Preparing Your Children for Courtship & Marriage
Series on the Home #1. Dating. Courting. Engagement. Engagement and the. Wedding! 12 Lessons. 12 Lessons. Prepared by: Prepared by: Paul E. Cantrell. Marriage has been redefined, maligned, and abused. Divorce is celebrated and expected. Recreational dating is expected on the school. In contrast, courtship is undertaken only when both parties are prepared to make a commitment to marriage. Dating tries to answer the question, How can I find.
The second context where the Bible speaks of relationships is in the church, which is, in essence, an extended family. The church provides a setting where all kinds of relationships can be established with absolute purity. To belong to the Body of Christ is a wonderful privilege, enabling us to prepare our children for relationships in the world within secure boundaries.
It is an extension of relating as brothers and sisters, and in a group context that can occur with absolute purity, as it did with Jesus. The antidote to loneliness is fellowship, not dating; the need is for friendship, not sexuality, The exclusiveness of romantic relationships precludes building friendships.
Dating substitutes sensual feelings for friendship, passion for honour and respect, foolish jesting for thankfulness, our pleasure for His business. There is no commitment by either party to continue beyond the first date, and there may be others they would consider dating given the opportunity.
They both know that. The main purpose of dating is to try out as many partners as possible in the process of looking for the perfect one.
Thus, by definition, breaking up is as common as dating itself. There are more pop songs written about breaking up than pairing up. Dating becomes a preparation for handling divorce, not a preparation for building a permanent marriage. We were designed for sexual involvement with one partner, but we get used to the idea of rejecting and being rejected in the search for the perfect relationship.
The more dates you have, the more the boundaries become blurred. Rejection becomes a way of life, and saying "I love you'' becomes meaningless. It is no more than saying, "At this moment in time, I find you sexually attractive. If it doesn't work out, we can simply break it off. It provides no training for having to work it out for the long haul. It is practice in divorce at an early age. Dating builds insecurity into relationships. Imagine a marriage without scars of rejection to overcome, with a partner you can trust, because you have not been spoiled by earlier partners who have proved untrustworthy.
Imagine a relationship without having other faces in your mind and the comparisons that ensue against the spouse that God has given you. Imagine having no pornographic images of Miss Universe with which to tarnish the beauty of the wife who is at your side.
They only occur in marriage, or in anticipation of marriage. God has created us to fit this biblical norm, and the romantic response is intended to come to its true fulfilment only in marriage. Recreational dating envisions a one-on-one relationship apart from marriage, but it should be no surprise when it leads to its intended climax - becoming one flesh.
God designed us that way! To try to survive exclusive relationships sexually unscathed is like fighting against the grain of creation. So how are we supposed to find a way to arrive at those exclusive relationships which prove to be marriages made in heaven?
We must break out of the mould of our culture. The alternative to dating is not courtship Introduction The word about the inappropriateness of dating has got out, but I'm not entirely happy with the response - which is usually an attempt to adapt the system rather than discard it. These attempts usually take one of two forms. Firstly, there is an attempt to take the risk out of it, so we talk about double-dating, where in reality peer supervision is no more and no less than peer pressure.
Secondly, there is an attempt to put something substantial into it, so we tell our teenagers that dating is no longer possible, courtship is the way to go. Because of this misconception, we have actually made the problem worse. Knowing that they are not allowed to have casual friendships falling in and out of loveyoung people are led to believe that they can have exclusive relationships with the opposite sex through courting. They can become as pre-occupied with courting as they can with dating, which is worse, because it has the added pressure of the seriousness of marriage.
Teenagers do not need the frivolity of casual dating, nor do they need the intensity of serious courtship. Courtship is not the alternative to dating. I believe in courtship, but courting is what a man and woman do in preparation for marriage. Courting is not what Christian teenagers do instead of dating.
Courtship is essential in its proper place, but unessential for our young people as a contrived form of dating. What is the alternative? What should they be doing with their teenage years? It is a time for "Father's Business. Although we don't know much about what happened during his teenage years, we do know what his focus was.
Most teenagers see these years as a time for "my fun" but Jesus saw them as a time for his Father's business. We will never evidence a radical change in our young people until we are convinced that teenage years are not supposed to be years of care-free, independent, experimental, frivolous self-gratification.
They are to be years of training and preparation. Our culture has emphasized external fun more than internal preparation, the result is a generation that is both unhappy and unprepared.
Teenage years are a time to lay a foundation and start to practise "being about Father's business," thereby discovering calling and destiny.
It is to be a preparation for life. The preparation of young people for marriage is one of God's great purposes for the church. It is not accomplished by setting up a dating pattern that is built on the same sinful pattern as the world, except that it is practised between believers rather than unbelievers.
It is a time of preparation under parental supervision Consider again what we know about Jesus' teenage years. This is entirely consistent with the whole of the Bible. The emphasis is on the father's responsibility, and the preparation under his supervision for the teenager to be able to become responsible.
In Old Testament law, a father has particular responsibility for his daughters in the biblical pattern. He was expected to be able to guarantee his daughter's virginity Deut If another man violates that by becoming sexually involved with his daughter, two things happen Deut 22;28,29the two should get married and the man must pay the father a dowry.
We can learn from this that there is no such thing as sex without responsibility. The principle is seen in the dowry system. In the Bible, the dowry is a demonstration of assuming financial responsibility.
The man who has a sexual relationship with a girl has to marry her; he must assume responsibility for her and her children.
He cannot just walk away from it all. If he does, because he has had to pay a dowry, the father has money to provide alimony for his daughter's financial security. That would make a teenage boy think twice!
But the issue is not primarily money, it is responsibility. The problem of our culture is not merely sexual immorality, it is also sexual irresponsibility. In a biblical pattern there is no escape from responsibility.
Teenage years are a preparation for responsibility, not for irresponsibility. To get married, there is going to be a dowry to pay and that dowry will require years of work! When we see teenage years characterized by irresponsibility, we know we have missed the mark. Parental supervision is designed to train toward responsibility. It is a time of warfare Young people are built for warfare Ps 8: If he can destroy the preparation for marriage among teens and singles, he can destroy countless homes and families later on.
The foundations have been undermined.
Start preparing for a successful marriage by following God’s plan for courtship
The flood tides of filth and sensual temptation are destroying future marriages before they even begin. The enemy can be resisted, however. Young people are built for war! To be a force against evil, we need to train an innocent generation. But people are afraid that our children will be naive and not know what's going on in the world. That's how they are supposed to be! As soon as they know what's going on in the world they are seared by it, but when young people are distinctively pure they offer a powerful unique example.
The time of one's youth provides the greatest opportunity, while carrying the least responsibilities, to damage the enemy's kingdom. That is why the bible talks about singleness as a gift, and as a good gift at that. Teenage years preoccupied with dating are the worst of both worlds. There is the care of worrying about your partner or a succession of partners without the benefits of marriage, and there is no freedom to serve God without distraction either.
It is a time for prayer Teenagers should be praying for a husband or a wife, not a boyfriend or a girlfriend. So should their parents on their behalf, because finding a partner is a matter of faith, not striking lucky when playing the field.
It does not necessarily require being part of a large crowd. For example, see Ruth 2: It is a time for teamwork One factor in high divorce rates is that couples build relationships on the basis of romance, not of working together. Adam and Eve met and married in the context of work, hence the word "helpmeet. Sadly, too many young people learn to live for themselves and their own pleasure. They don't know how to work for the common good, to work as a team. They will take the same self-centredness into marriage because they do not know the fulfilment of accomplishing something together.
The first place to learn teamwork is the family, then there comes the need for group projects such as team ministry. Team ministry requires some external purpose, a reason for sacrifice.
When that vision is clear, self-denial is possible and working together begins. It opens up the possibility of far greater success than we can achieve on our own, and it is the best context in which to build friendships rather than the modern preoccupation with talking about relationships. When you focus on knowing one another, you become introverted.
She was his perfect mate. She was therefore called — woman.
The Essential Do’s and Don’ts for Courtship and Dating
Ric did a good job of presenting the real struggles and challenges that happen in our modern dating practices. This was illustrated by the poor choices of Samson in the way he chose a wife. It was approached in an unbiblical manner and he suffered as a result. Not only did Samson suffer — so did his people.
In conclusion, Ric did a good job of explaining the need to make wise decisions and to go about the process of selecting a mate in a manner that honors God.
He likewise encouraged parents to begin now by praying earnestly for our children and their future spouses.
His point was that we must understand what courtship means and why we are spending time trying to come alongside parents and families in this series. Therefore, he encouraged us to refrain from hearing the indictment of Matthew David then moved on to talk about the goal of courtship being a lifelong covenant of marriage.
As was pointed out in the first two sermons, recreational dating is glorified divorce practice. David explained the reason behind courtship. It has an end goal of faithful, committed, lifelong, covenantal marriage. This is where we get into the whole issue of giving rise to scandal. The problem a couple faces here—even if they are strong enough to resist all temptation—is the impression they are giving to others. In this way you would not be helping to build the body of Christ by your good example.
Rather, through the scandal you would have given rise to, you would have inadvertently led others to sin. It is our sense of responsibility in the body of Christ that leads us to make the necessary sacrifices for the sake of others when we decide not to give rise to scandal. We all are more responsible when we are held accountable for our actions. Make a list together of your resolutions and guidelines for your courtship and give that list to some mentoring couples and accountability partners.
These could be your parents, other married couples from Church, friends, roommates, family members. Basically you are looking for people you trust and respect to be able to talk with openly about your relationship. They should be able to ask you at any time how your are doing—if you are keeping your resolutions—and you need to be able to answer them honestly. Along with this idea is the need for mentoring couples—ideally that would be your parents, but it is not limited to parents.
They should be couples who can advise you on all kinds of issues related to marriage: Time to pray and time to play: But a couple should never neglect to be sure to allow for play time!
This season of life should be fun and filled with excitement and adventure. Keep the romance alive: Remember that courtship is a time of romance. Enjoy dynamic, exciting, God-glorifying romance by seeking ways to give of yourselves to each other, to serve each other and to show your love for each other in simple ways.
Romance—true romance—is about blessing the other by giving of self. So you see, the two go hand in hand. Couples who engage in an intensely physical relationship often lose out on this very point—because physical pleasure has become the focus of their relationship. By converse, couples who do not distract themselves with physical intimacy have more time on their hands to spend creatively doing romantic things for each other and together—blessing each other with their loving deeds and gestures as often as they can.
Be active in your faith community: Courtship is a great time to grow in faith together—and to spend time together in your faith community. In this way your relationship is supported by like-minded people who will become for you that community that celebrates with you in times of joy, consoles you in times of grieving, and that lifts you up you in times of hardship.
We cannot live in isolation—we need that community to be there for us, which means, we need to be there for them as well. Be involved, have fun taking in events and activities together, volunteer service time together, and join in prayer groups and Bible studies together.
These opportunities to spend time together, in a larger group setting, help you to learn much about each other by seeing how each other deals with a variety of situations and other persons. There is a great deal that can be said about courtship.
And each family will establish their own model—sometimes a different model for the varying circumstances of each child.