April 5, 2008, 11:43 am
Filed under: Leadership, Roles and Relationships

This post is sent out to fathers and young men. If you aren’t one of these, please read but understand that they are the audience to whom I am writing.

So, over the past several years of trying to figure out this courtship thing, I have heard of something I will call the sincerity meter. The story goes like this: When someone is about to court, the father of the girl or a care group leader must come alongside the man to check his sincerity, to see how it rates on the sincerity meter.

Now, my question is twofold: (1) Is this sincerity meter biblical? (2) If so, what should we look for in this sincerity?

Yes, the sincerity meter is biblical. Before a courtship a man should be very sincere and very serious about entering one. Men don’t stumble into courtship. They stumble into sexual immorality. Therefore, every father or every care group leader should check a man’s sincerity before letting him jump into a courtship. Check him to make sure this isn’t a whim and check him to make sure he is ready to move the courtship to marriage.

But what should we look for in his sincerity? We should look for seriousness. This should be serious about his desire to be married and to see if he is to marry this girl. But, this man’s sincerity should not be characterized by a sure sense that it is God’s will for him to marry this girl. As we heard from Bill’s message last week, to speak authoritatively about the Lord speaking and his will in this manner is a dangerous, hazardous minefield. To demand this of anyone is absurd, much less a young man. We should not even want this man to be so convinced. We should want him to unconvinced that this is definitely his wife but, rather, excited about the opportunity to see if this is her. After all, courtship is not pre-engagement (or engagement).

Furthermore, cultivating such an unbiblical sincerity often leads to many other pitfalls. For instance, it can encourage (and even allow) a man to unwisely plan his wedding before his courtship starts. It can also carry an unhealthy vibe to the courtship – when the father and man are convinced of marriage before the daughter even gets to begin the courtship! I am not in this post trying to de-role fathers from their crucial position in leading and guarding their daughter through a courtship. I am Lord-willing urging them to do it all the more – by serving the men and helping them navigate their heart through these hard questions!


5 Comments so far
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Good post. I may have missed this (particularly taking into account your numerous posts prior to this one on the subject of courtship), but, two questions:

What do you mean when you say ‘sincerity’ and how do you measure that sincerity? What makes sincerity biblical vs non-biblical?

Comment by Jonathan Kelfer

When I say sincerity, I mean seriousness, intentionality, commitment.

To measure this in a man, I guess you would just draw him out to see his intentions in a courtship, his goals through a courtship, and, therein, you will find out whether he is serious.

Sincerity (in the way I am describing) is biblical because it carries a desire to be intentional within a courtship and a desire to please God. Once again, for more thorough dealings with this stuff, please read the previous posts because I am defining sincerity within the context of courtship.

Comment by Walt

Thanks walt for the past weeks about courtship. This one really helped because I was falling into a trap of thinking courtship is pre-engagement.

Comment by seth jensen

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

Comment by sandrar

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