“No Regrets!” – This is what I want to be able to say at the end of my life here on earth. I want to be able to look back on the decisions that I have made and how I have conducted myself without regrets. I pray that the decisions I make, with God’s help, will line up with what God intended for me. Of course we fall short and make mistakes, but as Christians, trying our very hardest to live in a way that is pleasing to God and always seeking to grow in our Christianity should be our number one goal in life. At a very young age, with godly guidance from my loving parents, I decided that I needed to make sure that I had no regrets when it came to my dating/courting life. I wanted to make sure that I took my love life very seriously and tried in every possible way to avoid any sin that could enter into a dating relationship. Not only did I want to make sure that I had no regrets in this area for my own peace of mind, but also for my parents (who raised me to make the right decisions and wanted so badly for me to live faithful to God), for my future husband (who I wanted to be able to tell that I had kept completely pure for him both emotionally and physically) and most importantly for God who gave me this life to live and I want to live it for Him! Because of all this, I decided to use the courtship method. Having gone through a courtship 5 years ago and having been married to the same man I courted, my best friend for 4 years now, I can truly look back on our courtship and thank God for letting me make the decision of courtship instead of the more common dating. Not only do my husband and I have no regrets from our courtship, we feel like we are stronger Christians because of our experience. Here are some reasons why we have no regrets:
God was put first.
If God is put first during a courtship, everything will fall into place (Matthew 6:33). As a couple, you decide “will God want us to do this?” or “is God happy with what we are doing RIGHT now?” etc. HE makes the decisions for the couple. If a couple does not put God first in the area of their dating lives, lots of problems can happen. When God is not always in the forefront of their minds, sin can happen, and very quickly. When you view your love life as just another piece of your Christian walk, you will take it more seriously and selfish wants and desires will not be overpowering.
Marriage was the goal.
There are lots of reasons that people date. Some date for fun, for companionship, for the other persons’ looks, for getting to know someone, etc. In courtship, you do not enter into a relationship until you know the person enough to know that you could marry this person. This means the couple is old enough and mature enough to enter into a relationship and make wise decisions. When marriage is the goal, it is a serious decision to enter into a relationship with someone. You do not just pick the person for their looks, because they flirt with you or because you just want a boy/girlfriend. The only examples in the Bible of godly “couples” is when they are married or are “betrothed” or “engaged”. We never see instances where 2 young people decide they find the other attractive so they go on a few dates, kiss and then decide they are not the meant to be. Purity and marriage are too important for us to not take seriously.
We made limitations for ourselves.
I have seen way too many instances where young couples enter into a relationship and either lose their virginity or just “go too far.” When the statistics show what a difficulty it is for a young couple to be alone together and not “go too far,” why would anyone who is striving to live godly put themselves in that position? With courtship, you set limitations. You never put yourself in a position that could lead to temptation. There is no alone time, cuddling, kissing, etc. God tells us to flee temptation, not get as close to doing the wrong thing as we possibly can (2 Timothy 2:22). When you do not spend alone time with the person you are courting, you really get to see who that person is. You see how they react with others and not just how they act when they get “spiffied up” and are on their best behavior for an alone date. If we really care about the person we are courting, we will save our kisses and our hearts until we are 100% sure God wants us to marry this person. It is not fair to us, to them or (if the courtship does not work out) for their future spouse. 1 Timothy 5:1-2 tells us that we are to treat one another as brothers and sisters in “all purity.” Sadly, I do not think this passage is taken as seriously as it should be by many young people today.
Our parents were involved.
If you were blessed to have godly parents, then know that God gave parents to us as guardians and protectors, to raise us up in the Lord. Why would we just throw them to the curb when it comes to our love life and who we are going to marry? My mom and dad were involved from the very beginning. Garrett (my amazing husband) asked my dad to court me, asked what the rules would be and then when he was ready, asked my dad for my hand in marriage. Parents are more mature than the young couple and can be a great “on looker” set of eyes, able to provide advice to the couple. God gave us parents to help us, we NEED to accept that help (Proverbs 23:22 and Ephesians 6:2-3).
With this article I am not trying to “toot my own horn” and say that we did everything perfect. Believe me, we did not and it was a learning process! But, I do believe that if we strive to put God first in everything and really try to study to see what he wants for our lives, we will be blessed and be able to look back on what we did with His help and feel pleased! It saddens me to see so many young couples enter marriage with regrets. In Song of Solomon 2:7 we are warned to not awaken love before it is time. That is such a hard thing to listen to unless you have rules and help along the way. I pray that parents and young people out there will strongly consider looking at how they should go about their dating lives and how it lines up with what God wants for us as Christians. I pray that more couples will be able to look back on their courting/dating and have no regrets!
By Alicia Bookout
Alicia and her husband, Garrett live in Clovis, NM where Garrett is the pulpit minister for 16th and Pile church of Christ. They have one sweet two-year old daughter, Emma and Owen who is a newborn. Alicia is a stay-at-home wife and mother. They both graduated from the Bear Valley Institute of Denver.