Earlier this week, my partner and I would’ve been 5 years courting, if not that we got married a month ago!
No, we didn’t plan to date or court that long, circumstances around us from the time we met to the time we got married necessitated that we waited that long to get married.
Circumstances that included finishing my undergraduate degree on my part, and migrating on his part. We had established that we didn’t want to start a marriage in long distance, or even entertain it at any point and we wanted to partner with God to see that brought to fruition through our journey on earth.
We’re averse to long courtships and while we had a long courtship, we wouldn’t advise it, and if you’re a woman or man wondering why, here’s our reasons;
1. There’s a chance that you both could get too comfortable in that space. My partner and I were actually friends for 1 of those years and then courted for the 3 and couple months left, if you’re both not careful or mature enough, you could get used to that space of being committed but not committed, and then settling there. It’s why we have so many Christian and also non-Christian couples cohabiting today.
They’d rather not go all the way because they figure they’re fine in the space they are; being exclusive but no evidence to God or your family of commitment. It’s a dangerous place to be, for both your spiritual health, as well as your emotional health. Thankfully, my partner and I always had the marriage goal in mind so even when we were tempted to get comfortable, the marriage conversation would come up and we would reposition ourselves and our lens and God brought us here.
2. As a result of getting too comfortable in the courtship phase, you could go down the line of sexual impurity. When you’re mentally committed to someone, you can deceive yourself into thinking “since we’re headed to the altar, it makes okay our sexual sins”, but it doesn’t work that way. Sexual purity is what God requires all the way to the altar and even in marriage, (I will write about this at some point). There are higher chances of compromising your sexual purity stance in a long courtship than a shorter one, cause remember this is someone you love! There’s every chance you’re also sexually attracted to them. Again, thankfully, my partner and I were in a long distance relationship almost our entire relationship, so the distance was also a good physical barrier even if our flesh ever thought to slip up. We had strong convictions for ourselves and spiritual stance, and also good accountability around us.
3. It breeds a “locked down” mindset. This is mainly for my girls. When you stay with someone so long, you begin to think that the time validates your staying with them and so, even when they begin to act up you make excuses as a result of being locked down by time (which is only a myth), and dangerous to your ability to hear and obey God. The longer the courtship, the more tendency of being caught in this mindset and as a result you settle, even when you’re suppose to move.
4. Long courtships attracts unsolicited pressure from family, friends and even other bachelors and spinsters. I know we want to say “people should mind their business”, but sometimes, those people are genuinely looking out for you and it’s okay that they ask. The more they ask, the more you might find you’re getting uncomfortable with them asking and before you know it, you’re internalising the pressure and becoming passive aggressive to your partner who is probably going through same situation. Once your family and people keeping you accountable become aware of your commitment to someone, it’s only fair they begin to check up often, to even keep you both focused on the marriage goal and also keep you accountable in your purity walk. Pressure from other bachelors and spinsters is also a thing, I remember telling bachelors around me that I was in a serious relationship and because a year after they didn’t see me married, they thought I was lying and kept making a come back, it could be tiring if you can’t handle it.
5. Finally, I strongly believe that God didn’t intend us to court for long. I have no scriptural backing for it, I only see it in His relationship with me. It didn’t take Him any time to decide to die for us, it didn’t take Him much time to claim me as His bride, so why should a man/woman take forever to show that height of commitment if he/she has already received their conviction from God and made up their mind? My partner and I had deep convictions from God about our marriage and kingdom business together, so as often as possible, we would pray together and remind God these things and He worked it all out at the perfect time.
All this to say that it’s important that a person has their convictions from God before making any proposals to you. Without conviction, there is no certainty of a desired outcome, which is okay for people who just wanna date with no goal in mind, but not for the believer who recognises that time is precious and so is emotional and mental strength.
Some situations might be like Nelson and I’s and while it’s impossible to list them all here, you’ll know by the leading of the spirit and by the position of things at a particular time, some of the things include: compatibility with vision and leading by God, being in the same geographical location (I wrote something on why I don’t believe marriage was meant to exist in long distance here), agreement and understanding from both families, a release in both your spirits that the time is now.
I don’t believe God authors confusion so let’s not name Him in places where we’ve allowed our flesh to lead us to.
It’s been a month in marriage and I’m grateful for every day of our 5 years courtship, it prepared us for where we are now and if I could do it again, honestly, without any reasonable doubt, I will.
Here’s sending love and light to my sisters and brothers in long distance relationships *hugs*. I do believe that it could be a blessing in disguise so don’t be mad at God or your partner. Trust God through the process and time and watch Him make beauty of all of it!