At Thy Word

"And Simon answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless, at thy word, I will... ...


 On Death and Dying

There has been a lot of discussion in my circle lately about death. I guess that is not surprising. There has been a lot of infirmities and deaths of relatives and friends that has lead to this discussion.
It is common among both Christians and unbelievers to talk about God during a loved one's passing. We have questions; we would love to have answers.
The common question is "Why?"
The common answer is "God knows."
Well yes, He does. But when it comes to death and probably even infirmity. There really is a deeper answer. And well there should be. For this discussion, because of length, I won't address infirmity here, but rather only discuss the topic of God and death.
Suffice it to say, in regard to infirmity, from 2 Corinthians, we do know Paul asked God three times to remove the thorn in his side. For whatever reason, Paul tells us God refused. Sometimes God has reason for illness: to glorify Him; to motivate to action; to create the very best us. Sometimes it is simply the results of living in a fallen world and experiencing all the thorns and briers that come with that fact.
But back to that which is at the forefront of my recent family/friend discussions. It is common thought among Christians and really everyone, to believe that no one dies outside of God's will. That is, no one will die unless God calls that person home. I don't like to upset the apple cart, but to be quite honest, I don't believe that; and though rare, there are other Christians who agree with me. Let's look at Scripture to determine what is accurate.
I think we can consider several examples of someone dying before one actually should. One of the most obvious examples in dying before ones' time, would be in the taking of ones' own life. Do we really believe God is in suicide? And what about violent acts? Do we believe it was God's will for that woman to die at the hands of her abusive ex-husband? Do we believe that little 6 year old girl died in the basement of her home, because God ordained it, appointed it, or orchestrated it. I hardly think so. We need an answer for that. And quite simply the answer is, we live in a fallen world in which God allows a system and set of rules to work that he doesn't always penetrate, outside of a miracle. The fact is, God did not create chaos, he created order. He created the universe to work in such a way that there are things that absolutely will not change. Gravitational pull, electrical forces, laws of motion, planetary motion, etc.
The Bible tells us, "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist"  ~Colossians 1:17
That is first and foremost all part of God's plan and design. God is not going to change what He has put in order. Do NOT jump off a bridge or building to concrete below. You will most likely die - outside of a flat-out miracle.
Our own choices can effect when, where, and how we die. If we are not wise in the choices we make concerning our health, we can shorten our days. If we insist on putting ourselves in dangerous situations, God's plan can be altered. Yes, He knows it all. But His knowing does not make what you decide to do, His will. It is often outside of His perfect will.
Clearly, God is sovereign. I don't think that will ever be disputed among Christians. But the biggest part of God's sovereignty, is His giving and establishing man's free will. God didn't want puppets. He didn't want to force us to obey Him, or love Him, agree with Him, or trust Him. Oh, he wants us to do that for sure. But He wants it of our own accord. Not because He coerced us. What gain is there in that? What purpose? Robots and puppets were never God's intent.

The Bible says God knows the hour of our death; there is no dispute there. But we are not to know the means, the day or the hour of our death.

7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. ~Acts 1:7

And the popular Scripture, Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

There is a time to die and God knows how we will succumb to death, but that doesn't mean death can't happen outside of His will. Neither does this Scripture mean that our death cannot be hastened.

And yes, Scripture even tells us our days are determined beforehand.
5 Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; ~Job 14:5
We cannot pass the days numbered for us. But this doesn't say they cannot end early by our own poor choices. The Bible must be read and considered in its entirety and all verses analyzed in context.
So the question isn't does God have a number of days set aside for us. Yes. He does. Does God know the exact day and hour?  Absolutely! I cannot believe the number of articles that are written on this question alone. Of course He does. That is not the question either.

But the question is, can man disrupt that, or change the hour. Does man have the capability or power to change his own hour of our death. Yes, I believe man can. And that is due to the greatest part of God's sovereignty which gives us our own free will.
When read in context, these verses do not dispute the fact that one can die outside of God's will. Let's look at the oft quoted Scripture, it is appointed for man to die once. This is the verse most often used to say that we only die in God's will.  Yes!  It is appointed for man to die! Once! But really when we read that in context, that doesn't mean the hour was planned. It only shows God knew.
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. ~Hebrews 9:27-28
This Scripture is clearly talking about death that occurs for EVERY human being, and that for every man befalls judgment! This Scripture is talking about the great sacrifice of a living, loving God. It really isn't talking about God setting an exact day, an exact hour, and an exact moment. Obviously, He knows that moment, in His omnipotent, omniscient Being. But I do believe this Scripture is taken out of context in regard to the word appointed. Death is "appointed" by God's design, but man's has chosen to live in a fallen world over the perfect world that He designed. Death and suffering came with the fall of Adam and Eve. And that is not to say that anyone else's choice would not have been different than Adam and Eve's. We were not created perfect beings - we were created with choice. And with that choice death came into the world.
There was only once and ever, one Perfect Man And that Man was God incarnate. And that Man came expressly to die for the sins of the world. We are dead in our trespasses and sins. Jesus came to change that appointment. That is to what this verse is referring.
Now some like to point to the death of Jesus when He said before the Feast of the Tabernacles, "My time has not yet come." They like to say that this appoints to a specified hour for ones death. But that was GOD! 
"My time has not yet come, but your time is always here.” ~John 7:6 and John 7:30 - "So they tried to seize Him, but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come."

I find it arrogant for us to compare our time here with His. He truly had a time set for His death. But the truth is, He still could have changed that time. In his human form, He could have refused to go to the cross. The importance in His death on the cross is that He went willingly! We must understand that, in order to find the beauty in it and to totally grasp the reason for it.
Difficult concept, yes! To imagine that Someone would chose willingly to die for me! The Bible is clear; we do not always know or understand God's ways.

  • Job 11:7 “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?”

  • Job 36:26a “Behold, God is great, and we know him not.

  • Romans 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

It is certainly obvious, that death is part of God's plan. And there are definitely times a loved one's death is God's will. We accept that and respect that. In fact we honor that. But there is certainly no need to give Him blame when blame is not due. When someone, especially an unbeliever, asks why their loved one had to die in a cruel and unusual way - the "Why" question - we had better be prepared with an answer.  We need to be able to explain the fallen world, the failure and cruelty that sin brings, but that there is an answer for that. And that is the salvation we have through the death of God's Son on the cross. There is clarification in that, and therein lies the only Hope we have when we or a loved one experiences the sorrow that death brings.

When we know Jesus, we know then that our days are in His hand.  "My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.” ~Psalm 31:15.We have a safety net when we stay in obedience to His Word. We can live out the fulfillment of our days. Those are the days God had planned for us before we were formed in our mother's womb. Psalm 139

Yes, God is in control. God is sovereign. But we have freedom in that sovereignty.

13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. ~James 4:13-15

Yes.  If the Lord wills, we live or die. But first and foremost, we live in our own free will. God has a perfect will and one that He allows. Our life simply  has to be that way. We live within His sovereignty. But first and foremost we have choices. Humans left to their own devices, don't always make the right one. That's why God gave us Jesus. That is why we need Him.


To My Son 2/13/2015

Some time ago, I read an interesting article, or perhaps  it was an excerpt from a book by Dr. James Dobson. He was talking about the importance of the relationship between a man and his wife. He explained while it is important to treat your wife like the lady she is, it is also important for the wife to know her responsibility as helpmeet.

He explained a time when he had had a very trying day, but he and his wife needed to attend an event that evening, that they could not miss.  It was especially important to his wife. It was a formal event, and she had long looked forward to it.

He knew he had to go; and along with that he wanted it to be evident to all attending, that his wife was treated in the manner that she should be. He wanted to give her the respect she desired in front of these people that were so important to her. He opened the doors for her, held her coat, and pulled out her chair. He did everything a gentleman should do for a lady. 

On returning home, he explained in his article, how when he pulled into the driveway, and was about to get out of the car to open the garage door, before he was able, his wife in her formal attire, jumped out of the car and pulled open the garage door for him. He said he sat there with his mouth open, but he never forgot the moment.  He explained how, he had been there for her throughout the evening, being everything she needed him to be, but when he was almost unbearably tired and worn out, and it was a moment where she could help him, she was right there to do so.

I never forgot that story from Dr. Dobson, my son, and I wanted to share it with you, as I contemplate all that I want to tell you about my hopes for your future wife. It has long been my prayer, since you were a little boy, that you would find the right woman to share your life. 

I’ve seen many stories about hopes that parents have for their daughters; and the warnings they might give to future, hopeful suitors. I think it is a bit more unusual to find something written about our desires for our sons; so I decided to write my own. Let me convey my prayers for you and the woman who will share your life…

Of course first and foremost, I pray she is the one that God has selected for you; and that you have prayerfully considered before believing you have the right woman.

I hope she is all that you need her to be. I hope she is beautiful and healthy and fit; but even more than that, I hope she is beautiful, healthy and fit on the inside. Our hope as parents is that her heart is prepared by the One that should be at the center of your union.  ~ Proverbs 31:30

I pray that "trust" will be understood as one of the most important aspects of your marriage.  ~Proverbs 31:10-31  May she trust your judgment, decisions, and loyalty to her and your family. May you trust that she will be loyal to you in every aspect including a personal loyalty that will not be questioned by those who are watching your marriage. ~Proverbs 31: 10-11; 1 Peter 3:16

I pray that she will be sensitive to your needs and that you will always meet her needs as well.

I hope she is strong, yet sensitive – just as you are. I pray she instinctively knows like Dr. Dobson's  wife knew, when it is time to reverse the roles and be there to offer support to you.

I pray she is wise and able to give valuable input and insight that you both will be able to prayerfully consider. ~ Proverbs 31:26  But when all is said and done, I pray she understands that after discussion, the final decision rests with you as you are the one accountable to God in every decision as head of the home. ~Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Corinthians 11:3

Every woman must understand it is the man that God has placed as the spiritual head of the home. Every man and woman should know God must be at the center and His Word is the ultimate authority. ~1 Corinthians 11:3

May you both know and understand the meaning of your vows, and that you both are to leave your homes and cleave to one another. Each should be the most important person in one another's lives. ~ Genesis 2: 24; Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:31

There must be obedience and respect from both parties; I pray you will never see those long spoken vows “love, honor and obey” as old-fashioned or foolish.  ~ 1 Corinthians 11:11    
May she fully know and believe that you will be one, who as instructed by God, will "love your wife as Christ loved the church". I know you are capable of that kind of love, son. ~Ephesians 5: 25

I hope she raises your children along side you in the love and admonition of the Lord. May they be raised to know there is nothing more important than God at the center of your lives! ~Joshua 24:15; ~Psalm 128:3

I pray she will love and respect the kids you will be blessed with. And I hope she will often see everything from a child’s eyes, which will give her understanding that will better allow her to respond to their needs.

I pray she will know that you are as important to your children’s life as she is and that there is no distinction between the importance of mother and father.

I pray that her desire will be to stay home with your children and never put them into the trust of anyone who doesn’t love them or who might endanger them.

I hope she will laugh with your children, and not let them take themselves too seriously, understanding they are only kids.

I hope she will easily laugh with you and never at you.

I hope she will never mock you publicly, or correct you in front of your family or piers, but rather she will know the exact timing when to bring an issue to the forefront of a discussion...with only the two of you.

I pray she will never join those who antagonize you, attack you or make fun of you. We both know there have been and always will be people that do that. May she never take part, but instead be brave enough to stand against that kind of dialogue – even though she is a lady. A lady knows how to defend her own, with class. May she always be confident that you will do the same; and even more than that, that everyone will know that fact simply by your presence and demeanor! May there never be an attempt to unfairly discredit your lives. ~1 Peter 3:1a; ~1 Timothy 3:11

I hope she will never be derogatory behind your back. ~1 Timothy 3:11; ~1 Peter 3:1a
I hope she does not look at you as her “cash cow” – as the one that is supposed to give her everything she thinks she desires – but rather she will be one who understands her role in helping you provide for your family.

I pray she knows how to help with the burden of finances. ~Proverbs 31:13-16  I pray she knows how to conserve and I hope she understands when it time to splurge.

May she always understand your gift of giving while never abusing that invaluable gift!
I pray you will always be one, who like Dr. Dobson, treats his wife with the love and respect she deserves; not only for her, but also for your children who will be ever watching and learning from your example. ~Psalm 128:3

May your wife always recognize this fact and treat you in the same respectful manner in order to demonstrate a loving union to your kids.

One of the dearest memories and pieces of advice on marriage that I have ever received is from my maternal grandma, who in my opinion was just about tops in the way of wife and mother. I will never forget what she told me one time when she was talking about my grandpa. “Sometimes he had to come home late after working a long day. I was frustrated at him missing dinner. But I always had dinner on the stove and I always left a light on for him. I wanted him to know he was appreciated and that I was always there for him.”
I pray that you will have the same welcoming that my grandpa had - that your home will be your resting place, your peaceful palace. I hope it is a place to relax, and laugh; and live and love. A place where you will make plans, fulfill hopes and wishes, and raise a family.

I pray your wife, your helpmeet, will be your best friend. And I hope she will always leave a light on for you. ~ Genesis 2:18

I pray you will always be the provider and the head of your household that God designed you to be. 1 Timothy 5:8  I pray you will always take care of your wife, love her and protect her.  But along with that, I also pray that your wife will inherently know when it is time for her to bring comfort, support and help to youjust as noted in the opening anecdote.

Finally, I only hope she loves you completely and unconditionally and will demonstrate that love not only to you, but also to your kids and all who look upon your marriage. ~1 Peter 3;16
You see, son, though as a society we worry more about our daughters, and our women; and though there have been many father letters written to daughters, or father letters written to future son-in-laws, the converse is also true. We want our sons to be taken care of, too.  It is something a mama just can't help but desire and worry about just a little, and so I write.
But truly, the best way for you to be taken care of is if you follow the God-given instructions specified so clearly in His Word, written just for you.
I know you are that kind of man. I pray for that kind of woman.


Kissing Courting Good-bye!! 12/18/2014

Courtship – sometimes I wonder if even after all these years, we have any better understanding of this concept than we did at the onset! For the last thirty years or so, the Christian community has witnessed a resurgence of an old standard called “courtship”. Home-schooling families especially, have bought into the whole idea of “courting” as opposed to dating. For clearer understanding, Christian courtship as defined by Wikipedia is:

Biblical courtship, also known as Christian courtship is a conservative Christian alternative to dating. It is a response to secular dating culture within various American Christian communities, c. 1985 to present. Motivated by concern for the need of Christian values in contrast to secular dating practices, conservative Christians identified what they saw as key Biblical principles for courtship and romance, and began to disseminate them in the 1980s.”

Some say courtship started with the teaching of Bill Gothard and “Basic Youth Concepts” – which is now called, “Institute in Basic Life Principles”. Others believe that Joshua Harris and his book I Kissed Dating Good-bye is the reason for the 1980’s surge in popularity. Both teachings likely had a great deal to do with the courtship trend we have seen in the last several years.

As a general rule, there are a few common principles in any courtship model. The most common rules and understanding of courtship we see are:

· Seek the father’s permission to spend time with his daughter
· Meetings should only be in group setting or a chaperone should always be present
· Purity and a chaste relationship (We all want that for our children!)
· Rejection of secular dating
· Getting to know one another as “friends” prior to “falling in love”
· The ultimate goal of the relationship is expected to end in marriage

These are a few of the standards that are most often agreed upon by those who chose to participate in a modern courting relationship. But for the most part, courtship in today’s society is still new enough and unstructured enough for there to be a great deal of misunderstanding and confusion by all who are involved in regard to what is really expected while “courting”.

In reality, although we have the generic standards lined out above, once in an actual relationship the first troubling thing a couple may find is that there really are no clear rules and understanding of what is expected. That’s a nightmare waiting to happen!

I have witnessed couples who say they are courting, but in fact, are doing nothing different than what we see in the world of dating. As well, I have seen couples who are hogtied to strict rules that one would be hard-pressed to find backed up in Scripture; and I have seen others that only seem to want to follow the trend, having no idea what they believe and why, in regard to courtship. For the most part, everyone seems to only do what they view as right in their own eyes; only muddling through without a clear example which in the past would have been set by parents’ generations prior. The fact is we are several generations in to the “dating” system alone, courtship being left far behind until this recent reappearance. This is why no one really knows what to expect in a “courting” relationship. Parents are at a loss themselves in what to teach their children about courtship because they never experienced it themselves.

I used to think I believed in courtship. I was convinced it was a wonderful thing! I mean who wouldn’t want their child to be in a relationship that is perceived to be free of the natural heartbreak that every young man and woman usually experience in life through dating. Certainly the standards set in dating by the secular world are something to be avoided. Things became so promiscuously reckless in the world the Christian understandably wanted something better. And we needed something better!

These are the reasons I supported courtship; I believed in it; I respected it; I promoted it in all it’s popular, trending glory. That is, until my son ended up in a courtship relationship, which gave me valuable insight into the whole courtship scenario and all that it entails.

I am confident I am not alone. Many are starting to “kiss [courting] good-bye”. Let’s look at some of the practical problems with courting, and where we might have failed.

For starters, it puts the young man in the position of feeling like he has to marry the one he may only want to ask out for coffee in order that he might get to know her better. The interested gentleman is subjected to asking a father’s permission even before he knows if the young woman and he are compatible. Think about it; with courtship as defined above, and with all the expectations that are involved, asking to spend time with a young woman in order to court  is not really much different than the past tradition of asking for her hand in marriage. Only problem is, it’s way too early and expectations are out of order!!

If the young woman’s expectation is “date only to marry” i.e. courtship, she is going to automatically believe that is also the goal of the young man. She may have hopes (that almost every young woman has had from the time she was a little girl) to grow up and have a beautiful wedding to a wonderful man ending with a long dreamed about family and a “happily ever after”. That’s a rather large expectation to dash, if things go awry with a gentleman that only wants to first get to know someone. To believe that there will be no hurt feelings if the courtship doesn’t work is clearly hogwash!

As well, there are those that have laid down strict rules that no one else has been made aware. Some may believe that their beliefs are the correct path to follow for every individual, rather than understanding there will be different principles for others who may have doctrinal differences, but are committed just as strongly to their beliefs. An experience of that nature can leave families confused, not always understanding the goals, agenda, or beliefs of the other family, especially when expectations are not laid out and discussed beforehand.

Since there is no set standard, it often forces the parents of the female to set the rules as they go. And remember; courting is something new to most parents! No one can think through every situation that might surface as a relationship progresses. Try as they might, concerned parents are going to find issues arise that they just didn’t foresee. It compels them to set new rules as they go. Often, instead of extending trust, they only offer more restrictions.

I have found when there is no “trust” of the two young people who are involved rules invariably do need to change as things progress. That leaves the young people feeling used, vulnerable and like there is no way they will ever please or meet the parents’ ideals or standards. As the girl’s parents are usually the one that sets those standards and makes up the new rules for this runaway train called courtship, it leaves young men feeling defenseless and discouraged.

Another obvious flaw that should have been apparent from the onset of this current model called courtship is that if there is always a third party present, it leaves no time for the two involved to get to know one another on personal levels. They certainly are not going to discuss theology beliefs, personal life desires, or child-raising viewpoints in front of a third party. Many months or even years can pass, before the two realize there are some serious issues on which they simply do not agree.

If there are no set rules established for modern courtship, and they are only made up by the parents as certain situations arise, it puts the gentleman in the position of continually being at the mercy of parents with whom he may or may not be in agreement doctrinally and spiritually. In reality, the young man is forced not to seek to please the young woman; but rather, he must seek to please the parents first. That simply isn’t Scriptural.

A young man at this time in his life should be exerting initiative and learning how to become the head of household; instead he ends up succumbing to parental authority of the one he is supposed to be planning on marrying. Young women, (especially young Christian women) will tend to agree with their parents on most issues, so it becomes a battle of wills with all involved. Because of the need to respect and bow to parental authority, the woman ends up winning battles that otherwise would and should be worked out by the couple themselves.

What the parents of the young woman may not understand is they are undermining the leadership and the headship of the male figure in a marriage, even before the knot is tied. They are setting a terrible pattern of allowing the young woman to have the final say on matters rather than helping her learn the importance of communication and discussion in a relationship.

In the early relationship, when everything is done the young woman’s way, (rather, the way of her parents) she does not learn give and take; but instead she learns that she is the winner in every situation. To start this precedent early on in the courtship is only training that which the young woman will come to expect in marriage i.e. “Hubby isn’t head of household. I am; and I have Mommy and Daddy to back me up.”
That standard should be a huge red flag for anyone that understands the true role of the man as the spiritual head of the home. The couple hasn’t learned to discuss and come to mutual agreement. They have only learned what Mom and Dad say goes.

Further and finally, it’s the man’s character that is constantly called into question. A chaperone is nothing more than a constant reminder that it is somehow believed he can’t be trusted. A constant questioning of ones’ character is simply not healthy for anyone’s self esteem, or even their mental attitude. How can a young woman learn she can trust a young man, when he is obviously not trusted by a parent? Do we really want to put that type of mistrust of men in our young women’s heads and hearts?

Even further, in my opinion, a chaperone serves as a constant reminder of sex. “We can’t be alone together, because we might do something we shouldn’t.” That isn’t a healthy mindset either! It simply puts “sex” at the forefront of the relationship. That’s not any different than what we see in the world today. Sex, sex, sex! But in this case, it only becomes an appendage of fear that results in an attitude or lifestyle lived out in “we might do something we shouldn’t”.

Protecting our young men and women’s reputation by requiring a chaperone is a false premise. No one is paying attention to that. If someone is looking for gossip or a way to attack ones reputation or behavior they will find it, even if they have to invent it. The opposite can also be said. One could suspect the couple has done something illicit in which they require a chaperone – i.e. they have done something to cause them to lose trust. In my opinion, chaperones after someone has reached adulthood are only a crutch for a worried parent.  

Teach your daughters strength of character; a holy walk; and to stand for Biblical truths and you won’t have to worry about our sons whom we have taught the same. Know your son and daughter well enough to know how they would respond to every situation, and have faith they will do the right thing. To do otherwise is to only promote conflict.

Those who favor or promote courtship seem to believe that, all components of the concept are Biblically based. While, examples of purity are clearly laid out in Scripture, purity has been an expectation for the Christian for generations, because it is Scriptural. That is not something brought about by the idea of courtship. The truth is one will be hard pressed to find Scripture to back up today’s standards of courtship. It simply isn’t there.

I have always believed in early marriage. Though certainly not mandatory, I do believe it is beneficial. The Bible uses many examples to show two are better than one. When one is down, the other will lift him up. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Mark 6:7) That isn’t only true in the work field or “missions” field; it is a benefit of marriage! Furthermore, the Bible teaches that it is better to marry than to burn with lust. (Corinthians 7:9) Our Lord would rather young people marry than have to resist temptation for years until society, or anyone else, deems them ready for marriage. As well, not allowing two young people to be alone together and trusting them to do so respectfully, only puts pressure on them to marry possibly sooner than they should. There is a balance that needs to be reached. My only caveat is that the young man should be the one to determine when he is ready. Not, the woman, not the woman’s parents, not the man’s parents. Only the man can properly determine this; and any pressure otherwise is sure to lead to rebellion and resentment later, if someone else’s judgment was inaccurate.

It has been reported we are finally starting to see a high divorce rates of couples that courted. I have not substantiated that fact, but I do know we are seeing confusion and disillusionment with the courting philosophy.

If one chooses to court, I would like to offer some suggestions that may help solidify the concept, by alleviating some of the problems that arise which I have mentioned in this article.

  • Before a courting relationship begins, set down all rules and expectations of all parties concerned; i.e. the young woman, the young man, the woman’ parents, and the man’s parents.

  • Don’t enter into courtship with the idea that “this is the one”, but rather this is a time of getting to know one another more fully. Courtship does not necessarily mean marriage.

  • Allow your young adults time to be alone so they can get to know one another on a more serious level concerning issues they would not talk about in front of a third party; i.e. children, faith, life desires, etc.

  • Build trust! The young woman must learn that she can trust the young man. This can only happen if her parents trust him.

  • Teach your daughters strength of character; a holy walk; and to stand for Biblical truths. You then won’t have to worry about our sons whom we have taught the same.

  • The young man must know what God has in store for him in the way of his life goals, before he considers getting married. And the woman he chooses, must accept those goals.

As a mother of an adult son who is yet unmarried, my ultimate desire for him would be found in the title of Ken Graves’ book: Master, Mission, Mate. I want to say to my son and to all young men with a desire to marry: Serve our Master first. Find out what it is that He has designed for your life. What is the mission He has for you in the way of serving Him and in the way of your work or profession? Understand, at least, the general direction on the road He has planned for you to travel throughout your life. When you know all that, then and only then, should a mate be considered. Your mate should only fit in where she is in agreement with the first two facets of this slogan. If she isn’t in agreement with what God has in store for you, then you have the wrong woman.

The bottom line is courtship is not going to give you the knowledge or understanding of what God has for your life. Courtship isn’t going to keep you safe from hurt and loss. Courtship won’t keep your reputation solid. Courtship won’t keep you pure and holy. Only a heart set on Him, will do all of that and more…For that you don’t need chaperones. You already have One.

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