A popular saying goes thus, when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. Many people don’t know what a purposeful courtship leading to marriage entails and this has resulted in many homes with shallow foundations. Now, what is expected of you during courtship period? The courtship period is the timeframe a matured man and woman consciously agree to build an intimate relationship, get to know each other, mutually adjust, share life realities and future expectations and thereafter decide if it will be followed by an engagement and marriage. There should be a willingness to walk together ONLY when you both establish a foundation for a Godly relationship and you are willing to work together till death do you part.
The courtship period is not the period of vanities and fun fair. It is not the time to parade as couples, go partying, neither is it a period to engage in premarital sex. Also, it is not the period to be vague. The young adults involved must be ready to share their past life, present realities and future expectations in clear terms to one another. All questions and doubts generated during discussions must be well discussed and addressed. Young adults in courtship should also ensure they seek counsel and mentorship from couples who have experience and living the kind of life they desire in their future homes.
The duration of courtship varies but it is advisable not to make it too short or too long. The duration should be just enough to establish good foundation for a glorious future. Usually the length of courtship is determined by how close you have been before courtship and known each other, age, emotional maturity, financial security, amidst many other factors. You should also understand that time reveals a lot.
Time is needed to adequately test your compatibility and level of commitment and acceptance of the responsibilities of marriage. The timeframe should provide good opportunity for the young couple-to-be to build a common bond of trust while looking beyond physical feelings and insincere impressions. The timeframe should be enough for both parties to familiarize and accept their individual interests, personal habits, families, friends, ambitions, future plans, outlook on life, and commitment to important values in life.
The courtship discussion should address “supposed” trivial issues, real deep matters, sensitive areas, general topics, individual differences amidst others. Specifically, comprehensive discussion should be done on background and family history, past life and achievements, individual strengths and weaknesses, life goals and purpose, skills and education, occupation and career, individual expectations in the marriage, roles in the family, spiritual journey and philosophy, values as relating to spiritual, social and educational life, sex, family size, family planning and spacing of children, in-laws, parental influence and boundaries, delay in childbearing and how to address it (medical procedure and guidance, adoption, etc) and handling of pressures from in-laws in case of delay.
Also, discussion should be detailed on conflict management, boundaries with opposite sex and sacredness of marriage vows, finance in the home and financial management, ministerial calling, gifts and religious beliefs, family devotion, interests and hobbies, investment plan for the family, child training and investment, individual health history and medical beliefs, family house and real estate location plan, celebrations and occasions, attitude towards gifts, recreational interests, short, medium and long term goals, future ambitions, views on involvement of third party and to what extent and lots more. I cannot exhaust the areas to discuss extensively on. It is expected that your counsellor/mentor should guide you intensely.
In conclusion, the courtship period should be a time when both parties communicate openly and freely. Without any iota of hesitancy, all ideas, mindsets, and feelings should be well discussed. The goal of every courtship should be that both parties are clearly aware of what they are committing themselves into and then consciously decide if to proceed with engagement and wedding. Sexual and physical gratifications should be strictly saved UNTIL after the wedding. This is a very important aspect that boost trust in marriage.