Thursday, June 5, 2014

Courtship - Real Life Part 1

Our (the parent's) version of courtship would have gone along the lines of - Guy and girl are friendly - guy decides an extra interest in girl, but does not yet express that to the girl - guy gets to know family, and especially dad - guy asks dad if he can court daughter - dad asks daughter if she is interested - if she says she is interested then guy and girl begin to get to know each other with a purpose to determine if they are right for each other for a future marriage.

The real life version was different. Be prepared for God to change things up.

The Princess and James had a college class together. James is a wonderful Christian young man, but he is clueless about courtship. Hannah has always promised she would accept no date with any young man unless they first talked to her dad. She was semi-clueless about courtship in spite of all our instruction. She knew step 1 (talk to my dad) and that is about it - but it was enough, thankfully, to get us headed in the right direction.

[In her defense, she later claimed that even though this was often a topic of conversation between us, and in other settings - it never directly related to her, so she barely paid it any heed. She is like that...]

So James began working on developing a friendship with Hannah. For several weeks Hannah was pretty oblivious and just thought he was a nice guy. Then there was the week he just showed up at her church service where she played in the orchestra. That was clue number 1 that something was different. What I liked was that because Hannah and I have a very good relationship she was calling me almost daily asking input on what she saw and how she should respond. I tend to not just tell her what she should do, but I hope I effectively guided her by helping to clear some of the fog. For instance when she mentioned he had just shown up at her church - what did that mean? I assured her that the only reason he would do so was because he was definitely interested in pursuing a relationship with her. Never having had a romantic relationship she was unsure of the signals.

At this point I felt that things were working a bit backwards from our expectations - and I encouraged Hannah to please explain courtship, and that James needed to be relating to us (the parents) at this time so we could get to know him as well - but alas, this was too much for Hannah to take on. She was too unsure of James intentions to mention her family's odd expectations. And then there is the fact that Hannah was 21 at this time, had lived in Italy for her college junior year, and was now a senior in college in TN. It is a bit of a tightrope to walk as a parent. We wanted to keep her close, not push her away.

To be Continued....

1 comment:

Beloved's Redheaded Bride said...

I enjoyed reading this! As my parents version of "courtship" had to change a little as well when I began a relationship with my friend (now husband). I was 22 and he was late 20s. He was much older than me. Had a fabulous career, already had a home, on military trips a lot, and could not talk about his job, etc. Yet, the expectation was still there to keep the standards there! Funny. I look back on it, as we got married in 1997, and think... God made the circumstances just what they needed to be to prepare me for this marriage ride! This will be fun to see how this new adventure unfolds. I have enjoyed watching many families navigate courtship situations. Much prayer.