At the bridal shower, I really wanted a minute to share some of my observations about Caleb and Abby’s courtship, but since that couldn’t happen due to lack of time, I will use this forum for sharing my thoughts. Courtship is in many ways a word waiting a definition, and we’re defining it with each courtship we witness, raising or lowering our expectations by the behavior of the participants. Each observer assesses what he likes or dislikes and retains that for future use. I would hazard a guess that every courtship will be different after observing five from afar and watching Abby and Caleb’s from a ringside seat.
Courtship as we understand it is the process of finding a mate by pursuing someone that you (know, wish, hope) to be God’s will with the intent of marrying that person verses just obtaining pleasure from the relationship. Courtship for Abby and Caleb was strictly an act of faith. They both asked God at separate times and in different ways who they should marry, and He very clearly guided them to each other. There was no secret wish in Abby to marry Caleb. Caleb also said early in the relationship that he had no romantic feelings toward Abby. They pursued the relationship in faith that God meant them for each other.
We homeschoolers preach that our children should guard their hearts while they get to know each other, but when a couple does that their lack of feeling can be regarded as something wrong. C&A spent a long time getting to know one another. Other couples quickly enter a crush/puppy love phase. C&A never really had one because a crush is usually born out of a lack of knowledge of the other person. These two knew each other too well from their many prior years of friendship to go “ga-ga” over each other. It also went against their first born dignity. They waited quietly for love, a deep love, a love born out of mutual respect and admiration to grow. We saw over and over the hand of God move in and through their relationship. There was never a question that it had His stamp of approval. Abby never had a question in her heart that Caleb was God’s will for her, and she acted accordingly whether feelings were there to back up her faith or not. She had great faith…the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen. Faith is the essence of the Christian life, and I’m so proud of her for her persistance in believing and acting on that belief.
When we asked Caleb if he had a verse he wanted highlighted for their wedding, he said he wanted Phil 1:9-11. The verse is a perfect picture of their relationship…And this is my prayer, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and that you may be pure and blameless till the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Christ Jesus to the glory and praise of God. God has honored that prayer. Both Abby and Caleb’s love for each other has grown and abounded more and more until all I can say is that it’s a good thing the wedding is so close. And it’s the kind of love that will last.
May God richly bless you both for your faithfulness to Him, your high standards, your mutual respect and patience with each other and with the little part of the world who witnessed your courtship and did not always understand what was going on.