…Godly Tips to Purposeful Courtship
Dear young man in love. You can take a deep breath. You are here now. The girl of your dreams is now exclusively yours. She said yes! You feel like you’re walking on the moon. No more checking your phone every few seconds to see if she replied your message. She now texts you first just to say ‘I love you’.
Dear young lady in love, he finally asked. After months of crushing on him and giggling with your friends when he casts a glance in your direction, you’re now both an item! What bliss! but more importantly, what next?
This is one of the most important questions you need to answer in a relationship. It’ll determine what future, if any you’ll both have together.
Get your roles right.
The man is the head of the relationship. As a woman you must figure out now whether he is the sort of person you can submit to. Does he command your respect? As a man, you must find out whether or not this lady can submit to you. Does she respect you as a person? I do not mean that there won’t be any disagreements between you two, but it is important that as a man, you’re convinced that she respects you and as a woman, you’re convinced that he loves you.
Keep your hands to yourself
If you really want to touch each other, wait until the wedding. There is no amount of touching that will abate your desire until the big day. The more you touch each other, the more you’ll want to do so. Like Pst Bimbo Odukoya of blessed memory used to say, ‘courtship is not a time for intercourse, but for interview’. When you get too physical too quickly, it blinds you to the reality of the other person’s character and the state of the relationship.
Be sure of what they believe
It goes without saying that Christians are to date fellow believers. You must also consider that the other person’s doctrines are in line with the truth of God’s word. Visit their church; go through Christian materials together and for Christ’s sake, dear Christian couple, talk about Christ!
Build the friendship
Almost any couple that has a successful marriage will tell you that one secret is a good friendship. Embark on activities that the other person likes. Have fun with each other. Spend time talking to each other.
Meet friends and family
How a person treats his or her friends and family is a serious pointer to how they will treat you in the long run. The kind of people they have around them will also give you an idea of their values. This doesn’t mean that you should allow third party interference in your relationship, but just bear in mind that when you marry someone, one way or the other, their loved ones are part of the package. You also want to make sure that they get along with your own loved ones as well.
You aren’t in that relationship to be a detective; picking out the other person’s faults all the time, but you must be there with your eyes open. Courtship is the time to love intelligently and marriage is the time to love blindly.
If anger is getting the best of your relationship you need to consciously work on it. Disagreements won’t disappear once you have a ring on your finger. Typically, couples argue about the same issues over time. It might be different scenarios, but it’s usually the same issues. Find out what those issues are early enough and deal with them accordingly. Also have a game plan for what and what not to do during a disagreement. You can both decide to avoid name calling and going to bed angry at each other.
Because we don’t want people to think romance is everything, we sometimes fail to communicate the fact that romantic gestures when put in their rightful place can do relationships a lot of good. If you can surprise your beloved now that your love is still ‘fresh’ what is the guarantee that you’d do so when you’re older in the business? It’s not just in how much you spend, but the thoughtfulness that goes into letting this person know that you went out of your way just for a special smile on their face.
Vision for life
Dating is not a hobby. It’s not something to pass away time. For a Christian, it’s an opportunity to find out whether you can be someone’s partner for life. This means that you have to be sure that you’re both going in the same direction. It is not compulsory that every dating relationship ends in marriage, but I think that should be at the back of a Christian couple’s mind from the very beginning. Don’t rush into commitment, but don’t grow old waiting either
There is no hard and fast rule about how long a courtship should be; I’ve seen couples who dated for a few months and have good marriages, and couples who dated for years but don’t get along in marriage. If you ask me however, I would recommend that couples wait at least one year before getting married.
For the ‘At most’ part, I realize that there is no one size fits all approach so three years will be my recommendation, I also realize that sometimes it might take longer to be financially independent and ready for marriage or parents might not approve depending on the age of the couple. However, discussing when to get married should not be a taboo in a serious Christian relationship. When you’ve been dating someone for five years and have no intention of getting married or you say you’re not ready for marriage, I see a very red flag.
A long courtship is not necessarily an achievement.
Go forward or say goodbye?
You get to a point in a relationship when you know whether or not marrying that person will be good for you. I’m always shocked when people tell me that they are sure that they cannot marry the person they are in a relationship with. Then what are you doing there apart from wasting their time and yours? If you are in this camp you must realize that a break up isn’t always a bad thing. If however, you realise you need to move forward, please take the next step. Not moving in together or having sex, but marriage.