Courtship is a period during which an intending couple study and understand each other to be able to get married and live together as husband and wife.
Going into marriage without adequate preparation can be likened to building a house without first sitting down to count your cost and planning properly.
This may give rise to several constraints at the end of the project.
Courtship is a time whereby intending couples know one another deeply, they will know each other’s strengths and weaknesses , past history and future plans, they will know each other’s genuine commitment with God.
What to look out for in Courtship
- Relationship with God
The bible says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Prov 9 : 10. One of the most important criteria of choosing a life partner as a Christian during courtship is that the person must be genuinely born again.
When a man is born again and works daily with God observing His ordinances , eschewing sin and dueling in his presence, the wisdom of God will come upon the person to be able to live right and also be capable of managing his/her home appropriately.
As a Christian, you are not permitted to court with an unbeliever let alone marrying him or her.
The reason is that the bible says
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” 2Corinthians 6 :14
Let people of the same faith work together as they will understand each other better when they observe the tenets of their faith.
Also the bible says: “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Prov. 27:17
Both of you must love God and work hard to grow in faith together by so doing, your home will be hidden in Christ.
During courtship, intending couples need to study and understand each other’s temperaments.
It is better any of the partners back out at courtship stage than after getting married he/she discover the other party can even kill when provoked.
If he/she doesn’t know how to control his/her anger, then it is dangerous because the bible says “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9. Hence it is risky for a fool to own and manage a home the reason courtship is necessary ab initio.
Both of them can help each other in that case to go for counseling, pray together and work on the weakness to become better people if they choose to live together with the weakness.
- Medical History
I have seen a situation some years back when a young man and lady were in courtship as believers for about 3 years.
When it was time for them to get married, the church instructed that a medical examination be carried out on both partners.
Painfully, the girl tested positive to HIV. And the young man was shocked. In fact the church committee had to summon the man and the lady to discuss the matter which ended up having the man backing out with a lot of regrets despite the plea from the church committee.
Thank God they didn’t get involve in immorality during courtship like some unfaithful Christian sometimes do maybe the man would have tested positive to the disease as well.
The truth is that wanting to know the health condition of a partner during courtship is not intended to discourage any of them but to get them prepared to face whatever it is together if they decide to go ahead with the marriage.
- Financial Status
Even though finance is not supposed to be the cardinal thing to look out for in courtship or marriage. However, finance play a great role in a home.
The bible also recognizes this fact when it says “A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.” Ecclesiastes 10:19
You need to know the financial status of one another during courtship to help make more informed decision. Not only that, you also might want to know the source of wealth of your partner.
There are some families, the wife doesn’t know what exactly the man does for a living. When you ask what your husband’s occupation?, she will say my husband is a business man. What kind of business? She won’t be able to explain.
In an ideal situation, courtship must reveal that before the marriage.
One amongst other reasons you need to know is that should you fail to know what he/she does for a living during courtship, what if the business is illegal in nature?
During sincere Christian courtship process, there will be revelations of all details to both parties.
- Each Other’s Pasts
Secrets are like hidden wounds that keep eating deep right inside accompanied with pain but one day open as large embarrassing sours.
I understand that some of us had terrible pasts. But yet how terrible to you think yours was? The reason you may think this way is because you haven’t heard of someone else’s own.
The truth is that, we humans are not perfect especially when we had not known Christ. So within this period so many things may have gone wrong in our lives.
But the truth is that no matter how bad our past are, we have the opportunity to correct most of them by living as changed persons for good.
For instance, i once witnessed an incident where a young man who happened to be the leader of choir in one Pentecostal church i worshiped in few years back got married to a sister in the same choir group after a few years of courtship.
The lady refused to release a secret to the brother and they got married right in that church.
Just two weeks down the line, the young man filed for divorce. This came as huge surprise and confusion probabiliy because it was a church affair. They met in church, they were trained in church, interviewed in church and the marriage itself conducted right there in the church, yet this happened.
The lady had a child while in secondary school and was almost grown up as at the time she got married to the brother.
The church tried hard but couldn’t resolve the differences hence there was a divorce.
Of course, it would have been better and even easier for the lady to mention it to the man even if the man had walk away, it would still have been better.
Therefore, for intending couples, they owe each other a duty to lay their pasts bare before each other not aiming at judging or condemning each other but to appreciate one another’s pain, weakness, strength, sincerity and determination to face the future based on a new life.
The fears of many about revealing the past is, “what if after informing him/her and he/she backs out?”
My answer to this is always very simple, then that person wasn’t meant to be your husband/wife.
Honestly, whatever you maybe covering now just to get into the marriage first, may shatter the marriage at the end thereby making you a divorcee leaving you with quite a lot of regrets.
Isn’t it better he/she goes at the courtship stage than after doing all the marriage investments, hassles and so on only to get divorce at the end?
The fact is that you really need to know such vital information for obvious reasons.
Besides, some young people live lives of deception just because they want to win the hearts of women they admire.
A situation where a young man borrows a friend’s house, car, gadgets deceiving the girl he owns them, is wrong and dubious. Later when they get married the girl finds out he never owned them, that will mark the beginning of a crack on the marriage.
It is better you know what little he/she owns and decide whether or not to manage and move forward together.
Marriage is a serious business that mustn’t be toiled with or inappropriately planned. And courtship plays a great role towards building a solid foundation for a good marriage.
Courtship provides the right platform for revealing all such details given it is really a Christian courtship where there is no form of deception.
There is no need to hurry. Take your time to do the right thing to achieve the correct result. They say “what is worth doing at all is worth doing well”. Christian courtship is a necessity for intending Christian couples.
Even God himself wish that whatever we do come out great and successful, marriage inclusive.
That is why in the book of Jeremiah 29:11 the bible says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”