When I started the series on courtship I wasn’t sure what kind of feed back I would get, if any at all. I’ve been pleasantly surprised and happy to hear of the conversations people have been having on the topic because honestly, I think it is vital that Christians recover the ground lost on this front. I had planned to be finished after last week’s post but a friend read all three of the posts and brought up a couple of really great questions that I think warrant some discussion.
The first question is what does the young man do when the father of the girl in whom he is interested does not have as high of standards as the young man in terms of the courting process, the purity rules, etc.?
The idea of courtship for most of my generation (the forty something parents of the coming of age children) is a foreign one. Our parents came through the turbulent sixties and seventies during the so-called sexual revolution, and questioning and rebelling against authority was just all the rage. That doesn’t mean everyone was amoral, but the culture did shift – along with the way dating and marriage were viewed. Gaining a father’s permission was, and for the most part still is, a hat tip to a quaint old fashioned custom and really doesn’t mean much more than that. For a young man with a courtship model in mind to approach a father who doesn’t share a general understanding of courtship probably isn’t that far fetched.
I haven’t seen this directly addressed anywhere, but I believe the young man’s approach will be the same even though he may need to guide the process more firmly than he necessarily would if everyone was on the same page. I think he would do well to acknowledge his interest in the man’s daughter and ask if it would be possible for the two of them to meet on a regular basis so that, man to man, he may present his case as a worthy suitor. This is a respectful way to place the responsibility in the father’s court, with the knowledge for it to progress any further requiring the father to give his consent. Any young man who has a desire to court a young lady must do so with open hands, realizing that while he may be attracted to her, his own emotional attachment must be kept in check so that at any time the father may tell him no. He must be willing to go in with humility, understanding that the father has the right to deny him if he sees fit to do so.
Guarding Hearts Part One, Part Two, and Part Three