Extra from Volume 10#4

by Bethany M.

Courtship. What does this mean? Many people view courtship as a more accountable, pure, and restricted way of dating. This is true in many families, but is accountability, purity, and rules what courtship is all about? Is there more to a relationship with our brother in Christ when we have the goal of marriage in mind?

My oldest brother, Brian has been in a meaningful relationship with a young lady since November of 2013. Brian and Taylor have truly demonstrated what preparing for marriage should look like. Their ‘courtship’ is not ultimately focused on rules or accountability. Certainly, they have placed boundaries in the ways that they physically relate to each other. For instance, they've determined that communication is far more significant than physical touch. The Bible clearly says in 1 Timothy 5:1-2, "Intreat... the younger men as brethren... the younger [women] as sisters with all purity." They understand that the pure in heart are blessed, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8) This is why Brian and Taylor are spending this time focusing on Christ. He must be the center of their relationship, because if He is not their ultimate focus in this season of life, then He won’t be when they are married.

Webster’s Dictionary defines courtship as “flattery; attempting to gain by favor.” According to Norm Wakefield, a Bible teacher and president of Elijah Ministries, “Courtship came out of France, where others would ‘court’ the king in order to earn his favor. It was based on putting your best foot forward; meaning, it wasn’t completely based on truth.” This is definitely not what Brian and Taylor want their relationship to look like! Instead, they compare their ‘courtship’ to being in a canoe, and have chosen to call it a ‘canoeship.’ To them, this time together is like being in a canoe and working (or paddling) together for one goal…marriage for the glory of Christ.

In our world today, there are so many different ways that people approach marriage – some godly, and others the very opposite. It has been such a joy to watch Brian and Taylor as they pursue accountability and preserve their purity while setting their sights on serving and growing in Christ prior to marriage. He is their ultimate focus as they paddle their canoe for His glory.