Courtship

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by ~~Susita~~, Jun 15, 2008.

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  1. ~~Susita~~

    ~~Susita~~ Puritan Board Junior

    So I've met a young man and we're headed towards courtship but in order for that to happen, my father told me to write down what I want his involvement in this process to be like, otherwise dad won't do it and I'd like suggestions from y'all. It would be appreciated especially as I set criteria for myself - I don't want to miss something vital. (and remember I'm very open to suggestions since I've never done this before.)

     
  2. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Sounds good so far. Let's hear from the married people.
     
  3. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    While I am not an authority, and have made many mistakes (nothing major) in this area, I do have some thoughts.

    My fiancee' and I courted (are courting) for about 2 1/2 years. We are getting married in July. This is I speaking, not the Lord, yet I think I have wisdom on this matter.

    1. There is no one "right" way to court. If someone else does it a certain way and it is a success, that doesn't necessarily mean yoy have to do everything they do. It might work for you, it might not.

    2. Don't do silly things just to prove to the "worldly world" that you are not "dating."

    3. Honor the familial/ecclesial authorities.

    4. Regarding chapperoning: use common sense. Don't go to extremes like having a meter stick between yall on the couch and making sure at least 3 adults are in the room with yall. The main rule on chapperoning is do not put yourself in situations where people might even think you are compromising your honor. This isn't as hard as it sounds. Dont' be in a home with the two of yall alone, etc. Common sense stuff.

    5. Have clearly defined and agreed upon goals (and those goals might change in a year or two. If they do, can both of you adapt to those changes? That happened to me and things, beside a few rough bumps, worked out well). In my opinion, this is what separates courting from dating. Can you see yourself spending the rest of your life with this person? Well, that is one of the reasons why you are courting; to find that out.
     
  4. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Before you marry anyone, do the following experiment:

    (1) get a car with no AC
    (2) Arange for an august afternoon date
    (3) borrow several babies
    (4) get stuck in rush hour traffic
    (5) arrange it so a tire goes flat.


    Then see how future hubby does.

    Anyone can talk a good talk, but the pudding-proof is when you're baking in August heat with a whiny kid and a lane full of cars moving like molasses. Every courting couple should do this.


    CONGRATS SUSE!
     
  5. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    I'd say go camping, not the two of you alone, but perhaps with a married couple. By camping I don't mean a 50 foot Airstream but hiking into the woods for a week, overnights in open shelters. The Adirondaks are ideal. It's the acid test of character.
     
  6. ~~Susita~~

    ~~Susita~~ Puritan Board Junior

    Righto! I'll have a sniper planted somewhere alongside the road to take out that tire. ;)

    And yes, common sense stuff like not being alone in a house. Great. But I'm looking for how my father should be involved in this process - what his role is. It does vary from person to person, so I'd like suggestions.
     
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    A lot of that depends on your logistics (you'll figure it out as you go along). What I did, For what it's worth, when I wanted to see (and this still applies until a few days before the wedding) my fiance, I called her father and asked permission, told him what I planned to do (I live 90 miles away), who would chaperone us, etc. That's relatively simple and covers 90% of the ground.

    The rest is up to how your father wants to handle it. Again, there is no single right way and the books on courtship I have read are relatively silent on the issue.

    I will try to think of more.
     
  8. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    Well, from a failure, I didn't bring my father into the decision and I ignored her father's ideas, and it came back to haunt me with 23 years of a bad marriage. Put the burden on him, and he'll come through. You shouldn't have to be making decisions. You aren't equipped, and neither is the young man.

    Tell you dad that it's his responsibility to guide you through it. If he won't, tell the Elders of your church what the story is and let them do it. The idea of a father's blessing isn't just some OT deal that's not in place because of Christ's death and resurrection.
     
  9. MrMerlin777

    MrMerlin777 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Well,

    I'd say that one of the things your father needs to remember is that he is "screening" a prospective husband for his daughter, and not a golfing/hunting/fishing/drinking(if he partakes) buddy for himself.
     
  10. ~~Susita~~

    ~~Susita~~ Puritan Board Junior

    I think he's doing this so that I know what I want in a man, will strive to be in a God-honoring relationship because we've set down the structure to build off of, and that the idea will be stuck in my head all throughout this process. I know that he will walk me through the list I provide him with, explain things, and more than likely add some things since he knows me best and I'm fairly sure he'll be asking me if I can hold myself to these standards. So once again, a father's involvement and some other things I should add for myself to the list I made in my first post. For you fathers out there, how would you help your daughter and her suitor through courtship? We're defining courtship as getting to know the young man and working out some issues with the goal of marriage in the end.

    Now I'm off to worship with the saints - y'all have a great Lord's day!!
     
  11. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Having been married for quite some time now, and having successfully completed a courtship a long time ago, I second Jacob's excellent counsel.
     
  12. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    And it can be hard and frustrating at times. Let's face it. Dating is so easier, I would imagine. No father to get in the way. Don't have to worry about chaperones. But we know better. And courting will be awkward. You really don't know the courtee that well (speaking generally). Neither does your father. It will feel weird at times. But it goes away.

    As hard as it gets, it really is simpler. It is liberating also. You are freed from a lot of worldly expectations. After a while a lot of the more complex things are simplified.

    But hey, at least you don't have this experience. :lol:

    YouTube - Rodney Atkins---Cleaning this Gun (Come on in Boy)
     
  13. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

  14. Mindaboo

    Mindaboo Puritan Board Graduate

    My husband and I have decided that we will have our children court, my oldest is just 14, but we are already talking about it. I have been encouraging her to really think about what her standards are. She really wants to be a stay at home mom, so marrying someone who thinks she should work isn't going to be optional for her. I would say that you really need to think about what you are willing to compromise on, after all, you will be the one called to submit. I would think that being of one mind theologically would be of the utmost importance. You could go to your pastor and ask him for help. He sees the good and bad in marraiges all of the time, he would probably be able to give you some really useful information. Josh Harris has a book called Boy Meets Girl that talks about his personal courting relationship with his wife Shannon. Set your standard high, but be realistic.
     
  15. ~~Susita~~

    ~~Susita~~ Puritan Board Junior

    Yes, thank you folks but I want to know how the fathers out there expect to be involved in the process. What will you do to aid the couple through courtship?
     
  16. moral necessity

    moral necessity Puritan Board Junior

    Being a father of a daughter, I can relate to your question. I would first ask my daughter (Annah) if they relate well together. Do they have similar interests, do they enjoy each other's company, do they really like each other. I never asked my wife to marry me until after we had experienced several arguments together. I wanted to experience myself with her when we were at our low points, instead of making a decision while experiencing the "warm fuzzies" all of the time. I wanted to see if I was still interested in marrying her then. I would advise considering this. But, of significant importance is, do they get along and do they have sincere affection and love for one another. This is the glue that bonds the marriage together. Are they attracted to one another. Is it a mild attraction or a more serious one. Does the man enjoy relating with her for the sake of relating; does he enjoy her company; does he meet her needs of romance to a level at which she desires. On other issues, is he a mature believer; does he acknowledge his proper role as a husband and hers as a wife; is he able to lead a family spiritually; does he honor his parents and hers; is he willing and able to hold a job and spend himself for the benefit of his family.

    To aid my daughter, I would try to be the objective analyzer. I would try to help her to distinguish between her emotional exitement and her rational thinking. I would encourage her to figure out what it is about him that makes her happy; what does she like that he does; what does she like that he is; what makes him stand out from all the others. I would also tell her to figure out what it is about him that she does not like, and to realize that she is not to marry him with expectations that he will change. In fact, a good question is, "if he will always be just like he is, and he will never change to be any different, would you still marry him?". Another good question is, "are you able to entrust to this man your own will, to be under his leadership and authority?". Throughout the process, I would remind her that she is marrying a sinner, and that she herself is one as well. So, perfection is not available, and contentment is demanded. She can only be as wise as she is able to be in her selection; God alone is sovereign over the outcome and result of her choice. Many marry with great foundations, only to find that the structure cracks and crumbles along the way, due to unforseen character traits and circumstances. Others marry with little forethought at all, and yet it blossoms into a beautiful garden over time. I would remind her that we can never determine the outcome; that we must leave these things up to God. Yet, we must be wise in our planning to the best of our ability, and not worry about those things that are not meant for our worry.

    Blessings!
     
  17. ~~Susita~~

    ~~Susita~~ Puritan Board Junior

    Thank you, Mr. Plauger! That was exactly what I was looking for and I had totally forgotten about the emotional side of it. We younguns do tend to be twitterpated at times. ;)

    Thanks again.
     
  18. Zenas

    Zenas Snow Miser

    Fightin's important. :p

    Seriously though, it's inevitable and you have to know how to deal with it. This ain't roses and bunny rabbits, this is fallen humanity. :)
     
  19. Ginny Dohms

    Ginny Dohms Puritan Board Freshman

    Susan,

    Check out this online book:

    CHRISTIAN EDUCATION IN THE HOME: HELP! MY DAUGHTER WANTS TO DATE

    http://www.reformedpresbytery.org/books/courtshp/courtshp.pdf

    This book is all about courtship, and may be good for you and your dad to read. In Appendix A, on page 21, there are pages of interview questions in numerous categories that a father could ask the prospective suitor. Of course not all are applicable to all circumstances, but is a good start in helping him, and you, to define his role.

    Hope that helps.
     
  20. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    If you cannot get along during a courtship, look for another pick. That's my two cents.


    Also, you should ask the hard questions now, before you get twitter-pated and part quickly if the answers are not good. Part before emotional attachments occur.

    My friend in high school got attracted to a pretty smile and got emotional and physical involved a little and married a Catholic girl and dropped out of seminary. She is very pretty and very nice, but his spiritual life is basically "Do good and be nice to others" now.


    Finally, never try to change a man. Beauty and the Beast is a fairytale. We just get uglier, smellier, hairier and meaner as we age.... and not the other way around...
     
  21. CarlosOliveira

    CarlosOliveira Puritan Board Freshman

    I second Mr. Plauger's recommendations and give it a hearty :amen:
     
  22. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritanboard Amanuensis

    :amen:
     
  23. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    There are some excellent answers so far. Perhaps someone hit on these, but I missed it if they did.

    As a father he should have a sort of litmus test for any young man that comes a callin'. Questions that can't be answered with a simple yes and know are good for starters.
    What are your goals in life?
    What is your first priority?
    What are other priorities, in order?
    If you could tell someone one thing, what would it be?
    If so, then do you tell people that?
    If you were engaged to my daughter and she became paralyzed what would you do?
    There are many life scenario questions that can be good questions to understand character better. It's not always a matter of having the "right" answer so much as revealing a biblical world view and thought process, with Christ at the center of it all. If his answers to the first questions above weren't centered on Christ then I would send him packing.
    Another thing he needs to do is make sure the young man knows the value of you, in the eyes of your father. Dennis Rainey relates how he talked to a young man who was interested in his daughter. Basically, he took the keys to his house and car, his wallet, showed him the credit cards and cash in side, and set them on the table. The young man was asked if he would even consider stealing any of these items. When the young man adamantly replied that he wouldn't even think of it, Rainey replied that his daughter was infinitely more important than any and all of these things. Can you imagine how much I desire to protect my daughter when you consider how much we protect these fleeting temporal things?
    He should also make sure the young man understands headship. He is not transferring headship (yet). The father is the head until he GIVES his daughter to another man. The young man is being considered and evaluated in order to ascertain whether or not he is a suitable spiritual leader and provider. And the daughter should refuse to allow her heart to be given to another man that the father has not yet approved as a suitable head.

    May God bless your efforts with a beautiful marriage.
     
  24. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    Not only that, I would also add that it is how he answers, and his attitude toward the whole interview/interrogation. Is it a sober discussion with the proper gravitas, or is he keen on it like a job interview in which he wants to impress the socks off his boss-to-be? Once you're squared away on theology, attitude and character are the next two big ones in my book. There are plenty of doctrinally sound men out there who are not a fitting match for my daughter's hand in marriage.

    I also would have to say that since my job as a screener is about the last child-rearing-esque thing I will give my daughter as a daughter in my home and not as a wife to another man, I will take it serious as a heart attack. I see it almost as the final exams for fatherhood of a particular child. We've got three girls, and are already grooming Esther (10 yrs old) for what she should be looking for in a man, and what should send up big red flags. In addition to the three precious girls to guard, we have six guard dogs to chaperone (some of whom are already adept at butchering barnyard animals and would gladly injure their fellow man to protect their sisters.) The youngest is only two, but he can scratch and bite with the best of 'em, if necessary.

    One of my big issues in this is that this is the man whose lead my daughter will have to follow. I can't imagine my being too careful in matters of character and faith in this instance. My daughter's future is wrapped up in the hopes, dreams and goals of the young man she loves.

    I hope that your beau makes it through the process, Susan. All the best!
     
  25. Neogillist

    Neogillist Puritan Board Freshman

    Puritan courtship

    Does anyone know an old book, or an essay written by the English or American puritans on the biblical way to court? I saw some essays on the duties of husband and wives on A Puritan's Mind, but I would be interested to find out how the puritans courted, or how they would approach it. I did hear a bit from Mark Denver who spoke at a confererence entitled "Sex and the Supremacy of Christ" where he spoke on how the puritans would value marriage. One interesting point he made, was that unlike today's culture, where even Christians have a tendency to first wait to fall in love, and then consider marriage, the puritans would first consider marriage, and then choose to love. Their emphasis was not "love then consider", but "consider, then love." I think this focus is indeed most biblical, and should be the very purpose of courtship.
     
  26. Honor

    Honor de-cool

    I would say too... just a side note... watch the way he interacts with his parents. His mother in perticular, and they way his parents treat each other... when you see the way he treats his mother and the way the father treats the mother it is usually at least something to consider as to how he will treat you.
    :2cents:
     
  27. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Here is a slightly on topic question:


    It is sometimes mentioned humorously about the various ways in which potential father-in-laws try to warn or even intimidate potential suitors. Cleaning the guns, gentle reminders, to full fledged threatenings.

    What is acceptable within Christian bounds?
     
  28. Zenas

    Zenas Snow Miser

    I dunno what's acceptable, but I will promise them if they mess with my daughter no one's going to miss them.

    (half kidding)
     
  29. ModernPuritan?

    ModernPuritan? Puritan Board Freshman

    in short- dont Go to Bob Jones University or PCC for your courtship needs :lol::lol:
     
  30. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor

    ~~Susita~~;



    I'm not a father, I'm a mother, but I do encourage my husband to be involved in the process..

    Have him hold this young man accountable for keeping YOU pure, and not allowing emotions (your's or the young man's) override sensibilities.

    he should be asking the young man where he plans to take you, what he has planned for the evening, and HE should set the time on which the young man brings you home.

    If there is to be a chaperone, will your father pick the person? Or will the young man? (I think the father should at least know the person and trust the person, and know that they will be looking our for what is precious to HIM..you).

    he should be asking the young man questions about what HE wants in a wife,
    and how he thinks that you might fit that role in his life.

    And he should be asking you the same type of questions..what do you want in a husband? and how might this young man fit that role?

    How does he plan to support a wife? What are his goals in life? Where does He see God leading him in ministry? Or does He think God is leading him towards ministry?

    I'll have to think more on this, as I'm sure there are other things that will come to mind..
     
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