Courtship is, definitely, a period of acquaintances for two people – a male and a female (not between two consenting adults, a term used to encourage homosexuality); a duration of time which allows the lovers to learn about each other, develop friendship and concern for each other.
It is, also, a period in which people know if they were meant to marry each other: where, as we are used to saying it, heartfelt things are talked about.
It is a period of settling issues that might not make the marriage work: you either ditch the courtship or go ahead to marry, and according to Billy Joe Daugherty, relationship is a period of unity between lovers:
Many people marry and later discover that the person they married has a different plan for life. They say, “I didn’t know that’s what he (or she) wanted to do.” Yet, I’m wondering, “How did they ever get married without coming to that place of unity?” it takes time to understand what another person plans to do with his or her life. It usually doesn’t come in three weeks or even in three months.
So, with Billy Joe’s statement, we could say that courtship is a critical need and/or period in every marriage that would be successful.
What attitudes should be brought into courtship?
We have decided to talk about the duration later, not now: the first impression we need to attack is the notion that many people, perhaps – ladies, bring into or have towards courtship.
There seems to be a tendency for ladies, including unserious guys, to enter a courtship and treat it as if it was any kind of a boy friend; girl friend relationship. No, that is tantamount to failure, because instead of making concerted efforts at making the courtship work, the two partners will, only, be struggling to put their acts together – as a matter of fact, the one who comes into it with the mentality of boy friend; girl friend relationship will make things worse, from onset; he/she will be living like a single person – whereas, courtship is meant for two people who are preparing to marry each other.
Whether a guy or a lady, you do not come into courtship with a lackadaisical attitude: do not come into it with the attitude of if it worked out, fine; if it did not – then I go my way. That will not make you to give it all the best you could.
Rather, your interest should be of making the courtship work by making selfless sacrifices for your partner. After all, there is no perfect relationship anywhere – people involved, only, strife to make things perfect for each other.
Who should you court then?
You should know that religion got nothing to do with whether a courtship and marriage will be successful, but spirituality does have a lot to do with it.
Unarguably, many people who are not (even) Christians are having fantastic marriages: at the same time, many who are Christians, too, have blissful marriages.
However, for the fulfillment of God’s plan over each person’s life (when married) – you need to be married to a person that is born again. You cannot, being a light, mingle with darkness and, then, enjoy the union in peace.
God instituted marriage:
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman , because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed, Genesis 2:20-25, KJV.
If you would marry a person, then, it must be one who is found in Christ; hidden in God: there is, though, no perfect Christian yet (until Christ comes again), but a Christian is not going to be living anyhow – causing you heartaches in his/her conducts with you and the society at large.
So how long do you need to court before setting down in marriage?
1. The sure thing is that we do not know. We, only, know that every relationship, courtship or marriage is different from all else.
2. The only things that we could concern ourselves about, here, are deciding factors that should propel a male and a female into taking the courtship a step higher (which is marriage).
3. Is the person you are courting ready to compromise (from his/her standpoint) – for the two of you to achieve a level playing ground?
4. Does he/she have developmental mentality?
5. Does he/she listen to suggestions, corrections?
6. Does he/she corrects you in love. Perhaps, we should ask if he/she often give you constructive criticism and not destructive ones?
7. Is he/she growing in relationship with the Lord? Although, you can help your partner in this regards.
8. Does he/she have values for family system and love to have children?
9. Is he/she law abiding? If you were courting a criminal, you are, also, a criminal in a way. How much more when you are married?
10. Does he/she place premium on you? Not devaluing you, confident and proud of you, and can identify with you anywhere?
Well, if you could point these out in your courtship, we could agree (with you) that you should make a move to marrying that person once you think it is time to do so.
Long or short duration courtship does not guarantee success of a marriage: some people courted few months and have been enjoying their marriage for years, whereas, some courted for about 10 years or more, and when they (eventually) marry – they never stayed up to five years before seeking for a divorce.
Notwithstanding, we will like to advise you to let God lead. Once God leads you into a courtship, although, it might break up – you will not have troubles that could pull you out of faith and balance, when you, eventually, marry the person you are led to marry.
 Billy, Joe Daugherty, Building Stronger Marriages and Families, Pg10