Category Archives: Dating and Courtship

Sir, Give Me This Water

I remember my peers beginning to date as early as grade school.  I am humored by a memory from kindergarten when a student promised to pick me up on his future motorcycle to go on a date.  It starts with subtle and innocent interactions whereby curiosity and a crush lead further.  For many women, dating becomes a prevalent struggle early on in age.  It might have to do in part with the curse we inherited from Eve, that our desire would be for our husband, but the struggle also originates from other sources that vary for each person.

Some of us do not have a good relationship with our father.  Ideally, in a father-to-daughter relationship, the father would be the figure to provide comfort, confidence, and the endearment that a young princess needs.  But when these are missing in a girl’s childhood, she grows up feeling insecure and hungry for the attention she never received from her father even if her relationship with her mother is good.   As a result, she turns to companionship with men for comfort. Continue reading

Reflections on Married Life: Jericho

I am often asked in passing how married life is going. I never know how to answer such a loaded question in a brief sentence. I think most of the time I am asked out of courtesy, like how’s it going, or how are you. It would be polite to just reply “fine,” but there is more space here than four characters, so here’s what I have to say:

Kevin and I are opposites in many ways, and that tension brings out the worst and best of us, often resulting in a literal tug of war of blankets, clothes, and chores. And, I think these are the moments that test the marriage–not the fancy sparkly anniversary celebrations planned by Kevin that I admittedly sometimes daydream about.

In Joshua 6, the obedient, mundane, silent marching of the Israelites for six days around Jericho led to a victory delivered by God. This reminded me that keeping up with the mundane and repetitive tasks that make an organized and functional home are the elements of a victorious marriage in the Lord. It’s not easy because little things that are ignored pile up–I know because the last load of laundry is still unfolded, the stack of bills is like a rising tide, and every chair in the living room is occupied by papers, books, and boxes. On top of that, Kevin and I are trying arrange time to pray and read the Bible together every day, the “ark” of our daily march which should be prioritized before any other to-do.

Where Kevin takes me for our next vacation or for a fancy anniversary celebration will be great, but more important are how we handle the routine tasks of cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, ironing, and managing our budget.

So the next time you ask me how married life is going – make sure you’ve also got time to hear out my reply.

Reflections on Married Life: My Single Life

My single years have so far been the most productive in my faith. Prior to falling in love with Kevin, I fell in love with Jesus Christ. I had time to serve God with greater flexibility when I only had one schedule to consider – mine. I found him. Remember the Creator in the days of your youth. I enjoyed that time in singlehood and I enjoyed praying to God to find me spouse and to bless my future marriage. I can’t say that one part of my life is better than the other because both were given by God and through both, God walked by my side. Married life is wonderful, but don’t waste away single life fantasizing about married life. Single life is also a blessing, so use it to be productive for Christ. I had crushes and I dated other guys briefly, and I thank God that none of those experiences led to sin. Those experiences are things I want to share with my younger sisters and brothers in Christ to let them know the dangers of college dorms and even “casual” relationships and how God protected me.

Now I really look forward to serving God with my new partner, but this might take some time as even the Israelite army in the Old Testament excused soldiers from active duty for one year from their wedding.

Ruth: How to be a single, dating Christian (woman)

Ruth worked hard at her job, staying into the evening until she had finished beating out the grain she had collected.  She is a biblical example of a woman who spent time to develop her career skills, a nod to the many sisters who pursue graduate degrees or career promotions. She did not, however, ignore the other aspects of her life. As a single woman, Ruth had her hands full with multiple responsibilities–her mother-in-law, financial duty, and a budding relationship.

Ruth shared her wages with her family, Naomi, and took care of Naomi’s needs.  While many youths starting jobs and careers will pour their earnings and free time into entertainment, better clothes, bigger flatscreen TVs, or other self-centered products, Christian youths should remember God’s standard in their spending priority.  Perhaps we can hire a lawn mower for our aging parents or buy groceries for them once a month.  When we remember our parents, God will remember us.

In addition to maintaining a connection with a parent, she also started a romantic connection.  While the student spiritual convocations teach high school and younger youths to abstain from dating, there is also a time to date and we read about Ruth during that appropriate time: when one is ready to continue life’s journey with a partner in marriage.  Ruth carried on a courtship while she also kept busy gleaning grain, so working on a career or education is not mutually exclusive with taking out the time to date.  We should accept opportunities of courtship, or at least consider them and putting them in prayer. Ruth listened to Naomi’s suggestion of Boaz, which requires stepping outside her comfortable routine and into the unknown–as we might have to when we talk to a church marriage coordinator or accept a brother’s invitation to start an email correspondence or chat over coffee.

One of the greatest lessons I learned from Ruth is to follow God’s standard for finding a husband. Ruth had a duty to marry her husband’s relative, just like we have a duty to marry a member in the True Jesus Church. Boaz was older, and Ruth had the pick of younger men in the field or finding a man in her hometown. For sisters, the men we meet in the world may be more educated, wealthier, or more handsome than church brothers we know, but what use of a companion would he be if he couldn’t share in our joy of experiencing the Holy Spirit and if he couldn’t lift up our faith and pray with us when we’re feeling down. Just like God led Ruth to Boaz in the land of Canaan, we can trust that God will lead us to the right brother in True Jesus Church.

Once Ruth starts a relationship with Boaz, she demonstrates the Biblical principle that the purpose of dating is to get married. This couple seeks the counsel of elders and the next of kin for permission to get married. Instead of drawing out their courtship, they were wise to seek out any barriers as soon as possible. Dating for too long, more than one or two years, makes breaking up much harder when the couple and their friends and family are emotionally, and unfortunately for the couple perhaps even physically, entangled. But if we treat our boyfriends and girlfriends with purity and aim to draw closer to God together, then a break up is not a shameful matter, but rather a praiseworthy moment where we can thank God for helping us to grow through this relationship and for finding out that we are not compatible before it’s too late, like after tying the knot.

Ruth is an excellent role model for how a modern Christian woman, and also man, can glorify God during singlehood. It is a time for us to develop a caring relationship with our parents, as well as allowing ourselves to develop godly romantic relationships (one at a time, of course).

Being Wives

Here’s a statement that I read recently that made me think twice. Originally it was addressed to single Christian women. But a similar statement could be posed to the single brothers.

“Do you want to get married, or do you want to be a wife?”

Both questions seem one and the same–resulting in the same wedding ceremony and marriage. But it’s the second that makes us think about our attitude going into marriage. Is it self, or is it service? Is it passive reception, or active giving?

And after a little bit of thought–what about Christ and his church? Are we just smug on being betrothed to Him? Or are we willing to be a wife?