Some lessons I’ve been learning. I’m still trying to take a break from commenting and conversing back and forth on social media (so apologies if I don’t respond, IT IS NOT PERSONAL to you). But writing is part of my job/calling. Even transparently when I may not have “succeeded.” Leadership is not about perfection but humility. I waited for over half my life because I really only want to have a serious relationship with one & only one woman. Waited until I had prayed, analyzed nonnegotiables, character, doctrine, values, and until I was serious and ready to commit. Made a commitment to never make an open move and play with a woman’s heart, to Gaurded my eyes and self. (No porn, guys…and gals). No physical ever, no kiss until the altar. Purity: endeavoring in heart and life. Not dating that prepares for “cheap and easy divorce” and “trying out new models” but “courtship” – a serious relationship. Willing to be honest and work through anything. Saved my heart and affections. I’m not a perfect guy but sought to “give the girls to God,” stay focused on Him, be faithful to my calling and my future wife.

Courtship is unique to every couple, not a list of set rules in my opinion. Each couple sets them together, seeks to involve others in a more “public” relationship with marriage on the table, not uncommitted flirting. Talk about important stuff, don’t wait until you get to premarital counseling to find out core convictions and have hard conversations. As I read one person, put it years ago, don’t come to me as a pastor, and tell me that you love the person that you’re engaged to, tell me what you love about them. 

10 yrs ago I wrote a book on dating vs courtship. I grew up, studying the purity culture of Joshua Harris, Bill Gothard, Paul Jehle, and others, including the Duggers (met a few of them kind of). Spent my teenage years warning my friends not to date and get regrets and dice their hearts in pieces and flirt with temptation but instead to focus on the Lord. Crushes, sure. Lots of prayer-you had better believe it! And began my calling at 14-15 years old of preaching and discipling men, and then teaching the Bible to coed groups of almost every age group in local churches for now almost half my life.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, and I’m not trying to legislate rules, and there probably are some things I could tweak in this book, but I’ve left it the same as original, and re-published it. Because the overall message is to put the Lord first, because our relationship will be completely different if the Lord is at the center of everything, and if He is given the throne of your heart. There will be emotions, there will be disagreements and confusing things, but with the Lord of the center things will not be perfect, but it is a much better way. Put Jesus in control of your love life. You will never ride off into the sunset of a fairytale, that doesn’t exist. There will be fun and excitement (the Lord designed us emotionally that way), but there will also be struggles. Be honest, extend grace, practice applying the Gospel (Ephesians 5). Just like everything else in life, every relationship that’s worth something. If all you’re looking for is a thrill, don’t get into a relationship, you are playing with fire. Don’t use another person. Love them like Jesus.

“Do not address an older man harshly but appeal to him as a father. Speak to younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters – with complete purity.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭5‬:‭1‬-‭2‬ ‭NET‬‬


Lessons from my journal today:

  • Rejection may not be final. God is on the throne.
  • His Will is best though it may involve pain (David, Joseph, etc. Ruth, Rebecca, etc.). Romans 8:28


  • I don’t have to give up on life, or ministry, or on relationships with others altogether
  • Isolation is not the key to healing
  • grinning and bearing it is not necessary – let out and process the emotion
  • Most importantly, bring it all to the Father
  • Hard: submit to the Lord
  • Wait
  • be willing to Risk again


Courtship Study: Dating or Courtship…Which is Biblical! is about the dilemma facing pre-marital relationships today. Join us as we look at what God’s Word has to say about men and women, purity, lust, sexuality, love, and more! Rather than legislating rules, Ryan seeks to emphasize principles and draw attention to biblical wisdom. Each courtship will have a unique story. The book has been republished unedited without formatting or spelling updates for time being. May the Lord encourage readers to His will, not a “relationship checklist code.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s