My husband and I passed a milestone last year by celebrating our 10-year anniversary. For the first 5 years we jokingly remarked we were still newlyweds, the honeymoon feeling lasted so long.
I fully credit this awesome start to marriage with going through a process of courtship. We voluntarily submitted our relationship to the leadership of our pastor and parents, and through their guidance we followed several biblical principles to build our relationship on a foundation of trust and friendship. We refrained from indulging in the romantically saturated culture of dating in order to see each other’s character be revealed and tested.
Biblical Courtship is based on these 5 foundational guiding principles: Purity, Protection, Communication, Honor, and Witness or Testimony.
To read further on the topics of courtship, dating, romance, and sex I recommend Unmasked by Jim Anderson. I highly recommend this book! I would go as far as to say it is a must-read for anyone seeking to go deeper in their spirituality.
Recently my husband and I went through an unforeseen test of character and covenant. There is a reason a lasting marital relationship is not based on feelings! Feelings are nebulous and unpredictable, you can’t trust them.
He has been through a long run of illness, resulting in a scheduled tonsillectomy. We prepared for it moderately, expecting some brief down time and a quick recovery. I naively thought we could even work on some projects around the house during his 2-week sick leave.
Instead of the subdued vacation time we imagined, my husband was flat on his back for 14 days. He was in pain, and I quickly realized while mercy flows abundantly from me for my children, I sort of ran out of mercy for him after about 10 days. Isn’t that awful??
We laugh about it now, the truth being couples go through much deeper suffering than this. The Lord is present to seal our covenant, a cord of three strands is not easily broken. But many couples today spend more time investing in their wedding day than preparing for marriage.
The reward is great when you choose to ignore foolish, youthful infatuation and instead build a friendship based on character and trust, delaying romance until it is attached to a committed, covenant relationship. It isn’t easy to practice self-control and guard your heart, to rely on your character to draw and attract rather than flirtation and sex appeal.
My husband and I certainly didn’t do everything right. Not by any measure. But I believe God blessed us because we submitted and surrendered our relationship to him from the beginning. I have a passion and desire to help equip other young people experience great joy in their marriages. To see an end to the brokenness the cycle of dating produces. To see fathers protecting their daughters, and the daughters trusting that protection.
I guess the message I hope to communicate to you is God desires to bless your marriage, and there is a generation rising up who will not be satisfied with anything less than a lasting marriage. Too many young adults have grown up with the pain and scarring of broken homes and are delaying marriage or choosing not to get married at all.
I hope will you read Unmasked: Exposing the Cultural Sexual Assault. It is a book with “revelation that could change our very culture.”