Marriage is an institution established by God, in the book of Genesis God said it is not good for the man to be alone. The bible says, therefore, shall a man live his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife. The two then become one, what a mystery! Quickly know this that, “marriage is not for boys but for men, not for small girls but for women,” you must be matured physically, spiritually, mentally, socially, financially before you get married. Adam was not a boy, he had a job, had an accommodation (the garden of course!) before he got married to Eve. Also, note that marriage is not between Adam & Steve or Eva & Eve, same-sex marriage is a perversion of God’s Holy order of marriage and it’s even against nature.
So in marriage a man finds his wife (within the will of God), the bible says whoso finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. So the process of marriage begins with a ready man looking for a ready woman!
After knowing the will of God for your life in marriage, a guy goes ahead and propose marriage to the lady, let me quickly add this that it is the duty of the guy to propose and not the other way round, and the proposal must be clear and well understood, don’t enter into a relationship based on assumption! the fact that a guy asked for your name, address, e-mail, social media contact, invited you for a dinner etc does not mean you are in courtship already, he must make it clear to you as a lady that he wants to marry you, and both of you eventually agree to get married which is based on the lady saying YES to the proposal, let me also say this before we discuss courtship properly that the guy must be patient with the lady for an answer, he should allow the lady to pray about it and make up her mind, also, the lady should ask the guy some questions. The guy should also be able to reveal certain information that the lady might not be aware of for example if the guy has a child (maybe when in secondary school) from a lady he’s not married to. The rule is that be opened. When the lady eventually says YES! The next thing is Courtship.
So what is Christian courtship?
Christian Courtship is simply the time gap between when a Christian lady says yes to a marriage proposal from a Christian brother.
In as much as you can’t go to the altar the following day of the marriage proposal, it therefore means that the period in between must be well utilized, failure of which a lot of marriages have suffered serious setbacks and breakage.
So what are you supposed to be doing between the period both of you formally agreed to be married and when you eventually get married (note: you are not married until you are married)
The period of courtship is not just the period to tell your fiancé/e I love you one million times a day or a time to be moving from one restaurant to another or just looking at each other’s faces and just planning for the wedding day alone, courtship is far more serious than that. Courtship is a period to really find out whether the two of you are meant for each other, a time to agree. The bible says can two walk together except they be agreed. A time to verify that the yes you said at the beginning is truly yes.
Note that set of rules must be agreed upon to guide your courtship, otherwise, you will be like a ship on a high sea without a compass and without an anchor. Rules are very important, write them down and follow them to the letter; the two of you must help each other to stand!
Also included in this article are 21 prayer points you can pray during courtship!
UNDERSTANDING CHRISTIAN COURTSHIP
The time of courtship is a time to discover God together; it’s a time of robbing your visions together, a time of knowing your family members and relations, a time to study each other’s culture, a time to study your differences (gender, family background, temperament, personal goals, and cultural differences).
It is a time of planning, not just the wedding, but the home, how your home will look like, planning your career/profession, and aspirations both spiritually and physically, it’s a period of setting goals.
It’s a period of discussing your finances, in-laws, responsibilities etc (see suggested topics for discussion during courtship in this article) and sex (but be careful not to fall into immorality while discussing sex, it’s better deferred to when the wedding day is close, books on sex in marriage can help but be careful not to go into sex before marriage as your body chemistry might be activated during this period especially when you are with your intended spouse! So watch!). Note: the relationship should be temporarily suspended if you both fall into sex and report yourselves to your pastor/guidance! Don’t continue in sin.
Courtship entails the unifying of your spirits as you study the bible together, pray and fast, learn the scriptures together, visit church programs, you must agree on bible doctrines e.g. Spirit baptism, water baptism, heaven and hell, faith, holiness, etc. visit your spiritual mentors together, read Christian literature.
It also entails unifying your minds together as you try to understand each other’s view on issues, what excite you may irritate your partner, it’s a period you understand what your partner values and trying to see from each other’s point of view. It’s a time to listen to each other and not being domineering.
It’s a time to look into the future together and also start buying things in readiness for the wedding and the home.
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL CHRISTIAN COURTSHIP
Courtship can actually be very challenging, a lot of singles started with the hope of getting married but ended with both parties going their separate ways for one reason or the other. The following tips will help you to have a successful courtship in addition to the dos and don’ts of Christian courtship.
LOVE: Even though it takes more than love to sustain a relationship, Love is still very key in sustaining a relationship, true love stands the test of time, any relationship built on material things without true love will surely collapse. If a guy truly loves you as a lady, He will not want to defile you before your wedding night. Don’t marry someone you don’t love, no matter the persuasion, Love transcends beauty or any other facial qualities. Let love be the bedrock of your relationship.
FORGIVENESS: No matter how much you both love each other, times will come when you will offend each other or have some forms of disagreement over issues that may lead to one party feeling offended, you must learn to forgive each other. Don’t hold grudges against your partner, be open to discuss and settle your differences. Don’t hold on to past mistakes and errors. Always forgive each other. Unforgiveness can lead to bitterness, hatred, suspicion and lack of trust which are all killers of relationship.
TRUST: Trust is very vital in sustaining a courtship, if you can’t trust each other there is no point moving along. Without trust there will be gross suspicion capable of destroying the relationship. Some ladies have made up their mind never to trust any guy again in their life due to past disappointments; if you carry that notion into your new relationship then you can be sure of getting nowhere. The fact is that you should not even think of marrying someone you can’t trust. So learn to trust your partner. Many of our assumptions are not always right! The fact that you called her and she did not pick the call is not to conclude that she’s seeing another man or maybe she deliberately did not want to pick your calls. Be considerate and always put yourself in your partner’s shoes.
UNDERSTANDING: as earlier mentioned, one of the things courtship period does is to allow the two parties understand each other. Remember you both have different minds, so you can’t think alike, it calls for proper understanding to actually flow together. Learn to be patient with each other and not overreact too quickly, take things gently and with understanding. Most of the things that cause trouble or misunderstanding in courtship are just simple things.
COMMUNICATION: without effective communication there will be lots of assumptions and misunderstanding. You both must be able to express yourself in a way that you both will understand, talk plainly not in parables! Don’t assume your partner knows what you are thinking when you never told him/her, don’t assume he/she should know what you are passing through if you’ve never told him/her. Talk about your plans and visions, talk, talk, talk! Also remember that your body language is also part of communication, your partners is also reading the expressions on your face. When you say sorry, does your body language say so too?
BOUNDARIES: Christian liberty is not freedom to commit sin, you must at the beginning of the courtship and as you go along set boundaries to guide your relationship as Christians, your boundaries determine your no-go areas. If you don’t set boundaries soon you will discover you are romancing and doing a lot of contrary things to God’s standard of holiness. Never engage in sex until you are married, petting, kissing and romancing are manifestations of lustful desires!
PRAYERS: Even in marriage it is said that the family that prays together stays together. Prayer is very vital in a relationship as well as reading scriptures and your devotion to God. Learn to pray together, the bible says if two of you shall agree as touching anything, it will be done. There are forces of darkness that may be militating against your life or your future home, you need to destroy their plans in fervent prayers. You need to commit everything, to God in prayers. Jesus said watch and pray!
Most of the things earlier mentioned are things you need to be doing during courtship starting from praying together, discussing your future and so on, all these are vital to the success of the courtship and your home as well. I’ve also included in this write up some things that you need to discuss during courtship.
These are some things you need to avoid in other to have a successful Christian courtship.
- Do not be exclusive in relating with each other all the time.
- Do not plan to isolate yourselves in dark or solitary places where you can easily be tempted, why should the two of you be praying alone in a dark room?
- Do not give in to your passion and abuse your bodies for sexual sins – avoid petting, necking, fondling, kissing, sex – Gal. 5:6, 1 Thess. 4:3-7. Remember true love waits.
- Do not watch sexually explicit movies, porn movies, or x rated films together or alone.
- Mind what you wear, don’t tempt each other, don’t say after all he’s your fiancée and he is a child of God and then use that as a license to appear semi-nude, or wear transparent clothes or dress with no underwear while he’s around. Guys likewise should mind what they wear.
- Don’t let your good be evil spoken of (Rom.14:16). Avoid sleeping in the same room or on the same bed during visitation or on a tour. A brother said he can sleep on the same bed with a sister and nothing will happen, then I asked even if nothing happens then what are you trying to prove? Are you proving you have a PhD in Holiness or what? Can you be holy by your self-will without God’s grace? Friend, run away from every appearance of evil, otherwise the news of your fall will fill the air soon. Be wise!
- Don’t plan to have a very long courtship! Courtship takes a lot of commitment, so don’t even start it if you know you will not have the time to be committed to the relationship because the price of relationship is commitment.
- Courtship is not a period of gathering for a one-in-town wedding celebration that you can’t afford.
- DO NOT IGNORE WARNING SIGNALS!!! So many Christians are regretting their marriage today or already have a broken home because they ignore warning signals during their courtship. When we make mistakes in choices as believers, God in His infinite mercies have a way of bringing us back to the right track especially when we are sincere and faithful to Him, during such moments He finds a way of letting you know that you are in a wrong relationship capable of ruining your future, this He can do through dreams, or constant fear any time you think about your spouse to be or through any other means.. if after you have prayed rigorously about it in order to be sure that the fear or revelation is not from the devil and the experience still keep coming then you have to quit the relationship. Some sisters, despite the fact that they can see that the guy they are engaged to is wayward yet they still follow stupidly probably because they felt if they disengage they might not get another person again or for some selfish reasons, same goes for guys. Don’t let her facial beauty or long (artificial) hair becloud you of warning signals. You know within you that something is wrong, but you are allowing your head to rule your heart, the end result will be a disaster! Call it a quit. A broken courtship is better than a broken marriage. Although it may be painful, you just have to do it and that is the reason why it is good to pray well and be very careful when choosing a life partner so that you don’t end up with heartbreak each time.
POINTS TO DISCUSS DURING COURTSHIP
Rather than just engaging yourselves with things that will not build your home, take time during your courtship to engage in effective communication that will enhance the success of your home. It has been discovered that greater percentage of the reasons why marriages are collapsing and there is high divorce rate in our generation is as a result of faulty courtship period. Below are some suggested points you can discuss during your courtship period in addition to praying together, visiting places together and the rest. Ensure you both agree on all the points as that will help you to understand each other better and prepare for your future home. Don’t try to win an argument but rather see things from the other person’s point of view and then come up with a mutual agreement. Suspend any issue you can’t agree on till another time to allow time to think or ponder over it well.
Also note that the key point is that you hide nothing from your spouse as you both discuss your Past, Present and Future. Tell your partner about your past lifestyles but with the appropriate timing (let there be love, trust, and confidence before discussing certain issues)
In addition to telling stories about your childhood and places you’ve been and past life experiences, Discuss the following and every other thing:
What are your expectations in this relationship? talk about your expectations! You both must be able to agree on things before you get married. Talk about how your father and mother run their home, what you like about it and what you don’t like about it. how do you want your new home to be? what kind of dad or mum do you have and what traits do you have from them that may affect your home positively or negatively! Discuss things your parents or relations do that you don’t like and you don’t want such to happen in your own home! The key word here is discuss everything that comes to your mind about your home, your fears, your worries and expectations! If you cant agree on some things, seek counsel! and if it’s obvious you both cant shift ground on certain beliefs about marriage, then quit!!!! its better to quit at the courtship level than to start seeking a divorce after marriage!
Lots of people have serious issues as a result of finance! the key issue here is that there must be transparency! a wife must know how much a husband earns and the husband too must know how much the wife earns. hiding your income to your spouse will only bring suspicion and cause more havoc as each one will assume the other person is having money when in actual fact he/she might be broke. Be transparent! plan your finance together, run a family budget! Don’t see your money belonging to you only, see it as belonging to the family! Your both incomes should be treated as family income! and budget base on that!
Discuss further on:
- Budgets, bookkeeping, how to handle household finances. What kind of account do you want to keep? Separate account or joint account? joint account does not necessarily mean opening an account in the name of the two of you although that can also be implied, families handles their finances in different ways; both of you can bring in certain percentage of your income to meet the home need, or add the income of the two of you together and then do the home budget based on the total income, some can also divide the responsibilities based on the earning power of each person decide on how you want to run your finances.
- Categories of spending in a budget
- Who is responsible for what in finances?
- How to work together on bookkeeping, paperwork
- Debt – how do you manage debts
- Credit cards, and the use of ATMS
- Used vs. new – are we buying new or used cars, clothes, etc.
- Tithes, offerings, benevolence (giving to people)- what is the view of your spouse on Tithes, does he/she believes in paying tithes and how regularly
- Savings- how much should be saved, or what percentage of salary should be saved (recommendation: a minimum of 10% of your income should be saved) and for what purpose
- Investments- what can the family invest in, Mortgage etc
- Balance of job and family – how do we balance our jobs and home
- Overtime work – evenings and Saturdays, should the wife be allowed to work overnight? can we take par-time jobs? etc
- When wife disagrees with husband – what should happen?
- Should any information be withheld from a spouse? If so, what and when?
- Decision making – What is the wife’s role? What is the husband’s role?
- Role of father and mother in relationship to children
- What are the basic responsibilities of a wife? and husband?
- What role do in-laws play in a marriage?
- How to handle disagreements with parents or in-laws
- Care of elderly parents and grandparents – any plan to bring in parents or grandparents to live with you?
- Holidays – with extended family or at home or alone?
- How important is the extended family?
- Ever consider moving far away from extended family? Under what conditions?
- The role of seeking counsel when making decisions
- When is it appropriate to reject the counsel of others?
- Role of female friends in wife’s life and the role of male friends in husband’s life
- What if the spouse is going against the clear teaching of Scripture and church leaders?
- How to resolve disagreements and offenses? How soon? What compromises are you willing to make? Who has the final authority in areas of disagreement?
- How much time do you want your spouse spending on activities away from home without you?
- What are specific ways that a wife can serve as a helper to her husband?
- Do you like lots of company, or do you prefer more time to yourself and alone with your family?
- Do you want to use the service of a housemaid, if yes, what should be the sex and age of the housemaid and at what point in time will you need a housemaid?
- What type of dress is appropriate and inappropriate in courtship or when married.
- Do you like lots of company, or do you prefer more time to yourself and alone with your family?
- Food: choice, favorite meals, preparation, restaurant etc.
- Division of responsibility in home – i.e. emptying garbage, keeping the car clean, yard work, housework, cooking, shopping, etc.
- What are your fears, likes, and dislikes?
- Your personality and values.
- How many? Names.
- Birth control or as God grants them?
- Discipline – Observe situations or make up hypothetical situations. How would you handle them?
- When to use spanking?
- Who disciplines the children when both parents are present?
- Should grandparents discipline their grandchildren?
- Goals for children
- Sports involvement- should the kids be allowed to take parts in sports?
- What to do when one spouse disagrees with decision or discipline of other spouse
- How should daughters be raised?
- How should sons be raised?
- What if older children disagree with some of your beliefs?
- How much should the family be away from home when young, when older?
- Ideas about memorizing Scripture, family worship
- Dresses vs. pants on little girls, older girls, should our girls be allowed to wear trousers?
- Standards that govern relationships with those of opposite sex.
- Favoritism and sibling’s rivalry.
- Schooling options, public or private?
- What are the goals you seek to reach as you school your children?
- What subjects are most important? science or arts?
- Would you consider having others teach your children certain subjects?
- Scriptural instruction – how and when?
- What is the father’s role in home lessons or tutorial and homework?
- What is the mother’s role in home lessons or tutorial and homework?
- Church vs. family – is one higher priority than other?
- Time commitment to church vs. family
- What about mid-week activities and meetings? how often?
- When and what would lead to leaving or changing churches?
- How to handle disagreements with church leadership
- Youth groups and youth activities without families
- Church attendance – frequency of going to church services
- Bible doctrines & beliefs- what are your believes? do you both agree on common bible doctrines like heaven, hell, rapture, resurrection of the dead, salvation, water baptism, Holy Spirit baptism, speaking in tongues, prophesy etc.
- Morning person or night person? do you like reading in the night?
- Do you like to arrive early or late to commitments?
- How much time for work vs. how much time for play?
Use of leisure time
- What are appropriate uses of leisure time?
- Reading materials- what kinds of books do you read?
- What kind of movies do you watch? games, computer games etc
- TV? or Cable?
- Vacations – What makes a good vacation? How often? What are inexpensive alternatives for young families?
- Background music or quiet?
- Standard medical practice vs. alternatives – do you use traditional medicines or just orthodox?
- What necessitates a doctor visit? What other alternatives are there?
- Prenatal care and birth options, Birth control methods and options
- Diet preferences – homemade, package, whole grains, etc. what kind of meals do you like?
- Does wife vote according to husband’s direction or by her own conscience after his counsel?
- What if wife disagrees with husband?
- When is resistance to government appropriate?
Dreams & Goals
- Desired accomplishments – Writing? Business? Etc.
- Travel – when, where, how much?
- Family, Home, estate, vacation etc.
- What are your goals generally in life?
Cultural differences (if applicable)
- Views on cultural values, ethics, and beliefs.
These and many more should be discussed during your courtship.
I wish you the best in your marital journey! The prayer points below can serve as a guide for you! It is very essential to pray aggressively during this period of your life, the devil does not like anything good. It is said that “the family that prays together stays together”… Prayers must begin while in courtship. make it a daily habit to pray and study the word of God!
PRAYER POINTS DURING COURTSHIP
The following prayer points can be prayed together or separately by the intending couple. They should not be taken like ritual prayers, but allow the Holy Spirit interpret, add or modify the prayer points to meet the situation.
- God we thank you for bringing us together as intending couple – Thank Him for His faithfulness, protection, provision and grace upon your lives
- Let your will be fulfilled in our lives in Jesus name – Let the will of God come to pass in our lives
- Let our lives be a sweet aroma to you God. Help us to be committed to your love and purpose. To know you more and more and to serve you all the days of our lives in Jesus name.
- Help us oh father to love you more! We dedicate our life, our love, our talents, everything we have, and everything we are unto you.
- Make our union to be an example of the believers in all things in Jesus name
- Let our home be a godly home, where Christ dwells and your Spirit controls.
- Help us to keep ourselves pure in holiness and righteousness, we shall not yield our bodies as instruments of immoralities to commit fornication and other sexual acts in Jesus name.
- Make provisions available unto us as we plan for our wedding and our home; give us financial breakthroughs and abundant provisions in the name of Jesus.
- We ask for wisdom, knowledge and understanding to be able to understand each other and love each other with genuine love! Let your banner of love be over us continuously!
- Reveal unto us any secret that any of us may be hiding from each other – Lord, reveal any secret that my partner may be hiding from me in Jesus name.
- Every satanic arrow targeted against our relationship, be destroyed in Jesus name
- Every evil foundation, family and generational curses in my life and the life of my partner, be destroyed in Jesus name.
- Every evil covenant operating in my life or transferred to me from my parents and in the life of my partner be destroyed by the blood of Jesus.
- Every satanic agent working against our lives, our future, our relationship, lose your power in Jesus name, we render your power useless by the blood of Jesus.
- Every power that wants to destroy our Joy is consumed by fire in Jesus name.
- Where ever our blessings are located, let them begin to locate us right now in Jesus name.
- The bible says” whosoever finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord” let the favour of God be upon us in Jesus name, grant us favour in your sight and in the sight of men in the mighty name of Jesus.
- Every evil seed planted into my life and the life of my partner, die in the name of Jesus
- The day of our wedding shall not be a day of sorrow, shall not be a day of evil, there shall be no accidents and no any evil occurrence, and we shall not receive evil gifts in the name of Jesus. Make it a day of Joy and gladness in Jesus name.
- Lord, separate us from evil friends that may want to destroy our relationship, and our home.
- Lord bless our home-to-be with all physical and spiritual blessings, bless our home with children, money, good jobs, —- mention all that you want God to do in your life and in your new home.
Jesus wants to have a relationship with you, Accept Him today as your Lord and Saviour. Click here to know more.
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You can connect with me directly on Facebook for a chat… https://www.facebook.com/ojomupaul
Please read the following articles on this blog also.
–100 answers for singles
-How to attract the right guy! (For single ladies)
-Single, Saved & Sexual (understanding the sex drive)
-Unbreak my heart: How to handle a broken relationship
-How to cope with singleness in your 30s
-Dare to be different
and many more…
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