A Wonderful Announcement

by lora on August 31, 2009

We have a wonderful announcement to make. Last Saturday, Aug. 29, Lindsay entered into courtship with a wonderful young man, Ryan Norton.  We are so blessed to have Ryan in our lives and could not have designed a more perfect match for Lindsay.Over the years, we have discussed courtships we have witnessed and tried to define what we felt would be the best model for our family. The plan that we came up with is a three step process. It includes a pre-courtship (or purposeful friendship) period, a courtship period, and an engagement period. To enter the pre-courtship period, the young man would approach Gene and express his desire to get to know our daughter, thinking she might be the one for him. In our model, the young man would most likely already know our daughter and be a casual friend of hers. This period gives him the freedom to get to know her better through face to face interactions within the context of our family, e-mail, and phone calls. There is a time limit on how long this period will last. It may vary due to extenuating circumstances, but we feel if after two to three months you don’t know, you probably aren’t right for each other.

If after spending time together he feels she is “the one,” then he will talk to Gene about entering the second stage, which is the courtship period. After he has received Gene’s approval, he will then seek the approval of our daughter. For our family, this is a period that is binding and can only be broken due to moral failure on either party. We take this stage very seriously, just as we would engagement or marriage. Our goal is to help protect our daughters and their hearts and minds. We don’t look at relationships as disposable or easily cast aside. This period is mainly for the young man to win the girl’s heart, and shortly after doing so, an engagement should follow. We don’t feel this period should take more than a couple of months, if that long. Some think that courtship is a method in which there is no love needed, that it is more like a contractual arrangement. Nothing could be further from the truth, at least within our mindset. Our desire is for our daughters to love their husbands second only to Christ. On the other hand, we want to protect our daughters from falling into the sin of lusting, which scripturally is the same as committing adultery(Matthew 5:27-30). Due to this, we believe all of these stages should go rather quickly.

The final stage is the engagement period. The young man does not have to come to Gene again when entering this period; when he feels the time is right, he should propose. After the engagement begins, the wedding will take place in a couple of months, or as soon as is feasible. This may seem like a rush to some, but once again, it is all in an effort to protect both our daughter and the young man from falling into temptation.

In January, Ryan began attending Grace Family Baptist Church. He had just graduated from LeTourneau College and was beginning his job as a mechanical engineer. He had in mind what he wanted in a Godly wife and was waiting on the Lord to lead him in that area. In March, we began attending GfBC. In the back of our minds, we had our daughters and future mates in mind, but didn’t know if/when the Lord would provide that for our daughters. In June, Ryan was introduced to Lindsay by Gene and they had a short conversation. After that, Ryan made an effort to get to know Gene better, thereby getting a better feel for our family and what we and Lindsay are like. In July, Gene and Ryan planned a day to work on a project together at Gene’s office; afterward he came over and spent the afternoon/evening with us. Since then, they have spent many hours talking, getting to know one another, and finding out that they are who the Lord has intended for each other. The Lord through His sovereignty has brought them together at the perfect time and place. To underscore the perfect timing of all of this, Ryan was offered a once in a lifetime job right around the time he was going to speak to Gene about Lindsay for the first time. This job will take him to Littleton, CO, the day after Labor Day. When I think of the short amount of time that the Lord had Ryan here, it amazes me. It was the perfect amount of time to work out His perfect will!Our hope is that you will rejoice with us, and pray for us and especially for Ryan and Lindsay in this joyous and exciting time in their lives.

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