I know this column has been of tremendous blessing to you. We have looked extensively at the things that will help you in making the right choice in locating a partner for marriage. So far, we have seen that you must make a choice from people who are in the same spiritual kingdom with you, you must be a successful individual as a single before you can make a successful spouse in marriage and then unity of the spirit is the best indicator of the true nature of the people desiring to go into marriage.
Having being guided to make the right choice, how do you make your courtship purposeful? That is what I shall be teaching on today, in continuation from where we stopped last month.
Courtship is the period between when two people agree to marry and when they actually do. A successful courtship is a necessary step towards a successful marriage. The reason many people experience misunderstandings and all kinds of trouble in marriage is because they did not have a purposeful courtship.
Factors that enhance the quality of your courtship
Spend Time Talking Together
To ensure a qualitative courtship, you must create time to be with your fiancé (e), during which you share things about each other: your dreams, interests, viewpoints, calling or assignment, etc. That is why it is important to spend time talking together, not just looking at each other and saying, “Oh you’re so beautiful. I love you so much.” Your words are an indication of your thoughts and the direction in which you are going. If you want to know if he is a serious Christian, listen to him talk for five minutes. I discovered that it is impossible to separate an individual from his words. For instance, if your fiancé (e), only talks about money, it is an indication that he or she is money-minded. If on the other hand he is only interested in your physique, you will hear him speak of nothing else. Your words are an outflow of the thoughts of your heart. The Bible says: How can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matthew 12:34).
My husband and I courted for six years (very short, isn’t it?), and every time I heard him speak, I knew the direction he was heading. I knew his convictions, which were my convictions also. So, it became easy for both of us to flow together.
Appear in Public Together
This is another simple, but significant element. As intending couples, you must make out time to appear in public meetings together. Such public meetings may include, but are not limited to, the following: church services, wedding, matriculation and graduation ceremonies, public lectures, academic seminars, etc. I also advocate that as you appear together in public, watch how both of you conduct yourselves. How your partner-to-be responds to issues: his behaviour or reactions to annoying situations. This will be a signal of what the future holds. For instance, if he or she lacks Christian character, you’re heading for trouble by going into marriage with such a person.
If you find out that for any social reason, such as height, age, educational differences, physical defects, personal carriage, eating manner, etc., you are ashamed to appear in public with your future husband or wife, and you don’t handle it during courtship, you may never make a good couple. Be real and do not go through courtship with the eyes of your mind closed!
Courtship Should Have Letters
Every normal courtship should have letters. A letter is simply a written or printed communication directed to a person. One of the easiest ways to communicate during courtship is through letters. This becomes very handy, especially if the individuals involved are not in the same city or town. Even though there are other means of communication, such as telephones and the likes, especially in these days of fast electronic media revolution, letters are still a more acceptable way of communicating. Such letters could be sent through e-mails or any other means.
Letters, during this period have several advantages over other means of communication. For instance, it compels you to organise your thoughts logically and in a presentable manner because you have the opportunity of reading it over and again before sending it. Remember, words carelessly released can cause some irreparable damage to the relationship.
Secondly, it becomes a document that can be kept, stored and preserved over a long period of time for possible future use and references, if need be. This also instills a lot of discipline and caution, especially as it relates to the content and the possibility of a third party seeing it. Whatever you would not want to be reminded of in future, you don’t write in such letters. Thirdly, it comes handy in helping to develop the writer in the art of writing, which may eventually become an asset in future.
When my husband and I were in courtship, we are both in different cities, and the use of telephones was not as popular as it is today. However, sending of letters as a means of communication was very helpful and as such, we have personally enjoyed some of the benefits embedded in its usage. Even now, after so many years, we still make reference to some of those letters. Not too long ago, my husband brought out one of those letters written over thirty years ago, and read some portion of it during a church service. It helped a great deal in driving home some points while he was ministering. What if they were not written in letter form? It would have been impossible to have them as reference materials!
Enjoying Things Of Mutual Interest
Courtship is not just a time of prayer, fasting, and studying the Word of God; although these are of great importance. It is also a time of enjoying things of mutual interest together. For instance, both of you may enjoy taking pictures. Why not? Have fun, but avoid anything sinful. Such pictures can be kept for future references. The other day, I saw some pictures that my husband and I took before we got married more than thirty-five years ago! It was a lot of fun! Those times help you discover whether you are actually meant for each other or not.
Keep Yourself Pure
This word of caution is necessary at this juncture, because when you love an individual and spend time together, there is bound to be a desire to touch, feel, caress and cuddle that person. If care is not taken, one “little” thing will lead to another, until the bed is defiled. I have seen a lot of families in trouble for this reason. In this part of the world, there is an adage that says that the soup you intend to eat at night, why make haste to steal out of it in the morning? That is as literal as I can get. If you’re in courtship, my advice for you is: Wait! Be patient. Your time is coming.
If you have been messing yourselves up, defiling the marriage bed, you have to stop it now, so it doesn’t stop your destiny. Anyone who defiles the marriage bed is consciously robbing himself/herself of the honour in marriage. The Bible says: Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge (Hebrews 13:4). Don’t take out the honour in your marriage! In case you have missed it, if you are genuinely repentant, God will forgive you and restore the honour of marriage back to you; but you must not go back to your vomit. Desist from such acts!
Life is eternally purposeless without Christ in it. If you want to be born-again and have a meaningful courtship, then pray this prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus, I come to You today acknowledging that I am a sinner who needs Your forgiveness. I believe You died for me and rose again on the third day. Forgive me my sins, wash me with Your Blood and write my name in the Lamb’s Book of life. Thank You Lord for saving me.”
Congratulations! That’s it! Till I come your way next time, please call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel. No: 07026385437, 08141320204.
For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian Bookstores: Singles With A Difference,A Living Witness and Marriage Covenant.