Some young people may think that this topic is only for those who are now engaged to be married, or those who expect to find themselves in that position soon. It is for them, of course, but it is also for all who plan to go through the natural process of engagement and marriage one day, as well as for those who expect to pass these years of their lives in a society of the opposite sex, whether they are ever engaged or not.
Naturally, however, the emphasis must be upon matters of courting if we want to learn how to marry intelligently in Christ. A great deal of guidance is necessary if young people are going to escape the rocks of grief and disappointment that come when you become one with your spouse. A wise youth will take heed to the suggestions and guidance offered him by those who have passed through and can look back on what he is passing through at present. There’s no substitute for experience.
The term courtship is not as frequently used as it was in the past, yet we practice courtship daily, only under different names. Courtship is defined as the process of seeking to win another person in marriage. In the usual manner, a young man sets out to win the hand and heart of a young woman who seems to sum up in her own being all the sweetness and virtues of woman-kind and possess them in the superlative degree. When the young woman is found to be a good prospective wife people say he is making a good match. But when it is generally agreed that the young man merely imagines all these fine things, people may remark that love is blind. Yet, blind or open eyed, love makes its way through this world and nearly all of humanity comes to the marriage altar at one time or another.
Courtship has come in for a lot of joshing, but it is still a fine old custom for Pentecostal marriages and will last until the last man has married the last woman. The choice of a life partner involves more of happiness or sorrow for us than any other choice in our lifetime. Marriage is a life contract. The wedding ring is a token and a symbol of the wedding covenant. It is a token in that it is made of the purest and most precious metal and we are told that the bitterest acids cannot dissolve it, nor the hottest fires change its nature. Through our lives we’re subjected to the bitterest acids of adversity and the severest heat of prosperity, yet the quality of affection may be as the metal of the ring—unchanged.
True love binds hearts together into a partnership that is enduring and abiding. Every person who really cares for happiness wants his marriage to be a success. Often marriages fail because of that which came before them, the love and courtship of the premarital period. Every lasting relationship must have a sound beginning and a sure foundation on which it can build and rest. Among the bases for true love are common interests, respect for one another, and mutual affection and concern for one another.