflect the love the couple has for their Savior, for each other, and each others purity.

Everyone has their own views of what courtship looks like and should be.  Everything I've written today, is simply how I feel God would want me to carry out my future courtship.

What are your thoughts on courtship?
Let the iron sharpening continue ;)

Comments

  1. If I may say, even if entering into the courtship with the intention of marriage, I can say from close to personal experience, that God can lead to a courtship, but God can also lead out of a courtship. The key is to be VERY sensitive to God's leading. I have seen a case where the courtship was broken off after people began seeing red flags, and a case where they kept going because they were committed to marriage and decided that the commitment to marriage for courtship was unbreakable. Trust me when I say it ended in disastrous results. So no matter what you do, follow God into it, and if He is leading out of it, then follow Him out of it. The goal is not to end up at the altar, but to follow God all the way, where ever and whichever way He leads!!!

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    1. Elizabeth,
      I absolutely agree with you!

      I too have seen instances like you mentioned. It's sad, and yes there is a commitment. However, the couple shouldn't feel as if they have to continue even if there are red flags. In the very beginning the couple and the parents of both sides should discuss the "what if red flags show up" scenario.

      I'm so thankful for your friendship + that we agree on these areas of life!

      Love you girl!!
      Alisha

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    2. Hey Ali!

      Yes, exactly! Sadly, I've seen a lot of people who think that if there is a pending courtship, and feel God is leading towards it, there is no need to address red flags because 'if God sent it, how can there be red flags?' What a dangerous mind set!!!

      Aw... I'm thankful for your friendship as well, and the like mindedness is definitely a blessing!!!

      Love you!
      ~Elizabeth

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    3. Elizabeth,

      EXACTLY!!!! Just because God sent the person, doesn't mean the devil can't blind people. However, I will say that if it's truly in God's will then the red flags shouldn't be something to call off the courtship yet (unless they have been addressed and all parties have discussed the all the options).

      Yes ma'am it truly is a blessing :)

      Love you!
      Ali

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  2. Once again I agree. I'm so glad to see that there are other girls in the world that share my opinions on such subjects. I don't know a lot of girls that do.:(

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    1. Salinn,

      Praise the Lord - I'm glad that we sgare the same opinions :) I don't know a whole lot either =|

      Thank you for reading!

      In HIS grace,
      Alisha

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  3. Great post! You share my convictions! Irene

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    Replies
    1. Irene,
      Praise the Lord - glad you liked it!

      It's good to know that there are others who share the same convictions as me!

      Thank you for reading!

      In HIS grace,
      Alisha

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  4. Hi Alisha,

    What a great post! I have a couple questions to ask you...maybe you could answer them in your next post (or is this the last one? ).
    Is it good to pray for your future husband and kids even when you don't know them? If so, why, and what if you pray for the but God doesn't want you get married?
    Is it good to give your whole heart away in a courtship? What if you're not sure God wants you marry that person, but you've already given your heart to him?

    Keep serving Jesus!
    Love your sister in Christ,
    Ashley
    creatingpreciousmoments.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Ashley,

      Oh I'm glad you thought so - praise the Lord :)

      Those are wonderful questions - I will publish a separate post for them!! I appreciate you asking me the questions ;) I'll post it next week. The last post is Marriage (it should be published at the end of January - Lord willing).

      Thank you for being a faithful reader :)

      In HIS grace,
      Alisha

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    2. Oh, you're so sweet Alisha. Thank you!

      Have a Christ centered day! :)
      Serving Jesus,
      Ashley
      creatingpreciousmoments.blogspot.com

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    3. Ashley,

      Awww well praise the Lord! :) You're absolutely welcome!!!

      You have a wonderful + blessed day too! :)

      In HIS grace,
      Alisha

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  5. Gr8 post, Ali!! I think every single girl should read it!!!!

    #unashamed

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    Replies
    1. Chloe,
      Awww well praise the Lord - glad you enjoyed it :)

      In HIS grace,
      Alisha

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Hey there, thanks for stopping by my blog! Okay so I already said what I needed to say in the post, so now is your chance...I'd love to hear what you have to say :D

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♥ Alisha ♥