In the mid 1900s, people discovered that they could date. Dating gave people a sense of freedom to do what they wanted with whomever they wanted wherever they wanted. It was liberating. They didn’t have to spend as much time with the family because the automobile provided a means to get away. “I’ll pick you up at around 7 and get you home by midnight” became the norm.
Thirty to forty years later, it was what we did because that’s all we knew.
Old people courted. We thought it was out-dated. But guess what?
It’s making a comeback. It’s time to be counter-cultural…revolutionary…to bring back the “old-fashioned” because it’s what has worked for CENTURIES.
There is a generation of young adults who are tired of the heartache and want to know if there is a better way. They want to get married, but are too broken to enter into a healthy commitment and fully appreciate the Sacrament of Marriage because of the pain they have gone through from one breakup to another.
What was that word again? COURTSHIP?
Try it. It’s good…and holy. Definitely challenging but well worth the effort. And it pays off in the long run. In this life and in the next…
The powerpoint outline of this talk can be found here:
*NOTE: Please consider that depending on the circumstances, not all courtships will perfectly fall into these guidelines. What matters most is that your hearts are right with God and you are seeking His will in your relationships. With direction from the Church and the wisdom of parents, priests, and spiritual mentors, you will find what works best for you.
Our courtship began on the evening of December 31, 2004. If you take the time to read Part One of our story “In Pursuit of Love”, you’ll notice that we didn’t follow the “traditional” rules of courtship to the “T” either. I actually started reading Joshua Harris’s book on courtship Boy Meets Girl after we decided that we would take our friendship to the next level, but Harris’s first book I Kissed Dating Goodbye did end with a few suggestions that helped me set the stage for Gary.
Before my would-be husband came on the scene, this is what I already had in mind. If a guy was interested in being more than friends, he needed to:
- share my religious and moral values
- be marriage-minded (at least ready to head in that direction – spiritually, mentally, and financially)
- agree to speak with my spiritual director, if he wanted to move the friendship forward (my dad was no longer available)
- agree to wait for our first kiss until we were standing at the altar together on our wedding day
That’s it. It might seem like a tall order, but as they say, “The Lord provides.” These four points encompassed all the particulars – issues with my health, my own personal preferences for purity in the relationship, unnecessary drama and having to deal with much of the indecisiveness and instability that comes with guys who just are not ready to get married.
Ladies and gentlemen, please know and understand that you are worth the best God wants to give you. He wants you to be happy, and I would imagine that you want the same for your forever, as well. It’s a beautiful journey once you decide to take the courtship route.
To my fellow sisters out there – you deserve to be pursued! When a man realizes how precious you are…when he is willing to do what it takes to win your heart…when he will fight to preserve your purity, you will experience a love so true and so deep that you will know he is worthy of marriage.
To my brothers who want to grow into the men God made you to be – this is what you were created for! You are called to initiate, to chase, to woo…because it shows that you really believe she’s someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. If the woman pursues you, she will rob you of your very identity as a man and over time, you will lose yourself in that relationship. Of course she may show you that she appreciates you as a person. Of course she will be attracted to you. But you need to learn how to lead. Because you, my brothers, will be the husbands…the fathers…the heads of your households who must stand strong as the pillars of faith and family discipline.
Yes, this is different. It has to be. We need to reclaim the ways of generations past who stayed married for their entire lives. Deep down, I know that’s what you want, but some of you have chosen not to believe in it anymore. Whatever your experiences, I want you to know that this kind of love…is REAL. And it’s waiting for you. It’s all a matter of choosing another way…
Photo: Gary & Marianne’s Engagement (courtesy of Marlin Munoz Photography, 2006)