What is my blog about? It's about Torah family living. It's about letting Torah affect our daily lives, from mealtime to bedtime, homeschooling to farm chores.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Courtship Guidelines

I see many young ladies anxious to meet their prince.  Would you like to hear how I met my prince, and how we made it to the wedding altar to share our first kiss?  Read on!

It all happened eleven years ago.  I wore a childish denim jumper with sailboats on the pockets.  I just wanted to get this meeting over and get on with my life.  He was, after all, 30 something, and probably fat, bald, and short.  I was only 3 days past my 20th birthday, so this guy sounded ancient.  But then he walked through the door, and my life was never the same. 

Did I know he was the one right away?  I think I did deep down inside, where we don't often visit.  But I wanted to make sure I made a sensible decision, and then my heart could follow.

I "courted" because that was the coin phrase among homeschoolers at the time.  I don't care what you call it.  What matters is how it operates.  So here were our rules. 

1. Doug asked my parents permission for everything, including getting my phone number in the first place.
If a guy can't go through dad, he's got no right to the girl.

2. We were never alone.  Let me repeat that.  We were never alone.  We got a lot of flack for this, because it was thought that we wouldn't really know each other.  Simply put, they were wrong.  By the way, Doug made this rule, not my parents.  He did the dating thing, and knew himself all too well.  (Girls, I know your hearts are white as snow, and a bad thought would never even enter the room you are in.  But when a guy looks at you in a certain way, well, let me repeat this again.  NEVER ALONE!)

3.  We did not go on dates.  We didn't frequent restauarants, except for a double with my parents once.  We lived life together.  We worked together.  We built a ramp for my dad's shed.  We put a wood floor in the living room.  We baked cookies and pizza.  We spent our time in a home in a family setting.  To this day, our most precious time is the time when we work on things together.  It takes us back to those days.  Fathers can also spot a loser a mile away if he isn't willing to pick up a tool and get busy.

4.  We limited our time together.  Doug called me on Wednesday afternoons for 3-4 hours.  He came to my house and visited every Saturday.  That was it.  Emotionally, it was a tremendous safeguard.  I didn't lay awake every night thinking about the dreamy things he said to me.  By the way, when we did talk, we talked of scripture, abortion, speeding laws, how many kids we wanted.  We tried to understand each other.  To refer back to #2, we got to know each other quite well, because we weren't always trying to put our best foot forward and look good.  We were trying to determine if we should get married, not if we were a cute couple.

5.  We gave our parents full veto power.  Doug told his mom that if she did not approve of me, then he would walk, and he meant it.  I spent a lot of time talking to my parents, and asking them about this thing that Doug said, or that event that happened.  Our parents were our guides.  We trusted them to help us.

6.  In the end, the ball was completely in my court.  When Doug got down on his knee and asked me to be his wife, the choice was completely mine.  I could say yes, I could say no.  Just because we had courted, did not make it a done deal.  When I said yes, we considered ourselves betrothed, and simply had to get ready for the ceremony to make it official.  My parents had given their blessing to Doug, particularly my Dad.  In fact, when Doug called to "talk to Dad," Mom told him that Dad had a headache and was lying down.  "Don't bother him now!  I'll call back!"  So on Thanksgiving Day, my Dad kept saying, "Now's a good time, pop the question!" 

So of course I said yes.  (Actually I said Holy Cow!)  We enjoyed our first kiss at the altar.  The sermon was about Isaac and Rebekah.  And when we pulled out of the parking lot, we both looked in the back seat to see if my little sister was there.  Ten years, and many hills, and a few mountains, and five kids later, I love him more than I ever dreamed I could love a person.  Did YHVH bring us together?  I have no doubt. 

Could our rules be improved upon?  Certainly.  Could they be given more of a Hebraic view.  Absolutely, since we weren't Hebraic at the time. Each family is unique and will approach this slightly differently.  YHVH used this particular setup to give me a wonderful husband.  Sometimes he's not so wonderful.  Sometimes I'm not so wonderful.  But we're together and we're happy and serving YHVH together.  What more could you want?


Andi said...

That my dear sister, is exactly what and how it should be, if the 'man' is willing ...well your words say it all. I pray it will be this way for my daughter, that 'he' will go through the Father, it will be!

As to never alone....truth - pure truth!

Sowers of Hope said...

That's so beautiful!

Stephanie4Him said...

Beautiful and encouraging!! I'm so thankful we have had this vision from the beginning of our family. Our eldest child turns 14 today and she knows without a doubt that Abba has her soulmate just for her. We pray for him daily and she is saving herself just for that one special person and serving her Father in our home in the meantime.
Thank you for sharing such an awesome testimony!

A Joyful Chaos said...

So beautiful! In the culture I grew up in we were allowed to be alone but could only see each other twice a month for three hours at a time.

Paulina {Lina} said...

Thank you for sharing your story!

I pray and hope that I will soon have a similar story to tell :)

Autumn said...

what a great job of explaining! i am only fourteen, but that doesn't mean that i can't read up on other women's stories... and try to figure out how i want the whole process to come together. right? anyways, thanks for posting! by the way, are those pictures of your wedding dress? if so, i think the embroidery is beautiful!

shabbat shalom,

Heidi said...

Yes, the wedding dress is mine. My mother designed and sewed it from a drawing I made. I made all the ribbon flowers. The funny part is that we were so worried that the neckline was modest enough. It ended up too high and the train pulled on it, so I felt like I was choking the whole day, but I was modest! Doug really appreciated that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. How precious, pure and lovely!
You are truly blessed to have been raised this way.
This is heavy on our hearts for our own tribe since we are the first generation to denounce dating on both sides of the family. :)

Heidi said...

Tribalmama - I hope your children have their own beautiful story. And FYI- be sure to move on over to my new site www.torahfamilyliving.com. I won't be putting new posts here. Shalom!

You may enjoy reading:

More thoughts to consider