Understanding Christian Courtship (4)
FAMILY MATTERS, AUGUST, 2017
Understanding Christian Courtship (4)
This is the concluding part of the teachings on Understanding Christian Courtship and this week we shall be examining the “ENGAGEMENT” period as the peak of every successful courtship.
What is Engagement?
Engagement is what succeeds a satisfactory courtship period. It is when you and your partner have made up your mind to spend the rest of your lives together in marriage. At this time, you are both formally introduced to your parents, pastors, friends and relations. It is also the stage at which the dowry or bride price is paid in most cases as a demonstration of love for your would-be spouse.
Genesis 24:53 says: And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebecca: he gave also to her brother and her mother precious things. Notice the words “precious things”. Whatever things that are presented for dowry must be precious, not sinful and not contrary to the Word of God. These things ought to be given willingly. Contrary to what many believers think, it is scriptural to pay dowry but the things you offer should be precious and not things that will dishonour God or tarnish your Christian testimony.
When my husband and I were about to marry, certain things were included on the list of items that he was to bring as the bride price. We knew that we couldn’t take those things and my husband would rather never be married than present those things, because of our stand for God and our future. Yes, we love each other and we were looking forward to getting married, but we loved God more.
When my husband got the list, he did not respond. Then one day, my parents said to him, “We sent so and so paper to you and you didn’t respond”. God gave him wisdom to reply them, and he said, “You see, there are certain things on the list, that if we get involved in them now, we would become problems to you tomorrow.” My father agreed with him and said, “Cancel whatever is against your future on the list” and that was it! Don’t sell your birthright today else you will regret your actions tomorrow!
The engagement period, being the peak period of courtship, is also a time when your partner and you will need to spend more time praying, fasting and gathering knowledge from the Word of God concerning His promises and commandments needed for a successful family life. Many couples tend to get carried away with various activities during this period that they never seem to find time to seek God. If there is any time to seek God more, it is at this time because both of you will face several challenges, distractions and contrary reactions that may cause you to easily lose grip, if your relationship with God is not firm.
At this period too, other conclusions such as the materials needed for a home together, must be in place. This is not the time to start hunting for a job (if you are unemployed) but that you already have a job. You should be prepared enough to embrace the responsibilities that marriage and your future family will demand from you (2 Chronicles 27:6).
Sincerity that is void of every form of pretences is a MUST at this time. You have to be open, hiding nothing from each other and keeping no skeletons in your cupboard. Let your partner know even the smallest details about you. I have seen a lot of ladies fallen victim to this, simply because they would not let go of secrets and pretences. If for example, as a lady you like to wear red lipstick, then don’t pretend that you don’t wear lipstick at all; only for your husband to stumble on you, wearing one after you are both married. Let your partner accept you for whom you truly are without assumptions.
So much is demanded of you and God’s help is available when you accept Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. When you confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Saviour, God recognises you as His child and He begins to direct your steps in order to ensure that you do not fall victim to mistakes, hurts and sorrows. If you are ready to accept Jesus Christ now and become born again, please say this prayer of faith with me: “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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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).