Thinking love was not for me
'Til the night I met the girl named Tennessee." needtobreathe
Let's face it. Love comes upon most of us unawares. It's not as if we have meeting Mrs. Right marked on our calendar among going to the cleaners and finishing the term paper. And that's probably the biggest danger. We don't see it coming so we aren't prepared to respond correctly when it does come. We get swept off our feet in a tidal wave of sweaty palms, thumping hearts, and twitterpation, only to find later that Princess Beautiful is really Miss Dragonbreath.
The current dating scene does not help matters. Aptly described by Voddie Bauchum, Jr. as a series of mini-marriages, each failed dating relationship just sets us up for divorce. Dates are relationships without the foundation of a covenant, and we enter and exit at will. It is a dangerous pattern to bring into the covenant called marriage.
Courtship, however, is a way to find a life partner by making the search purposeful rather than social. There are many opinions on what courtship should look like. And, unfortunately, the mere word conjures up images of Sweetie Pie and Bubba sipping lemonade on the front porch while Ma and Pa look on.
But there are a few things that all courtships, properly done, seek to incorporate:
1. Parents: Both fathers, who are entrusted by God with the stewardship of their children, will be involved, but the father of the female in the relationship will have the loudest say. He is, after all, accountable for delivering his precious daughter to another man's home, his headship, and his bed. It is the job of that father, not to choose a suitor, but to vet him when he does come along.
2. Purpose: It may sound a bit crass, but courtship is a bit like a job interview. It is during this period that parents will look for friendship between the two people, for complementary strengths (and weaknesses), and for sheer attraction. And, above all, look for submission to the Lordship of Jesus.
3. Purity: Courtship picks up the ball that dating drops. Jonathan Lindvoll says, "Sex is like a car built without brakes." The kiss is supposed to lead to touch. Touch is supposed to lead to arousal. Arousal is supposed to lead to consummation. It is both unreasonable and cruel to put our children in a position where they are allowed physical contact, but are expected to be good kids and draw some arbitrary line. Do NOT let them get in that car. And when the wedding day comes, fill up the tank and send them off with God's blessings.
More to come...