COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE
Source: Family Union US
1. Only consider courtship at a time in your life when you are ready to consider marriage. Until that time–foster the virtue of friendship and hold off the romance until you are really ready for it.
2. Only enter into a courtship with a man/woman whom you would consider marrying. A woman might consider “just” dating any guy that she’s attracted to as long as she has no sense of long-term commitment. The problem arises when she’s grown attached to him after a period of time and can’t bring herself to breaking off the relationship, even when it’s not good. She may end up marrying a man that she otherwise would not have. Set the stakes higher–only court with a man/woman you’d consider marrying.
3. Enter a courtship after you have discerned that you are called to marriage with a certain man/woman. Courtship is a relationship with a purpose. If you know that you would not consider marriage with this man/woman, or you are not ready to consider marriage yet, then don’t enter into a courtship. Stay friends or acquaintances for the time being. Courtship is about prayerful discernment, which means you will decide either that God is not calling you to marriage with this man or that He is not. Both outcomes are valid in a courtship!
4. Take time through prayer to discern God’s will. You need to foster prayer in your lives individually and as a couple. You can not know God’s will without prayer and His word.
5. Base your courtship in the family: As much as possible, spend time with each other’s families. This is so important–for if you do end up married, you’ll want to get along. Family is an invaluable resource and such an integral part of who we are.
You will learn much about each other by seeing how each other relates to family members. And your family, in turn, can give you much insight about the man with whom you are courting (and his family, about you!) Family sees things we don’t always see. Love can be blind at times–family (and friends) can really help to correct our vision. If you are far from family, make every effort to get home and spend time with them. And in the meantime, adopt a family (friends from Church, for example) to provide for you all the benefits of a family-based courtship.
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