I would like to discuss an appropriate way to look at courtship. With our aversion for the dating scene, it is all too easy to skip a critical process in preparation for marriage that involves a mature, patient waiting on God. The exclusion of dating which leads to courtship can make young believers feel that they are trapped or committed if they are led to look at courtship more like an engagement process than a vital step in examining ourselves in the light of God's directions and learning more about our potential mate.
A young lady could possibly have several suitors in the process of courtship, none of which may appeal to her or none of which would be entertained by her parents. In the case of one of the young men appealing to her, I believe that the understanding of a more biblical view of courtship would go a long way towards preventing hastiness in a major life decision and encouraging a lower view of courtship than us who have nixed the dating scene have adopted.
Those who are courting should know that they are friends who like each other, and have an interest towards each other. They should focus on seeking God's will and praying for God's blessing on each others lives. IT IS ALL ABOUT HIM! It is about His kingdom, and what He wants to do with His people in His kingdom.
During courtship, the young couple should spend time with the church family and the family of the parents, getting to know one another, becoming good friends and caring for each other as brother and sister in the Lord with all purity.They should be praying for one another, encouraging one another in Christ, to walk in the ways of our Lord, pursue intimacy with Him, and to become the man or woman of God that He created us to be.
They are to be watching the lives of their potential mate, observing the ways of the family, listening to the words and responses of one another, hearing their motives and attitude towards the things of God, or the absence thereof. They should be looking for a yieldedness to the Lord Jesus Christ in all things, including the direction of their relationship and they should be yielding to the will of God in all things.
If the relationship of those "courting", is all about their feeling of love for one another, nurturing those feelings and becoming obsessed with what they want, then strong admonition is necessary and should be provided by family or church leadership. It is in this dangerous time that biblical admonition regarding patience should be exercised.
A fruit of the Spirit is patience. Waiting is good. And it is the art of patiently waiting for God to work that often saves a marriage. There is a difference between waiting and waiting patiently. Many a young lady is waited on by an impatiently waiting young man. And impatience is dangerous. Paul taught Timothy to pursue patience. Courtship is not pursuing one that you want to marry, rather, it should not be in my opinion. Courtship is determining the will of God concerning two people.
This patient waiting should involve prayer and thankfulness. Prayer has an amazing way of helping us with patience. And we should count it all joy that the "God of patience" is working in us.
Courtship should be a beautiful time of waiting, worship of God, and seeing your friend conformed to the image of Christ.
The couple should be waiting on God to see if He will use them together to serve HIM as a married couple, if God has someone else for them, or if they are going to serve HIM alone. They should be waiting patiently on God and aligning themselves with purity, holiness and the Word of God.
There should be a clear understanding that if the courtship does not work out, the couple will be mature enough to part as friends, without resentment and with all due respect for each other's feelings.
Remember guys, it's all about Him, it is not about you. Put your hope in Christ alone and be willing to engage or let go within a few months. That may seem a rather arbitrary amount of time, but I have my reasons and may include them in a later post.
Courtship Prayer: Lord, have your way in us. If this is to be, then YOU do it.