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Courting in a Modern World
By Christina Rogers



During a time when divorce rates continue to rise and young people are surrounded with immorality, the topic of courting keeps reappearing. When some people hear the word court they may imagine a noble knight hollering desperately to his fair maiden, who is leaning out of her lofty tower trying to hear his poetic declarations of love—without much success. This image does not seem very conducive to building a great relationship, and many people are skeptical. But what if there really was a way to avoid heartbreak and build a solid foundation for marriage? While in my teens I began to search for this hope. I did not want to experience the many regrets that were visible all around me. I found that courting is not a methodical formula but is simply a Biblical “way of thinking” that can profoundly impact any young person's future.
   
When I eat jelly beans, it never matters how many I have stuffed in my mouth; I am still consumed with the enticing ones in the bowl and ponder which flavor I want to try next. When I have tried them all, I am never really satisfied and must then be reminded what the first flavor tasted like. My jelly bean-eating habits provide an accurate illustration of our society. It seems that no matter how much we have, we still want that brand-new item sparkling in the store window. For instance, who needs thirty coffee mugs? Yet, for Grandma's sixtieth birthday, what will she get? Another coffee mug of course, with pictures of her beaming grandchildren on it. Society's general discontentment has greatly affected all aspects of our lives, especially how Christian singles view their relationships. Young people are encouraged to be always eyeing that next jelly bean in the bowl, just in case a current boyfriend or girlfriend does not work out. They are never truly committed, because they are worried that if they are not “looking,” they might miss out on something better. This discontentment is just one of the major flaws of the world's dating philosophy.
   
“How do I know I'm going to marry the right one? What if the person meant for me dies or marries someone else? Is there actually just one match for each of us?” If you are single, these questions have probably bounced around in your head from time to time. Because they have been influenced by the world's lie, Christian young people struggle with commitment. They think that finding the right partner is a matter of chance, that they must search for the perfect one, try out as many as possible, and hope they pick one who will satisfy them for life (which is unlikely).

Our small, weak minds so easily forget that God is sovereign—all knowing and in control. He designed marriage, and He declared that it was not good for Adam to be alone. We see in Scripture that God actually had someone “appointed” for Isaac (Genesis 24:14). God knows everything, and He is never surprised. He does not look at a single woman and say, “I wonder whom she will marry? I hope it works.” Rather, if we are traveling on God's road, seeking to honor Him, each of us can marry His best choice. The world is completely mistaken! Finding God's perfect someone is not a matter of chance but rather is a result of faith. 
       
How a courting couple views commitment is one of the greatest distinctions between courting and dating. With dating, couples try out a relationship to see how it works. They assume that they will really get to know each other while sitting at a romantic dinner, flirting, looking their best, and playing footsies under the table. That process is deeply flawed, because once emotional attachment begins, objectivity greatly diminishes. Couples truly do not get to know each other through typical dating. It is therefore understandable why commitment is so difficult.

When my husband and I decided to court, we found that the courting process actually fueled our commitment. Initially, we were solid friends who had been watching each other for months. I noticed that he was kind, respectful, and unselfish and that his conduct reflected a desire to serve God and others. To be content with such a good man, whom I trusted and knew so well as a friend, was not difficult but natural.
   
While courting, my husband and I implemented four basic principles for our relationship: Commitment, Accountability, Rejection of the world's dating philosophy, and Establishing physical boundaries to protect purity (CARE). These principles allowed us to worship God in our choices as we moved toward marriage. Though my own parents were separated, I knew that divorce would not be in our future.

Young people need to consider what kind of foundation their marriage will be built upon. It seems that more and more Christians are finding themselves heartbroken and disillusioned. This is neither God's will nor His plan. He has created a clear path for us to follow if we simply will trust in Him and place our hearts in His care. True love is founded in faith.

Christina Rogers was homeschooled from grade 2 all the way through high school. Christina Rogers is an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto in speech and drama. Christina and her husband live in Alberta, Canada, with their three young children. She is the author of the new book, Leave Dating Behind: A Road Map to Marriage, published by Ambassador Emerald (www.emeraldhouse.com).

©2008 The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC
www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2008 issue of The Old
Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC
Reprinted with permission from the publisher.


 


 

 Courtship Resources

I Kissed Dating Goodbye/Boy Meets Girl, 2 Pack
I Kissed Dating Goodbye/Boy Meets Girl, 2 Pack

Pamela's Prayer, DVD
Pamela's Prayer, DVD

The Princess and the Kiss/ The Squire and the Scroll
The Princess and the Kiss/ The Squire and the Scroll

Before You Meet Prince Charming: A Guide to Radiant Purity
Before You Meet Prince Charming: A Guide to Radiant Purity

Beautiful Girlhood
Beautiful Girlhood

Her Hand in Marriage
Her Hand in Marriage


 

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