The Courtship Model Process
Major Points Needed For Courtship:
- Understanding Purpose
- Understanding Your Purpose
- Pursuing a Love Relationship with God First
- Identifying Your Core Values and Non-negotiables
- Understanding The Significance of Accountability
- Understanding The Significance of Communication
- Understanding The Significance of Love, Honor, Integrity, Respect and Boundaries
- Understanding The Differences Between Courtship and Dating
- Understanding The Significance of Covenant
- Understanding The Purpose of Marriage
- Understanding The Significance of Roles in Marriage
Historically Speaking …
There was a time when, if a gentleman was interested in a young lady, he needed the approval of her father before having audience with her. In fact, there was a series of steps. First, that young lady’s parents had to approve the young man through prayerful considerations—and—even with that, she had to be interested in him. Even if each parent approved,if young lady was not interested, that didn’t matter because he’d still gain no audience with her. If, however, the entire family was in agreement, the relationship would be conducted under the father’s supervision and authority. This system was not set up to keep her from marrying, but instead, was designed to protect her from those with impure intentions. In other cultures throughout different parts of the world, this practice remains: in the Western culture, however, it continues to diminish.
How ideal it was for sons and daughters to have the greatest examples of a father, husband, mother and wife in their very own homes. That must have been amazing. I’m sure we all can agree that all of the practices regarding the roles were not ideal, but the ability to grab the core values and apply them to today’s marriages would be something incredible.
I don’t think I need to tell you that things have changed tremendously. As for the American family over the past 50 years, the percentage of children born out of wedlock has risen from 6% to 41% (MSNBC – Politics Nation 1/12/2014). Having said that, it’s understandably clear that the benefits of not having two parents in the home has taken its toll. It’s very difficult to see and learn from what doesn’t exist. However, all hope is not lost. I am grateful that there are mentors and spiritual leaders who have stood in the gap in several cases. I’m not suggesting that a grown person should seek them to get approval before entering into courtship, but I am suggesting that there is wisdom in sound counsel. Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. (Prov 11:14)
I’ll begin by saying there are several processes. I’m sure all you have to do is search the internet to find one that is accommodating to you. Our process is not confined to the original concept of courtship, but, it holds true to its values. Courtship starts when the man begins the pursuit and the woman accepts it. Now, this presupposes that both parties have a clear understanding of the major points of courtship previously listed above. Courtship doesn’t mean you’re married. It does, however, mean that marriage is, ultimately, your intent. If you handle the courtship correctly…even if it turns out that he or she isn’t the one and you have to break off the relationship…you won’t consider it a failure because you honored each other through the process.
During this time, you want to build an authentic friendship. Take your time and learn about each other beyond the externals. Create a bond that sets the foundation for your marriage. Build this friendship with patience, kindness, and consideration. During this stage, focus on becoming best friends. Clearly, you’ll need to have agreed upon boundaries to maintain purity. Your integrity will be on the line to protect it and each other.
The Second Stage of Courtship is the Relationship Stage:
At this stage, some forms of romance and intimacy will be permissible as long as it doesn’t lead to sin. We’re not here to tell you what you can or cannot do, but please use wisdom. Certain things are clearly out of the question if you are trying to protect your purity and remain abstinent until marriage. The time in this stage together is wonderful and should be utilized to deepen both your spiritual and natural bond before marriage. Lastly, never bypass the safeguards that you’ve put in place, nor exceed your partner’s boundaries.
The Third Stage of Courtship is the Engagement Stage:
At this point, you’re ready for marriage. We strongly suggest that you do not marry without sound, biblical marital counseling. Be sure not to leave any stones unturned. Make sure that you both understand and agree on your roles and responsibilities in marriage. As for the length of an engagement, it really shouldn’t last any longer than a year. Traditional biblical engagements were designed to prepare for the wedding ceremony. Now it’s time to say, “I do.”