Hello beautiful people out there! It’s been a while I wrote an article, life has been busy but not too busy to help someone find clarity. The world as we know it today is all chaotic and there is a lot of grey areas especially in christian courtship. Most people including myself (in the past) just wing it, we do it as it comes with no clear cut strategy so it is really difficult to replicate the process. A lot of Christians talk about courtship God’s way and they think the only thing it applies to is premarital sex, yet after all the I will practice celibacy talk you find yourself back to the status quo. I’m sure like me you wonder why your promise and resolution never worked! 

First calling it godly doesn’t automatically make it godly, it becomes that when it is purposeful(clearly defined purpose) and it is God-centred. A godly relationship is courtship not dating and it is grounded in God. The bible says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” 

Friendship is the foundation of any great marriage because if you manage this stage right, you would have succeeded in starting strong. The friendship stage is the first stage of Christian courtship. Now I believe in a man and woman praying way before they see or think they are ready for courtship or marriage, it gives you a level of clarity about what you are looking for, it allow you lay hold of God’s promises and pray right. This is especially important for a man because he’s the one looking. Praying when you ain’t looking means you will likely pray God’s will and listen more for direction. This stage is devoid of intimacy, romance, long telephone conversation and what nots. Please brothers it is wrong and ungodly to pick up a lady everyday, talk for long hours on the phone, run errands and buy her gifts and come back with I never said I was interested, we were just friends. No sir, you planted a seed, your actions said all the things you didn’t say and it is unfair. My dear young lady don’t allow any man awaken love in you before it’s time, guard your heart and put healthy boundaries in place, you will be saving yourself a lot of heartbreak. Don’t become an item with someone who has not committed to you so much that people start to pass snide remarks about you. The key word is GUARD YOUR HEART! Pure, plain friendship without secret agenda and in a non-intrusive or desperate way. It allows you know each other without pretense or expectations and in a very healthy and natural way.

This leads to stage two which is the interest stage. You have been friends, watched this person maybe from a distance for some and you are interested already. It is time to get to know the person better, to find out more about her.  At this stage I recommend you arrange to spend time in same church activities, hangout as group of friends etc. It will allow you to know each other without putting pressure on yourself or acting out commitment you don’t intend to keep. Speak , chat occasionally but please it is not yet time to call each other for 2hours every night. Now by the time a man is saying, hey! I want to know you, I expect he has the leading of the Holy Spirit and has prayed throughconce ing the lady in question. It is just not fair or nice to tell someone you are interested in them and come later to tell story about how God said she’s not the one. That is what friendship stage is meant for! Watch her, pray and compare what you hear from God, with what God has told you in the place of prayer before she even came along. The interest stage is where you want to know her purpose and see if he fits into yours, know enough to help you make wise and informed decision. Please ladies if a man shows you interest and he won’t move past that in the next three months, he’s not made up his mind on what he wants, move on. I expect ladies to also pray at this stage, make sure you get a word from God about him and proceed with caution. It is also your responsibility to watch and ensure he fits into your purpose and journey. At this stage you are both assessing and finding out pertinent information about each other. Not every tongue speaking, bible carrying brother is a husband material. If I were you I would talk to my spiritual mentor at this stage with details of the stage we are, so there’s no pressure or undue expectations from either side.

The third stage is pursuing stage. Ladies please allow a man speak to you about his intention and allow him pursue you. I expect that at this stage he has communicated his intentions. I assume if a lady is allowing herself be pursued by a man she has a word from God already. It is still not time to talk about your best sex position or that family secret no one knew about. Slow down darling, apply break , put a lid on it just yet! Enjoy being pursued, be certain you both want the same thing and inform each other’s spiritual cover/mentor. You know his intention, that is he has communicated it verbally to you and you have agreed.

Then you can now enter the stage of committed relationship. The courting stage is charcterised by commitment, clear cut purpose and communication. I want to believe that by now you have both parent’s consent and you have started to lay the foundation for the kind of marriage you want to build. Remember that if it is godly then you want to put boundaries in place and you are practicing sexual purity ( no smooches, kisses, cuddles, foreplay, heavy petting etc). Build communication, discuss everything that is important and you need to know. Discuss the hard things, face your truth like health history, finances, credit history, family patterns, traditions etc.

Finally the engaged stage! Finally he proposed, every girls dream in a relationship. Be happy, celebrate but don’t loose focus. Your wedding plans will start but remember you have a life after that. No matter how great your wedding is your marriage is more important. Money, the stress of planing and coordinating the event will get to you at some point.Watch closely, you will begin to notice more than before if you have successfully built friendship, great communication system and if you have good conflict resolution skills. You will need it for the forever part so take note of it. It is like your mini report sheet  , if you are mindful and aware you will know if you have built something solid or shitty! 
This is by no means exhaustive in itself and neither is it a one size fit all or only way to do it. Whatever you do, keep it pure, uncomplicated, grounded in God and be transparent. Make sure you find your rhythm, own your journey, do you!

Prayer: Father I pray for every single that they are divinely directed to connect to their helpmeet, divinely helped to court in a godly way daily presenting their body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto you. They are guided by the Holy Spirit and submitted to your Lordship in Jesus Mighty Name. Amen.

Credit: Adapted from Jamal Miller’s guide to Christian courtship.

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