Courtship as His Children
by Ashley Ardito (from her research paper in Genesis class)
I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. ~Psalm 102:2
You may have heard of the catchy slogan, True Love Waits, it is used in reference to stay pure with your body until you get married, but as a child of God I think we can set the standards higher then that. Id like to change the meaning not only to our bodies, but to our whole soul, and not just to wait upon our future spouse, but to wait upon the Lord and seek His will for our lives, in every aspect. So let us now change it to, True Love Waits upon the Lord. By trusting in God we have a great blessing, For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee, (Psalm 84:11). Trusting in God with all your heart requires dying to self and living rightly for the will of the Lord, this doesnt just mean when your only hope is to turn to God, but it is to be all the time in everything. So in turn we are going to look at the biblical ideas of having relationships with those of the opposite sex.
In the worlds eyes dating is a common way for us to go about in a relationship before marriage. You may see nothing wrong with dating, buts lets look at the definition of what dating actually is, An engagement to go out socially with another person, often out of romantic interest, according tohttp://www.dictionary.com. In other words dating is to stir up emotions without the intent of follow through, or to create a sense of relationship to satisfy ones own desires However, as believers in Christ we are told not to look at the ways of the world in 1 John 2:15-17 it says, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. God didnt establish the idea of dating in the Bible He provided something much more beautiful, courtship. Courtship is defined as, devoted attention in order to win favor, according to http://www.dictionary.com. Courtship is seeking to win the affections of a person in hopes of marriage, if you are not ready to get married then you should not be trying to gain emotions from someone else you would be defrauding them, deceiving or tricking a person into giving up a valuable possession, of their emotions. Courtship is to protect both parties from physical lust, their emotions, and will bring the relationships center to Gods will for each persons life. Courtship seeks Gods will first and foremost, then brings into account the advice from godly counsel, and last but not least the guidance from you parents. The whole idea of courtship is based on prayerfully considering what God wills of you.
Now an example of how a courtship should go (mind you this is in a perfect circumstance however, no matter the situation Gods hand will always be with you and if you seek His will, He will make things work as best as the circumstances would allow, never lower you standards of what God would want), lets say that a young man begins to have affections placed on his heart by God for a young lady, the first thing he should do is to prayerfully consider the Lords will. The Lord may just be telling Him that it is time to start getting more serious with his life, and that he must now put away all childish things and mature in his relationship with God. After this then the gentleman should then seek biblical counseling from his parents, and or other godly sources. After much prayer and counsel if the young man gets an okay he is then to go and meet with the ladys father, not her. This young man would then ask the father if he would be able to court his daughter, remember that the Lord has put this father in care of his daughter so respect his wishes whatever they may be. Until the father walks his daughter down the isle and hands her hand over to the groom she is under his care, and it is his job to protect her. After much prayer, if the father receives an okay then he will ask his daughter to pray about it, men this part may take awhile, but be patient because it is important that you both seek the Lords will, if either of you sense that you are to wait until you go into courtship then by all means wait. If the Lord blesses this courtship then the father of the daughter would meet with the young man and tell him that as her father he gives a go ahead to pursuit the courtship. Remember in all you do you are seeking the Lords will for marriage. 1Timothy 4:12 states, Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Some instances in the Old Testament which would give an account to the idea of courtship show up in the lives of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Rachel, but Id like to show you Gods idea of courtship which can be seen at the very beginning concerning Adam and Eve, before sin entered into the world. So to start things off we will be reading and going through Gods whole purpose for companionship. And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it, (Genesis 2:15). Here we see that God established work for Adam to be doing; he is busy working to please the Lord. If we continue to read God says in Genesis 2:18, And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help mate for him. I would like to first establish this thought: God said it wasnt good for man to be alone, not Adam. This shows us that God is in control of our lives when He decides that we are ready to have a help mate He will show us, Adam wasnt sitting around worrying about it. Even so in verses 19-20 of Genesis the Lord causes Adam to realize this. So we as children of God do not need to be worrying about getting married or focusing on who we think is the one for us, the Lord will reveal it in His perfect timing if we keep our mind and thoughts on Him as said in Psalm 37:4, Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. By having Adam name all the animals, the Lord planned for him to notice that he was the only one of his kind. This would then place a desire in his heart, however Adam didnt petition anything to the Lord. Adam didnt even go looking for anything, he wasnt testing the waters to see what was out there. He simply just kept doing what the Lord willed him to do. In fact it says here in Genesis 2:21 that, The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: It wasnt the Lords desire to have Adam seeking for someone, but to just have him realize that the Lord has placed desires on his heart for something that is missing. Our Lord is the same way with us today; He doesnt want us to rush about trying to do everything in our own strength. He wants us to realize that something is missing, and to turn to Him so that He may fill it. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Fathers good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:23 KJV) God loves us so much and it would be insulting if we lean not on His good wisdom. Anything the Father does is immensely greater then anything we could do on our own. Isaiah 26:3 KJV says, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. God so graciously waited on you to come to Him, are you willing to wait upon the one who knows your every thought even before you know it, the one who is constantly thinking good thoughts about you? (See Psalms 139 KJV). Genesis 2:22, And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man, the word rib here in Hebrew is tsay-law', which means side. So lets look at this God who created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them decided to take something from Adams side (even when Adam was created from the dust of the earth) and use it to create Eve. This means so much, God created Eve, not from the dust of the earth to be trodden on, nor from the winds of the air to breeze by, but from the very body of her husband, right next to his heart and under his arm. Ephesians 5:28-31 says, So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Also as created from her husband women are to adore their husbands and respect them Ephesians 5:33 says, Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
This topic happens to be very personal to me. Currently I am going through a courtship and the Lord has blessed me immensely. My background is full of things that would try to hinder this relationship, but with the grace of God and the love that we share for the Lord we have overcome obstacles that would otherwise hinder this relationship. Although, this courtship is fairly new the Lord is showing me things, and teaching me to glorify Him in all circumstances. Before any of this the Lord really got a hold of me, and taught me that He is the only one that I need, before I seek happiness in others I must first find it within my Lord. So as in Matthew 26:7-11 I will break my alabaster box at the feet of Jesus because He is first and foremost my bridegroom, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. 2 Corinthians 1:2, Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.