it is purity in courtship just a rule of good behavior or hides one of the ways to happiness in marriage? What are the benefits of courtship? Is there a magic recipe for this to have a happy ending? How do you know you’re in one of these “toxic courtshipsThese and other questions are constant in history, and although there is no single answer, there are many reflections that common sense – and with it the Church itself – offers to couples and families.
The goal has led to Civitas Orationis -a Catholic group dedicated to the “training of trainers” based in Colombia, Armenia and Colombia – to dedicate one of its panel dinners of the reunion with two families around the key to a successful family.
These are two ordinary married couples, members of the group: Carlos Arciglia and Nora Pamplona and Carolina Ruiz and Andres Palacio, all four trained at the Institute of Family Sciences of University of Navarre (Spain).
Throughout the last gathering titled More respect in courtship, more love in marriagethe speakers broke down twelve tips from their academic training and family experience so courtship lays the foundation for a good marriage:
1º Chaste courtship will allow you to get to know your partner better
For Arcilia, courtship is when the virtue of love begins to be lived, and rightly so lack of cleanliness – understood as “the respect for bodies, the control of the sexual instinct and its orientation to the service of love” – the one that “obscures this virtue,” and with it “the knowledge of the other man“In this way,” he adds, “we will not be able to make a clear decision about marriage, and we will make mistakes. the courtship is a school where you learn to love and if we go to this school to learn something else, we will not be able to fulfill the mission of marriage”.
2º The virtue of purity is born of faith
But how to achieve this virtue purity? For Carolyn Ruiz, “You must begin by having God in your heart“, as this “begins with faith and love for God, who is the one who gives us the grace to live a courtship with this virtue”.
To do this, Ruiz invites the couple to “work as a team” and take care of each other through several examples: “If the other person is going to look at a magazine, [procurad] what is this to help you in your growth and spiritual struggle and not that it leads to a distortion of their thoughts’.
Similarly, it invites us to take care of “ conversations with colleagues and friends, with chains and messages from WhatsApp or even on social media: purity is an inseparable virtue that implies surrendering everything to God and the other person knowing the wonderful being behind the body,” he explains.
3º Virtue that allows us to appreciate the other
Andres Palacio states that only by seeing his girlfriend and current wife Carolina in the light of purity, he was able to “consider what he will face” in marriage, realizing that “courtship is not a game, but a prelude” to creating a family and the respect they owe each other: “I had more clarity about what my girlfriend was like as a human being, without materializing her or thinking about the carnal, but about her integrity”.
Simplicity, chastity and sharing of faith and moments of prayer in courtship are key factors in an eternally happy marriage.
4º Put the focus on the salvation of both
In this sense, his wife Carolina mentions that “if in courtship attention is paid where it should not be, it is easier to idealize of the other person, their physique, their particulars, and that when marriage arrives with its routines, children and difficulties, everything I’ve idealized about this guy is falling apart and what I thought it was.”
That’s why, he adds, it’s so important pay attention where it is due from courtship “which is ultimately in the soul both in your salvation and in that of the other. And this can only be achieved by living with God and in virtue. That is why it is a good start to start living by courting this virtue”.
5º Intellectual training, “always victorious” against the passions
Carolina’s husband, Andres, emphasizes the importance of learning and reading because “if you have a structured intellect, you will learn a lot about respecting others. Intelligence and will will help you understand that we are rational, that we are much more than purely carnal, and that with God we have the power to restrain ourselves.” But for this, he explains, it is important “the integral formation that the Church provides through catechism and many places of studyTraining is not only “the key”, but in this sense “it is always a winner”.
6º Quality time is not just for marriages
Nora Pamplona has another piece of advice for boyfriends who want to get married: “spend quality time“. And this is that “not that there are many years of courtship, but that the time we will be engaged is of quality, in knowing the other and in sharingNot doing so, he explains, could mean that even dating for eight years isn’t enough to avoid a marriage failing precisely because they haven’t met.
7º Know that the “sacrifice” is day by day of marriage
In this sense, Pamplona adds that before you get married, you should study how marriage works and what it consists of: “You should know that in marriage I will make another person happy. If we as couples don’t know this, the marriage is off to a bad start. I need to know that I will make sacrifices for the other person to make them happy and that children will come, which will mean many more sacrifices in everyday life.
8º Do not change the natural order of love: God comes first
One of the last aspects that families pay attention to is that love must be ordered. And it’s that “when we change the natural order of things” it’s a sign of “toxic courtship,” according to Carolina. “If we deify the couple, we have disordered attachments and put him first, we can fool ourselves or think that we are good boyfriends, because for me the first thing is the other person,” he explains. An approach that “will lead you astray: the first thing should be God, who is the source of love, and it is key not to change this natural order.”
9º Do not normalize the vices of courtship: help each other grow
Carlos Arciglia notes that another characteristic of toxic courtships occurs when one or both partners know they have things to improve on and don’t bother to change them. “If a person doesn’t want to fight or make an effort to change, you already know it’s something toxicbecause God calls us to always change and improve, and the person with whom we will share our project must be a rod that helps us grow in virtue, to improve ourselves”, he explains.
One tip Carolina contributes to danger of “normalizing these vices”. “Sin sometimes becomes a habit and we get used to the relationships that surround us, which are without God. But just because everyone is doing something doesn’t mean it’s right,” he adds.
10º Sharing faith as “the same horizon and direction”
Finally, Arcilia expresses that this is the best contrast and antidote to toxic courtship: “When the other person does not share the same faith or look at the same horizon, which is God. If one has a path and the other does not want to fight on that path to Godthere will come a time when the relationship It will breakbecause in marriage you can only look in one direction,” he adds.
And that is that “if the two are focused on respecting God, they will respect themselves, also in the marriage,” says Nora. That’s why, “God is the guarantee of happiness in courtship and marriage, for He is Whom we love and to Whom we are accountable,” he concludes.
11º Discuss love for a child of God, not hatred between boyfriends
Nora also refers to the discussions. According to her, the argument should not be indicative of a toxic relationship, because “the important thing is not so much the argument, but how to do it.”
And it is that “argument is one thing and disrespect is another. If I see in the other the son of God whom I love and a man whom I love, I know how I will speak to him and that what he corrects will be for the good of his soul, for the love of him“. The important thing, he emphasizes, “is to say things for the good of the relationship, so that the love between the two grows”.
How far to go? The important thing is “not to violate the dignity of the person and that if anyone disputes, or to identify those vices or defects that they have If my friend is uncomfortable with something about me, I shouldn’t turn a blind eye, but change and improve.” Something he finds spiritual guidance very helpful for.
12º In spending, simplicity and in delivery, extravagance
Arcilia concludes by showing the importance of courtship simplicity in achieving a good marriage. Especially when the customs between boyfriends go through spending more and more. “The virtue of generosity is confused: God calls us to be generous in time, in love, in giving, in sacrifice. When it comes to consumerism, it’s important to be simple because simplicity is inversely related to success in marriage. If you live things just by courting, your marriage will have a lot of insurance“, he concludes.