A reader recently wrote to me about some troubles their teenage son had been having with relationships and that through these struggles and heartbreaks he was coming — at last — to realize that courtship was a good idea — even for him! She wrote:
“Somehow he has been thinking courtship is for heroes. Now I think he realizes often it is because people know they are weak that they choose courtship — not because they are heroes … which in a way makes them heroes afterall, doesn’t it?”
I thought her insight was spectacular … and worth being the subject of my next blog!
Courtship is not JUST for heroes — but I do believe it makes heroes out of many young men and women (teenage girls and boys included) because of all the virtues that are excercised in the process of waiting for and finally going through a courtship.
What is a hero?
A hero is, according to the Oxford Dictionary, “a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines hero as “a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.”
Let’s consider these definitions with respect to a person who chooses the path of courtship.
Admired for Courage/Noted for Feats of Courage:
Consider the courage that it takes for a young person to step out of the popular dating games of our culture and to save himself or herself for a purpose greater than the immediate gratification of dating: discerning marriage at a time in life when they are ready to consider marriage! Consider the pressure all around them from our culture and peers to just “go for it”! I’d say that courtship takes and builds courage in a person!
Interestingly, when young people step out of all the preoccupation that comes with dating and really embrace the gift of singleness, they begin to discover who they are, what they are capable of, what they are called to be … and they do achieve so much more in this life! So often I’ve said, if there is one word to describe the life of purity that comes from embracing a courtship mentality, it’s FREEDOM. Freedom to be all God created you to be!
Noble Qualitites/Nobility of Purpose:
What more noble a quality can you find in a young person than the resolve to place God’s will at the heart of your life and to pursue it with all your heart! This is the heart of the message of courtship — discerning God’s will for you and following that with an open heart and mind. Young people who embrace courtship truly stand out among their peers. When they step out of the dating mentalities of our culture and really seek purity in their relationships, enjoy friendships without romance as teens, wait on the Lord’s timing, but use their time well – as they are waiting – to serve the Lord, they truly become set apart from the low-standard norms of our culture … they simply shine with a noble air!
Risked or Sacrificed His or Her Life:
Sacrifice is at the heart of courtship, and sacrafice is the foundation of love. Those who embrace courtship to discern God’s will for their lives truly do risk ridicule, contempt, discouragement from a world that mocks anything to do with God. As they embrace purity they also embrace self-sacrifice, dying to self for the other and laying down their desires for a greater good than the self-satisfaction of impurity. And what do they risk this all for? For the love of God and for the love of their future husband or wife! Is it worth it? Ask anyone who’s embraced the life of courtship and found true love on the other side — you’ll never hear any regrets from anyone who has chosen the path of purity!
And what is a hero without humility?
As my reader at the beginning of this blog pointed out, it is in recognizing our weaknesses that we turn to God and others for strength and support. Courtship, as it guides young people to seek God’s will, to wait on His timing, to set boundaries in relationships, to seek mentors for guidance, to get involved in their families and communities, provides a structure of support — not just for those who are strong — but for everyone, the weak and the strong alike! It takes humility to recognize our weaknesses: our tendancies toward sin, our susceptability to follow a culture that is leading us to impurity, our insecurities that often lead us to compromise. And it is this humility that lays the groundwork for us to rise above it all and become heros – by the grace of God!
Indeed the people who choose courtship and purity are the heroes of our culture!
They are stepping forward and going against the tide of impurity all around them. They are standing against the pressure to submit to low standards. They are persevering against the odds of our society — and in the process they are becoming winners, leaders and, above all, holy Christian men and women!
Who are these heroes?
They are ordinary people like you and me. Some are people who have stepped out of the dating games of the world — having experienced the pain of the lies. Some are people who have followed the path of impurity and discovered they were left empty and wanting more. Some are people who have grown up blessed with the truth and have dedicated their lives to living it, in spite of all the pressure. They are big, small, tall, short, chubby, thin, popular, unseen, outgoing, quiet, beautiful, and ordinary people who have at some point or other heard the call to purity and realized that that path alone will lead them to true happiness in this life and in the next!
Do you want to be a hero?
Embrace purity wherever you are in your life today. Are you married — be pure and honorable in your marriage and set an example for your children and community. Are you single — embrace the gift of your singleness for the Lord until He calls you to a new vocation, and keep all your relationships pure. Are you religious — be pure and holy in all you do, so that no one can come against the Bride of Christ and criticize her for your conduct.
As we set a new standard for purity in our culture — through embracing courtship — we are setting the stage for the real heroes in our world. Courtship takes ordinary people and provides the game plan for them to become extraordinary, to become strong enough to withstand the pressures of an impure culture … to become heroes!
Let us make courtship the standard for romance once again in our culture!
Let us pray for our families, churches, schools and communities to accept and embrace courtship as the “norm” so that we can support each other in this noble pursuit. It is so much easier to embrace courtship, if we know others doing the same. Don’t be afraid to discuss courtship in your homes and communities. Share the ideas and ideals of courtship. Let others know they too can have the FREEDOM that comes from not giving in to the lies of the world.
There’s more for our young people than what the world offers.
The expectations of our culture are so low that never will a hero it make out of our youth! Let us set our expectations high enough for young people that they will have to reach up for them, and in the process become the heroes they were created to be … heroes in holiness and saints in training!
In Christ’s Purity,
TO HELP SUPPORT THIS MINISTRY
AND TO SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY
THROUGH GREAT CATHOLIC RESOURCES
THAT PROMOTE PURITY AND HOLINESS!