Enjoying Life one RUN at a Time

So You’re Courting?

I’m sitting here this morning sipping my coffee and reflecting on the past five months. I really cannot think of another time of my life that has been more fun, more exciting, and gone by so quickly as the last five months.

Why five, you ask? Well five months ago, I met a young man who turned my semi-average life upside down. A young man who loves the Lord passionately, seeks Him diligently, and loves others continually.

Five months ago, Landon and I met, became business partners, and quickly developed a great friendship. Around four months later, Landon called my father and asked if he had his blessings to start a relationship with me. After calling and meeting with my dad, Landon called me, asking if I would be interested in starting a courtship. I eloquently, said, “hahaha- Yeah!”

This is not  the entirety of our story. There are a lot of little details, laughs, looks, events, and smiles that I could tell you about. (Don’t worry, I plan to sometime!) But, this post I wanted to focus on what we are actually doing. Why we are calling our relationship a courtship and how that looks in 21st century America. Let me also clarify, that the title does not mean that you are doing it right. You can date in a Biblical, God- honoring way and you can court someone in a sinful way. So, we do not have to get to wrapped up in the name! Landon and I have decided to call it courtship for the reason of sharing with those who give us quizzical looks.

Often, when people hear the term ‘courtship’ they think 1 of 3 things.

1. Horse and buggy.

2. Awkward homeschoolers/ arranged marriage

3. Engagement

Although these are common ideas about courtship, they are not true. The purpose of Biblical courtship is not to plan a forced marriage between two unwilling ‘candidates’, it is not engagement, and it is not something that was practiced in the ‘old days’ before people learned to have fun.

Biblical courtship is a season in a young man and young woman’s life when they are both ready for marriage, while looking to see if the person that they are in a relationship with is the one that God has chosen for them as husband/wife. Biblical courtship takes the emphasis off the emotional and physical side of romance, and puts it toward knowledge of each other and learning about the character of each other.

Please don’t get me wrong, Biblical courtship is romantic, emotional, and after marriage, physical. The difference between the world’s way of dating vs. courtship is that a relationship is not driven by the fleshly desires for each others’ bodies and it does not thrive on the feelings.

-Why?-

Because feelings come and go. Bodies change. People change. But, when a courtship and then a marriage is built on Christs’ love and passion for His bride, the church; then a marriage will not only thrive, but be deeply romantic and passionate.

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  n the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,  because we are members of his body.  “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh…” However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” 
{Ephesians 5:25-33} 

Landon and I have found such joy and beauty is chasing after purity in our courtship. There is something beautiful about protecting each other and honoring each other in purity. I look at purity in a couple different ways.

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1.  I want to honor my King. The Bible says that all the benefits of marriage should come after marriage. As Joshua Harris says, “Intimacy is the reward of commitment.”  Because I want to honor Jesus Christ in every aspect of my life, I want to stay pure and ‘flee lust’ because more than anything or anyone else, Jesus Christ is first in my life.

2. Beautiful things happen when you wait. Have you ever unwrapped or peaked at a Christmas present early? It seemed like a good thing at the time, it seemed exciting, yet, once you did, you had that feeling of regret? The excitement of the unknown and the anticipation of the mystery quickly dissolved. I don’t want intimacy to be like that. I am excited to hold hands, to be able to kiss, and I know that I don’t want to spoil the surprise of the present.

3. I want to honor my future husband. Proverbs 31:12 says, “She does him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”  Courtship doesn’t mean an engagement. Those are two different commitment levels. During courtship, we are, through prayer and counsel seeking to see if this person is to be for us for marriage. If not, then I don’t want to give away myself to someone who is not my husband. I want to be able to give myself completely to my husband to do ‘him good all the days of my life.’ All means all. Not just after marriage, but even before.

If you are reading this, and have given part of yourself or your whole self away, do not feel like your chances are gone. In Christ, all things are made new! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore if a man is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.

In Christ, there is forgiveness and the remission of sin. The Bible says, that all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Confess and forsake your sin, and run to the cross.

What is sin? Sin is the transgression of the law. All of us have gone astray and broken the Ten Commandments, which is God’s law. On judgment day, all of us would be found guilty. Yet, because of the great love of Christ, we can be redeemed, restored, and made whole in Him.

For His names’ sake, He, God, sacrificed His son, who took our sins and ‘bore our sins, in His body on a tree, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. By His wounds we are healed.” {1 Peter 2:24}

When we run to the cross, forsaking and turning away from our sins, and believe in Him alone for salvation and eternal life, we can be made holy and pure again. When God looks at us as His children, He sees Jesus’ righteousness clothing us. And now, because of this great love, we can wholly, purely love others.

Oh the great love of Christ!

This is the story of courtship. This is the beauty of a Biblical romance. That love is not based on anything we can do to merit it, but freely given and full of grace.

In conclusion, Biblical courtship is a season, when two young adults seek the Lord and counsel to see if they are right for each other for marriage. It is a time when the Lord molds them, shapes them, and tries them. It is a time that is full of excitement, love, feelings, and romance, but in the safety net of purity. It is a time when we can glorify and honor our King together. And it is a time of decisions.

I am so thankful to have a man who keeps the Lord center in our courtship, protects purity, and guards me in different ways. Landon is a great example of Biblical manhood, and I am honored to be in a relationship with him. I love his heart for our King and His passion for the word. I know you are reading this Landon, so thank you for being you. Thank you for challenging me, encouraging me, and protecting me in purity. I am so proud of you and excited to see what the Lord has in store for us!

“To God be the glory, great things He hath done!”

I know this was a long post friends, but I wanted to share from my heart. And deep down inside of me, the only thing that is short about me is my height.

I’m going to let Landon finish up this post. He always amazes me at how he can get a powerful point in just a few sentences. So without further ado, my man, Landon:

Hi friends,
I’m grateful to God to have been in a courtship for over a month with Bethany Houston.
Basically that means after praying, reading God’s Word, and seeking counsel, we’ve decided to intentionally get to know each other with the objective of finding out if we could be a fit for each other in a biblical, God-honoring marriage. If you have questions about what that looks like feel free to ask us.
I would appreciate your prayers for us to think, act, and speak things toward each other that are edifying, holy, true, and pure. Our prayer is that God’s name may be glorified in this season.
I’m excited for what the Lord is going to do.

-Landon

 Easter