"To be honest, my heart has grown a little impatient with the ‘perfect’ courtship stories, and although I am glad for those couples, it is hard because the message I receive from so many of them, whether they intentionally try to give that message or not, is that if you follow God’s plan, your courtship and marriage will be ‘perfect’. But I do not see that in the Bible…
God promises good, which I believe sometimes includes trials and pain, to those who love Him… His desire is His glory, and I see His glory in the broken lives and hearts He holds in His hands… broken so that His love may pour through." -Elizabeth Jackson (More from her here)
There is a tendency in circles that "do" courtship to look at a happy marriage as a reward for doing well. There is a formula attitude--if you follow these certain rules during courtship, do such-and-such at these specified intervals, then your courtship will be God-honoring and you will have a perfect marriage. I say it is an attitude, because no one would actually verbalize such statements. Yes, it is true that there are some things couples can do to bring glory to God. However, bringing glory to God does not mean that a happy 'perfect' marriage will automatically follow. Often it is through the valley of suffering that God refines us.
This blog is a pretty light hearted look at courtship. I haven't written much about the challenges, trials, and difficulties that can come up, though my courtship has had it's share of struggle. The struggles aren't the point of my writing, the point is to take a good look at the practical side of courtship. What it can look like in the day-to-day, in a world where courting certainly isn't the norm.
While the cheerful is certainly good, it is also important to have a Godfearing attitude. I live every day with the knowledge that I may never marry my Knight. God may call him home, or He may call me. Or if we do live long enough to marry there is nothing that says we'll see our first anniversary. While it isn't right to worry or fret, we should keep proper perspective on life's brevity and treasure every happy gift that God blesses us with. We also need to remember that at least for those who are the children of God, all things work out for good. No, there is no formula for the perfect, trial free life. Pain is going to come. It's part of living. But God will use those struggles to work in us a deeper, purer perfection than can ever be gained by a euphoric, fairy tale 'happily ever after.'