It has been a long time coming, but I have finally sat down to continue on this topic. I pray the latter end of this previous post blesses you and others as the first part has. Remember, godly counsel will not sound like the counsel of this world.
9. Know your expected role.
As we have discussed before, every Christian should court with the intent of marriage. So if you are courting, sister, you are expecting to possibly become this man’s wife one day. But did you know that a true wife is a wife before she ever marries? The Lord says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.” He who finds a wife, not a woman with a wife potential – but a wife. But some may say, how so? How can I be considered a wife before I am even married? Well, I say, are you not betrothed to Christ, dear sister? Are you not a wife to Him already? For you should be as part of the bride of Christ. It is far easier to transition from being married to Christ alone in sincerity to being married also to one of His son’s on earth if you are already walking in being a wife to Christ. Get beyond the thoughts of weddings and dresses and start asking God to help you be a wife that He is calling you to be. Submissive. Reverent. Loving. Kind. Joyful. Slow to anger. Slow to speak. Quick to listen. Forgiving. A suitable help-meet. And the list goes on. (reference Proverbs 18:22; Isaiah 54:5, 62:5; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Matthew 22:2 Ephesians 5:22-23)
10. Know what is not your role.
In the previous point above, I make it clear to say your “expected” role, for you must now also know what is not your role at this current time. You are not the wife of the man who is courting you – yet. So therefore all marital privileges such as complete submission to him under God, anything sexual, and a “forever together” or “until death do us part” commitment is off the table; for, once again, he is not your husband until by the laws of your land you are married before God. But this neither means being haughty, not taking his make-up as a man seriously, nor being a headache of a woman to be around. He should still lead you and set a good example however in the ways of God, just not in the things that are preserved for marriage. Still be the gentle, meek, and of quiet spirit woman God calls you to be, courting or not. For a virtuous woman’s price is far above rubies. Be treasured and have a spirit of great worth unto the Lord, and set a standard of godliness that even if for some reason your courtship did not end in marriage you would be above reproach. Walking gracefully away in integrity and dignity deeper affirms the gospel you profess. (reference Proverbs 31:10; 1 Peter 3:3-4; Romans 13:1-2; 2 Corinthians 6:3)
11. Have Godly counsel to lean on – but ultimately listen to God’s call.
You should definitely seek out Godly counsel from fruit-bearing, spiritual mature Christians as you are courting. There is wisdom and establishment in a multitude of counselors. You remember in the part one of this post in a previous blog when I mentioned as much as possible to keep your meeting places Christian where other Christians are among you? These are the people you will want to have around when possible, for they may be able to spiritually see and discern what you being so deep in cannot see clearly – good or bad. They can help you grow in your courtship and give you accountability where there otherwise would be none. Yes, with all that being said, it is God’s voice that you must take heed to. My husband and I married two days after meeting because God had already consulted us privately about each other before we ever did, so rare times God’s plans looks foolish to even to our most trusted counsel – and that’s okay. Job’s friends thought they were helping him and we see how that went. Just keep your ears open to wise counsel that is biblical. It cannot hurt you, just make sure your heart/mind is open exclusively to God. (reference Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 2:1-5, 11-12)
12. Though you are desiring marriage, do not make it all about marriage.
Beware not to fall into the sin of idolatry. Of course, by not putting anyone before God as we went over before. However, this time I mean by putting the desire for marriage itself before God. When courting, if your heart’s desire is not really to get to know the man and discern if he is the one God even has for you at all for a marriage glorifying to God, but only to make your way merrily and obliviously down an aisle into life-long commitment – it is time for you to repent. Yes, repent. For marriage has become your idol and, with love I say this, you in this moment are being selfish. You are thinking of stealing what God never intended for you and, if you continue to go forward with it, you will eventually pay the price. Sister, it does not have to be that way. Do not try to take matters into your own hands and force a marriage. But instead trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. What God has for you in this life is worth waiting for. Do not scare away a Godly man by obsessing over marriage, weddings, and/or babies and neglecting to truly get to know him – for how would you feel if that was you. Treat others as you would want to be treated – loved, not used. (reference 1 John 5:21; 1 Corinthians 10:14; Proverbs 3:5-6; Luke 6:31)
14. Fruit tells all.
The fruit reveals the root. The Spirit will always bear witness with and of itself and the flesh will always bear witness with and of itself. If anger, uncalled for jealousies, hatred, lusts, and so forth are showing up often then it is a corrupt, spiritually barren tree. Not someone you would want to marry in that current state – an unsaved soul who needs Christ more than they think they need you or you them. “Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.” If Jesus is at the root then His goodness will be the most seen fruit in the man courting you’s life. Love, joy, peace, patience, and so forth. Do a fruit inspection through your weeks and months of getting to know one another. The LORD is the vine of His children and we are the branches, and only in Him do we bear much fruit of the Spirit. No one is perfect, but when a true believer does fall short it is with godly sorrow that leads to true repentance – turning away from that sin in disgust and towards God in delight, and it will be evident for all to see. (reference John 15:5; James 3:12-13; Galatians 5:22-23)
The simple basis and reference for these posts is this: God is the Creator of all, and surrendering to His will and way and obeying His Word is where every Christian will find safety. But many choose to try and venture off in their own way and see to their own wills and end up worse off than before. I simply want to encourage you young and even old single sisters to follow Him. Not the world. Him. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. By the Spirit of God. If you center everything in your life to the glory of God, you will see the glory of God in everything He puts before you. Trust Him – even in this place of courting.
If you have yet to read Biblical Courting: Part One, I encourage you to, for this is only the back-end of biblical advice on a vital matter in the church among young men and women (though I write only to women).