I'm not real impressed with this whole courtship model (the career first, then look sort of thing described below.)
I want to be careful here and I want to be kind. I know some families that have used it and are happy with how it worked for their family. I am totally into having people be free to follow their convictions and do what ever they feel is right for their family. I know what it's like to be on the conservative side and have people look down on or pooh-pooh you, and I know what it's like to be on the liberal side and feel judged and condemned. Either way everybody has an opinion... and I mean everybody.
Like I said I'm not thrilled with it. It looks really good in theory, and I understand some of the intentions behind it and if a young man feel convicted to follow it then he better well do that. (But if he knows he isn't ready and he really feels like he can't say anything to a girl or her family until he is, then he really should guard himself closely and not make excuses to hang around her or her family. I don't see any virtue whatsoever in leaving a girl hanging and wondering.) I think there are some unintended consequences that I am not comfortable with.
I like to get to really know people and I'm kind of slow about doing that. If a young man is interested in one of my daughters I especially want to be able to take my time and get to know him. I'm not so much impressed with things like having your own car, college degrees, money in the bank, stuff like that. I mean these things certainly are nice and I'm not saying if a guy has had the fortitude to complete a college course or be diligent about saving his money that these are not commendable, they are. But this is a small part of a much larger picture in my mind.
Like that Shania Twain song-that don't impress me much.
My husband has worked for some really wealthy people. Pro basketball players a couple of times, a screen writer, the founder of the addidas company, let alone countless people like heart surgeons, dentists, people with a whole lot more money in their pinkie than we'll see in years. We carpeted our entire house once with brand new carpet ripped up from one family's exercise room because the wife decided she didn't like the color.
Some of those people were happy, had nice families, etc. And some of them, though really good on the marketplace were miserable failures at home and you could tell it.
And my daughters ultimately have the same God caring for them that has provided for me all these years.
So yeah, vocation is a really good thing. I talk to my son a lot about his. It's where a man will spend a good portion of his life, and I want my daughters to have a man with some vision for his life.
But it's just part of it all.
My daughters are easy to be nice to. My oldest, especially, has a sweet, non confrontive disposition and she's easy to be nice to. I can't really tell anything about a guy if he's nice to her. But what I want to know is how he treats other people. How does he act toward the guys he sees as competition? How does he act toward the people who bug him? That he doesn't have a whole lot of respect for? Is kindness still important to him? Or does he think they are fair game for him to insult? Does he sulk? Does he care about being kind? Or is self righteousness a higher virtue.
How will he act toward her when she does something that makes him realize that she isn't perfect? (Because that day will come.) Does he care still and encourage her toward righteousness? Is his impulse toward encouraging and building up? Or does he find more satisfaction in standing apart, arms folded with a condemning air?
What about when he hears rumors about her? Will he come back to her and ask for clarity? Or will he assume the worse until otherwise proven? Because girls get talked over. And pretty girls especially.
Will he stick by her when her friends don't? Can they talk? Do they want the same things? Do they laugh at the same jokes? Do they get along with each other's families? How does he make decisions? How does he handle it when they disagree? Does he stay calm or does he get all threatened and agitated? Are they kind of on the same level as far as how much time they like to spend with people?
I don't know how you get to know these things without spending time with people. I'm simply not comfortable with the idea of a guy coming on the scene with courtship as the primary motive at that point and expecting the whole 6 month courtship/6 month engagement thing. I don't like being rushed that way (and the guys seem to feel like they've done their time and have waited a long time-and they usually have at that point-and they are in a little more of a hurry.)
I don't want a guy to come in and sell himself to us. I want to feel like I know him. Especially these homeschooled boys-they know the pitch they are expected to give. That he wears a tie, tucks in his shirt and talks good tells me nothing. I want to know the boy. Clothing styles come and go and everybody looks back on the clothes they wore as teenagers and well...
There are different kinds of careful.
There is the careful that keeps everyone at a safe distance until we are practically ready for the alter, and there is the kind of careful I'm talking about. The keep your enemies close kind of careful. Not that the boys are the enemy, but you know.....
Anyway, I'm sure I'll have more to say later....