Topic: Understanding Christian Courtship (2) by Pastor Faith Oyedepo [Tuesday 15th August, 2017]
Last week, I started teaching on Understanding Christian Courtship and we examined the purpose of the courtship period. This week, I will be teaching on “How long and how far you should go with courtship.”
Courtship does not have a particular duration. There are ‘no scriptural references that say exactly how long courtship should be. Most Biblical examples vary from couple to couple like Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel, Jacob and Leah in Genesis 24, 29:1-30. However, the Word of God in Ecclesiastes 10:10 says: ….Wisdom is profitable to direct. Since marriage is a lifetime affair it is not a thing to be rushed into but it is important to be sure you know each other well enough. Even though courtship is not how long but how well; the period should be reasonably long enough for both of you to get to know each other well and to be able to live together all the days of your lives.
My husband and I courted for six years and its effect is still speaking as it gave me ample time to know all about what he was doing and what to expect in future. You cannot know someone completely, no matter how long you court but the longer, the better. If you court for only a week or less, then, you will need God’s special grace in your marriage. Why? Because, knowing each other will last almost a lifetime while learning about each other will also take time, but you are better off, when you know quite a lot about someone. A reasonable length of courtship period is a necessity you cannot afford to overlook. In Genesis 29:20-30, Jacob courted Rachel for seven years but was given Leah. Even after that, he still had to court again for another seven years for Rachel! In fact, it was seven years and seven days with Leah’s week inclusive.
Do not rush into marriage. Spend some time to look before you leap. Many have rushed into marriage, only to discover the true identity of the person they are living with, at a time that is too late. A lady once came to me to inform me of her marriage intentions. I wanted to find out a few things from her and ask her a few questions. So, I booked an appointment with her. It happened that the appointment could not hold, and the next time I met her, she was already married. The look on her face showed that she needed help. I later discovered that the man she married had been living outside the country for many years and had just come back, so they did not really know each other. She, of course was in a hurry to get married so she could travel back with him.
While there is nothing wrong with a woman wanting to travel with her husband after marriage, there is everything wrong in wanting to marry a man just because you want to go outside the country with him. The man, I guess, knows himself and his spiritual limitations and had tried to delay the marriage, but she succeeded in convincing him since she was ready to shoulder all the expenses. As soon as the marriage was conducted, she discovered the real nature of the man she married. He was a man who was not just interested in the things of God. She wanted to call it quit, but God would not permit it.
If only she had been patient enough, she would have known the true nature of the man before rushing into marriage. Now, she had to live the rest of her life in an uncomfortable situation. It can be very dangerous not to know the one you are going to spend your life with especially, in a world so advanced in technology that people get married everyday via computer/internet. It is wise to ensure you know yourselves well enough before going into marriage.
What, then, are some of the benefits of knowing your partner long enough?
The benefits of knowing your partner long enough are innumerable. Some of the benefits both of you stand to gain include:
- All round maturity spiritually, emotionally, physically etc. This is because of the increased level of understanding that both of you will have, from knowing each other for long. You will enjoy the benefit of knowing the peculiar characteristics, likes, dislikes, weaknesses of each other and how well to handle them (Genesis 5:22-23).
- You will be able to conclude better on decisions such as the location, finance, number of children, vision and other plans that are important foundation for your future home.
- It allows you the benefit of a friendly relationship. This kind of friendship is the one that is mentioned in Proverbs 18:24 which says: A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. It allows you the benefit of being ‘best friends’.
- Finally, it allows you to confidently decide whether to marry the person or not. Since courtship is not marriage, it can be broken. If while courting, you find out that your relationship is not going on well, or you discover that you both disagree more often than you agree, then wisdom demands that you break the relationship.
God knows all, sees all and knows every man’s heart. When you accept Him, He will help to reveal the true identity of your partner to you, irrespective of pretences. To accept Him, you have to confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Saviour. If you will like to do this, please say this prayer of faith with me. “Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins and cleanse me with Your Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Thank You for delivering me from sin and satan to serve the living God and thank You for accepting me into Your Kingdom.”
Congratulations, you are now born again! If you prayed this simple prayer of faith with me, you are now a child of God. He loves you and will never leave you. Read your Bible daily, obey God’s Word and seek Christian fellowship (John 14:21).
With this, you are guaranteed all-round rest and peace in Jesus’ Name. Call or write to share your testimonies with me through [email protected], 07026385437 OR 08141320204.
For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work, Building A Successful Home and Success in Marriage (Co-Authored).