On November 19, Katy Case entered into a courtship relationship with a young man, with the intent that she would marry him. I’m very excited for her, in that she has left one stage of life and is preparing to walk into another.
I believe that part of the way to fix the current erosion of the institution of marriage lies in not only speaking out about those that would change the definition, but helping those that are going to be or are in marriages to respect it as well. To that end, I believe that the courtship movement illustrates a series of good philosophies that any parent should employ to help their children during the transition between child and adult, between single and married.
Choosing a life partner is one of the biggest decisions a person will ever make. Which makes one wonder why some parents are more likely to have something to say to their children about whether or not they’ll brush their teeth but leave who their child sees and bonds with to chance.
I understand that many of the people that a young adult will meet will be at church or school, and that you will not always have direct access to them, but that’s no excuse. If your kid was telling you that he was hanging out in a bar every Friday night—even if he wasn’t drinking—you would find a way to do something about it. Yet many parents have decided that it’s a personal decision and the couple should be concerned about whether they are “in love.”
It’s important that the parents get involved at the beginning, before emotional attachment is made, so that there can be wisdom that can save pain. It’s a hard thing, but being a parent was never billed as an easy job.
The fact that a young man has to approach a girl’s father at the beginning of the process instead of the end provides for two different forms of accountability.
The first is to the family. The boy becomes accountable to the father for the well being of his daughter. He’s directly responsible for how she is treated, her well being, and her safety. He exclusively has the rights to see her, and if she is mistreated, he will bear the blame.
The second is to the young lady. His intentions are clear. Instead of her wondering about his intentions, worrying about whether he will eventually “pop the question”, and being strung along to give more things in order for them to keep the relationship, the young man is pledging that he is seeing her for the purpose of marriage—exclusively.
Courtship also provides for purity. The stress to keep a relationship together is lessened in that the girl does not have to wonder about where their dating is heading. Girls that are dating can be lead to do different things and give up their purity in order to keep a boy interested.
It also allows for the couple to grow naturally instead of having had multiple relationships bearing the scars of constant emotional bonds being ripped.
Because the relationship is serious from the beginning, it means that it is not casual and will not be approached casually. It’s foundation is more solid, and therefore more pure.
I’m very excited for Katy, and pray her courtship goes well. I’m not saying that if you allow your children to date you’re evil, just that you should take to heart what is presented here—the strengths of courtship—and apply them as necessary for whatever method of relationship building you and your family decide on. And let me encourage you to decide before you get there—after will be too late.