Three Keys to Biblical Courtship

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1. Biblical Courtship is initiated by the man.

Biblical courtship is initiated by the man. The man, from beginning to prize, pursues the woman. He chases. She is chased. He woos. She is wooed. He fights. She is fought for. He conquers. She is conquered. This is because he is man and she is woman. He is Adam. She is Eve. If he succeeds in this task, which he must only pursue according to the rules, for there is no laurel apart from obedience, he will have qualified to fight and conquer for her the rest of his days. In this chasing, he is proving himself to her, which he must, for she must be able to trust and depend on him upon leaving the protection of her father.

The woman’s task is to be radiantly beautiful, in every way of beauty. She is to be costly, so as to attract a man of worth, a man of strength and honor.

2. Biblical Courtship moves as fast as possible.

Biblical courtship moves as fast as possible. “Take it slow” is a precept without a standard, without a basis. Take it judiciously is a must. Know the target, Christ-exalting, earth-filling, thorn-tilling marriage. Know what doctrine and maturity and goals and worldview and all that good stuff is necessary to pursue that target. Know whether you enjoy one another’s company, whether there is chemistry. Know whether you find one another sexually desirable. This won’t take rocket science or prayer to figure out, just a pair of moderately working eyes and somewhat flowing hormones.

Then act. Man, act decisively. Be courageous. Woman, respond appropriately. Encourage the man (men need it). Satan loves idleness. A romantic relationship not tangibly moving toward the prize of marriage is just begging to be full of sexual sin, folly, and regret. Figure out what has to be figured out, have fun, and do what needs to be done.

Eric Conn has told guys they should either propose or break up within three months, that three months is more than enough time to figure that out. While that is no law, the principle is plain. Barring some wild exceptions making it logistically impossible to marry the girl for an extended time (high school stud goes to war to whup some terrorists), long and slow does not equal wisdom. Wisdom, clear-sightedness, purposefulness, movement is wisdom. Get in or get out. Long, drawn out romantic relationships outside of marriage will bear fruit that isn’t supposed to be born. Marry the girl or free her up for the other guy.

Move as fast as possible. Answer the leftover questions within the bounds of the marriage covenant, over the next 60 or so years.

3. Biblical Courtship is lorded over by the father.

Biblical courtship is lorded over by the father, of the daughter, that is. This is the third and final point for this brief post on the topic. The father is the covenant head of his daughter, as he is the covenant head over his entire family, until the moment he gives her away and she is covenantally bound to her husband. He is her leader, her protector, her provider. While it should be his focused labor for his daughter to leave and cleave, to grow into a wife and mother who helps a conqueror and brings forth conquerors and mothers of conquerors, in the context of courtship, there are few greater threats to the honor, dignity, and physical/spiritual well-being of his daughter than the very man who is chasing her for marriage. Because the dad is the head and the daughter is desired, the suitor is the threat. He must prove himself true, not simply to the maiden, but to her lord, the father. This means that, within the bounds of reason and righteousness, the father has the prerogative to set the rules. The suitor has the duty to follow those rules. If he does not, he should not expect it to go well with father or daughter (for, by the time she has come of age, she should love her father and respect him fully in matters of the heart), as he shows himself to not measure up. He wants one of the father’s greatest treasures. He must measure up to get it. And the father is measuring. Measuring, it is the father’s prerogative to give his blessing for marriage or refuse to do so.

While there are exceptions, the above is the rule, the rules of engagement when righteousness rules. Exceptions, when a man and woman might choose to marry over and against a father’s wishes, are exceptions. Being so, they highlight, they do not undermine, the rule.

That’s that. Three points. Three keys to biblical courtship. Now, go get married. Make lots of babies. Raise ‘em for the war. Beat the Satanists.

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