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Old School Courtship Works

When the older people in our lives--our parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts- say the words, "Noong araw" (During our time), we know it is going to be a long conversation. Though we may be tempted to tune out what they are saying, perhaps there is something to learn from their insights. Especially in the area of our love life.

Most of our elders have said that during their time, it was really different. Courting a lady in their time often meant washing the entire family's clothes, fetching water from the well with heavy buckets, ironing clothes, washing the dishes, cooking food; and the list goes on. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Other stories we hear about are the gentlemen singing in front of the house of a lady to serenade her, some wrote letters to the one they admired, and others would take the time to use the payphone or a landline just to keep in touch with their beloved.

Aren’t we glad we are not living in those times anymore? There was much going on during the time of our parents and grandparents when it came to courtship but as we have seen, we might be glad we are not living in the “olden days” anymore. But interestingly, more often than not, their courting methods worked and many of them ended up happily married.

Contrast this to today, when relationships start quickly and end quickly, too. There are the gadgets, apps, and social media to help us in finding the partner we've been dreaming of spending our life with. But we often end up more confused than clear about who our life partner should be.

So what is there to learn from our elders?

They modeled for us a principle from the Bible that says, "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed" (Proverbs 15:22). They not only sought counsel from family and friends for themselves, but they can serve as wise counsel for us today as we are considering romantic involvement with another person. Someone who loves and fears God, is full of wisdom, and old enough to point out things that are beneficial may save us from heartache.

Here are a few other tips that may come from our elders as they seek out their counsel:

1. Pray for the Lord's direction first and foremost before getting into courtship. This can save you from a lot of trouble. (See Psalms 37:4,23-24, Proverbs 3:5-6, 16:9)

2. Have people in your life who can keep you accountable along the way. Look for people you respect who can guide you and support you, like your parents, grandparents, mentor, leader, or pastor. (See Proverbs 1:5, Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 19:20)

3. Get to know the person well and his/her family too. Talking to a person on the phone or chat is different than knowing them on a personal level.

4. Be clear with your intentions as you get to know the person. (See Proverbs 4:23)

The goal of courtship is not just to have fun and then move on to another person. The goal is to discern together whether or not God may be calling you into the long-lasting permanent relationship of marriage. This is a big decision--one of the most important ones we will ever make, which is why it is so important to bring others (especially our elders) into the decision to help us navigate the way forward.