From GLAEN, p. 26
Relationship Field Book Journal
Theory 2: Courting
…An old-fashioned prelude to marriage being
re-popularized by some Christians. Courting is
defined by Webster’s as, “to engage in social
activities leading to engagement and marriage.”
At first blush the idea of courting makes a lot of sense. Doesn’t it make sense to take interacting with the opposite sex as something a little more directed than just having fun till the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard?
Unfortunately, the way it is played out reminds me of my dad’s words of wisdom, “Son, if you are in the ditch, and get out of the ditch and cross the road to the other ditch…you’re still in the ditch.” Well, many times going from serial dating to courting turns out to be a ditch-to-ditch phenomenon. I personally have been connected to courting disasters…all well meaning.
The challenge with courting is that it somewhat requires you to ‘commit before your commit’. In other words, since you are entering the relationship with both eyes (or all four) on marriage, you really need to know that the persons involved are a match for marriage. The problem is that they rarely really know each other. So, in the process of getting to know each other they may discover it isn’t a ‘match’ (Glaen gets you started on how to find out if it is a match or not)— but, the wedding invitations have already been bought and mailed. Well, you get the idea.
Of course, stopping at any point before marriages happens with all kinds of strategies. But isn’t that sort of the point? We can tend to elevate the idea of being married (successfully I might add) over actually being committed to (or yea, even love) the person we are considering marrying.
Is there a better way? I think so… and we might as well call it the ‘way of truth’. If we follow the truth, and are true to ourselves; we wind up being very attractive to someone who likes who we really are (since we aren’t putting on an act or trying to make something work). We might want to face it someday— relationships are a gamble; but being true to yourself and finding someone who is the same way is a good a shot at bliss!
Billy Joel penned these words for the song ‘Just the Way You Are‘,
Don’t go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don’t imagine you’re too familiar
And I don’t see you anymore
I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times
I’ll take you just the way you are
Don’t go trying some new fashion
Don’t change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care
I don’t want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.
Of course, Billy Joel wrote these words as a birthday present for his now-divorced-from first wife (he split with his 3rd wife in the summer of 2009)…so, as we all know both ‘singing it’ and ‘pulling it off’ can be quite a challenge.
While the words might make some sense at the start of a relationship, they do have two inherent problems:
1. What if you actually do want someone who is clever in conversation?
2. Isn’t the person now obligated to ‘never change’ because that is the condition of love the singer established?
Seriously, new hair, new fashions, clever conversation, and complaining that he don’t talk enough will drive the guy singing the song up the wall!
We all tend to grow (we hope) which means you actually may need to renew your commitment and love many times as you build a life with another person. Being genuine and truthful gives you a much better shot at ‘guaranteeing success’ in a relationship than either serial dating or the premature commitment that often comes with courting.
What to here more?
Go to www.GLAEN.com
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