Saturday, October 18, 2008

Precious Sarah Meets Her Prince

This is somewhat of a long read but I think it will be worth your time. I am the director of a local home school group here in Kentucky. Recently I was given the opportunity to share how courtship has played a positive role in the lives of my family. Below is the presentation:

When my oldest daughter, Sarah, was very young (between the age of 7 - 12) I was approached three times by moms who wanted to "arrange" a courtship between Sarah and their sons. I didn’t know a lot about that word "courtship" but I knew what they were talking about was not courtship - they were talking about "betrothing." I didn’t know a whole lot about either concept but I did know I didn’t like the sound of that. In July of 1997, my family attended the CHEK (Christian Home Educators of Kentucky) Conference in Louisville. It was during this particular conference that Sarah (at the ripe old age of 12) asked her father if he would attend the "Courtship Workshop" with her. Gordon and I had been trading off watching Ashley who was still in the toddler years. That afternoon when we got home Sarah told me "I want to do courtship and my first kiss will be at my wedding." Sarah was no ordinary 12 year old. Just as she was no ordinary 2 year old or 7 year old or 16 year old. Sarah always acted more responsible - more mature than children her age. So at the age of 12, a 14 or 15 year old was reasoning inside her heart and head. I clearly remember thinking "What in the world is courtship" and "Why does my daughter want to do such a strange thing - oh well, she’ll get over it." As each year passed, Sarah did not get over it. She began to guard what the author of a book (entitled "The Seven Royal Laws of Courtship") describes as her 'eye gates.' She was careful to not stare at a boy (check him out as we might call it) or catch his eyes with her own. I kept wondering how in the world she could go on like this. She even respectfully fussed at me if I said "Oh, isn’t that young man cute" with a response such as "Mom, you shouldn’t say that." As she began to literally grow - she was becoming very tall and beautiful - I began to like this idea very well (at first, not for the right reasons). I was beginning to become "territorial" about her because of her physical beauty, because of her meek and humble spirit. So I began to use this concept of courtship in my favor as a mother. My first baby was growing up and it was nice to know that she was not in any hurry to grow up the world’s way. In essence, I didn’t have to worry about her. She remained "dead serious" about this concept of courtship - of touching and kissing her true love for the first time at the marriage altar. In her teen years different young men became interested in her. Sometimes a mother would even call and ask for permission for her son to call Sarah. I was new at this. I didn’t know for sure what all was involved in this process that Sarah was walking through. So I would ask Sarah - "Do you want to start talking to this boy on the telephone?" She would be simply mortified. One day I remember driving one of the homeschool co-op teen boys to meet his mother. He and Sarah sat in the back seat with a sister in the middle. I didn’t think anything about it. We had come to love this boy. He was a good boy. Sarah was very good friends with him. He was friendly, easy to talk to, funny - they had a brother-sister kind of relationship. But he decided that he wanted to be more than just friends. Sharing that piece of information with Sarah scarred their friendship. It would never be the same again. She knew that it wasn’t time. It was too early. She had no idea if this guy was God’s pick but the timing was not right. They were too young. It was a sad time for all of us. We loved this guy like family. But we respected her wishes and allowed her to distance herself from him. She saw it as a dangerous situation. She was determined to wait for the Lord’s timing. I remember on two different occasions when young men put their hand on her shoulder and how uncomfortable she was about it - how she moved away in a determined yet unoffending manner. I was beginning to realize that what Sarah was "walking through" was a God-given conviction and I should not be taking this lightly. I didn’t know how she was going to pull this off but I was willing to help her in any way that I could. I was beginning to see that God had prepared Sarah’s heart for this journey and this would pave the way for her two sisters to follow. I was beginning to get a little excited. When Sarah graduated from high school and headed off to Bible college she had a very difficult time. Sarah did not go to college to find a husband. She felt called to be in the Lord’s ministry full time serving on a mission field or teaching in a Christian school somewhere. Her daddy kept coaching her "Sarah, it is time. It is time for you to see if God’s pick for you is at this college." Sarah had been in the no look, no touch, no kiss mode for so long that it was difficult for her at first. To look was very difficult. I remember having late night chats at her bedside assuring her that it was now okay to get to know these college men and see if just maybe one of them was her knight on a white horse that the Lord had reserved just for her. It was exciting. Sarah began attending this local Baptist college after attempting to go to Crown College. She was registered and nearly packed and ready to go to Crown (located in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains). As the time neared we had seen the joy go out of Sarah’s eyes. She had stopped playing the piano. She had stopped singing. It was breaking my heart to see her this way and I confess it was breaking my heart to see her go to another state to school (though I had kept it from her). Ultimately I wanted her to do God’s will - I didn’t want to tamper with that in any way. About three weeks before she was to depart, she came from her bedroom upstairs really weeping. She came into the living room and sat down beside her father and said, "I can’t do it. I just can’t. I don’t know why I can’t. I am sick all of the time. My stomach will not calm down - I have prayed and begged Him to give me what I need so that I can go but it doesn’t come." The next day we checked out the local college - we had never considered it before because she had thought she was to go to Crown. That night I was sitting in her bedroom talking to her. Before she got into bed she kissed me on the top of the head and said, "Thank you, Moma, for taking me today. For the first time in a very long time I have peace." In the days to follow she began singing again - and playing the piano too. Our Sarah was back. At that time we could not see the whole picture. Little did we know what God was to reveal in the short months ahead. And that is that God never wanted Sarah to go to Crown. His perfect pick for Sarah resided at another college. Gordon and I and Dan’s parents came to realize that Dan and Sarah being together was not God’s permissible will but rather His perfect will. We believe it was literally a match made in Heaven. Through the spring and summer of her Freshman year, as well as her entire Sophomore year Sarah and Dan courted. It was a wonderful experience to help oversee and chaperon this godly way they chose to get to know each other. Below are some pictures highlighting their courtship. Take note of where they started on the couch and how things finally ended as they approached their wedding day. For more information about "The Seven Royal Laws of Courtship" and "Stay in the Castle go to

2 Thoughts On The Matter:

susansspace said...

What a touching post! You are so right...It was definitely worth the read. Thank you for sharing your daughter's very special path to 'courtship'. Also, you have just given me a great idea, as my oldest daughter's 25th wedding anniversary will be next May.

LOVE your choice for new blog background! Indeed, you did do it!

Blessings to you, your family, & 'Pastor Dan'!!

Deborah said...

What a wondeful story!