4 Moms on dating & courtship

ETA: updated post is below.  Yes, I did my homework.

Oops.  Do holidays ever throw you off?  Do you ever wake up the day after a holiday and say, “What?! You mean yesterday wasn’t Saturday?!”  And then do you say, “Yesterday was Wednesday?  I was supposed to write my 4 Moms post!”  No?  That part is just me, huh?

Well, today is Thursday and I am sadly unprepared.  Worse, I have a full day ahead of me – much of it leftover from yesterday’s very full day.  I mean full in a good way, because I’m looking forward to what I have to do, but it does affect today’s post.  I may be able to write my post later this morning, but in the meantime I recommend you read my recent 4 Moms post about having it all together, then go read this week’s post by 3 other moms who probably have their acts more together than I do today.

The Moms who did their homework on time:

  • Raising Olives – I feel better now.  Kimberly may still beat me to today’s post, but it’s not up as of right now.  🙂
  • Smockity Frocks.  Oh, boy, do I feel better!  Hers isn’t up yet either!  If Connie hasn’t posted yet, maybe today really isn’t Thursday, and I can go back to bed!
  • The Common Room, who is right on top of things with a long and wonderful Q&A on the subject.  Slackers.  The rest of us are slackers.

I hope you’ll come back and check on me later today, because I do have a post in mind for the topic and I plan to do it the first free hour I get today.  If all goes well, I’ll also try to share our big project for the week very soon.  So far we love the way it’s turning out!

And in other news, I had an ultrasound on Tuesday.  It’s the first time we’ve known the gender of any of our living children before birth!  It’s a …

(to be announced!)

My To-Do List today:

  1. Walk at least 2 miles
  2. Put up a quick post explaining why I don’t have a 4 Moms post ready this week.
  3. Call the midwife to reschedule the appointment that was cancelled yesterday due to somebody’s 4th of July birth.  What a fun birthday!  Fireworks every year!
  4. Cut and hang 2 room-length bookshelves along the tops of the walls in the ex-library.  This includes finding the wall studs to mount 10-12 brackets.
  5. Eat breakfast and/or lunch.  I had almonds and a glass of milk.  Does that count?
  6. Drink some water at some point.  6 cups so far.
  7. Start today’s 4 Moms post.
  8. Leave for WalMart at 1:00
  9. See midwife at 2:00
  10. Make a belated birthday dinner for PerryBoy.  He wants kolaches, ramen noodles and strawberry cake.  That boy…

4moms35kidsAs you see, this is a good time for me to start my post on courtship and dating.  I need to leave in half an hour, but I have surprisingly little to say so I think I can make it.  Why do I have little to say?  Because I’ve done said it.

4 Moms Q&A: Courtship, Dental Bills and 40,000 Diapers


Also, I’ve shared how hubby and I went from oblivious 12yo’s to a married couple.  While it wasn’t exactly how I envision my children’s ideal courtships proceeding, it was a far cry from traditional dating.  It also slightly resembled an arranged marriage – though not in a creepy way.  Our parents were good friends long before we were, and they made it clear that they would be thrilled if we developed an interest in each other.  I have to confess, my dad played up the “arranged” aspect so strongly that for years some of our friends and family actually believed our marriage was arranged.  We may or may not have had a little fun with the misconception when the question arose in casual company.

Most of our girls actually wish we lived in a time and place where arranged marriages were the norm, as they see a lot of sense in the idea that parents should have strong input into one’s choice of a spouse.  They also clearly see the foolishness and danger in making a lifelong decision based primarily on fickle, misleading, hormone-driven emotions.  While they’re not asking us to make the choice for us, most of them want to rely heavily on us for counsel before they even enter the field, so to speak.

Of course we understand that things don’t always go according to plan, but it certainly helps to have a plan in place.  We are blessed to have access to some very helpful resources as we enter this new season of life and try to plan for the future.

What He Must Be…If He Wants to Marry My Daughter – What will you say when that certain young man sits down in your living room, sweaty-palmed and tongue-tied, and asks permission to marry your daughter? What criteria should he meet before the two of them join together for life?

Gratefully, God has given us a clear picture of the role of the husband/father in the home, and in What He Must Be…If He Wants to Marry My Daughter, Dr. Voddie Baucham breaks this picture down into ten desirable qualities. Not only should parents of young women seek these qualities in a son in law, but parents of young men should strive to cultivate these qualities in their sons.

How to Evaluate a Suitor (2 CDs) – There he is in his splendor. What a guy! He’s the man who hopes to walk off with your daughter … hold on a moment. Maybe he isn’t the best thing since sliced bread. Maybe he is trouble with a capital “T.” Or maybe he is a great guy, but just not the great guy God intends for your little girl. How can you tell?

In this fast-paced message, Doug Phillips explains that the greatest gift a dad will ever give away is his daughter. He examines the biblical qualifications for suitors and concludes that the Bible does not anticipate perfection, but minimal threshold requirements must be met. He examines the need for careful discrimination for determining if two are “equally yoked” and the doctrine of the “bride’s price.” Doug also points out biblical examples of wickedness by fathers toward suitors and urges dads to act decisively, but with charity, respect, and love.

Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions (CD) – In Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions, Doug Phillips challenges fathers on the importance of guarding their daughters’ hearts at all costs, how to shield them from the pressures of a peer-oriented society and inappropriate romantic relationships, and how to prepare them as a bride — a godly young woman of purity for the young man of their dreams whom God is preparing. Approx. 1 hr. on Compact Disc.

It’s Not That Complicated – Have you ever been confused about your friendships with boys, or how to handle crushes? How friendly is too friendly? How close is too close? What do you do when a guy is paying you way too much attention? What does it means to be a “sister, in all purity”? And what do guys think about all this?

Guy-girl relationships have always been complicated, but perhaps never more so than they are today. So, what’s a girl to do about boys? (download sample chapter)

The Four Ps (CD) – What will you say when that certain young man sits down in your living room, sweaty-palmed and tongue-tied,and asks permission to marry your daughter? What criteria should he meet? Thankfully, God has given us a clear picture of the role of the husband/father in the home, and in What He Must Be…If He Wants to Marry My Daughter, Dr. Voddie Baucham breaks this picture down into ten desirable qualities. Not only should parents of young women seek these qualities in a son-in-law, but parents of young men should cultivate them in their sons. In the companion CD, The Four Ps, Voddie establishes that he must be a prophet, priest, provider & protector.

Before You Meet Prince Charming – How can young people be committed to purity and to God’s best? This guide to radiant purity combines the story of a young princess with solid, clear teaching of biblical convictions that young ladies today need to grasp. Through a captivating fairy tale, modern day examples, practical instruction, and abundant humor, Sarah Mally challenges young ladies to turn to the Lord for fulfillment, to guard their hearts and minds, to identify and avoid the world’s thinking, and to shine brightly in this generation. Beall Phillips writes, “Every young lady desiring to be married one day must read this book! It will challenge you; it will stir you; it will delight you! Most importantly, it will help you practically prepare for one of the most important decisions of your life.” Suggested for young ladies ages 12 and up.

What Are Girls to Do about Boys? – set of 5 resources at a great discount!

Preparing Our Sons and Daughters for Marriage Resource Pack (3 Books & 5 CDs) –  How do we prepare our children to wisely use their life now fully before the Lord, yet help them to advance to marriage? How do we encourage them to wholeheartedly prepare for marriage, but give them the discernment to understand that it is better not to marry, than to marry unwisely? Most importantly, how do we give them a vision to walk and live wholeheartedly in the center of the will of God, so that they will be victorious wives and husbands, when God establishes them in marriage?  [Includes many of the items above at a great discount]

What are your thoughts on the matter?  What resources have you found helpful?  Do you know any married couples who began their relationship this way? 


Upcoming topics for 4 Moms:

  • July 12 – Q&A (special nursing edition)
  • July 19 – What did homeschooling look like when your oldest was 5?  How much time?  What subjects?
  • July 26 – What do you do when the children need to learn things you can’t teach (a foreign language, dissecting, trig, etc)?

Recent topics:

About 4 Moms, including a complete list of all past topics


  1. Ok. I know this is totally off subject, but Kaitlyn has been posting some pics of her and her sisters outfits on Instagram and I was wondering where you pick up some of your cute t-shirts. I’ve been looking for some modest tees and cannot find any. Is there anywhere online that you know of?

  2. What a great list of resources. Thank you! My oldest in 10, but we have had many discussions about courting vs dating. There is a wonderful Indian couple at our church whose marriage was arranged. They inspire us greatly.

  3. Julie Brantner says:

    Doug Wilson’s ‘Her Hand in Marriage ‘ was a good book, too. I didn’t learn about courtship till I was married. His book is helpful in exposing the way feminism influences dating .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALDix4NNIgg&feature=youtube_gdata_player , I am so digitally illiterate , I tried to add a you tube video called The Dealbreakers, it is done by a church in Minnisota . They have a YouTube channel called Rock t.v. They really have a lot of short funny videos. Every couple of months we pull up there site and laugh harder than we would if it was a SNL bit. My kids love Rock T.V. . Not to be confused with 30Rock.

  4. on courting…… I am wondering how much does “love” play into this. Is this something that developes after marriage or before? I would think it would be important to truly love your husband to be able to fufill all his needs to make a long marriage work.
    also what would you do if one of your children (once 18) decided to date? They might feel they are the age of an adult and that they should be able to make their own decisions on this matter.

  5. I also think the Castleberry books on courtship are a gentle way to introduce the concept of courtship. Not earth-shattering literature, but edification in the context of a God-honoring, fictional story.

    Our oldest is turning 12. Though we go to a conservative church out in the country, currently entirely made up of homeschoolers, not one single family has pursued courtship. I strive to help my children see it as a normal, better, rational path, rather than a weird fringe concept, when it’s so alien to the people/culture we are surrounded by.

  6. We have one our DIL’s picked out and they 12 and 11. Their parents agree, too. We have tried to keep it a secret. But, they are the sweetest innocent friends. They just gravitated to each other.

    Our oldest is 15 and not dating or anything. He seldom spends time with girls his age at all. He likes girls.

    I think my biggest contention with the courting movement is that I haven’t really seen anything for moms teaching boys. Of course, a good dad is the best teacher. But, with homeschooling my young men spend most of their learning time with me. What can I do to better the odds that they make good choices and are terrific husbands. Because I am giving these young men to their wives. I want them to protect, honor, and give their wives a lot of mercy. I want them to guide their households p, be good providers, and a help with the housework when their wives are puking their guts outs.

  7. Meghan V. says:

    That’s funny about the arranged marriage thing….my husband and I are actually kind of “into it”. 😀 Not that the kids don’t have any say but that the parents are “courting” each other for their children. Keeps the guy’s heart pure as well as the girl’s if things don’t work out. Because shouldn’t the parents know their kids?! Of course our boys are <5 yrs so we could change over time.
    Oh, and I'd like to say that it is never to early to start training our kids to keep their hearts pure and to trust their parents!

  8. Yay- love your resources.

    We’ve only just realized that we focused a whole lot on the girls, and not so much on the Boy. i don’t know what I was thinking- mainly, I think, that he was going to be five forever. Gulp.

  9. What??? You’ll leave us hanging like that???

    it’s a…




  10. Looking forward to it! With our three girls, we have pondered, but never pinned down, how we should respond to the whole “dating idea” when they are at that age. So glad our oldest is only 5 right now!!

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