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Opinions of Monday, 22 September 2014

Columnist: Bernice Owusuwaa

Christian courtship is not about sex

Most young men and women in the 21st Century have adapted a new method they use in search of their life time partner. This method as known by most youths as "boyfriend/girlfriend relationship" leaves a lot in a state or condition of heartbreak relating to other mental disabilities.

There could be confusion, hurt, and sexual activity during courtship or dating as most young people may term it; hence, one cannot give definition of courtship and how it should be done to be in line with Christian doctrines.

According to Tracey Bartolomei, courtship has been a vital part of the Christian culture for thousands of years; thus, it is currently gaining a following of singles that are looking for smarter ways of tying the knot and keeping it tied.

Courtship is defined as an activity that occurs when people are developing a romantic relationship that could lead to marriage or the period of time when such activities occur. This poses the question, is there any Christian definition for courtship?

There is no agreed definition but Roxanne Kumalo (2014) in his article also defines "courtship as the period of time in which a man who is romantically interested in a woman pursues her in an intentional way with the hope of marrying her. The man and the woman attempt to not stir up each other's love permanently; thus, their aim is to reach a wise decision with the help of their families and Christian community while behaving in a way that honours God. The hope is that whether things work out or not each person is left undamaged".

However, most young men and women in our churches today, seem to do a modified version of the word "courtship" and the only modification is making sex the key factor to facilitate the courting process. This poses my second question: are there any measures church leaders have set in place to discuss courtship into details to young people?

Courting before marriage never comes up very easily especially for the Christian men and women. There are ups and downs that come up with courtship but these challenges spring up whenever two different people who had different upbringing and life experiences along with the natural differences meet.

This article will discuss some of the challenges that most young Christian men and women are facing in courtship.

First to be addressed is abstinence from sex. This is one of the greatest challenges most people especially Christians encounter during courtship. It is very difficult for single Christians to mention their sexual desires for fear of being thought unspiritual which however is not far from our minds.

Christian brothers and sisters adhere to what the bible says "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification (purity) that you should abstain from fornication 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Christian man and woman surrounded by a society where the media be it print, electronic and online are now portraying nudity and sex as just a normal way of life regardless of the culture of the country or society.

To control their sexual drive during courtship and before marriage, the Christian brother and sister should have a high sense of maturity and wisdom in knowledge about sex because sex is significant. On the surface it might just look as it is but in God's eyes it is two souls binding together.

The bible also states in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: "Do you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you are from God and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body". God cautions Christians to uphold their body in high dignity and go according to the will of God.

Another challenge is the Heart Break. When two people begin to bond emotionally, though there are no commitments involved, they begin to talk to themselves as couples. When Christian couple spend time alone and continue talking, it often leads to premature emotional attachments.

If the courtship does not lead to marriage, one of them is psychologically, emotionally and physically wounded. This becomes unbearable for the affected individual and in high cases, makes the person backslide in worshipping God; hence, they stop going to church with the fear of meeting another partner.

It is therefore important for both men and woman to understand and honour God's design for marriage even before he or she enters into it. The conclusion of courtship can be very painful, yet the couple should seek the support of parents, mentors and friends.

I will also advise single Christians not to enter into courtship until he or she is at a stage in life when marriage is a realistic possibility for the main purpose of courtship is to determine if the couple could get married or not; according to God's direction.

Again, I will urge all church institutions to organize Christian sex education for Christian singles because many do not understand the spiritual implications.

Written by Bernice Owusuwaa
References:
Www.wikipeadia.com/courtshipandchristianity retrieved on the 19th September
UB David & I'll B Jonathan,(1998 -2014), mailbox club international.