What in the world is courtship?!
Courtship? Now what in the world is that?
Y'all. Tell me why I had the same question once Kevin asked me into one back in 2014. I'm not even kidding... I literally never heard of the term. So part of me telling him I needed 7 days to fast and pray about the decision to enter a courtship with him, it's because I partially didn't know what the HECK it meant. TRUE story lolol
So for those who are wondering. I found my old study journal where I did a "Courtship vs Dating" comparison that I found online during my 7 day fast back in December 2014 and these are a few of my real notes I wrote down as I studied the differences. Grab ya bible and enjoy!
Courtship vs. Dating
What is courtship?
Courtship is a relationship between a man and a woman in which they seek to determine if it is God’s will for them to marry each other. Under the protection, guidance, and blessing of parents or mentors, the couple concentrates on developing a deep friendship that could lead to marriage, as they discern their readiness for marriage and God’s timing for their marriage [See Proverbs 3:5 - 6].
Courtship is the choice to set boundaries to avoid temptation and experience the blessings of purity. And it is a choice to not emotionally give away your heart, piece by piece, to many others through casual dating relationships and instead to give your whole heart to your life partner.
It is a choice to wait for God’s best.
It is a decision to walk by faith, to trust in God, to honor others above yourself, and to believe that God will deal bountifully with you, because He is love. [See 2nd Corinthians 5:7, Psalm 9:10, Romans 12:10, and Psalm 13]
Each individual, each family, and set of circumstances is unique, meaning each courtship will be unique.
Kevin and I decided to wait to kiss until the altar. However, although we knew kissing wasn't a sin, kissing is what led us to cross boundaries in our past relationship. We wanted something different, so we did things differently, and created boundaries so that we wouldn't slip up [like we did in the past] in order to fully honor God.
If, during the courtship, one or both parties realize that marriage is not God’s will and they end the relationship, the courtship has not failed. On the contrary, the courtship was successful! because God gave the direction that was sought through it.
Okay cool...so what is the difference between dating and courtship?
The main difference between dating and courtship involves the goals to be reached while spending time together. Men and women who choose to date often have no commitment to consider marrying the other person when FIRST asked out. Courtship, from the beginning, the intention is marriage. In dating, maturity and readiness for marriage are not considerations in the decision to date. Instead, couples usually date with the goal of just having fun and enjoying romantic attachments. In contrast, courtship is undertaken only when both parties are prepared to make a commitment to marriage.
Dating tries to answer the question, How can I find the one who will make me happy? Courtship strives to answer the question, How can I honor God and discern His direction regarding my life partner?
Accountability. What is accountability? [This is a new word I learned back in 2014...and the importance of it]
In a dating relationship, there is little if any accountability for the couple from friends and family. The dating couple is merely attracted to one another in some way and often pursues an exclusive relationship that is independent of others’ influence or counsel. Since the boundaries of the relationship are self-determined, the couple may easily succumb to temptation and fail to consider their responsibility to honor each other in purity and genuine love.
A couple participating in courtship seeks the accountability of their parents or other mentors [My accountability at the time was my sister, my now sister in law and my pastors wife]. Receiving God’s grace and the support of them strengthened our intention and commitment to purity.
Temptations in dating...
In a dating relationship, self-gratification is normally the basis of the relationship. Instead of focusing on God’s pleasure, the couple is often looking for personal pleasure. This oblivious self-centeredness can lead only to dissatisfaction, promoting an attitude of lust (taking what I want) rather than the Scriptural attitude of love (giving unselfishly to others).
Consequently, dating opens the door to many temptations. If defrauding (stirring up desires that cannot be righteously satisfied) occurs, the couple can foolishly and tragically give away both emotional and physical affections that should have been reserved for a life partner. Thus, in a dating relationship, frequently intimacy precedes commitment.
Temptations in courting...[yes there are and were some!]
A courting couple can avoid numerous temptations by the choice to be held accountable to God-given authorities. The dangers of defrauding can be avoided more successfully, and an honest, open friendship can be nurtured and protected. Thus, in courtship, commitment precedes intimacy. [A.K.A. Because Kevin and I did not have sex to run to when things got tough, we we're forced to deal with our problems and communicate]
Somebody once told me becoming a believer of Christ would be boring, and a mistake -_-. Someone else also told me if I ever got married I’d end up letting go of all my dreams. AND a best friend at the time even told me that I would have to give a little of myself away before marriage to keep a guy interested. “Dominique, you can’t not kiss the guy, nor have sex AND not want to live with him. You gotta give up something child” Well. Most of you guys know, although it wasn’t easy we were able to keep the testimony of waiting until the altar to share our very first kiss together and by God's grace I have become a full time model. Long story short, if you listen to the world, you’ll be led by the world. We just made two years in September [its been LIT lol] and so far marriage has been everything I prayed it to be. You know how you bump heads with your very best friend, eventually you guys talk it out and move forward from there right? It’s really no different in marriage, as hard as it can get, you communicate.
And idk if anyone needs to hear this, but continue to walk in purity, continue to abstain, continue to be led by your convictions, continue to wait on God. And just continue to be the minority in this, Romans 12:2 ♥️. I was ridiculed for what I believed in, but it never made me change my mind. Fast forward to today I see how God kept His promises and goodness to me. You never see it at the time, but He will keep you as long as your desire is to truly be kept
One of the most important decisions we will ever make in life is the decision of marriage, let's make every effort to know and do God’s will in this area. Is courtship the easy route? Nope. I truly believe Kevin and I had hardships just like anybody else, and when it comes to honoring God, the enemy was BIG mad at us. But our goal on Earth is to please God in all that we do
Jesus gave this instruction with a promise: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” [Matthew 6:33]. When a person makes a growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ the foundation of all decisions, as he or she seeks God’s kingdom, God will provide all that is needed, including the marriage partner prepared by God just for that person [Proverbs 18:22, 19:14.) Believe that! <3
"Your life is meant to tell many stories. Love is only one chapter"
- Dominique Perry