During this period, it is imperative to note that “Purity was generally of utmost importance.” This can be attributed probably to the way in which the courtship was conducted. What you might be asking is “How did the two get to meet in the first place, and the guy propose?” Well the answers are a myriad, since individuals have always being unique and in every society, no matter how stringent there is always the deviant and aberrant. In general, the meeting place was at the FEMALE HOME. Yes! The guy had to go to the house of the girl, and whenever they meet there were in the custody, or watchful eye of the girl’s brothers, mother or anyone. Some houses had a room at the back with a big window where the two would go and seat whilst people in the main house would watch if there was any physical contact beyond, handshake. That’s your answer to the question of where did the 3rd Person issue come from?
Some of these things help understand, why the prophet would say somethings “If a boy cannot go and knock at the door of the Father of the girl he has no right to out with that girl.” Now here comes another issue, “The Father”. When was he supposed to know the young man’s intentions? If you came across Charles Dickens’ A tale of Two Cities, you might remember the guy called Charles who married Lucie the Doctors’daughter. Before the guy confessed his love to Lucie, he went and told the Father first, and sought his approval. Ahem…yaaah. Well that’s Old England. If you come across, Life Story by WMB, he sought approval AFTER he had already agreed with the damsel. Well, yah. If you read our culture as Shonas, you are made aware that the Father was the last person who should know that his daughter was to be married. Well, I’m in a fix now… the famous 24th chapter of Genesis, has it that Eliezer gave a bracelet to Becky, BUT revealed the matter to the Father first, before Becky was later called to attest.
Today proponents range from the guy goes first to the Father, then Father tells Pastor or vice versa etc. There are many like me who first goes to the damsel, and the damsel, tell her elder sister who tells the mother, in the confusion, the mother hides it from the Father until the guy tells the Pastor who then tells the Father, who then Tell the Mother who altogether play a delayed match, and people wed and I song-lead. Some choose the path of getting a partner outside Israel, post him/her to a church somewhere, then as if inspiration strikes, follow procedure, when they are already at an advanced stage, they wed and I song-lead too.
Back in the days when males courted in the parlour of the female home there was minimal parental interference. The parent had the right to know who plays with her daughter, what plans probably does he had, if nothing concrete then let him stop playing with my daughter. Social norms dictated morally pure relationships prior to marriage, so there was no big hullabaloo of pre-marital pregnancies. Generally what can be gleaned is that courting was purely for marriage, and the person you chose to court was the one in most cases you were going to marry.
In summation, courtship entailed a couple that generally grew up knowing each other who then seek to further their interests. The male is judged by his ability to take care of a family and sustain the wife. As they are courting, they are NOT basing their decision upon emotional attraction but trust, honesty, sincerity as they are aware that this is a lifetime commitment. A good relationship wasn’t measured by how good you are in Bed. Though this later infiltrated, as we shall see, it was issue of, not secondary, but maybe tertiary value. COURTSHIP was the utmost test for marriage. I am not trying to paint a beautiful picture her, because it wasn’t as rosy in some instances. What I trust is that at least the cow was feeding on the grass and the goat standing on two hinds as to reach leaves from a shrub.
Note that during this time, in some communities once people courted and engaged, they were accorded the right to sleep together so as to test if they are sexually compatible and if the lady can conceive. So if a couple was courting they would sleep together, only if they were to marry. Cate and Lloyd (1992) postulate that this experimentation developed out of a need of sexual fulfilment during marriage. One requirement was, though, that the woman only has sexual relations with the man she intended to marry. Society tended to look the other way if the couple had sex before marriage, as long as they got married afterward. So if you are going to marry Him, why worry, sleep with him.
we still going.. next is How the ‘date’ changed courtship