(See II Corinthians 5:7, Psalm , Romans , Psalm 13, and I John 4:8.) Because each individual, family, and set of circumstances is unique, each courtship will be unique.
While those who choose courtship will hold to general guidelines for the relationship, their specific choices about when, where, and how to court may differ according to their needs and circumstances.
This is the time when a couple can look at their relationship objectively and realistically without as much emotional cost if they decide to part ways.
Dating can help build this foundation; but unless participated in wisely, dating can also prove disastrous.
While each couple’s courtship will be different, here are several areas of building a friendship that Judy and I considered while we were preparing for our marriage.
How did the Bensons develop their strong relationship? President Benson’s biographer tells us that during this time, they “talked for hours, exploring their feelings about a future together. The more they talked, the more comfortable they felt with each other.” The prophet himself describes it this way: “‘There was so much to tell and we seemed to enjoy each other so very much. It was a perfect courtship during which I discovered in Flora a great character and a rare combination of virtues’” (Sheri L. On the other hand, Scott and Pamela met a few months after Scott returned from his mission. After a whirlwind courtship, they married in a beautiful temple ceremony.
Soon Pamela was expecting their first child and quit her job due to poor health, which meant that Scott had to drop out of college and look for a full-time job.
This courtship process focuses on religious compatibility and a shared belief system. Many past societies, even ancient ones, encouraged proper courtships that followed formal rules of etiquette.
Royal Persian courtships involved officials and royal decrees, while provincial Sicilian families required deposits of livestock.
It is a choice to wait for God’s best, for His glory.
It is a decision to walk by faith, to trust in God, to honor others above yourself, and to believe that God will deal bountifully with you, because He is love.
Though it is culturally common for couples to seek counseling only after engagement (called premarital counseling), we have found that the time for a couple to seek counseling before marriage is during that decision stage.
This is before the wedding date is selected, the dress is bought, the church is booked, and the invitations have been sent out.
Pre-engagement is the period of decision; it is the fork in the road between, “Do we go our separate ways? ” Once couples are engaged, the decision has a sense of finality – with the exception of a few couples who decide it is best to break their engagement.