Being in a Christian courtship can be challenging, many Christian singles have found that they started courting with the expectation of marriage but the relationship ended with both parties going their separate ways. Not every Christian relationship or courtship you find yourself in will work out and that can be for several different reasons, but there are principles or secrets or keys (whatever you want to call them) that you can apply that can give you a better chance of building a healthy and successful Christian courtship, one that will hopefully lead to marriage.
The following are some of those secrets, these are the rules and principles my wife and I followed while we were dating that allowed us to have a successful courtship, one that has lead to us becoming husband and wife today. I pray that as you apply these principles they will bring you your heart's desire for your relationship.
Love - Although it takes more than feelings to sustain a relationship, love is still a key ingredient to the success of a Christian courtship. Without true love a relationship simply will not work because love is what motivates you to keep making an effort even when things aren't going well.
You cannot give without love, you cannot show affection without love, you cannot show kindness without love, and all these things are necessary for a courtship to flourish and grow. Make sure that part of the foundation of your courtship is love and not just looks or money. When looks fade and the money runs out, you will need true love to keep things going. As the bibles say "you have nothing if you don't have love"
Forgiveness - regardless of how much you both love eachother, there are bound to be times when two people who are courting or in a relationship will hurt eachother, either intentionally or unintentionally. The key thing is not to hold eachother in unforgiveness by holding eachother ransom to past mistakes. Your relationship simply will not grow if you keep holding on to how your partner hurt you in the past and keep bringing up their mistake every time there is a disagreement. Unforgiveness will give birth to bitterness, assumptions, suspicion, and lack of trust none of which are healthy for a courtship.
Trust - You have probably often heard it said that without trust you have no relationship and that is very true. Every true Christian courtship must have trust as part of the foundation. Lack of trust gives birth to suspicion which will lead you to begin to question everything your partner does, you start checking their phone and monitoring their every move which will become very frustrating and annoying for them.
Even if you have been hurt in past relationships it doesn't mean that everybody else you enter a relationship with is going to hurt you. If this particular person you are in your present courtship with has done something to breech the trust in the relationship, once they have repented and asked for forgiveness and there is evidence that they have truly changed then you need to work on yourself so that you learn to trust them again or else you will forever hold onto their mistake and never be able to trust them and without trust the relationship will eventually collapse.
Understanding - One of the key problems Christian couples that are courting have is in the area of really understanding eachother, and to be honest with you, this is something that you will probably be working on for the rest of your lives even after marriage.
It is very easy to misunderstand eachother because men and women are wired differently and react to things differently. For example you as a lady might make a statement to your man in a non offensive way but the way he receives it makes him feel like you are attacking him or nagging him. This often leads to disagreements and arguments all because of a simple case of misunderstanding. Learn to be patient with eachother and not overreact or blow your fuse too quickly. Learn to understand the communication style of your partner so as not to misunderstand them.
Communication - another key ingredient for a successful Christian courtship is effective communication. You have to be able to express yourself and communicate the way you feel and be honest about things with eachother. Without communication there will be a lot of assumptions, don't expect your partner to know what's on your mind if you don't tell them. Don't expect them to know what's wrong with you if you haven't told them.
Communication also includes talking about your vision and plans for the future, sharing jokes and fun moments through your conversations etc. Also learn to communicate sensitively when discussing an issue that can potentially hurt your partner. And remember that communication is more than just what is coming out of your mouth, your mouth might be saying one thing but your body language might be saying another... hint hint!
Boundaries - Every true Christian courtship must have boundaries as part of its foundation. Not everything goes. If you want to protect yourself from guilt and regrets and feeling condemned when you enter the presence of God then you have to have boundaries in your relationship.
Without boundaries you will find yourself sleeping over at his house, lying down together on the same bed, heavy petting, and before long you will be fornicating. One of the major things that break down Christian courtships is the guilt that comes after fornicating; you can avoid that by having boundaries. Some things are better left until marriage and sex is one of those things, sex complicates matters and destroys the purity of your relationship when engaged in prematurely.