We went to a wedding yesterday, one where we LOST OUR BABYSITTER! The young woman who has watched our children(when both parents have to be away) got married. I am happy for her and for her husband, but she will be sorely missed.
This is the second daughter in this family to marry, and I can't help but notice something extraordinary about the father of the bride: I have never been to any other wedding(my own included) where the father of the bride looked so happy to be giving his daughter away in marriage. Now I have witnessed this man, this friend of mine, TWICE, with such a look of peace and joy as he witnesses his daughters going off to live their vocations.
After talking to him and his wife a couple times, I think I have the answer. Their daughters were courted; they did not date. We have some other friends who are doing this, and I spent a long time quizzing another friend about the details of courting.
Another key part of courting is that the young couple do not participate in 'public displays of affection' until after they are married.
The more I hear about courting,the more I like it. As one man said - and I agree with him - dating is not a good road to travel down. I recall one woman at a home schooling conference referred to it as 'practicing for divorce.' Sounds like an accurate description to me!
1. Courting gives the father an opportunity to turn away youngsters whom he knows would be no good for his daughter. Boys with no job prospects, no manners, no FAITH, etc. would be turned away before wasting the young woman's time. Boys who don't want to marry would also peel off after realizing what the end result of courtship would be.
2. Courting, and avoiding kissing, etc., would save both the young woman and man for their intended. The parents we spoke with use a 'courting couch' in public view(and little siblings for spies) as well as chaperones when the couple go out for an evening. A large family, with lots of little siblings, helps here.
3. Courting takes time. One man told me he thinks the couple should court for a year, so that they can experience some of the highs and lows that happen in married life. He told me about a young man who had problems at his job; it was good for the young woman to see how well her fiance handled work stress.
In his book Illustrissimi, Pope John Paul I referred to purity as the 'nobility of youth,' and that is what I wish to give to my children as they grow up and prepare to make their own ways in the world.
This is a subject which is very close to my heart and will require more prayer and thought as I watch my oldest child prepare to finish high school.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!
To all fathers, living and deceased, both biological and spiritual fathers, God bless you all.
I shall begin a novena in honor of St. Joseph tonight for all fathers, especially those who are close to dadwithnoisykids.
We planted another row of vegetables: green beans, yellow squash, and cucumbers. It was a drizzly day with intermittent breaks in the clouds which allowed the sun to shine down on our little slice of Texas. That is, until we started turning over the soil, at which time the clouds burst asunder and unleashed a torrent of rain upon us. After hastily planting all the seedlings in what was fast becoming a mudbowl, we were soaked to the skin. After putting all the shovels and pitchforks in the shed we started for the house - just in time for the rain to stop and for the sun to come out again.
The whole time I was getting drenched, I wondered what it would be like to be in a boat on the high seas, with no warm home to to go to - like THESE guys experienced. Presently I am writing another book review about 'bad things that happen to good people in little boats.'