Genuine courtship is the intentionality of a couple seeking a marital relationship that ideally ends up being the safe place of sharing and unifying in all things. This plays out in each area of life. Spouses share their most personal interests, financial accounts, deepest feelings, physical health on intimate levels, material possessions, living space, daily routines, dreams and goals (hopefully this has been part of their deeper courtship), sexual intimacy, and prayer life (this one too).
They abide in such a way where even when they are apart or doing separate things at any given time, there is an atmosphere of oneness and priority where they can feel that they are secure and connected. There isn’t an escapism with the man when he spends time with male friends, neither is there a sense of hiddenness when the woman spends time with her female friends. There is respect for the intimacy of their relationship and the privacy of their spouse. Anytime there is need of counsel, private matters are brought to a pastor, a mentor, or a trusted prayer or accountability partner, if it is unable to be resolved by coming together sufficiently on the matter.
However, while I firmly believe in the sharing of all things in a healthy way, and the discovery of the hidden of the heart, I have also been made aware of something else that took me a bit by surprise, for a moment, but only because it never crossed my mind as such.
There is a phenomenon about women–well, what am I saying…they are a phenomenon. But one of the things that makes them as such is their womanhood. Of course, that would make sense, seeing that they are in fact women. I assert that there is one thing that seems to fuel the intrigue and pursuit within a man, something searchable and sacred, revealed and hidden, shared and kept…something that is less understood the more it is known: the mystery of a woman.
Time is the landscape on which healthy relationships are built. This is the golden opportunity, among several other important things, for a man to learn about his lady.
Now, growing up and all throughout my adult life, I was under the misperception that a man should understand her. I have since learned this to be not only erroneous, but also impossible. I say this with all playfulness and lightheartedness, but also a word to men to focus more on embracing your companion and not trying to change her.
Moreover, for some of us men who were so bent on certain implied traditions about women, by people, literature, entertainment, telling us they ‘all’ are this or that…we have to come to a place inside where we place that on the altar of incorrect socialization and stereotyping. Whether they are unfair judgments about their sensitivity, or complimentary things referencing their listening skills, we have to be careful not to fit women, and particularly the one whom we court, into any predetermined mold.
Instead, free your mind of these things–and this will take a little conscious meditation–and allow her to be the mold of herself. And let her freely choose to fit the mold in which Christ seeks to shape her in. And at this point, you can determine if she matches core compatibility needs you have.
NOW…with permission, might I add a bit of a romantic touch to this? We are in fact talking about intimate relationship, which certainly includes sweet ardor. In my pursuantly observational mind, I explore the fabric of life as an artist, then give detailed analysis as a scientist. But recently, the lady I personally favor said something so profound and filled with wisdom and insight…something God has been trying to get through to me in different ways for some time:
Some things are meant to be felt, to be experienced, and not so much analyzed or talked out.
Whether she realized it or not, I needed to hear that, in that way, in the context of us, to really get it. And while my need of this transcends just our relationship, it was especially important for us as a couple. There is a point where we need to allow for silence to speak, where feeling and sense can breathe. Communication is golden, but holding to what you know about each other and where you’ve come together, in the foundation of Christ and trust, gives Selah to your fellowship.
We can rest in this.
Finally, a footnote, a fun thought, for those of us who feel like we have to know every single thing all the single time…there is a place for a little ongoing mystery. A woman’s beauty secrets, a man’s…a man’s…well, I don’t know what we really keep secret, per se. But you get what I mean. Whatever doesn’t cross the line of integrity, fidelity, health condition, things of that significance…
I believe these secrets, and the mystery of a woman, the mystery of my lady particularly, are a significant part of womanhood, and part of what makes her so beautiful, and attractive. So maybe I will take some of the energy of wanting to know these secrets verbally spelled out and pursue them, pursue her, in other ways. How about you?