In Which I Have Exciting News & Wish There Was Another Word Besides “Courtship”

True, it doesn’t have to have a word. But we need words to define things. “Dating” is too nonchalant. “Courtship” is too misused, misunderstood, mis….

So maybe I should say our first-born daughter is in an RWP. A relationship with purpose. (grin)

And we are so thrilled and so grateful to see this mysterious work of the Lord!

From the time she was a baby I knew one thing: I did not want her to suffer the battle scars of recreational dating that I did. Falling in and out of intimate relationships well before the desire to pursue marriage is one of the worst ideas ever born. We prayed that somehow our children wouldn’t desire to follow that route.

We were also criticized for such a thought. “Not date? What are you going to do arrange their marriages? How will they ever find someone?”

Enter: God.

His plan is marvelous. We don’t have to wrestle these things on our own, or follow a formula–especially a really bad one the culture made up.

Bria and Kyle met at a dance and instantly found that they really enjoyed talking and felt comfortable with each other. Just a few days after they met, Kyle’s family’s home was hit by a tornado. (We seem to have a thing for storms that end in blessing.) Their friends loaned them a temporary rental house which just happened to be in our neighborhood! (In a “country-mile” sort of way.)

After talking for a few weeks, Kyle expressed that he wanted to pursue a relationship with Bria, getting to know her to see if they would be interested in eventually moving toward marriage.

Because Kyle has a heart that seeks the Lord, and is a man of upright character, is both gentle and strong–a trait (among many) we’ve always known Bria needs, and because Bria is ready to think toward marriage, we heartily agreed that they should spend more time getting to know each other and our families.

We are proud of the woman Bria has become and the devotion she has to her Savior. Because of that, we trust her discernment and knew that Kyle was a worthy man if she deems him to be. Seeing the two of them walk in obedience and love, seeking to know God’s will and desiring to grow in wisdom is a blessing beyond words.

This journey is sweet to watch and we are so much in awe of the goodness of the Lord. The future isn’t certain, but the One who leads us is.

33 Responses to “In Which I Have Exciting News & Wish There Was Another Word Besides “Courtship””

  1. Congratulations!!! It is such an exciting event. My son found his “Duggar” gal as we call her! We discouraged our children to not date until they were old enough to be looking for a spouse and then we called it “dating with a purpose,” similar to yours. All 4 of our children did it this way and it truly was a blessing. Here’s the link to the post about Steven ~

    They are engaged and to be married in August! We believe in very short engagements which all 4 did.

  2. 6 arrows says:

    *happy tears* πŸ˜‰

  3. Lady from Carolina says:

    Are they officially getting married? Has a date been set?

    I see this way (RWP as you say) as the most Biblical. I see courtship as- dare I say- feminist? It truly puts men at a disadvantage and at the mercy of the women’s family. A friendship or acquaintance that develops into a relationship allows for both parties to be equal. We have now seen many of the loudest courtship proponents enter their late 20s and early 30s unmarried.

    • Laura says:

      i know what you mean… i have often thought that the type of young men sought after are so few and far between…and the good guys that are out there feel too inadequate. Even with the duggars, one of the duggar brothers cornered jessa’s young man, ben, saying, in essence, how do you figure on supporting my sister just repairing windshields? (as though somehow taking a downturn out of upper middleclass is somehow unthinkable–even though ben is only 18!) i personally would like to see a duggar marry a farmer…lol

    • Lady from C,

      No, they are not engaged. They are in a relationship to make sure they want to be engaged. I don’t think Kyle would feel that he was “at our mercy.” One thing that we might believe a bit differently than some who would define their terms of courtship, is that our daughter is an adult. So while we are counseling her, we aren’t micromanaging their relationship.

      Because they have both grown up honoring their parents, that continues. They want our blessing, they want our counsel, they want our direction, just like I still need counsel and direction from older, godly people.

      But besides a few basic “criteria” (Do you love the Lord in a way that’s evident in your life? Do you have a plan?) we have let them ask each other questions and sort through what they think about moving forward.

      • Kelly L says:

        I really like how you think of it.
        Although I love watching the Duggars, I am not sure I feel led to micromanage, as you put it, the relationship of an adult, either.
        Since this is up coming for us in the next several years, I appreciate you sharing.

        And, if you will pardon my rant, especially since my mom (professed Christian) just told my daughter that kissing wasn’t a big deal. My dad, the atheist, disagreed. All because at the last tournament an older brother and she were talking within our family groups. She thought it was just a friendly thing. It became obvious it was not just friendly for him. We mentioned it as an example of her naivity. My mom got downright giddy. THIS is why I had such scars growing up, this dumb mentality. As a side note, my daughter was down right offended my mom assumed she was “that kind of girl.” At least HER head is screwed on straight, lol

      • Carolina says:

        So, you mean that Kyle was not cross-examined by your husband with tons of questions before he could even approach Bria?
        That is what happens in other families.

        • He and Kyle went to dinner. They talked. Aaron had a few questions, I think maybe Kyle did too. He was looking for “blaring” things that could be potential problems in a relationship before emotional involvement had time to obscure those things. We didn’t know Kyle very well, so mainly, it was to get to know him a bit better. Kyle and Bria are now the ones exchanging questions and answers, but we felt confident enough in Kyle’s maturity and relationship with the Lord to bless their moving forward.

  4. Joyce says:

    Praise the Lord. Have prayed for her. Such a sweet story. Love you all. Joyce

  5. Jennifer says:

    I love how things began between them! A dance, a tornado, a house nearby..*sigh*

    “True, it doesn’t have to have a word. But we need words to define things”

    I have one: Bria likes someboddyyy..

  6. Daphne B says:

    Wow, I’m completely excited by this! I know too well these “battle scars” that you talk about, so my heart rejoices to hear stories of God’s providence such as this one. Praying for Bria, and for you Kelly. πŸ™‚ *Happy tears*

  7. Charlotte Moore says:

    CONGRATULATIONS to Bria. Sweet story!!!

  8. Smitti says:

    That’s wonderful! I’m so happy for all of you! (And, as usual, you’re ‘event’ is right on time for me in my life, as I worry my dd will ‘never’ meet someone.) God is surely amazing! : )

  9. Nicole says:

    I’m sorry to be so clueless, but is there something offensive about the term “courtship”? My kids are little so we haven’t come to that yet. We know we don’t want to follow the world’s ideas of dating, but thought courtship sounded Biblical. I guess I don’t know what is wrong with courtship. If you get time, could you teach us?

    • Nicole,

      You know how once upon a time you could say “I’m gay today” and people understood you were happy? And how you can’t do that anymore? Kinda like that πŸ˜‰ It’s just that people have attributed all sorts of things to the term “courtship” so that it has multiple meanings for different people, and when that happens to a word, we can’t collectively discuss it and count on everyone knowing what we mean.

      For some “courtship” reminds them of arranged marriage (even though I don’t know too many who have actually ascribed that meaning to the word.) For some it means you can’t touch each other until your wedding day. For some it just means “dating”, but they like to call it courtship.

      And because every family has different ideas all under the same names, it has just gotten very muddled.

      Does that make sense?

  10. Great article, and I totally agree with your explanation about the term courtship. I founded “The Courtship Connection” back in 1995, when courtship was kind of “the new thing”. (Since then we have changed it to The Character Corner) We didn’t want our kids to deal with the hurt/danger of dating, and wanted to provide resources for parents who were looking for a better alternative. Over time though, like you said, courtship has taken on many different meanings, so I hesitate to use the term. I LOVE your idea of “in RWP.” πŸ™‚

  11. Smitti says:

    I have to add that when I started ‘dating’ my dh he told me up front that he wasn’t looking to just ‘date’ – he wanted to find someone to marry. (And, later, he told me I was the ‘last straw’. If I ‘didn’t work out’ he was going to become a mountain hermit – or something like that. The choice was an engagement ring for me or a motorcycle for him! hee hee!) The pressure of ‘just dating’ was off then, b/c I knew exactly where he stood, and b/c we stopped trying to ‘trick’ the other into liking us by acting in ways we thought the other person would want us to act… I mean, after all, who wants to be ‘stuck’ with someone you can’t stand forever?!? ; ) We’ve been married 22 years now!

  12. Claudia says:

    Such a sweet story! Congratulations to Bria, and I’m so very happy for you and your husband, Kelly. You’ve articulated things so well here, and I love the point you made about Bria being an adult. This has been missed, imho, by many. I too, grew up completely enmeshed (and hurt) by the dating game. However, I swung too far the other way in my opinions as a young, conservative Christian mom. I hear the grace here, and we need that more than ever today in the conservative Christian HS movement. Thank you!

  13. Lena says:

    I love having a relationship with a purpose! Its sweet to see the pure romance blossoming into sweet love. When you give yourself to only one person, emotionally and later after marriage physically it adds special meaning to the whole beautiful love story. May the Lord bless them!

  14. Mrs. B says:

    Oh what wonderful news!
    Congratulations Bria! Keep up the good work, Crawfords!

  15. Eva says:

    With so many definitions of “courtship” out there, I am wondering what the parameters of your daughter’s courtship will be? I used to be against courtship, until I realized that my family practiced courtship and just calls it dating πŸ™‚ Anyway, I was wondering what limits your daughter will set physically, as well as being alone as a couple, etc. Will she save her first kiss for marriage, or just kiss sexlessly to show affection? I am finding that there are so many different versions and degrees of courtship and dating and I want to see how your family compares to mine.

  16. […] Bria and Kyle continue to get to know each other and we are grateful to watch the Lord working in their lives. I love seeing their zeal for knowing Christ more as they get to know one another more. Anticipating what the future holds brings its own distinct set of emotions and watching your children grow up is a bitter/sweet journey. What a joy, however, to see how God’s grace has covered her, to watch her grow in strength and beauty, and to get to witness her servant’s spirit lived out here while her zest for life splashes onto all of us. She is a work horse, both tough and delicate, strong and sensitive. She is goal-oriented and purpose-driven, spending much of her time studying, working, gardening, upcycling furniture, playing music and soaking up life. She is such a gift! […]

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