Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The True Motivation for Courtships

There are so many who are courting nowadays, and it is a great thing to see. Many of these couples begin courting, and they immediately start teaching on courtship. This has been disastrous for many. They teach based on things they have heard, not things they have truly experienced. And many of these couples do not last--sadly. Their words last longer than their relationship, and it could be argued that many of them got into the relationship hoping it would give them some kind of stage, influence, and audience. Instead of simply sharing their courting experience, they provide different guidelines or rules for others to follow. They crown morality as king while looking beyond the true motivation for any godly courtship.

My wife and I have shared our story all over the world. Many know that we courted for a year and eight months. In fact, we did not kiss until our wedding day. We had several boundaries that were strict by our liberal world's standards. But we knew we needed to have them to make sure we truly So, You Want to be Married? The book really breaks down the details.
honored God and kept our word with one another. I share much of our courtship in my first book,

In sharing our story, we have been careful never to give people a law they must follow. Many people are looking for a step-by-step approach to everything. They want to know where they can go find a potential mate. They want to know how long they should court. They want to know who they should talk to, how much money they should spend on the engagement ring, and so much more. Sadly enough, many are providing these people answers, and many use those answers as if they were law. If those answers do not work for them, then they are usually disappointed and upset.

The problem is not morality, which is a doctrine of moral conduct. It is not the central compass between what is right and wrong. Our problem is the lack of proper teaching on the true motivation and foundation for life, which includes courtship and marriage. Here, I am defining courtship as the journey towards marriage between a man and a woman, not marriage itself.

The foundation and motivation for any relationship, which includes courtship, is a proper reverence for God. Psalm 111:10 reads: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom..." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 reads: "The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil." Some would say the fear of God is an Old Testament truth. I beg to differ. First Peter 1:17 reads: "If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth..." I believe some people think God changed from the Book of Malachi to the Book of Matthew. He did not! He is still to be greatly revered and obeyed. I know many preachers today have perverted the message of Grace. Many have coined this the "Age of Grace." Should I quickly remind you of the graceful God we serve? He is the One who struck Ananias and Sapphira dead. He blinded Elymas for opposing the Apostle Paul. He killed Herod. He sends a chilling warning to the Hebrews by saying: "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God." {Hebrews 10:31} I am convinced that so many have grown so friendly with God that they have lost all respect for Him. We live in a troubling age; a perverted age; a hedonistic age.

The conclusion of the matter is not about the guidelines one can give you on how to have a perfect courtship or a perfect marriage. We must remember that the Holy Spirit has been given to us to convict us of sin (John 16:8). He is fully capable of guiding any relationship, including courtship. I know this because He led my courtship with my now-wife. He was the One who told me not to kiss her until our wedding day. He told me to make sure we went out in groups. He told me to make sure we had a curfew. He told me to make sure we had accountability partners and advisers to help us in our relationship. For so many, He is the missing link. They are trying to have a successful courtship with morality alone. The rules only tell them where the fire is located so they will not get burned. The problem is the rules cannot be both the guide and the motivation. They lack the reverence for God--that which compels them to do do what is right by honoring Him. This means they will not have sex because they honor God. They will not stay out late and tempt one another because they honor God. They will monitor the content of their conversations because they honor God. Their honor towards God will keep them from the fire. The motivation, which is the fear of God, does not nullify the rules. However, it completes them. By honoring God, they will no longer need the rules to serve as a tutor for them. Instead they will have the Living Compass, the Holy Spirit, within them to guide them through every area of their relationship.

If you and your courter have not made peace with God through Jesus Christ, then the both of you must begin there. Confess Jesus Christ as your savior and lord. Come together and pray for the Holy Spirit to invade both of your hearts. Ask Him to take over your relationship. Ask Him to give the both of you wisdom and convict the both of you of anything that would dishonor Him. Let Him guide the both of you and your relationship. Finally, ask Him to give you a proper disposition in your heart. Ask Him to show Himself so strong in your relationship that others will be able to see it as an example. Then share with them the motivation behind your success. Take attention off of you and your courter, and put it where it rightfully belongs, on our Holy God!

God bless you!