Courtship/ Godly relationship

Alisha - posted on 10/06/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Hey everyone, I have been a single mom for 5 years (1 daughter) and I may be starting a courtship/ Godly relationship soon. Does anyone have any advice or stories about this?

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Carla - posted on 10/07/2011

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Hi, Alisha, unfortunately I can only tell you out of my experiences what NOT to do ;) God brought my husband to my door out of sheer desperation--He couldn't bear to see WHAT I would bring home next!

I don't want to sound like your mom, but I bet I'm gonna ;) Do NOT date or even smile at a guy who is not at least as Godly as you are, if not more. Trying to drag a guy through life, or worse, to THINK he's a Christian, only to find out, once you're married, that he was putting on an act leads to years of misery. Trust me. Date in public. Do NOT cook him dinner at your house, or go to his! If someone comes to you telling you something they know about a guy you are interested in--listen! Check out every statement, do not think for one minute that 'oh, my guy would never do that!'. Again, been there, done that. If you have any doubts, back off. My pseudo-daughter married a guy that seemed too good to be true, and he was. She had had 'vibes', but thought she was being overly critical. They are divorcing after 2 years.

I hate to sound like I'm down on men, that is absolutely untrue. However, in the dating scene, sex is on everyone's mind. Everyone puts their best foot forward, so it's up to you to find out what's beneath the facade.

Finally, pray. IF this is the guy God has brought to you, he will behave himself in a Godly fashion, and be respectful of your feelings and body. God bless, sweetheart!

Carla - posted on 10/08/2011

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Alisha, sweetheart, I am so happy for you! We will all pray God's will for you two. I find it refreshing to find a woman of God who is willing to lose a potential mate if it isn't God's will. He is definitely going to bless you, watch for it!

Angela - posted on 10/07/2011

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According to an old post that's recently been locked to further comments, there's a few useful books that help with this.

Check out the first page of this Forum, you'll find it. The book is called “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris. This author who has also written a couple of follow-ups to this book, covering commitment and marriage. I haven't read any of them personally but others on here are raving about them, saying they're great books giving great guidance.


Meanwhile, if you want some FREE advice (without purchasing a book) there are some great Christian online guides. Here we go:

http://www.crosswalk.com/11620987/

http://www.unlessthelordmagazine.com/art...

http://www.lifebpc.com/family/sermons/co...

http://www.believersmagazine.com/bm.php?...

http://www.worldspirituality.org/christi...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_co...

http://aboveonly.hubpages.com/hub/what_i...

http://brian-tubbs.suite101.com/guidelin...

Hope this is helpful!!

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Alisha - posted on 10/10/2011

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Angela, wow thanks for sharing that. Sounds like it was definitely a learning experience for you. Thanks for all the kind words for Ryan and I as well!
@Carla, wow that is a very sweet compliment of you! Yes we are both willing to depart from each other if us being together isn't Gods will. We both are at a good place in our lives, seeking to grow in the Lord and also realizing we don't want our own ways, we both want the Lords ways. I have actually learned a lot from just talking to him, learned a lot about wow, what a Godly man is like and how he treats women. And also, how much Christ really does change a person if they are willing to surrender to Him. I cant believe the things and desires God has laid on his heart and I'm very excited to see how God will use what He has done in Ryans life for Gods glory! Thanks for all your help & prayers!

Angela - posted on 10/08/2011

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This guy sounds really nice, I hope the 2 of you have a future. It sounds as though he's definitely interested in you.

I respect what you say about not being alone together unless you're in a public place. I allowed a guy that was interested in me (a Christian man) into my home regularly when we were just "friends". He was not the man for me but I was giving him all the wrong signals and he was getting more and more attracted to me. I even got into a relationship with him because it was nice and convenient. He lived nearby and was able to collect my children from school when I was busy.

A guy who lives alone doesn't (usually) eat as well in his own home as when he goes to his girlfriend's house so there didn't seem any need for us to split up as a couple. He was getting well-fed for one thing! I can truly say I loved him (as one might "love" any good friend). He wasn't too good at handling money so I used to lend him money (he ALWAYS paid me back though). Basically we were very convenient for one another.

But all the time he was falling more and more in love with me. I found that we couldn’t have a conversation on equal terms, sometimes we couldn’t even chat on adult terms, he was so childlike. He was a good Christian but in my estimation he was so heavenly-minded he was no earthly use. He didn’t have a clue about many things. But it became a relationship of convenience lasting 3½ years. He took it badly when we split but asked if we could still be friends. I saw no reason why we couldn’t but this was a bad choice. All I was doing by offering my continued friendship was giving him false hope that we might get back together as a couple – I was too blind to see it. Being friends for him was seen as a chance of us reuniting. Something which he finally admitted after 8 years of being “just friends” – that was when he finally met someone new. We went our separate ways properly then. He’s married to her now and very happy. I’ve not seen him in years.

Enjoy your times together. I hope it works out for you both!

Alisha - posted on 10/08/2011

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@Carla I'm very excited about how big of a heart Ryan has for God. We have both also been Christians for 2 1/2 years. He says he's committed to finding out if we should be together with the intention of marriage, but he really wants only Gods will and so do I. We have really agreed on pretty much everything so far so that means we definitely are getting our truths from the one true God, Jesus Christ! I'm trying not to get too excited about anything yet, and just let Gods will unfold but I must admit he is a breath of fresh air. God has had me completely alone for 2 years and I haven't really even talked to guys in that time aside from casual how are you. Thanks so much for praying, that really means a lot I me! I'll be praying for you too!

Alisha - posted on 10/08/2011

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@Angela. Wow, thanks for that very long message! I really enjoyed reading your insight! I have talked about most of the topics on your list with a young man who I have been chatting with. There are a few that I will eventually bring up. Something really neat about him is he wants to save his first kiss with his future wife on his wedding day and I do too! He also won't be alone with me unless we are in public. Those are one of the first boundaries he told me about that he needs and I definitely respect that! Thanks again for all your wisdom! I'll be praying for you!

Carla - posted on 10/08/2011

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Alisha, I'm so proud of you! It sounds like you have been reading up on what is expected by God, of a Christian. I am also very happy for you that you found a guy that is being a God chaser. That you are saving even your kisses for your spouse is amazing!

Stay public, stay vertical, and God will bless you. I am praying God's will for you, honey, you and your daughter deserve God's very best.

God bless!

Angela - posted on 10/08/2011

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I agree with most of what Carla has said but I've broken 2 or 3 of her "rules" with no mishaps. That’s not to say that those rules are a bad idea though!

Having your boyfriend over your home for a meal - if you're doing this, do so whilst your children are in the house! And make it a daytime meal! If you do it on an evening, make it early evening with the understanding you're going straight out afterwards - like after you've finished your meal you're going to the theatre or something. This means you'll be all dressed up in your smart "going out" clothes so he'll pretty much get the message that lingering around in your home after the meal will be a huge disappointment to you whatever the reason!

I have invited a boyfriend back to my home for coffee/tea after a nice evening out - I thought this was a courtesy especially if they're seeing you back to your door. I always made it clear before we even reached my house that a coffee in my home meant exactly that - a coffee and as soon as the coffee was finished then out they go!

Also I've tried certain lines once in the house (just in case they might try their luck!) so they get the message loud and clear that sex is not on the menu. Best one is "Let's make coffee, kitchen's this way but be quiet, we don't want to wake Mam & Dad up!" The thought that your parents live in the same house (even if they don't) will quickly kill any vain hopes the guy had of getting up close & personal with you! And remember, a Christian guy isn't necessarily going to be any better-behaved than a non-Christian.

Listen to your friends yes, but just use a little wisdom as well. I had a "friend" who had something negative to say about every guy I ever met, even the ones that were just "friends" without any romantic leanings. In fact she had something negative to say about most of my female friends. When you're quite happy with someone it's probably better to keep fairly quiet about it to other people, especially those who don't have happy relationships themselves. Every guy my friend badmouthed to me turned out to be wrong for me anyway (even if they weren't necessarily "bad" in any way in general) but it was never because of anything my friend had said. People CAN be malicious when they hear of the happiness of others, so be careful. Of course, if, like Carla said, someone tells you something about a guy you're INTERESTED in (i.e. you're not courting/dating/seeing this guy, you're just "interested") then listen carefully. People will be freer with information when you’re still at the “interested” stage than when the 2 of you are an “item”. That’s when they’re more wary of saying anything questionable about your man! By the same token though, I'm quite careful about giving information on others myself because I don't always know the accuracy of my sources.

Intimacy doesn’t only mean sexual intimacy, by the way. You need to have intimacy with a partner you might be marrying, even whilst you’re avoiding sexual intimacy. Sharing your thoughts, dreams & aspirations is important. Talk about your habits and your expectations. People can find their marriage going sour because they’re not in agreement over certain things in life – things which could have been examined by them both as partners before they committed in marriage. Things that matter are stuff like jobs/careers/working outside the home and chores inside the home, “roles” within the relationship, discipline methods with children, how many children you will have, how you’re handling money and budgeting, dealing with situations that arise with other people (especially family & in-laws) etc … Slightly less important (but still significant) are things like political opinions, holiday choices etc … You can only KNOW how your other half feels about these matters if you’ve discussed them at length. You’ll be happy to compromise on some things, but compromise won’t be acceptable with other things.

Make your time together quality time! One of the best ways of bonding with your partner is by having a laugh together and creating special memories. Recalling some funny event that happened will make you both laugh all over again. And because things don’t always go to plan, a sense of humour is vital anyway!

If either of you has a dog, you should include the dog in your times together when it’s reasonable to do so. Animals have a way of bringing people together in harmony.

Steer yourself away from people and situations that threaten your relationship and steer your partner away from these as well. But always be alert to genuine warnings.

If you eventually decide that this man is NOT for you (or if he decides himself there isn’t a viable future for the 2 of you) then at least you’ve both learned some useful lessons along the way.

Good luck!

Alisha - posted on 10/07/2011

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Carla, I absolutely LOVED your post! Thank-you so much, and I don't mind one bit if you sound like my mom! She actually has never given me any advice in this area so that is why I am seeking it out from complete strangers! I am actually involved with someone at the moment, and he really is a lot more Godly than I am, but I think only time will tell if us being together is God's plan. We both really want to save our first kiss with our future spouse (each other or someone else) until our wedding day. He is absolutely serious about purity and not even beinig alone together. I am soo new to all of this, but I have been learning about it for the past 2 years and growing in the Lord as well while I've been completely single. It's one thing to learn about how to pursue purity with someone and quite another to have that person in your life and practice it! I think it is going quite well so far and everything has been very innocent and just getting to know each other and where we stand on different issues. So, if you could be praying for God's will to be shown to us, I would really appreciate it. Again, thank-you so much for all you have shared with me, it is extremely valuable! There are Godly men out there who want to follow Christ, but I'm sure there are a lot more who are pretending. I don't think my guy is pretending at all but thanks for the warnings. I will definitely be praying even harder! My rule is stay vertical and public! It works like a charm!

Alisha - posted on 10/07/2011

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Angela, thank-you so much for your response! I really appreciate it, and yes I have read I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl, I'm still hungry for more info on it! I will for sure check out those websites! Thanks again!

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