Before even thinking about courting or dating, men and women ought to know what they believe God says about marriage. The goal of courtship is to make a decision about whether or not to marry a particular person. Knowing what God says brings clarity and helps couples to build on a solid foundation. Readiness for marriage, and therefore for courtship, could be defined as a willingness to commit to living out God’s purposes. Here are some of the reasons God created marriage:
* A man needs a helper in his dominion (or creation) mandate. The dominion mandate is linked to having kids, which a man can’t do alone (Genesis 1:28). As well as this, a wife is to be her husband's primary helper in every way she can.
* God wants human beings to have companionship (Genesis 2:18).
* God instituted marriage because “He seeks godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15).
* Marriage is the relationship in which to enjoy sex and romance (Song of Songs).
* Marriage fulfils sexual desire lawfully (1 Corinthians 7).
* Couples can minister together and open their home for hospitality and other church activities. The New Testament records couples doing this.
* Marriage displays Christ’s relationship with His church (Ephesians 5).
The Bible also makes role distinctions within marriage. Men are to lead, and carry the responsibility before God for the spiritual welfare of their wives and households. Women are to submit to this leadership. Men have the main responsibility before God for financial provision. Women have the main responsibility for day-to-day childcare and domestic concerns. You may not agree with all my conclusions here, but the important thing is to search the scriptures and come to decisions about what you do believe is God’s will.