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Revisiting courtship

Monday, June 7, 2010

I have written on this topic before so nothing I say will be particularly new. But, this past weekend when we ventured up to North Carolina to participate in Scott Brown's Memorial Day picnic, we had the benefit of witnessing some of the fruit of courtship. Nothing encourages quite like seeing those who are a little farther down the path and to witness the good fruit of your convictions vicariously. What a blessing it was!

Since I first talked about our convictions and decisions, my daughters have grown older. I now have one daughter of marrying age and one very close. Unlike today's culture, I do not encourage my daughters to delay marriage. I pray that the Lord will send them the husband of His choosing in good time so that they may enjoy marriage and children from an early age. I was married at 21 and I have always found that to be a great gift of the Lord.

We have one camp of relatives and friends that are telling my girls to wait. Don't get 'strapped down' with a husband and children too early. There's plenty of time for that. Enjoy life! See the world! Get a college degree! Build a career! And, as I heard Voddie Baucham say in a recent talk, suck all the fun you can out of life and when you've done it all and there's nothing left, get married and die. Gotta love that Voddie!

Our view is that our daughters have been prepared by the Lord and by us from birth to be wives, mothers and keepers of their homes. It is their dream, their aspiration and their calling. In the Lord's good time, we pray He will be pleased to send them the husband He has chosen and He will bless them with a houseful of delightful children!

Then there is another group of concerned citizens that accuse us of sheltering our poor girls. Our twenty year old daughter has never been kissed. ~gasp~ She has never been on a date. ~shudder~ She has never had a boyfriend. ~oh, the inhumanity!~ This makes a few people a little twitchy. As much as we aspire to see our girls married and embracing their call as wife and mother, we also don't allow them to frolic about the dating scene. How can these two convictions possibly go together? After all, if we want for our daughters to marry, shouldn't we let them get out there and find themselves a man?

The correct answer is no.

Here is our position in a nutshell. We believe the Lord has chosen each husband and wife for each of our children before the foundation of the earth. Our children are preparing themselves for this man or woman and have been throughout their lives. We have prayed for these future spouses. They are preparing and keeping their hearts for these future spouses. Our daughters do not pursue a husband. We believe scripturally the Lord reveals to the man His choice for a wife and the man then, out of reverence for the Word of God and respect for familial authority, approaches the father of the young lady for permission to pursue her with the intent of marriage.

From this point on, courtship will look different for every family and probably different for every son and daughter in our family. We will let the Lord lead us when He brings us to that phase of life.

Making the commitment to not only keep physically pure but also emotionally pure is unusual, unfortunately. But, this past weekend in North Carolina, we were surrounded by many happy endings. David Brown, at the ripe old age of 18, married his bride... the one he had set his intentions on when he was 13. The one he built a beautiful house for when he was 16. The one he prepared for all his adolescent years. He married her and they are expecting their first baby. They are both 19. Another courting couple was happily married and expecting their first child. All the families that we met were like minded in this and the interaction between the children was respectful and refreshing. The little boys waited to be seated until the girls all had a seat. A brother traded places with a sister so that the sister would not be put in the awkward position of sitting next to an unknown boy (who happened to be my oldest son). The boys catered to the girls with a protective and respectful reverence. I can't even express what a balm to my heart it was to witness this at all the various ages represented.

There is a reason why we do the things we do. There is one purpose in all things and that is to glorify the Lord and to give great weight and significance to the things the Lord says are to be dear. The relationship between husband and wife is one of those things. My daughters are ready, in the Lord's timing, to be wives to their husbands... husbands we have prayerfully remembered and asked the Lord to raise up under the stewardship of like minded godly parents who are no doubt praying the same for my girls right now.

When the Lord brings them together, it will be a time of great rejoicing for both of our families and I pray that the testimony they will have on that day will be an encouragement to other families a little farther back on the path.

And, I can't wait to be a grandmother. Icing on the cake.

8 comments:

mommyofmany said...

It is indeed refreshing, Angie, to know there are other like-minded families out there. Our two married sons went through the process of courtship... two entirely different scenarios but with the same goals in mind. Neither dated before they pursued their young ladies. Now they are both happily married with no regrets from past experiences, no baggage carried into their marriages. God has been so good. Grandbaby #7 is expected the end of this year. It's a tremendous joy to watch our sons and their precious wives as their families grow... because they love God and are training our grandchildren in the ways of our Lord. Now, if we can just have what it takes to continue preparing the next group of children for their future families... only by God's grace!

TNfarmgirl said...

It always encourages me to hear of daughters being raised the way my sons have been raised. My 20 year old son, and 17 year old son have never dated, kissed a girl or even held hands with one.....they are praying and waiting for God to guide them to the wives that He has chosen and prepared for them.

It gives me great hope to hear that there ARE families with daughters who aren't pushing them into careers but instead to be preparing to be godly wives...

May He bless you all!

Talley Images said...

I find this way of courtship so interesting, but I have a question, and I hope its not offensive, just really curious.

What if God wants your daughters to be single? (As Paul says, its better to not be married, right?) Would she live with yall (her parents) for the rest of her life? Would she pursue missions (I think its easier to pursue without a family sometimes)?

As I said, I hope that isnt offensive, I was just curious.

Anonymous said...

Talley Images,
This is Lady Why's husband. I read your question and wanted to respond. First of all it's not an offending question but actually brought up very often. I'm glad you asked.
It is the fathers calling to be Prophet, Priest, Protector and Provider to his daughters FOR LIFE (and will be held accountable to God if he doesn't) unless or until he chooses to pass that responsibility over to a worthy young man.
1 Timothy 5:8 says:
"If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

There is nowhere in that verse or in the Bible that says when your child reaches a certain age the father is no longer responsible for his child. If one of my daughters never marries, than yes that responsibility remains joyfully on me for the rest of my life.

Lady Why said...

Hi Talley,

As Mr. P said, no offense taken at all! We do get asked that a lot among other things about courtship.

But to add to what he said, while I don't ever foresee an unmarried daughter living permanently on her own, there may be times when she would be away as in missions or serving another family in some capacity or traveling and such. It's not that we say she has to stay inside the four walls of our home forever. Our unmarried daughters do have a lot of activities, responsibilities, and various work opportunities that they participate in now and I'm sure that will continue throughout their single years.

But, as for their provision, that is Mr. P's responsibility and he joyfully acknowledges and accepts that role.

Thanks for asking and chime in again if you have more questions! :-)

Talley Images said...

Ok, I totally get that... thanks for answering

Alisha N said...

Dear author of this amazing blog,
I'm very interested in this topic at this point in my life. I'm 15 years old and some of my beliefs are(I hate to lay it out like this, but, simplistically...) a) dating is strictly a search for marriage material; b) the man should go to the father first (as mentioned here).

It's my strong desire to remain pure until marriage and do all of this "right." I'm afraid to give myself away to the wrong guy. I'm praying that when I am the right age (most likely not now, at age 15), God will bring His perfectly chosen man into my life. That is my ideal romance story.

I've never held hands, been kissed (or kissed), dated, told guys I love them, had a boyfriend, etc. But I've wanted to. My heart and feelings were so muddled up and life was painful for a while. I backed away from giving and receiving love for a long time, and that hurt, too. I'm trying to find a balance.

I just wanted to say all that. Also, do you have any books or resources you would recommend?

Thanks again for this wonderful post. It spoke to my heart. Praise the Lord!

Lady Why said...

Hi Alisha! Thank you for your sweet note! I will be praying for you as you journey through your adolescent years in preparation for your noble call as wife and mother. I admire your desire to please the Lord in this area as well as every area of your life. Persevere and do not lose hope! Your reward will be great!

As far as books, I do have a few wonderful recommendations. The first that comes to mind is So Much More by the Botkin sisters. That is a must read for every unmarried daughter. It is full of beautiful encouragement. Another excellent book is What He Must Be: If He Wants to Marry My Daughter by Voddie Baucham. That book will give you some concrete qualities to pray for the Lord to develop in your future husband.

Those two are my favorites on this topic. If you'd like more, let me know and I'll give you a little longer list.

Thank you again for your note. You are so sweet and I'm going to be praying for you! :-)