Courtship Resources for the 21st Century

Posted By on September 24, 2013

Family Reformation

While the doctrine of salvation was being reformed during the sixteenth century, so was marriage, manhood, womanhood, courtship, child raising, fertility, abortion, and almost every area that touches family life.

John Calvin never wrote a book on the family, but he touched off a family reformation. He was the instigator of a massive restructuring of the most fundamental institution of society.

Like no other reformer, Calvin provided the exegetical precision that defined the terms for a biblical vision of family life. With crystal clarity he explained the details of the how the family had exchanged the glory of God for a lie. We should be thankful to this dear brother for excavating the gold mines of the Bible and exposing the raw biblical language and bedrock principles that form the doctrine of the Christian family.

This book seeks to communicate the main themes of Calvin s teaching on family life in his own words, using quotes from his books, sermons, letters, and other writings.

Sex, Marriage, and Family in John Calvin’s Geneva: Courtship, Engagement and Marriage

You would not expect this from his dour reputation, but John Calvin transformed the Western understanding of sex, marriage, and family life. In this fascinating, even sensational, volume John Witte and Robert Kingdon treat comprehensively the new theology and law of domestic life that Calvin and his fellow reformers established in sixteenth-century Geneva. Bringing to light and life hundreds of newly discovered cases and theological texts, Witte and Kingdon trace the subtle historical forms and norms of sex, marriage, and family life that still shape us today.

What He Must Be… If He Wants to Marry My Daughter

All parents want their daughters to marry godly young men. But which qualities, specifically, should they be looking for? What will you say when that certain young man sits down in your living room, sweaty-palmed and tongue-tied, and asks your permission to marry your daughter? What criteria should he meet before the two of them join together for life? What He Must Be… If He Wants to Marry My Daughter outlines ten qualities parents should look for in a son-in-law, including trustworthiness, a willingness to lead his family, an understanding of his wife’s role, and various spiritual leadership qualities. Author Voddie Baucham follows up on his popular book Family Driven Faith with this compelling apologetic of biblical manhood. By studying the principles outlined in his book, parents who want their daughter to marry a godly man-as well as those who want their sons to become godly men-will be well equipped to help their children look for and develop these God-honoring qualities.

The Blessed Marriage

A Vision for a Delightful and Significant Union It breaks my heart to hear Christians belittle or minimize the significance of the precious gift called marriage. The Bible teaches that parents are to actively prepare their children for it, that couples are to rejoice in it, and that the Church is to reinforce it. The Blessed Marriage By Doug Phillips.

How To Evaluate A Suitor

There he is in his splendor. What a guy! He’s the man who hopes to walk off with your daughter … hold on a moment. Maybe he isn’t the best thing since sliced bread. Maybe he is trouble with a capital “T.” Or maybe he is a great guy, but just not the great guy God intends for your little girl. How can you tell?

In this fast-paced message, Doug Phillips explains that the greatest gift a dad will ever give away is his daughter. He examines the biblical qualifications for suitors and concludes that the Bible does not anticipate perfection, but minimal threshold requirements must be met. He examines the need for careful discrimination for determining if two are “equally yoked” and the doctrine of the “bride’s price.” Doug also points out biblical examples of wickedness by fathers toward suitors and urges dads to act decisively, but with charity, respect, and love.

What Our Father Taught Us About Boys

Why is it hard for girls to find the balance between flirting and shunning? How can girls keep their hearts pure? What responsibilities do they have toward young men? Is it possible to be “just friends”? Hear practical advice on navigating the tricky waters of relationships, properly conducted, can be edifying and strengthening.

What Our Father Taught Us About Girls

You can tell a lot about a nation by how the boys are trained to treat girls. Will boys grow up with the ability to respect, cherish, and lead women into the future, or will young men continue to exploit and degrade women? Is it possible for American boys to rediscover the ways men were created to honor women the ways God intends for women to be honored? This message reveals the attitudes three young gentlemen learned to cultivate as they listened to their father’s instruction, studied scripture on their own, and then interacted with the fair sex with confidence, gallantry, and manliness. Get practical advice on how to obey the command to treat young women “as sisters, with all purity”: how to view girls; how to interact with girls; how to protect girls; how to handle flirtatious girls; and how to encourage and edify your sisters in Christ. Gain a vision for how to have meaningful and edifying friendships with those who are “heirs together of the grace of life.”

The Four P’s: Is He Ready To Lead?

What will you say when that certain young man sits down in your living room, sweaty-palmed and tongue-tied,and asks permission to marry your daughter? What criteria should he meet? Thankfully, God has given us a clear picture of the role of the husband/father in the home, and in What He Must Be…If He Wants to Marry My Daughter, Dr. Voddie Baucham breaks this picture down into ten desirable qualities. Not only should parents of young women seek these qualities in a son-in-law, but parents of young men should cultivate them in their sons. In the companion CD, The Four P’s, Voddie establishes that he must be a prophet, priest, provider & protector.

In Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions, Doug Phillips challenges fathers on the importance of guarding their daughters’ hearts at all costs, how to shield them from the pressures of a peer-oriented society and inappropriate romantic relationships, and how to prepare them as a bride — a godly young woman of purity for the young man of their dreams whom God is preparing.

Helping Them To Choose

The process of getting and staying married is severely malfunctioning in our land. With the divorce in the church statistically indistinguishable from the unbelieving world, it would not be considered hyperbole to say that today’s marriages in the church are a moral disaster. As we have slowly adopted the ways of the world in nearly every area of life in order to maintain our respectability, at the same time, we have lost our ability to properly join our children in marriage. Our children have been left with unworkable methods in a broken, godless system. However in 1859, a pastor wrote a book on home life that included instructions to Christian parents on how to help their children marry. The Reverend Samuel Philips brings his counsel to us from 1859 as a timely reminder of the wisdom of God for all family life. This book contains that sage godly counsel from another century.

The Ministry of Marriage

Many Christians believe that young singles are more godly if they postpone marriage for ”ministry.” Dr. Baucham disproves this and shows how to prepare for the important ministry of marriage.

Marrying Well

Families across America are realizing that “dating” leads to trouble, not dynamic marriages. Other families have realized that the “courtship” model is an maze of unexplored definitions, and find themselves taking wrong turn after wrong turn. Is courtship the answer? Is it always necessary? How do young people find each other and then discern the Lord’s will for marriage? What does it mean to “marry well”? How do parents shepherd their children through the process? While the Bible doesn’t offer a formula for getting to the altar, it has much to say about the maturity, vision, and love that make a marriage beautiful and powerful, from the very first day. Scripture is rich with guidance for marrying well.
The Christian Lover

Marriage is under siege in our time, and Christian unions are not going unscathed. Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin believes that love letters written by Christian husbands and wives of the past can help strengthen the ties that bind believing spouses today. In this anthology, he brings together letters from one or both parties in twelve significant relationships from church history. The contents range from courtship communications to proposals of marriage to final words before dying, but most have to do with the ups and downs of married life. In the end, The Christian Lover is a celebration of marriage, an intimate window into the thoughts of men and women who were deeply in love with both God and one another.

More Resources:
Gospel Centered Marriages
Biblical Thinking About Courtship and Marriage
Preparing for Marriage
Gospel Centered Marriages for a Glorious Church

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One Response to “Courtship Resources for the 21st Century”

  1. Hobbit says:

    Agreed, but while we are about it, we need to do some significant reworking of our theology of Christian singleness as well.

    Parents do not want to think that any of their children could end up permanently single, for whatever reason (from, eg. not enough Christian men to go round who are actually up to the grade). Yet, *if* this happens, then there needs to be the Biblical and practical resources to deal with the situation. We all believe in the sovereignty of God; we dare not think that that sovereignty might mean that it is one of *our* own children who end up single.

    A lot of our teaching on singles has not worked, in practice. Some of it is about trying to make a virtue out of the necessity for the people concerned; some of it is downright judgemental (= you’re single because of some massive flaw in your character or perhaps personality); and while the testimonies of those who find their call as a single a positive experience do get heard, the more negative or challenging testimonies aren’t heard.

    Perhaps a word of warning to parents of younger children is in order: if in your (quite proper) desire to promote marriage & family to your children, you bring your children up to think that being a Christian single means that the person concerned is flawed in some way or another, or a failure, then you are opening the door to all sorts of problems if, at the end of the day, it is one of *your* children who ends up single. How we both promote marriage but make room for the way in which it doesn’t end up being for all Christians, needs to be thought through better than it has been.

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