Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

Courtship – The eternal discussion

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If you are familiar with fundamentalist families, you have heard the terms courtship and betrothal. In case you did not: Both describe a form of relationship between a girl and a boy, which is supervised and chaperoned. They are started with the intend of marrying in the end. While courtship is easily broken off at any point in the relationship, betrothal is considered a type of “vow” or “commitment” which can only be broken off with biblical justification, namely adultery. Breaking off a betrothal for other reasons can be considered divorce in some circles.

My parents didn’t court as we know it today. However, due to the gigantic hype during the 90s, they became big fans of it.  And I, too, read all the books, such as I kissed dating goodbye, Waiting for prince charming and so on and so on. I was a big fan, oh my, I was SUCH a big fan. It seemed like the perfect way of life to me.

As a young girl growing up in this environment, you have this image in your mind. You’re sitting there, preparing for marriage, while your future husband does the same. One day you will meet, and it will be amazing. You will wonder if he has any interest in you. After a few days of excited waiting, your dad comes to talk to you. He tells you that this guy approached him, that he’s interested in getting to know you, asking if you would agree to a courtship. Mind you, you haven’t talked to him yet. You agree because he has just SUCH a godly quality about his being.

You meet up, there’s always family, and you get to know the guy how he really is (keep this in mind, this will get a post of its own!). He is so godly, knows scripture, is a great handyman, has a steady job, loves children, respects women, he’s godly, handsome, dark and tall, oh-so-godly, he finds everything you say worth listening to and thinking about. Oh, did I mention just how godly he would be?

If this vision seems familiar to you, you’re one of us. Keep reading.

Well, you get to know each other, and guess what, this guy is EVERYTHING that your patriachical being of father is…not. He seems to respect you and truly love you. He would never hit you. Never put you down for your faults. Yes, you would fight, that’s a vital part of life, but the fights would work out somehow as long as God is the center of your relationship.

One day, knowing you are the perfect help-meet for him, he’s going to propose. You giggle “…YES…!!!” and give each other… well, a christian side hug I guess.

Everything is perfect and especially godly.

If you believe this, you are swallowing a LIE. This is not true, this is not accurate. This will NEVER happen to you.

Call me bitter, but I know. I’ve been there. I know the faces of courtship. I know how parents behave. I know just how little your feelings matter. Your feelings don’t matter AT ALL. You are a help-meet, and you can do that best if you are similar personalities. Similar personalities don’t equal love. Oh I forgot, love is something you do, right? So as long as you submit to the tyrant’s every wish and order, have his babies, wash his dirty underpants and cook his food on time, you love each other.

This was kind of  a vent but I needed to put it out there. I’m planning to post more about my personal courtship soon, in the series about my life.

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