Maintaining Purity in Courtship (4)
FAMILY MATTERS, OCTOBER, 2017
Maintaining Purity in Courtship (4)
God is interested in your marriage being successful. As I said in the previous teaching, what you do with the foundation laying stage of marriage, which is courtship, determines how successful your marriage would be. Therefore, to have a successful marriage, the most important thing is to ensure that you follow God’s principles, which He laid down when He designed marriage. The irony is, when we focus on His principles instead of our pleasure, we end up having a very satisfying and pleasant marriage!
Courtship is about open and honest exploration of each other’s lives and families, leading to engagement and marriage. Courtship is about preparation for marriage. You court in order to see if there is any reason you shouldn’t get married. There is no romantic interaction until after the commitment to marriage (wedding). This does not mean that you don’t love your spouse to be. The Bible says: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these (Mark 12:31). Loving him or her could mean disciplining, correcting and exhorting each other, to change. Other times it may be to quash a selfish desire in your heart in favour of their desires. Basically, it means taking the focus off yourself and looking at what you can invest in the other person.
Therefore, in the context of courtship there are two neighbours that we should love (i.e. keep their best interests at heart). Firstly, there is our future spouse. Keeping his or her best interests at heart would result in things like saving your sexual and emotional purity for her or him, developing your character and preparing resources for a stable marriage with him or her, etc.
Secondly, there is the future spouse of that person you are interested in. Unless you are ready for marriage, you should not be having ’emotional exchanges’ with any member of the opposite sex. You should treat every friend as though they will be someone else’s spouse. Loving that spouse as a neighbour means treating this person as a brother or sister in Christ, not defrauding their emotions or their purity but investing in them without motive for selfish gain.
Some people wonder about a relationship where there is ‘no romantic involvement before marriage’ and the possibility that a couple could get married only to find out they have no sexual or romantic feelings for each other. To clarify, however, my conviction is that you shouldn’t be romantically involved until after the commitment to marriage (wedding). Keep your romantic emotions for your husband or your wife. This is the only way that you only romance one partner in your lifetime.
If you allow the romance before the commitment, then there is the possibility of several romances, with all the pain and emotional baggage that it entails. The Word of God says: So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies (Ephesians 5:28 & 33) Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself. From the above passages you can see the underlined words.
Thus the Bible says: “love the one you married” rather than to “marry the one you love.” That is why the above verses say, “Men love your wives”. Romantic emotions should be reserved for marriage not for courtship. This is because when you get romantically involved and eventually the courtship happens to break due to incompatibility, often times these results in hurt. Therefore, keep all romantic emotions till after the wedding to avoid heart-break and hurt. Have you ever wondered while some in a relationship go mad when the relationship breaks? The Word of God says: What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh (1Corinthians 6:16).
Getting romantically involved is like being joined to become one flesh with whom you are courting. Any break in that relationship will amount to literally tearing the flesh. Be wise and don’t get emotionally involved during courtship. Let your emotions be intact. Guard your heart with all diligence because out of it are the issues that will make your marriage successful. This courtship period is quite a vulnerable period but the boundaries God has set are for the protection and preservation of your heart from hurt. It is also for the protection of your future marriage from shame that comes when the marriage bed is defiled. Take it in good faith because the commandments of God are not grievous, but they are meant to groom us.
From the foregoing, you need the help of God to maintain purity in your courtship so as to enjoy the honour in marriage. This help is obtainable by accepting Jesus as your Lord and personal Saviour as you say this prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins and cleanse me with Your Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Thank You for delivering me from sin and satan to serve the living God and thank You for accepting me into Your Kingdom.”
Congratulations, you are now born -again! If you prayed this simple prayer of faith with me, you are now a child of God. He loves you and will never leave you. Read your Bible daily, obey God’s Word and seek Christian fellowship (John 14:21).
With this, you are guaranteed all-round rest and peace in Jesus’ Name! Call or write to share your testimonies with me through email@example.com, 07026385437 OR 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: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work, Building A Successful Home and Success in Marriage (Co-Authored).