WHO SHOULD I COURT? by walterp
March 15, 2008, 8:00 am
Filed under: Leadership, Roles and Relationships


By Walt Alexander

Now, it may seem redundant at this point to continue walking through who we should court – after spending last week talking about maturity – but I think oftentimes we focus on the wrong things and allow the right things to slide.

So, who should we court?

This is a somewhat random list of thoughts.

1. We should court a Christian.
Because we – as Christians – are forbidden by Scripture to marry a non-Christian (2 Cor 6:14-15), we should not court one. This is a no-brainer. If you are courting/dating a non-Christian, break up with them.

2. We should court someone who knows and treasures God.
We should not court people who do not know God and treasure God. Now, this does not mean everyone has to be John Piper, but it does mean they should treasure God and be content in Him. Look for what they delight in and you will discover what they treasure.

3. We should court someone who is pursuing humility (by the grace of God).
No one is humble, so don’t look for perfection. But do look for humility. Court someone who is pursuing humility – someone who is accountable to friends and their pastors, someone who follows the wisdom of their parents and care group leader, someone who is patient, etc.

4. We should court someone who we see God at work in. Now – because we are often blind by lust – we tend to look at externals (appearance, weight, personality, etc.) but fail to look at what counts (1 Tim 4:7-8). So court the individual who is growing in godliness. If you marry someone for externals, that is what you get. So be wise and look for fruit. Guys, look for the Proverbs 31 woman and, girls, look for the Mark 10:43-45 man!

5. We should court someone who is committed to a local church. This may seem quite logical and simple, but it is not often found in young people! We tend to be individuals. But it is in the church that we experience the fullness of blessing in the Christian life. It is where we receive invaluable instruction from God, plug into God-glorifying relationships, and serve God’s people. Therein, someone truly committed to a local church will be growing in godliness and will be accountable to others. Furthermore, if they are committed now, they will be when they get married as well, and vice versa.

6. We should court someone who is personally mature. We should court someone who has their life in order! If they don’t have it in order now, they will not have it in order when you marry them. Court someone who is faithful, organized, and self-controlled.

7. We should court someone we like?
Should this even be here? I think oftentimes this is elevated to number one. We oftentimes will not court someone unless they are someone we hang out with, someone we could see ourselves with, someone who is “cool” (whatever that means), someone who we’ve been thinking about, etc, and we decide all this before we even court them!! This should not be. We must get back to what God requires of a man or woman and submit our criterion to God’s Word! This means we must be willing to court someone who may not the person we have dreamt of but who is a godly man or woman. Dreams and romantic ideals are deceitful, but God’s Word is true! Again, if you court/marry someone for externals, that is exactly what you will get – all externals (Pro 31:30).


4 Comments so far
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And I’m glad that not everyone we would court has to be John Piper. Though it would make monogramming easier, he’s not my type, really*.

*See point 7.

Comment by Bill P.

And, Walt, I forgot to say thanks. This is great stuff you’re writing!

Comment by Bill P.

Isn’t some of this stuff things you figure out in courtship? So how can it be a ‘who should I court?’ Courtship shouldn’t be seen as pre-engagement! People try to avoid discussing this because they like nebulous terms to blame shift faults. I am not trying to wrangle with terms but when they aren’t defined you deal in confusion more than truth. I don’t like Josh Harris for this reason.

I fully trust the wisdom from the Holy Spirit and the input from the local church who can evaluate the specifics. Should’s and shouldn’ts are too much like do’s and don’ts. There is wisdom in it but only so far as you think about it prayfully keep yourself from making errors in judgment by seeking advice.

Comment by Dave McCarthy


I’m really confused by your objection here. Sure, you will learn some of these things in courtship, but Walt is assuming you are beginning a courtship with someone you know. If you know someone, you are able to observe their lives and discern whether or not this person fulfills some of the Biblical virtues that should be present in your wife.

The other three can come with time, although it will be difficult for you as a husband if your wife is not personally mature. (As it will be if you don’t like her.)

If she will follow you and commit herself to a local church, I don’t feel that that guideline is as neccesary, but it may be revealing of other problems.

Some of these things (Christian, knows God, pursues humility, God is working in) are essentially requirements! Any girl who does not have one of these qualities is not someone you should pursue.

Comment by psteele

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