Live Differently & Date Differently

I grew up hearing a lot about the modern day concept of courtship. 

It was refashioned to be a safer alternative to dating. In courtship there were/are rules placed around couples to protect purity, unwise emotional entanglement, & to keep from broken hearts. 

You're most likely not from circles who mainly practiced the concept of modern-day courtship, but maybe you've heard of it & you're wondering what it's all about because that words sounds pretty ancient & old-fashioned & just plain weird. 

Maybe you've been in the dating realm for awhile & its led to a lot of pain & heartbreak & you do desire a better way of doing things and the idea of courtship sounds pretty good right about now. Rules & regulations sound like a mighty fine idea to your wounded heart. 

Maybe you're a little younger & you're eager to start dating and the whole concept of having a boyfriend or girlfriend sounds pretty awesome.

Maybe you are from those circles that practiced courtship & you've found yourself throwing "the baby out with the bath water" because courtship was held up to such a standard that it was a real disappointment when all the rules didn't keep you from heartbreak. 

Because its true; rules & formulas do not take away the risk that is involved in relationships, whether you call it dating or not.

As with many things, people tend to swing from one extreme to the other when they've seen the bad in something. They create safeguards to keep themselves and others from further hurt or mistakes. And those things can be great unless its built only on rules & only on safeguards that do not factor in a mutual desire from two people to practice godly relationships & honor of one another.

Many of our parents swung to the extreme which became hyper-courtship. 

Now our generation, my generation, is swinging to the opposite extreme & going back to serial dating & trying the opposite sex on like a pair of new jeans, often exchanging them for a new, better looking fit in the next week or month or year. 

I've had to learn from my own past relationships that formulas & rules do not have guarantees. They do not keep you pure. They do not keep you from getting your heart broken. They do not take the place of two people desiring in their hearts to seek living out a God-honoring relationship. 

In order to have a godly relationship you must have two godly people in that relationship. 

Those two people must desire purity. Those two people must desire accountability. Those two people must desire counsel. Those two people must desire boundaries. Those two people will only build their relationship on Christ if their individual lives are built on Christ. 

I have heard of many couples who practiced every courtship rule to a T & still ended up with broken & unhealthy marriages. 

I have seen the same happen in dating.

Rules & formulas do not equal a godly relationship & future marriage. 

My heart is especially tender towards those guys & gals who have made mistakes in past or current relationships & desire to see the gospel once again shine through for them in the area of relationships. I hope that this article gives you courage to stop right where you are & ask yourself hard questions & dare to live differently & as a result, date differently.

Relationships & dating can be one of the trickiest things for us as singles to figure out & its the area I feel holds the most temptation, disappointment, and frustration. But its also one of the areas that we can discover so much beauty, sanctification, redemption, provision, & learn to lean into Christ & His wisdom & trust Him more than we ever have.

I want to highlight five different areas that we need to be most vigilant in & we need to pray most about in relationships & will drastically change the way you practice those relationships. Keep in mind that vigilance in these areas is the result of two people that are putting Christ first & putting flesh to death. They are not "rules" with step-by-step how-to's, they are biblical inspired principles & things to seek the Lord in & accept biblical counsel in. 

Whether or not you call it courtship or dating doesn't matter. I prefer to call it neither. Rather I refer to it as pursuing a godly, Christ-centered, relationship. 

It is time to throw off the stigma of titles for different types of relationships. 

It's time to stop believing that rules & formulas (or the lake thereof) will prove to create godly & world-changing relationships & marriages for Christ.

Read the rest of my post Live Differently & Date Differently by visiting the Pillars of Grace blog here!

Recognizing An Abusive Relationship

I sat around a table of ten young women, all beautiful, all with beautiful personalities, all with unique gifts & talents, all lovers of Jesus, all single. 

It was the most refreshed & encouraged I've been in a long time in regards to the topic of singleness, and I think I can speak for Hannah, too.

Even on the drive home there was a stark difference from the drive on my way to the church where the Hard Love series is being held. I drove home excited, encouraged, refreshed, and not feeling as alone in this season as we so often do. 

I dated out of hopelessness for a very long time.

I had never heard of this term before last night until the speaker, Rebekah, introduced it. She talked about five major symptoms of dating out of hopelessness and I found myself resounding with every point, but one in particular really stood out to me. 

I'm not sure if the speaker meant to refer to abuse, but she touched on the fact that dating out of hopelessness causes us not to leave when we should. We are not able to pick up our "bags" & say enough is enough & I'm done.

This point is important because as we've seen lately in this #metoo trend, abuse, emotional & physical, hides in the shadows & goes unnoticed & unrecognized even by the people who are in the abusive relationships.

Singleness can be really hard. It can be really lonely. And it can cause us to lower the standard, settle, & be involved in relationships we shouldn't be, if we aren't careful. 

It causes us to stay in relationships, accept things, we never thought we would. And it can also go a lot deeper, become a lot darker, than the missing checkmarks on our "list" of non-negotiables.

Abuse doesn't have to be physical. Abuse can be the slow wearing away of who you are by another person. Degradation, anger, silence, control, manipulation.

The two lies that I have believed about myself and the two lies that have caused me to stay in emotionally abusive situations are these:

- The problems that arise in relationships & the emotional abuse that follows is my fault. 
And because it's my fault they have every right to treat me that way. I've gotta get it together.

I know without a doubt some of you have either made these same excuses in the past or are currently making them now. I know, its uncomfortable to face the fact that you might be in an abusive relationship, but please, keep reading if any part of you desires freedom.

Let's be clear: every relationship has its ups and downs & every person you will ever be with has their weaknesses, but I think you know exactly what I mean when it becomes mistreatment & abuse. You always know deep down when the treatment you're receiving isn't right.

The kind of mistreatment and abuse that causes you to make excuses like: 

I'll stay because I don't believe there's anyone better or I deserve anything better. 
What he says about me is probably true & I need to work on those things. 
I'm scared to leave because it's going to hurt. 

I'm in this relationship too deep. 
He has issues that
stem from past relationships or childhood hurt & I've gotta be the one to stick around & love him like Jesus. 
I can't give up because things will get better & it'll be this beautiful redemption love story.
He says he's a Christian.

He's my best friend.
I don't want to be alone. 
He says he's sorry.
I don't want to be single.

I know because I've made every single one of these excuses. I've stayed for far too long, undergone emotional abuse, sought to change the essence of who I was to receive approval & acceptance, and began to forget the worth that God has assigned to me. 

Rebekah said something very interesting:

"You will feel empowered after you have made the decision to walk away. It is not a decision that you will necessarily feel empowered to do before you do it."

That's right; there's no excuses for staying. There's no waiting till things get better. If I was face-to-face with you, I would tell you exactly what I'm going to tell you now: walk away.

When Rebekah said that, it reminded me of how I felt when I knew that I needed to walk away from my abusive relationship. I knew, lying on that cold floor, breath coming in short gasps, that I had to make the hard decision, but the best decision. And Rebekah is right; I didn't feel empowered or free before I made that decision, and I didn't even feel empowered right after. It took me awhile to see how very free I really was. 

And you may wonder: how in the heck did I follow through with what I knew was best & turn it into actually making that decision to walk away? How did I pick myself up off the floor, literally, and see past the pain to do what was right?

I cried out to Jesus in those painful moments, hours, & days. He was there so vividly & He brought back to mind the promises that I had always known & enabled my hurting heart to actually believe them. The promise that Jesus is enough. The truth that His plans for me were, are, good & that He desired something so much better for me even if I couldn't see it then. The truth that I have value even though I have flaws. The truth that my heart is priceless. The truth that my body, my emotions, me as a whole, were brought with a price. 

I discovered God's Fatherhood, His faithfulness, in a more real way than I ever had in my entire life & now looking back, I still don't feel empowered. I just stand in awe of God's power & redemption. The power that He wielded through me to walk away.

And He can do that for you, too.

This post is to shake you, us, from our stupor. Its to name the why behind our propensity to unhealthy and abusive relationships. It's to say girls, you are worth more & what Jesus says about you is true & you can walk away. It's to say yes you might be lonely for a little while, and it might hurt like heck, but Jesus is enough. 

The biggest lesson I have learned through the mistakes I made in relationships is just that; Jesus is enough. It sounds cliche but its really really true. It's the only thing that enabled me to end bad relationships when I was literally on my hands & knees before Jesus making what felt like the hardest decision I'd ever had to make. It was the truth that healed my aching heart & answered all of my questions afterwards in the long nights and days. It's the only thing that enables me to believe, really believe, that even if I never get married & know earthly love, Jesus is enough & He is good. 

I reject the belief that you have to do and be in order for you to be in a good relationship & to say I do to a good & Jesus loving man. What I mean by that is I reject the belief that you have to perform, change, or hide to have the relationship that God desires for us to have if its His will for us to marry.

Gosh, yes, there are things we need to grow in, areas we need to mature in, sinful behaviors we need to nip in the bud with Jesus' gracious help, BUT the answer to all of that is to love Jesus most with our time, our talents, our hearts & our souls. When you do that, you walk through what's called sanctification (being made holy) & you change & you grow & mature in all the best and necessary ways. The ways that Jesus wants you to. 

But there is never any reason or excuse for mistreatment & abuse. 

Run from and say no to any relationship or marriage that isn't a reflection of the selfless, kind, pursuing, & gentle love of our Savior shown to us. 

You are God's workmanship, creation, purposed to reflect him. You are known, loved, valued. You are enough, you are whole, single or not. Your heart is precious & held by a perfect Father.

Girls, wherever you're at now, in an abusive relationship or not, cling to these truths. If you seek to see yourself the way God does, it will be easier to see what He desires for you in a relationship and marriage. It will be much easier to turn & walk the other direction when there are signs of abuse & in turn, walk away even when you're in deep. 

I promise, Jesus is enough. 

- Jenn 

Weathering A Break Up (Part 2)

tumblr_myp99avE2U1st5lhmo1_1280.jpg

"Transitioning from having someone to talk to any time of day or night, about every little thing, defining your every moment...to suddenly being all alone again...IS SOME OF THE WORST PAIN I'VE EVER FELT."

A friend wrote me those words in a letter after my breakup. She'd been there and she knew the pain. Those of you who have experienced heartbreak probably agree wholeheartedly with the above sentiments.

Our great God cares deeply for us. He sees all of our pain and He is near to us. The Lord promises to make beauty from our ashes and He did exactly that for me. 

He rebuilds

From an early age I dreamed of being a Princess to my handsome Prince. He would win my heart and treat it with care and fidelity and we would grow old together. I even had an imaginary husband named Paul when I was around 8 years old who was actually a pole in the backyard (he was kind of skinny, but that was ok). He was the essence of all my dreams and hopes until my brother Jeremy caught me kissing "Paul The Pole" and I had to break things off with him because of how highly embarrassing it was for me. It's still a standing joke to this day and I don't think I'll ever live it down.

When a young man came along at 17 who I thought was my dream Prince, I gave my heart and trust away unreservedly because I was absolutely convinced I had met my future husband. I didn't think I was risking anything. 

Needless to say, he wasn't my future husband, and my heart (and dreams along with it), broke into a million tiny bits. I had a gaping hole where once my heart had been and I was convinced it would never be new again. 

One of the clearest thoughts after my breakup was a terrible, overwhelming sense of regret. I felt as if I had thrown away something very precious and I had no hope of recovering it. My "something precious" was my heart. But, dear one, the Lord is in the business of making the broken new and there is no hopeless with Him.
 
Whilst experiencing this deep, overwhelming pain it doesn't make any sense at all. It feels extremely wrong. I love how it is explained in an article entitled, "It's Not You, It's God: Nine Lessons For Breakups" on the site "Desiring God."

"...it’s not how it’s supposed to be. Hearts weren't built to be borrowed. God needs to show some of us the gravity of failed relationships because of what they wrongly suggest about Him and His love for the church..."

Marriage is an example of Christ's love for us, His church. And His love, as we know, is absolutely perfect. It does not "break up" with us and so, earthly marriage should be an example of that. However, too often, relationships don't always lead to matrimony and because of that, broken hearts and lives are the result. And even relationships that do end in marriage don't always stay in marriage which is also an imperfect example of our Heavenly marriage to Christ.

Despite this though, God restores and rebuilds.

Psalms 37:18 - The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

I can attest to the truth of this verse. In an unexpectedly rapid way God began to rebuild my heart. It was like he flooded my heart with a drought of cool, clean water and it felt so new, clean and whole. 

Do not ever doubt He will rebuild, restore and make your heart whole again.

 Can I cry? 

Some of you may be the kind that "stuff" their emotions. You don't talk about anything and try not to feel anything because, well, it's just easier. 

A friend told me about her unhealthy way of responding to her breakup. Because of it, she dealt with the grief for a lot longer and more intensely than she may have otherwise. 

Following the break up she shut off her emotions and pretended she didn't hurt or care. It felt so good to just carry on as if nothing had happened. But months later, a wave of overwhelming grief swept over her more immense because she had ignored the natural way of grieving for her loss. 

I'm going to quote another excerpt from the article "It's Not You, It's God: Nine Lessons for Breakups" on the site "Desiring God."

"Sorrow in the midst of the severing is not only appropriate, but good. It’s nothing to hide or be ashamed of. God created you to enjoy and thrive in love that lasts, like Christ’s lasting love for his bride. So feel free to feel, and know that the pain points to something beautiful about your God and his undying love for you."

We should grieve because of the bad example of Christ's love for his church, but like it says above, it makes it so much clearer how beautifully and perfectly Christ loves us. 

Forgiving

Maybe that word just evokes anger and a whole torrent of confused emotions from you. "You expect me to forgive that person after all the pain and wasted time they caused me?"

The first several months following my own breakup, I didn't struggle with anger or laying blame, (probably because I was hoping we'd make it work), but suddenly, all of the anger and bitterness broke loose. It felt right to be angry and to withhold forgiveness from that person.

I sought advice from a sweet friend in the midst of my struggle against bitterness and anger. She had this to say:

"I was really angry and bitter at him for awhile, but God gave me a desire to eventually forgive him, so I prayed about reaching that goal. I was really hurt, but a thought came to mind - the way he hurt me is how I hurt God every day when I sin. That might seem extreme, but it was a thought that helped me put forgiveness in perspective. I have sinned against God in many different ways, but He sent His Son to die for me and chose to call me to Himself and save me. God chose to forgive me, so how can I withhold forgiveness from my brother in Christ? We're called to forgive each other, especially brothers and sisters in Christ."

When I was 14, I struggled for a very long time with bitterness towards someone who I felt had done me wrong. That bitterness and anger defined my whole person. I walked around with it on my shoulders like a heavy burden. I was sullen, physically tired, I did not love others, I had no peace, I couldn't pray and I had zero joy. 

At first, it felt very satisfying to be bitter and angry. I wanted to invoke hurt on that other person, but in truth I was hurting myself. It was a poison that corrupted every part of my being and my life. 

Ephesians 4:32 - “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

And,

Colossians 3:13 - “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Forgiveness comes down to one simple truth. We love because He first loved us. We forgive because He first forgave.

Why?

I knew in my head God had a reason but in my heart I was confused, angry, and again and again I asked Him "Why?"  In the long days and nights I faced, this plan that God had didn't seem loving or caring. It seemed cruel, unfair and a slap in the face to all my hopes and dreams.

Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Though it is hard to grasp, and a lot of times trust, God does have a reason for everything. To the small and seemingly meaningless to every catastrophe that the world sits up and takes notice of. He does nothing that does not ultimately bring Himself glory and is not the best for us. We as humans are finite (we have limits and bounds) and we do not see what God sees. 

Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

And,

Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.

It took me quite awhile to understand even a part of why the Lord had dealt such terrible pain in my young life. Now it brings tears to my eyes to be so loved as to experience His great mercy. To be loved by a God who works good from what we deem as hopeless devestation and brokenness.  Slowly, even now, I am discovering everyday the beauty He has made from the ashes. 

Isaiah 55:8-11

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

You can be healed, you can forgive, you can be made new and you can learn God's purposes for the darkest days and nights. You're not alone because our merciful Savior stands unwavering by your side.

For now, 
Jennifer 

This is part 2 to "Weathering A Break Up". Click here to view the first part. 

To subscribe to my blog enter your email address below and click "subscribe". You'll receive a notification whenever I post!

 

Enter your email address:

Weathering A Break-Up (Part 1)

IMG_7809.jpg

A break up is like a death without the funeral or the loved ones gathering around you to mourn their passing. That person has passed from your life and all of your hopes, dreams and plans went with them. It is a painfully dark time and it can seem to have no end.

I want to assure you that it does have an end. When I was seventeen I entered a courtship and after almost a year and a half we mutually agreed to part ways. Even though it didn't end in bitterness, it did end in absolute and total heartbreak. The months following the break-up were the darkest, loneliest, most helpless months I have ever experienced. 

weath·er 
Come safely through (a storm)

However, I did make it safely through the storm.  The Lord made beauty from my ashes. He took all the broken pieces of my heart and healed them and used that time for good. Following immediately after the break up and for many months afterwards I wished that I could have re-done many of the bad choices I had made and was astonished at how many "red flags" I ignored. But now, over a year later, I no longer have any regrets because the Lord used a terrible time to teach me valuable lessons I am applying to my life now as I prepare for (God willing) my future marriage someday and life as a single young lady now.

If you're in the midst of a break up you probably can't imagine ever being able to say what I have just said in the paragraph above. The wound is too fresh, too new, too raw. But those of you who have "come safely through a storm" know exactly what I'm talking about. 

I wrote about this subject before on another blog and I shared some practical things about how to go through a break up, but I wanted in this new blog to not just touch on the practical but the emotional and spiritual as well which I believe are the most important.  This post will be part 1 to "Weathering A Break Up." The second part will talk more about the emotional and spiritual part of walking through this time of grief.

I made lots of mistakes while healing (the Lord worked despite them!) and if possible, I want you to be able to avoid them because they are extremely common and extremely damaging.

I'm gonna start with one that I often found myself repeating even after I knew that it wasn't good for me.

  • Avoid the temptation to see what they're doing via social networking sites or even by asking their friends.

Now more than ever, many lives are lived out on social networking sites. Anything from what we're eating, listening to, watching, studying, to what we're thinking, is posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Because of this, it's easy to "check up" on that person and see how they're doing. "I'm gonna see if they're posting any sad Bible verses because that means they're hurting, too!"  "Let me see if they look happy in their pictures!" "Oh no, they have been with that person a lot. I wonder if they've already found someone else." 

Because social networking hasn't been around that long, this is a fairly new challenge. Before the only way that anyone could find out about that person's "doings" was to ask friends or talk to that person themselves, it wasn't thrust in their face un-voluntarily. 

Always being privy to that person's life after you no longer share that special relationship with them introduces a whole new set of emotions to your already hurting heart. It can slow the healing process significantly. If you don't want to "un-friend" that person  on your social networking sites, stop following their posts or, what I personally recommend, take a long sabbatical altogether as hard as it may be. 

And a final tip about the social networking realm that I haven't found anywhere else:   It's so tempting to want to post pictures, statuses on Facebook, etc to hurt that person. To let them know somehow (even if it isn't true) that you're over them or better off without them. Avoid giving in to this temptation since it only makes you dwell on the hurt even more and can be unnecessarily hurtful to that person. So, check your motives! 

  • Put away the pictures and things that remind you of them.


 If it's too hard to throw away things, try to find a place where you can put them away, like a closet shelf, a box or a trunk. Sometimes part of the healing process is putting those things away then awhile later taking them out and being finally able to part with them. 

Usually this isn't something that we hesitate in doing. In fact, it's probably the first thing we do following a break up.  

  •  Write everything you're feeling and learning in a journal! 

If you keep a journal already or even if you don't, then this a vital thing to be doing now. Everything you're feeling needs to be talked about and thought through in your mind. Journaling is the perfect way to do that. Later you can look back and see your journey and God's faithfulness through every step to healing.

  • Find an understanding, mature and encouraging person to talk to.

There is a need to talk through all you're feeling and experiencing with someone at some point even if it's not right away. Many times this comes in the form of your mom or close family member. If you're not able to talk with your family about it, find a friend who you really trust and who truly cares about you and who will point you to the true Healer. 

  •  Don't throw your heart around.

This is by far the hardest thing to do. After having a special relationship with someone come to an end, your need for it does not end when their part in your life does. This is often evidenced by feeling the need to jump into another relationship as quickly as possible.  

This is something I was keenly aware of after I went through a break up. I not only had my family warning me away from this but dear friends as well. They warned me about how tempting this would be and I listened and am so thankful I did. 

One of the biggest things that kept me from going in this direction was how much I cared about honoring God and my future husband. I had made an awful mistake but I did not want to make an even bigger one by recklessly throwing my heart around. It gave me such joy to not only be living to honor God, but to honor my future husband with my heart.

This concludes part 1 on "Weathering A Break-Up". Click here to view the second part.

For now, 
Jennifer

To subscribe to my blog enter your email address below and click "subscribe". You'll receive a notification whenever I post!

Enter your email address:

Questions For The Suitor

ID-10037861.jpg

It takes questions, lots and lots of questions (and a lot of observation to see if their answers match their character), to expose beliefs and viewpoints in a potential "suitor". Sometimes it's hard to know what questions to ask, especially being a Christian where lots of things come into play when looking for a spouse. As you will see in these questions, the Lord is first and foremost to me and must be to that guy as well. If you aren't looking for a Godly guy (or girl! Some of these questions are for guys to ask, too!), I don't think these questions will come in handy for you. ;) But if you are, please keep reading. 
I compiled these slowly over time before ever having a boyfriend, after experiencing a breakup and now again as a single young lady. Going through a relationship myself helped expose some very important questions that might never have occurred to me to ask before. I have tried to think of questions that expose the core beliefs of a young man/woman that will help you see what their spiritual walk, view on relationships, personal character, and lifestyle are like. 
You may not need to ask all of these questions if, for example, you have been friends long enough to already know a lot of them but if that's the case, you personally will know what questions to ask.
And beware, questions are not foolproof. You need to dig deeper to find out how a guy/girl's answers to questions line up with their everyday way of living, decisions they make, how they treat people, etc. 
 

Walk With the Lord

  • Can you pin-point the exact time when you became a Christian? What changed for you after that?
  • How important is prayer?
  • Who is your mentor? Do you have a mentor?
  • What do you do to continually be growing spiritually? (1 Timothy 4:7-10)
  • How important is knowledge and rhetoric in the Christian walk? 
  • What are your daily personal devotional practices?
  • How important is corporate worship? Other participation in church life? What is the proper use of that day? Are you faithful in church attendance?
  • How do you view giving tithe to the church? Is that important to you?
  • Do you believe in family worship? Does/did your family practice it?
  • Do you practice ministry to others? What personal call do you feel God has placed on your life in the area of ministry?
  • What has continued to be your greatest weaknesses/spiritual struggles?

Beliefs

  • What are your views on birth control? Natural family planning? Contraceptives? Anything at all? Explain.
  • What is your view on baptism? Child, adult?
  • What is your view on alcohol? Can it be used rightly or should it be abstained of completely?
  • Would you ever adopt? Why or why not?
  • Do you think coarse joking or cussing is out of place with godly character? (Ephesians 4:5)
  • What is your standard of modesty?
  • Do you want a big family?
  • Do you believe in any form of patriarchy? Explain.
  • What is your view on homeschooling? Would you homeschool your children?
  • Would you change anything about how you were raised?
  • What is your position on sabbatarianism?
  • Do you believe in head coverings?

Leadership

  • What is the meaning of submission and headship in the Bible and in marriage?
  • What does being a leader mean to you? What do you think leading a family entails?
  • How do you handle conflict? Do you avoid confrontation and dealing with issues? 
  • Who is the main breadwinner? 
  • Should a wife work outside the home? Would you require her to have a job? Before kids? After kids? With kids at home?
  • Should a wife continue to pursue god-honoring dreams or goals after marriage and kids? Explain.
  • Are you ready to be a parent?

Commitment to Purity

  • How would you handle things if you found yourself in a situation where you were alone with the opposite sex?
  • How do you protect the hearts of young women in your friendships with them? How do you practice honoring your future wife? Do you believe it's still important to honor her even in a committed relationship? How would you do that?
  • Is it your habit to regularly text/private message young women? What do you think is proper behavior towards a young woman who is just a friend?
  • What is your standard on movies/television? Are you careful? Do you sacrifice morality for entertainment? For example, would you go watch a movie at the theater without first checking it out thoroughly?
  • What types of physical expressions do you feel is appropriate in a relationship? Have you made mistakes in this area in the past?
  • What does purity mean to you?
  • Do you believe that friendships with the opposite sex should change after entering a committed relationship? What would have to drastically change for you personally? 
  • Have you ever struggled with pornography? Is your struggle a current one?
  • What does compromise in a relationship mean to you?

Approach To Relationships

  • What form of relationship has been your practice in the past? Dating, courtship? Or if you have never been in a relationship, what would you see as a wise and biblical way to approach a relationship? Explain.
  • What do you see as the purpose of getting to know a young woman intentionally? 
  • Who has the role of God-given protector and leadership in a young woman's life?
  • Do you see a young woman's, or your own family, as playing an important role in a relationship? How so?
  • Do you think accountability and godly advice from others is important? Who would you see that accountability and godly advice coming from? Example: pastors, her father, young friends, older mentors.
  • Do you believe in long term relationships, or do you see a courtship/dating relationship lasting only as long as you are both seeking God's leading toward marriage?
  • Do you believe that God comes first in courtship/dating and marriage? That all decisions should be based off what is honoring to God? What does the role of honoring God play in your everyday life?
  • Would being in the Bible and praying together during courtship/dating be important? 
  • What has been your previous experience with romance/dating?
  • What is your view on "alone time" spent with the person you're courting? Example: Going out together to coffee, dinner, etc.

View of Marriage

  • Have you thought seriously about what the meaning of marriage is? Is marriage important to you?
  • What does "leave and cleave" mean to you? Are you prepared to put your wife above all others, including your family? Give me an example of what this may look like to you (Genesis 2:24).
  • Do you believe marriage is about making yourself happy? Explain what the biblical purpose of marriage is.
  • What role would your wife and children play in your life purpose?
  • What does the term "help meet" mean to you?

Priorities

  • How important is your career to you? How many hours a week do you work? Does your work sometimes come in conflict with personal time with God? Does your job require travel and if so, how much?
  • If relocation were offered to you by your job would you accept? What would weigh in on your decision?
  • What are your views on homeschooling? Do you believe it's important, or do you wish for public education for your future children?

Personal Character

  • How would those you know well describe your personal character?
  • Do you have a teachable spirit?
  • What makes you angry?
  • Do you have a good relationship with your parents?
  • In what ways is self-centeredness expressed in your life?
  • Have you ever had to deal with a broken relationship? How did you handle it?
  • Do you like reading? What are your three favorite books besides the Bible?
  • How do you relate to children? Do you enjoy being around them?
  • Are you honest? Even in business? Do you ever slant the truth for your own benefit?
  • What tendencies do you have towards prejudice or racism?
  • What do you value most highly in life?
  • If "your" daughter were marrying "you" what cautions would you have for her?
  • Can you describe your life purpose, i.e., how you intend to use your interests, skills and talents to serve and glorify God?
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years, 20 years?
  • Recognizing we all have weaknesses, what are one or two areas you think God wants you to work on?
  • Do peers play a major role in swaying your decisions? Is peer pressure a major factor? Who are the people you ask advice or wisdom from?
  • What are your five strengths?
  • What has been the most difficult thing for you to forgive?

What Are You Looking For?

  • List the five most important characteristics in a wife (for you personally).
  • List the five characteristics that would bother/irritate you in a wife.
  • What are your views on health/exercise/eating well?
  • What are your expectations of me?
  • What interests do you have that would be important for your wife to share or at least join you in?
  • What are the "non negotiable" things for you when looking for a spouse?

Miscellaneous Questions

  • What has been the hardest thing you've ever been through?
  • What do you want your sons to be like at 18?
  • What is currently the biggest thing God is using in your life to sanctify you at this time?
  • Is romance important in the everyday life of a couple? How do you keep it alive?
  • What is your biggest fear?
  • How do you serve your family?


This concludes my "questions for the suitor." I hope you will find these helpful as you seek God's wisdom in your relationships. 

For now,
Jennifer

To subscribe to my blog enter your email address below and click "subscribe". You'll receive a notification whenever I post!

Enter your email address: