Marriage is good for those that accept the fact that it is an institution organized by God, but with a starting point. i.e. Foundation, which is courtship. If this foundation does not stand very well, it will affect the structure called marriage. Because it is this courtship that leads to marriage.
In the real sense some Christian youths who are yet to marry live their courtship life the way unbelievers are living it. They have taken courtship the way God does not support. Some belief immediately the proposal is being accepted the next thing is to be living as husband and wife, it’s not supposed to be. Some even go to the extent of having pre-marital sex during this time, while some go out wearing the same attire and people will start calling them husband and wife when God has not finally joined them together.
It is high time Christian youth should know what courtship is not and what courtship is, and I want to use this period to correct the notion some people have about courtship and how to live a courtship life that will lead to an enjoyable marriage.
What Christian courtship is not
It is not a time to live a couple’s life because you are not yet married. So there are some things you suppose not to do at this time.
1. You must not sleep together in the same room to avoid sexual urge. Heb. 13:4, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled. For God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers”.
2. You must not eat together in the same plate.
3. You must not wear the same attire out during this time to the same occasion.
4. You must not open a joint account during the courtship period because it is dangerous you don’t know where the relationship is heading to.
What Christian courtship is
Firstly, let’s explain what courtship is: Courtship is when a man and woman prayerfully and purposefully seek each other’s consent with the hope that the relationship will lead to marriage. To court according to Madueke means to try to win the affection of a woman, especially with the idea of marrying her. It is the length of time taken in the course of acquitting yourself with someone you hope to get married to. It is the preparation and waiting time. A time to gather the momentum needed for a successful marriage. As Christians, we based our lives on biblical principles. And this determines what Christian courtship is.
Christian courtship therefore is:
A time to work out your salvation
A time to check whether both of you are still in faith and a time to work out your relationship with God and make sure you are both in a cordial relationship with Him and involve Him in your courtship.
A time to meet both Parents
The next thing to do before going deep in any relation after conviction and confirmation from God is to allow both parents to approve your relationship, then you can continue with the courtship depending on what you hear from them.
A time to pray, fast, and study the Bible together
For the courtship to last and end in marriage, you need prayer, fasting, and meditating in the word. Mark 9:29 he told them, “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting”. In 1Cor. 7:5 “Do not withhold yourselves from each other unless you agree to do so just for a set of time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then you should come together again so that Satan does not tempt you through your lack of self-control”. At this time, you need to commit everything about your life into the hand of God and have time for the word of God.
A time to open up
At this level you need to reveal your hidden secret to each other, that is your past, you don’t need to keep anyone till after marriage. You may be thinking if I should tell him/her there may be a disappointment. But may I tell you that it is better to have a broken relationship than having a broken marriage. So tell him/her everything and it should be done gradually not in a day but before the marriage.
A time to know each other
Though you can’t know everything about your suitor before marriage. However, it is a time to study each other’s characters and attitudes and how to adapt or drop some character that your suitor did not like. Besides, understand that you cannot change each other, please do not have that notion in mind that I will change him/her later. You can only adjust to each other, you cannot change anybody.
A time to know each other family background
This is a sensitive time to learn what it takes to go into that family you want to go into. It is a time to visit each other’s family once in a while to know the type of family your suitor comes from and to also know the kind of life they live in that family. For instant, if it is a family that the parent use to beat each other or a family that is only the mother that has the last decision. You should know all these things to decide if you can or cannot condone those attitudes, you should quit before it is too late. If only God intervene, you may not encounter such problems.
A time to plan
Here you need to plan for the way you want your future to be. For instant,
i. You have to begin with how you want your wedding to be. Is it an elaborate way or low cost?
ii. Plan on your financial income, whether you want to establish yourself or you still want to be working under someone to raise some funds.
iii. Plan for the number of children you want to have and the duration of years you want to use for nursing mother.
How long should courtship last? It is not healthy to have a very long courtship due to side attraction. If you should ask from those that have a very long courtship they will tell you the ups and downs they face before they eventually get married. So I think the best courtship duration should be between one to three years at most.
Your courtship determines your marriage. You can have a blissful home if you follow all the points listed above.