I received another question from "Anonymous" and then a similar question from another "Anonymous" on how I feel about courtship and a quiverful of children. Thanks again, to both of you for being nice in your asking.
Here were the questions:
#1 Kristi, thank you for answering my questions.
I do have one more, if that's all right.
How do you feel about courtship vs dating? Do you believe it is a sin for a dating couple to hold hands or kiss before they are married?
#2 Hi Kristi,
As someone who was not raised in the Christian faith I have wondered what your feelings are on the following issues (if you do not answer I totally understand) but hope you don't mind me asking. The first is, as a fundamental Christian, what is your view on those Christians who are Quiverful? The second is, what are your feelings on dating and "courting"? Do you allow your children to date, or should they be courting someone before they marry them? For clarification, my understanding of "courting" is that you do not spend time alone with the other person, a chaperon needs to be present (but if I am mistaken please feel free to "set me straight". Also, did you date your husband or did you court him before you both got married? One final question, do you follow the belief that your children should remain at home until they get married? Thank you for reading my comment. Although I was not raised in the Christian faith, I was not allowed to date while I was living with my parents. For myself personally, I can see advantages and disadvantages to both dating and courting. As for the Quiverful issue, I have mixed feelings about it, while I am not totally against those who believe that way, I have to honestly say I do not totally support it 100 percent either.
These are sensitive subjects for some Christians so I want to make sure my answers are respectful of them.
First of all, yes, my husband and I dated, if you can call it that. We met a few weeks before he left for the military, so we got to know each other, mainly, through letters and phone calls. When he would come home we would date. For our own family we do allow dating. Although I feel we are still treading water in that area, seeing our oldest is the only one allowed to date at this time. So far, his dates have either been chaperoned, at church gatherings, or a group thing. He was and is so focused on school, work, and the academy he hasn't really had time for dating. That's why I still feel we're treading water. I'm sure he has held hands, snuck a kiss...or two...but I don't think it is a sin. Most Christians that do courtship, fall back on I Corinthians 7:1, "Now concerning the things you wrote unto me: it is good for a man not to touch a woman." This verse is not a commandment, but rather a warning. The chapter goes on to say that the reason it is good not to touch, is because one thing can lead to another and that, as Christians, we need to be careful what we do that can lead to sin. The marriage bed is the only bed that is undefiled. The Bible is clear about fornication, so we need to guard ourselves against it and it is important to teach our children that. On the subject of courtship, I support any family that does it the right way. I've seen it work in the lives of other blog friends and also friends we know in person. The way it has been done has been a blessing to watch and it is even more of a blessing to see how successful it has been in their marriages. I think it falls under family government, rather than Biblical command. I am for courtship and support families that do it.
Do I believe children should remain home until they marry? Not necessarily. I think that falls under training our children again. If we train them to be hard workers, save their money, and be responsible with paying their bills, and seeking God's will for the right spouse, I have no doubt they'll be fine should they decide to leave home as a young adult. I would like to see my children be responsible in those areas before they do leave home, so it's up to me and their dad to make sure they understand the importance of a dollar. This moving in and out of the home, back and forth, in and out, shows a failure somewhere. I understand that things happen and sometimes children have to come home, but when parents have not taught responsibility in these areas it can only lead to chaos. Personally, I would like to have time alone with my husband and see my children responsible enough to be on their own and have happy families of their own, visiting for birthdays and holidays, and Sunday lunch. Not moving in and out and in and out because they're irresponsible and too immature to know better. For dating, courtship, leaving home, and anything else in their children's lives, Christian parents should rely, but not neglect the training part of Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."
What are my views on Christians who are quiverful? I LOVE THEM! I was raised an IFB fundamentalist and have been steeped in fundamental families. I don't recall my parents ever discussing the whole quiverful issue. My dad was a graduate of Bob Jones and at the time he was in school it was a very fundamentaist University. Not so much now. But even then I don't recall hearing them discuss having lots of children. It wasn't until I was an adult and married on my own that I even heard the term quiverful. To be honest, I only know a few families that actually trust God enough to decide how many children they have. Are you familiar with the Duggars? I love to watch their show 19 Kids and Counting, but they are not the norm for modern Christian Fundamentalists. The largest families I know personally have six children. Bruce and I wanted more children, but because of difficulties with our third child that could have resulted in one or both of us dying, we decided that three was our quiverful. :) God knew that if one, or even two doctors, had told us not to have anymore, I probably would have anyway. But God wanted to make it clear to me and had EIGHT doctors tell me not to have anymore children. I admit I was devastated. But, I prayed and asked the Lord to remove that desire from me if it was not His will for me to have anymore and He did remove it. But I also admit that I am looking forward to spoiling grandchildren when that time comes. I can tell you right now, it's going to be very bad. I will be happy to spoil them rotten and send them home. I am not in any hurry, but I do look forward to grand parenting one day, because every child is a sweet blessing from the Lord. Psalm 127:3 "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward."