Saturday, December 31, 2011

Some Principles of Courtship ~ Part One

I wanted to share some insights given at the conference by Paul Washer.  He spoke about the Principles of Courtship that I found extremely helpful.  He encouraged us to copy his handout and pass it out as we would like.  Since I cannot do that for all of you, I thought I would try to write them in installments, and put the scripture references under each and then you can decide if you would like to keep them for a reference or guide.  I would also encourage each of you that can afford it, to buy the MP3 tapes of the conference.  We still have not listened to all of ours yet, but I am looking forward to doing so the beginning of the new year.  I hope to be sharing some of my goals for the coming year with you soon as well.  May you have a blessed New Year with Christ at the center of all you do!

Biblical Courtship by Paul Washer
Plowing Fertile Ground for Teaching:  Before we even begin to discuss courtship, we must be aware of our present reality as people, convinced that the entirety of our lives are to abound to the glory of God, and determined to live biblically:
 I.  We must be aware of our present reality as people.
      Judges 17:6, Hosea 4:6, Isaiah 1:4-6

II. We must be convinced that the entirety of our lives must abound to the glory of God and be submitted to God's revealed will.
       I Corinthians 10:31, II Corinthians 10:5, II Timothy 3: 16-17

The Context of Teaching:  In the same way that knowing the will of God in a specific moment springs forth from a life style of renewing the mind in the Word of God (Romans 12:2), courtship springs forth from a life-long biblical relationship between parent and child.

I.  Parents must strive to know the Scriptures.
    Proverbs 29:18, Hosea 4:6
II. Parents must strive to live as biblical examples.
      I Corinthians 4:15-17, I Corinthians 11:1, I Thessalonians 2:14, Matthew 23:2-3

III.  Parents must strive to love, teach, and govern biblically.  The godliness and Christ-likeness of the family is the most important goal of the godly man!
      Genesis 18:19, Deuteronomy 6:5-9, Joshua 4: 5-7, Ephesians 6:4, I Timothy 3:4

IV.  Children must be convinced of their parents' role.  
        A.  The parents' role is ordained by God and is the "first law" governing man's relationship to man.  Exodus 20:12

B.  A deeper look from Ephesians 6:1-3.
     1.  Children, obey your parents - to obey, listen, harken to;  of one who, on hearing a knock at the door, comes to listen who it is; the duty of a porter.
     2.  In the Lord - in the context of the Lord's authority
    3.  For this is right - righteous; observing divine law.
     4.  Honor your father and mother - to esteem them as valuable.
    5.  Which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth - a reference to a blessed life without fear of divine judgment.
C.  Moving beyond obedience to honor:  Leviticus 19:32
D.  Divine Penalties:  Jude 1:6, Deuteronomy 21:18-21

(There is quite a bit more, but for time and not to have the post too terribly long, I will share more later.  I hope some of you who are pursuing this route will find this helpful.  God bless!)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gospel-Centered Marriages ~ Part Two ~ FINALLY!

It has been forever since I have blogged.  Our children decided they would pass around viruses of all kinds for two months straight!  It was a little hard to find blogging time during that run of sickness.  But, I did want to share some more highlights from the conference.  One of the things I greatly appreciated was the fact that most of the speakers stressed just the day to day being in the Word of God.  There are suggestions and ideas to help families navigate through the courtship process, but the best preparation for courtship is to ground your son or daughter in the Bible.  Make sure they are hiding God's Word in their hearts.  If not, all the courtship do's and don'ts mean nothing because the foundation has not been properly laid.

It is only by being in God's Word that a husband and a wife know the correct order in a home…how a husband is to lead and a wife be the submissive helpmeet.  This, in itself, is a wonderful preparation for our children to enter into courtship and marriage.  And if you are like most families we met there, you will be the first generation in your family to navigate children through this thing called courtship. So, many of these waters are untested for us.  Another idea that was continually stressed was that courtship looks different for every family.  Yes, there are some main principles, but how you flesh those out among your own children will look different from the next persons.  In fact, it will most likely look different in your own family from one child to the next.

One of the main things I came away with was to make sure that my husband and I are continually praying about and with our children for their future spouses.  We have made it a practice since our first child was born to pray this way.  And now that my oldest daughter is fifteen, she too is praying almost daily for her future husband.  If a family bathes this most crucial time in prayer, I believe God will faithfully help you navigate through courtship with His leading.  

Next time, I hope to share some of the principles of courtship that were shared at the conference.  But, for those of you that are looking to go through this courtship process with your children, saturate yourselves and your children in the Word and prayer.  Then, trust God for the results.  He is faithful to provide all our needs.