This past week, we concluded our preaching series on biblical courtship. The goal was to help parents and grandparents with biblical truth and helpful resources on how to equip your children for the process of finding a spouse. We live in a confused world of compromise. Marriage has been redefined, maligned, and abused. Divorce is celebrated and expected. Recreational dating is expected on the school campuses, and if a child refuses to “date,” he or she is more often than not, socially marginalized.
As a church, we’ve traditionally overlooked our responsibility to equip families in this important role of marriage preparation. It begins when the children are young – not merely a few months before they stand before a crowd of people and say the traditional “I do!”
Sermon #1 – Pastor Josh Buice
In the first sermon, I sought to provide an overview of the importance for parents to be directly involved in the process of their children finding a mate. This may seem overly protective or an ancient practice, but as I stated in my sermon, the recreational dating methods are relatively new in terms of human history. The recreational dating routine became popularized sometime over the last 100 years. Before that, finding a mate was done in a much more controlled and tame manner – even outside of the church among unbelievers.
I preached from Genesis 2 and outlined the way God created Eve and presented her to Adam as his wife. The way God presented her reveals the importance and sacredness of marriage. As parents, we must be directly involved in this process. I tried to point out that we’ve turned the question about the transfer of responsibility from the father to the groom during the wedding ceremony into a pointless tradition. I pointed out that before we stand before a minister and answer that question, we must be involved in the process and shepherd our children through a gospel lens.
Alistair Begg once said, “How do we expect our children who needed our help picking out socks just a few short years ago to pick out a mate without our assistance.”
Sermon #2 – Pastor Ric Blazi
Ric preached from Genesis 2 and used supporting texts from the life of Ruth and Boaz, Samson, and Jacob. He pointed out that God created a unique mate for Adam – unlike any of the other creative work before her. She was unlike the animals, but she was like Adam – yet different. She was his perfect mate. She was therefore called – woman.
Ric did a good job of presenting the real struggles and challenges that happen in our modern dating practices. Drama is often a normality in our recreational dating, and it usually doesn’t end well. This was illustrated by the poor choices of Samson in the way he chose a wife. It was approached in an unbiblical manner and he suffered as a result. Not only did Samson suffer – so did his people.
In conclusion, Ric did a good job of explaining the need to make wise decisions and to go about the process of selecting a mate in a manner that honors God. He likewise encouraged parents to begin now by praying earnestly for our children and their future spouses.
Sermon #3 – Pastor David Crowe
David took Matthew 19:4-6 as his main text – although he referenced Genesis 2 and other supporting texts. His point was that we must understand what courtship means and why we are spending time trying to come alongside parents and families in this series. David pointed out that we don’t have a word for courtship in the Bible, but we do have the principles of courtship. Therefore, he encouraged us to refrain from hearing the indictment of Matthew 19:4 – “Have you not read?” We must read the Bible and teach it to our children.
David then moved on to talk about the goal of courtship being a lifelong covenant of marriage. As was pointed out in the first two sermons, recreational dating is glorified divorce practice. David explained the reason behind courtship. It has an end goal of faithful, committed, lifelong, covenantal marriage. Although David admitted to being in the minority on the “no exception for divorce” position, his point was well received – we can’t run to divorce to save us in times of hardship and pain. Sometimes we are called as believers to suffer in marriage. We must learn to suffer for God’s glory.
As we’ve now come to a conclusion in our courtship series, it’s the desire of the pastors of our church to come alongside you and be of help and encouragement to you. Below you will find some helpful articles, books, and sermons on the subject. If you need any further help and information from us, please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail us. We are here for you. We walk along the same path as you in this goal of helping our children understand the importance of courting a mate with a goal of lifelong marriage.
Consider the example of missionary Adoniram Judson. He desired to marry a woman named Ann. He knew he was called to a life of missions and he likewise understood his calling to suffer for Jesus (Mark 8:34-38). Before he pursued Ann, he wrote the following letter to her father:
. . . I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world? Whether you can consent to see her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life?
Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death?
Can you consent to all this, for the sake of perishing immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God?
Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?
Ann’s father consented to the request. Ann was granted to Adoniram Judson. She became his wife and accompanied him on the boat to India. We want to raise young women like Ann and young men like Adoniram.
Articles and Books:
May the God of all glory and grace comfort you and strengthen your mind and heart as you seek to help your children walk a path of faithfulness in marriage. One of the basic ways you can do this is by loving your spouse and demonstrating faithfulness – unbreakable Christ exalting faithfulness.
For the glory of God alone,
Pastor Josh Buice