Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Courtship is Not a Cookie Cutter

June 02, 2014. 8:45 p.m. His car pulls up to the house and he parks by the curb. He climbs out and closes the door behind him. I kind of can't stop smiling. He asks my parents if we can go on a walk. We proceed a few feet down the sidewalk before he says, "The cat's kind of out of the bag now, so... will you be my girlfriend?"

Rewind to earlier in the day, where I've just gotten off the phone to find out that I've been offered a job that I recently interviewed for. "We have some news for you," my mom says. Naturally, I start to worry. News? Is someone sick? Dying? Dead? "No, it's good news," she assures me, and goes on to tell me that "a young man" is interested in courting me. And as soon as I find out who it is, I kind of start crying.

First Official "Date"
And so began the most exciting eight months of my life (so far :)). It hasn't always been easy, but the best part about it is that we have each other and we are excited to see where God will lead us.

But in the midst of this sappy post, I thought I'd share a few things I've learned through the courtship process so far. One of the most surprising things I've learned is...

Courtship is not a cookie cutter. "Well, duh," you might think. But what that simple statement entails is so much that I did not expect. It's that every courtship is different. It can be very different. And that's okay.

I am a legalistic person by nature; I am rule-oriented and am most comfortable when all rules are followed. I also hate conflict. I desire to learn the right thing to do, then do it, then encourage everyone else to do the exact same thing, so that a) everyone will be following the rules b) there is no conflict. However, I learned that my approach is not ideal, practical, or even necessarily right!

There are quite a few Biblical guidelines about relationships - we are told to flee sexual immorality (1 Cor 6:18, 1 Thess 4:3-5) and to put to death "fornication, uncleanness, passion...evil desire..." (Col 3:, NKJV). Proverbs 4:28 says, "Keep your heart with all diligence, [f]or out of it spring the issues of life." We are also told to love others selflessly - "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you..." (John 13:34).

When I first began to learn more about purity - not only physical, but emotional purity as well - I read Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally. Then I read It's (Not That) Complicated by the Botkin Sisters, and the famous I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Josh Harris. Almost everything the books said about relationships and purity made sense, and I agreed with it. Then, shortly after my courtship began, this article - Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed - started floating around social media. At first, I was offended by the title, but eventually I decided to read it, deciding before I read the first word that I would disagree wholeheartedly when everything the article said. Then my boyfriend and my mother both read it, and said it brought up some valid points! I was frustrated that not everything could agree. Then slowly, I began to realize something.

Each relationship is different, because God made everyone unique. Although a relationship should include guidelines and rules, one of the most important (and perhaps often overlooked) is the heart. Not in the "follow your heart" sense, but your heart motives. It's much easier for me to set up a bunch of rules and try to follow them than to discern whether or not my heart is in the right place. Are you seeking to glorify God in this relationship?

My relationship might look different than yours. We hold hands. We go on "dates". We call each other "boyfriend" and "girlfriend". He tickles me when I'm upset. I send him letters with weird doodles. We nerd out about Lord of the Rings together. And we have invented an economy of optimism (don't even ask). Does my relationship look different than yours? Most definitely. Is that okay? If our hearts are in the right place, then I think its safe to say, yes.



  1. WOW I love this post - it's really inspiring!
    You two are so cute together and I'm so happy for you. ♥

  2. Aw, Kalarbelle! So happy for you dear! And that God is directing your courtship! At this stage in my life, the Lord hasn't brought that ''someone'' yet but I know that I can trust Him for the right timing! Thank you for sharing your thoughts:). Hugs, Kelly

  3. You two are so cute! <3 During lunch my friends and I had this long conversation about friends and finding "the one" guy that's going to make us happy for the rest of our lives... I'm not sure when I'm going to hit or find love-- if I ever will find love-- but I must trust Him and his decision.

    xoxo Morning

    1. Hello, Morning! Thanks for stopping by and for your sweet comment! Just remember that there is only One who can make you truly content... and He loves you more than any person ever can! - Klarabelle

  4. I have to say thank you for writing this, Kara. My parents think courtship is the best thing ever, and while I agree with a lot of the aspects of it, it was good to be reminded that no relationship is the same. I am so excited for you! :)

  5. Oh my goodness, Kara! Your story is so inspiring♥ Sooo happy for you!!


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