Dear Kelly, If I may ask, what is your family’s understanding of Courtship? I have had several close friends of mine go through courtships but each family perceives it differently. One of the family’s viewed it like the couple was practically already engaged. Another family views it as just a time to strengthening the friendship and see if they were interested in each other? What about your family?Kelly answered on January 18, 2013 at 1:26 am
You are right, there are so many differing views about courtship. To make it more confusing, there are hundreds of books, DVDs, and speakers to promote their opinions. There can be much wisdom in the counsel and experience of others. It can also be dangerous, because it is “opinion,” not Scripture. If you’re not careful, you get the mindset of “Do things MY way, or it’s not the RIGHT way!” Since there are no clear guidelines in Scripture for how to date or court, and each example of marriage is completely different, we suggest you learn as much as you can from the experience and counsel of others, but foremost, get alone with God to seek His direction for you as an individual.
Note… this is purely opinion: I don’t think courtship or engagement is binding like marriage. Marriage is a covenant with God. Courtship and engagement are a means to prepare for marriage. What if a person has hidden sin that he/she has lied about deliberately? What if the couple realized they really had different goals and beliefs, after more in depth communication? What if one of the person’s involved “puts up a front” during the getting to know each other process, but later the “true self” comes out?… At the same time, I think there needs to be a definite sobriety about entering a courtship. No one wants to end up with a lot of relationships that end in heartache. I think that’s why we all took a little more time getting to know Chad and his family before prayerfully agreeing to continue the relationship. Love, Kelly
You can read more about Erin’s courtship and the rest of the Bates clan here: http://blog.thebatesfamily.com/The young man’s name is Chad Paine, and according to his blog, he has known Erin for three years. He wrote a post about his birthday, and he said some pretty sweet things about Erin:
God has blessed me so much! There are so many others that I could thank…teachers, preachers, friends, elders, peers…the list could go on forever! So many people have invested in my life! It’s almost overwhelming when you step back to think about it! But there is one person that I did want to thank. It’s a person that I have known for only a little over 3 years…but I feel like I have known her all my life… =’)…Yes…it’s Erin, the Girl of my dreams and the one that has challenged me, encouraged me, prayed for me, and loved me in a way that truly overwhelms me! God has blessed me so greatly! This was the best birthday that I have ever had! Erin was able to come and she actually really surprised me with a visit! It was a really sweet time of fellowship and fun with the family!
God is so good! And I can’t help but marvel at His goodness and what He has done for me! He has always been faithful! He has always been there for me when I needed Him! Even when I am unfaithful, yet He remains very Faithful!!! I can’t wait to see what this new year holds!
You can learn more about Chad and his family here: http://12paines.com/about/chad/Although we should try not to worry about our children’s lives, it’s hard. I know that God has a plan for both of my teens, and that I must sit back and trust Him to reveal it to them in His good time. Pray for me as I strive not to stress over whether my children will face many obstacles in their quest for a marriage partner. It is still very new to my family, following God’s Word whether or not it complies with the way of our world. I know that my children are also anxious over whether they will be able to find like-minded people who also desire to live for God in every aspect of their lives. So far, we are still without a church home, and those like-minded people have yet to appear in our neck of the woods. IMPORTANT…….PLEASE READ: If you visit the Bates family website and read their posts about Erin and Chad, you will undoubtably see a picture of another Bates daughter standing to a very handsome gentleman; Alyssa Bates and John Webster. Like me, you will probably assume that this young couple (as they are standing together, as a couple posing for a picture) is also in a relationship. However, after a little digging, I have found out that this is not the case. Here is what Kelly had to say about her daughters’ Alyssa and Erin:
Kelly April 30, 2013 at 6:30 pm
Alyssa isn’t courting yet. We’re anxious to see how the future unfolds. Right now, she’s just enjoying getting to know John better!We greatly admire John and always look forward to the time we spend with him or his family members. I was greatly impressed by the closeness they all share. Each week, the brothers play basketball and softball together on a team- the married families, and the unmarried Webster children – so they stay very close! I love that!
Erin graduates in December, so I imagine they’ll be picking their month soon afterwards. We keep hinting for Chad to take a trip to the jewelry store…lol! Love, Kelly
Soon we will see John David, Janna, Jill, Jessa and Jinger follow in Josh Duggar’s footsteps with their own ‘dating with a purpose’ and then marraige. Josh and Anna Duggar are already on their way to having three kids (and about to embark on a journey across the country for Josh’s new job in Washington D.C.), as Anna is pregnant with their third child as we speak. Zack, Michaella, William, Nathan, and Alyssa will soon be courting and marrying as well. I pray for them on their exciting futures!
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.