Myth Number Five: Every Courtship Should Lead To Marriage
If you have missed the last four posts of this series, you can find them by following the applicable links - Post #1; Post #2; Post #3; and Post #4. I saved this one for what I think should be the last post in this series (inspiration for more might come if you pray hehe!), because I believe this is the scariest myth of all. Many christians have stuck so tightly to this myth that I once felt the moment you announce your relationship to your pastor, you are on a journey of no-return....well until death parts you, and believe me, death sort of forgets you exist when you are in such a situation. So to avoid tales that touch, it is a rule for me to not announce my relationship to the church leadership until I am 100 percent sure I am ready to embark on the journey. Don't feel pressured to follow my rule. Please do what works for you. I'll share a story about coursthip.
When I was 17, I had a friend who was much older at church. A young man had taken interest in her, and as required by some churches, had gone to the pastor to relate his interest. The pastor and some elders called her and revealed her husband to her, and so the courtship began. Now, this friend of mine was what some Christians might call a 'semi-worldly' woman. She listened to Beyonce, hung out with 'secular' friends, and was the life of the party everywhere she went. The young man in question was very dedicated to his gospel songs; did not believe in reading Danielle Steel novels when Joyce Meyer was available and saw no edification in the so-called secular music his courtship partner seemed to enjoy. Months went by and the strain became obvious. My friend withdrew into a shell I didn't know was there and snapped at almost every opportunity she got. There was no need to consult a soothsayer. The courtship was not working according to plan. After a couple more months, my friend decided to break the courtship cord. Things were not working out and she was losing her genuine self the more she stayed in the relationship so it came down to choosing between her genuine self and choosing what would be termed a 'successful courtship'. She chose herself. The guy married someone else the following year and she only got married a couple of years later. When she spoke about her husband, she glowed, her eyes had a sparkle, she was genuinely happy. Her former courtship partner and her were on good terms. Everything worked out
It taught me something about courtship although I'm only realizing it now - a successful courtship can be one that does not end in marriage. A courtship should be about you getting to know each other better in preparation for marriage but that does not mean it has to end in marriage. A successful courtship can result in you parting as friends, being realistic with your differences and understanding that you are not doomed simply because you refused to go through with it till the end.
Unfortunately, many Christian brothers and sisters believe that courtship must end in marriage, so they keep patching the holes and ignoring their differences. Don't fool yourself. Marriage should be enjoyed not endured. You don't have to go through with it if the spark is not there. You don't have to endure it because your pastor 'hooked you up'. You don't have to stay in it because you're scared you won't meet someone else. Be realistic; be genuine with yourself, and above all, be happy. XOXO.
If you have any feedback on this series, do email me at email@example.com