When Courtship Fails – preview

brokenheartsmI’m working on a piece about when courtship fails. Not just courtship, but life. What do you do when people look on you as a failure? When you are ostracized and categorized and written off and…and…?

I’ve got a lot of thoughts, some still in a rough draft form. Below are a few bits to spark the dialogue.

– – – – –

Wouldn’t it be better, if need be, to date and reap a broken heart a few times, if in the end you find someone who is good and kind? Could this not possibly be better than always going with the first guy you’ve ever liked so your heart will be “pure”?

Why is pain bad, whether the pain of a broken bone or a broken heart? I fractured my pelvis in 2011 and the pain was excruciating. Even a year and a half later, there is an ache when I walk too much in one day. Years ago my heart broke, and the pain was excruciating. Even half a decade later, there is an ache when I least expect it. This is not bad.

14 thoughts on “When Courtship Fails – preview

    • I agree… the problem seems to be that “mans way” and following true divine guidance can be far too indistinguishable for young obedient, inexperienced girls who want God’s best and are wiling followers. At least that’s what happened in my case.


  1. I like the question, “Wouldn’t it be better, if need be, to date and reap a broken heart a few times, if in the end you find someone who is good and kind?”

    I say, yes! To me, a few broken hearts over the course of dating to find a life partner, is far better than a broken LIFE by jumping into marriage with the wrong person (who you didn’t know was wrong, because you had to commit to them before really knowing them). I am seeing more and more couples, brought together by “courtship”, who are in a terrible marriage, yet they have too much of a “standard” to leave the marriage. I would far rather experience the realization that I was with the wrong person BEFORE committing to marriage! I DO have a high regard for marriage, and that is why I can’t respect the “courtship” scenario which prevents people from walking away from the wrong person.


    • Is there really such thing as a “wrong person” and “right person”? Or do we just use those categories as a way trying to understand what happens in our marriages?
      I will admit that there are things that should clearly steer you away from marrying someone, but you don’t have to “commit to them be fore really knowing them”. This just leads to an impossible cycle of guessing and hoping you find the right one. And if its “wrong” you can “leave the marriage”.
      I don’t really believe in finding “the one” to marry. However, I do believe that whoever you marry is the one.


      • I’m trying to understand this….”I don’t really believe in finding “the one” to marry. However, I do believe that whoever you marry is the one.”
        How does that work, exactly? What if you’re both miserable, or if one of the pair is abusive (mentally or physically), or if there are things about the spouse’s character that come to light only after the marriage has taken place? Is the answer “Too bad, you got married! Work it out!” If so, you’re blithely condemning people to miserable marriages and unhappy lives.
        Personally, I don’t think the courtship model works. I think the only people who ought to be involved in picking out spouses are the people looking for spouses, not their families, not their parents. I think the courtship model is a great example of what happens when parents want to exert control over every last detail of a grown child’s life, down to who they will marry, and I think it’s appalling that parents would even WANT to do this.


      • I think there is truth in acknowledging that we often use “terms” to confirm our (already) cemented beliefs. The danger in that, of course, is when it dictates to impressionable young people what they should or should not due not based on Biblical counsel but on “ideal” stories.

        In my own personal “love story” I try to steer clear of labels. One could say that I was courted, one could say that we dated, one could say that my father picked my husband or that I picked him or even that my brother picked him (they were close friends).

        It really all depends on how the picture is painted. My husband often jokes to people that “we got married in a bar”. It’s a true story but it’s not the whole story.

        I think its the same with anyone’s story. It all depends on how you paint it. And I would say that “courtship fails” when too much attention is focused on the painting and not enough on what is truly happening.

        Natalie can correct me if I’m wrong, but I would guess from the little I know of her story that there was a lot of painting going on and some of that painting was covering over truth. But if young people are taught to look for a certain “picture” then it can be too easy to neglect what actually is. And that is when courtship fails.

        This is something that desperately needs to be addressed with grace and love and truth. So, I’m cheering for you, Natalie. And praying that God gives you wisdom. There is power in being a Wounded Healer and I’m excited about how God is going to use you.

        much love (and sorry for the horrendously long comment)


  2. I think, perhaps, that the issue comes into play when it’s about having something “perfect” instead of about following Christ. (or, maybe, having the idea that “following Christ” somehow equals “perfection”?)

    And pain. Oh, I have written many things about pain. About how we feel that we should be protected from pain and if God really loved us he wouldn’t let us hurt but the truth is that God is not afraid of pain. He faced it and he lets us face it.

    There seems to be something deeper that holds His attention. A deeper knowing. Or, in Narnia terms, “A deeper magic” that goes beyond what is commonly understood.

    And I’m learning to strive after that. To look beyond the pain of life and seek a deeper knowing of Christ.


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