I will wait for my beloved: a Catholic teen's look at Courtship
Hello dear reader. Have you stumbled upon my blog post in hopes of some clarification concerning courtship? Maybe you don't know what courtship is! No worries! Hopefully this collection of thoughts concerning the subject of Catholic courtship can shed some light on the subject and answer some basic questions concerning courtship...
What is Courtship?
This is a question that I am just now figuring out the answer to. In the words of Danielle Myers, co-author of Of Knights and Fair Maidens, courting is this:
"Courtship, to us, is a guy/girl relationship that leads to marriage. It focuses on
three primary things: accountability to parents and other trusted adults, building each other's character rather than focusing on a physical attraction, and waiting
to develop serious relationship until you are ready to get married."
So, basically, courtship is a serious relationship whose goal is to discern the possibility of marriage. A successful courtship doesn't always end with a ring and a wedding. A successful courtship ends with the couple deciding if it would glorify God and be according to His will for them to enter into the sacrament of marriage.
Seeings everyone differently
I am not sure about you, but let me tell you something. I have a hard time not thinking about how a guy would be as a future boyfriend/fiancee/husband. My mind always jumps to the next step in a relationship - most of the times before I even know the guy's last name!
Let me share with you a revelation that I had while at a conference this summer: Every guy (and for guys, every girl) should be viewed as a brother (or sister) in Christ. In other words - every guy shouldn't be seen as a potential boyfriend. He should be seen as a brother.
This realization was so freeing!
This is when courtship is so different from the dating game. In courtship, the couple finds accountability in their parents. If their parents aren't available or participation-friendly, then they find accountability in trusted adults (like those from Church, or family friends, etc.)
You open up your relationship to your accountability partners. Basically, you let them know that they can ask you anything about the relationship at anytime. This might seem very constrictive and limiting. But, welcome to the land of paradox, it is freeing! You don't have to worry about hiding things, and you think twice about doing something questionable when you know that you are going to be asked what happened.
This accountability is also very guiding. Your accountability partner doesn't always ask the questions, you can too! The bible says to respect our parents/elders wisdom, and this is the best opportunity to learn from their experiences and mistakes! Plus, it shows maturity and trust on your part.
OK, this is great and all....but what are we going to DO then?
ere are some fun ideas to do while courting:
-Volunteer! You can visit a shelter, or teach a CCD class together at your Church.
- Go to the library
- Attend a bible study / Mass together!
- Take little siblings to the park
- Take a cooking class together
- Go thrift store shopping
- Refinish a piece of junk furniture
- Read a book together and talk about what you thought about the story
- Go to a concert in the park
Hold it.....I don't think I'm ready for courting, because I'm not ready for marriage. Now What?
Because of this crazy word we live in, we think that we must be with someone to have a good life, or that we must just spend our time waiting around for Mr./Mrs. Right.
What a mistake this is. Do you realize how much you can do for God now? Your season of singleness is so important to Him and He has a plan for your life NOW.
Turn your focus onto your family, your school, your involvement with your Church, your community, and relax! Build solid friendships.
This time in your life can be used by God in great ways. This time in your life is full of youth, freedom from schedules (for the most part!) and not being responsible for the soul of your husband or children. God can use you now, so be open to His will in your life.
Hopefully this helped explain a little bit of the process of courtship - and singleness! Let me know if you have anything to add / anything you have questions on.