A Response to a Failed Courtship (a song of clichés)

Dear Sir,
I received your recent letter
explaining quite succinctly
that my efforts and my wooing
were received as you said, “weakly”

But I’m hoping that you’ll help me
In my first courtship post-mortem
It may shed some light on women
and how we young men should court them

I’d like to know where things went wrong
And why I failed to win her,
I followed all the steps spelled out
In my Homeschool Courtship Primer

I told her about my businesses
I’ve started thirty four
(My schemes are all pyramidal)
Semper Entrepreneur!

I made sure to be mature, reserved
A calm spirit is enough
But I also pounced on every chance
For me to strut my stuff

She saw me carry eighteen chairs
During worship service set up.
She saw me in my Pilgrim Hat
and my Robert E. Lee get up.

I left my iPod in plain sight
to display my manly measure
John Owen, Washer… Veggie Tales?
Well, that’s just a guilty pleasure

She knew I’m learning Hebrew
(It’s more difficult than Klingon)
But my ‘At yafa ahuvati’
Was to weak to put the ring on

In closing, let me just express
the depth of pain I feel
Like Geneva casting Calvin out
This wound may never heal

And though Boaz is broken hearted
for a Ruth he’ll never see
I’d also like to ask you
Is your younger daughter free?

41 thoughts on “A Response to a Failed Courtship (a song of clichés)”

  1. Perhaps better to discuss here rather than on Scott Brown’s page? I can’t see any way in which either Ruth or Christ qualify as courtships. Ruth was married according to the levirate law, and we were chosen for Christ before the foundation of the world. All of His ‘courting’ of us came after we were already covenantally chosen and sealed for him. We were, in a word, His betrothed wife.

    1. Vaughn,
      I see a lot of people who make the statement that because we were chosen for Christ before the foundation of the world that this makes us in covenant with Him.

      Elizabeth Elliot was ordained to be married to 3 or 4 men before the foundation of the world, but she was not in covenant with them until she was in covenant with them each in turn and in time.

      We were foreordfained by God to be brought into covenant with him, then bought by Christ, then drawn by Christ and changed in heart, then covenanted with.

      I do not see in scripture that Christ is in covenant with the unrighteous.

      1. The difference between Miss Elliot and ourselves is rather large, but leaving that aside. Your statements could all be perfectly true, and I see hardly any problem with them except that I see God’s covenants as being outside of time, but they still do not change the essential non-courtship nature of our relationship with Christ. We were chosen by God the Father… we did not choose ourselves. Indeed, at the time the choice was made, and the bride price paid, we were dead in trespasses and sins.

        And Christ, too, chose us in obedience to God the Father’s choice, as He makes dramatically clear.

        So, again, as I said on the other thread, I fully agree that these are examples for us… I just question that they are ‘courtship’.

          1. No problem. Feel free to FB chat or whatever. R U going to the conference next week? If so you might see my sons.

            BTW,  just so you know, I write seriously on this subject, and have authored a couple of books on the subject. It has been nice talking to you as well.

        1. In what relevant ways is Elizabeth Elliot different?

          Regarding God’s covenants as being outside of time, that’s fine to hold them that way in one aspect, but in another completely real aspect, they occur inside of time. You seem to be ignoring the reality of that aspect. God really did walk between the carcasses when he made his covenant with Abraham and with Christ, and Paul refers to that covenant happening within time in relation to the giving of the law. If both the covenant with Abraham and the covenant of the Law must be considered purely outside of time, Paul’s argument is made void (Gal 3:17).  And Paul’s argument is not trivial, and hinges upon thinking about the covenants as they play out within time.

          1. Missed this earlier, sorry:

            The difference between Miss Elliot and ourselves, indeed Miss Elliot and Miss Elliot, is that the various Earthly marriages she had were all but shadows of her one, true, heavenly marriage. She was, for a time, the bride of one man or another; just as the wife of the seven men in Christ’s confrontation with the Sadducees had one earthly husband after another.But, like that wife, when Miss Elliot gets to heaven then she will be found to part of the betrothed wife, the eternally betrothed and chosen wife, of Christ.The difference between the modern American Conservative Christian invention called ‘courtship’ and the Biblical marriages such as Ruth and Eve and Christ; is that courtship involves a quasi-covenant stage: where the man and woman are neither brother/sister nor yet husband/wife, where he tries to convince her to marry him (as in your story), where they, in a word, ‘court’. No one in Scripture is ever shown as ‘courting’. The most Godly marriages go from being brother/sister to being husband/wife… from being unbound to bound in covenant. “I will make a helpmeet for him’, “take her and let her be thy master’s son’s wife’, “you did not choose me, but I choose you… and I came for those my father has given me.”

            1. Vaughn,
              So here are the issues that I have with betrothal from eternity. The first is the issue I raised above regarding Paul’s argument in Galatians 3:17. Paul does not argue about these two covenants on the basis of them both being established from eternity past, instead, he argues that we can look at the points in time when they were established,
              specifically 400 years apart. How do you deal with this? This is not a small issue.

              The second issue is one regarding election and the responsibilities of a betrothed man to his bride. I am hoping that you will agree with me that a central point of the doctrine of election is that prior to regeneration there is no external or internal indication in the life of the elect individual that would serve to identify that individual as being one chosen to receive the salvation of Jesus Christ.

              Conversely, I hope you will agree that once regenerated, there is a guarantee and even a self-imposed obligation that Christ takes up, that He will begin to sanctify and chasten this new saint of God and treat him or her as a child of God, whereas prior to this point, he did not do so.

              How do you reconcile this with your position of betrothal to Christ before the foundations of the world? The practical application is that a man has no obligation to care for his betrothed wife or to object to her repeated acts of whoredom (of which we are all guilty in our service to idols and other gods). Based on your interpretation, how could you
              say that a man who sees his betrothed naked, bleeding, and starving in the street and does nothing to help her was unjust to her?

              1. Wow. This is a great discussion. So many of these internet discussions are just shallow sniping.

                Wanted to let you know I had read this and will be replying later when I have time to really look everything up.

              2. It seems there are a couple of issue intersecting here:
                1) What is Betrothal?
                2) What are the variour parts/relationships between Christ and His Church throughout history.

                As with all metaphors between God and humans, there is always a bit of difficult disconnect between the two levels. So let us look at one example of a human betrothal for what might be the ‘typical’ human/human betrothal: Isaac/Rebecca.

                Ine betrothal of Isaac and Rebecca it seems to be that there were several steps. At each step there was some obligation, increasing with each step.

                1) Abraham calls his servant in and gives him a charge. At the end of this ‘step’ it seems to me we have the following obligations:
                a) The servant is obligated to fulfil his masters charge: either bringing back a wife, or bringing back word that she would not come (ie that her family would not send her).
                b) Abraham, having sent the servant as his agent, has the obligation to accept the actions of the servant in good faith: ie not repudiating the betrothal that the servant makes.
                c) Isaac, altho he seems to be ignorant of the situation, is nonetheless obligated to follow in obedience those who are acting as his agents.
                (Calvin writes of the exchange of the servant regarding whether the girl would come: “Since he raises no objection respecting Isaac, we may conjecture that he was so fully persuaded of his integrity as to have no doubt of his acquiescence in his father’s will.”)

                2) Abraham’s servant meets with Laban and Bethuel and they agree to the match (Gen 24:50-51).
                a) Now the servant is obligated to bring Rebecca back to Isaac as quickly as feasible.
                b) Laban and Bethuel have bound themselves to send her
                c) Rebecca is bound to go: as her authorities have, on her behalf, given her to Isaac.
                d) The previous obligations continue

                3) Rebecca returns with Isaac
                a) Rebecca is obligated to sleep with Isaac
                b) Isaac is obligated to ‘take’ Rebecca.
                c) Abraham is obligated to accept the resulting marriage as valid.

                Before I go on, is this your understanding of what happened between Isaac and Rebecca?

              3. I would agree with that. I was attempting to focus on the parts that created an obligation. The gifts, by themselves, did not change anyone’s obligations, no?

              4. Also, I would not be willing to accept the story of Isaac and Rebekah as a typical betrothal. Definitely there are elements that we can learn from, but I would not argue that a servant receiving a sign from God in the place of his aging master to be the standard.

              5. 3.c I’m not sure that Abraham’s acceptance of their marriage after they sleep together at this point, would have any bearing on its validity.

                Unless you are stipulating that it would, then I think we’re in agreement.

              6. No, I’m not saying it would be any less valid… I am saying that, having sent his servant as his agent, he has an obligation to accept the results. The servant did not come back waiting for Abraham’s ‘veto’. He came back with a wife for Isaac.

  2. Dear Son,

    I thank you for your note,
    which set me to a ponder
    If from the truth that I espouse
    I have begun to wander

    How is that I preach and teach
    that every Christian man
    should have a wife, and love his wife
    as part of God’s great plan

    And yet despite your great desire
    (which any man who is not dead
    if I do say so myself,
    and who has his eyes within his head

    Who comes to church from week to week
    and sees the girl, of radiant charm
    That with great pleasure and sinful pride
    I bring in upon my arm)

    For this good gift which God has made
    And well designed for man
    and your obedience to the rules
    in my ‘courtship plan’

    I, in my foolishness and pride
    and poor teaching of my child
    who, hoping for a ‘better’man
    is playing ‘aces wild’

    For how can we then war with God
    As Calvin says we do
    When we refuse a Christian man
    Right honest, brave and true

    (for what else could compel you
    To risk your heart and mind
    in the ugly course that I have made
    and forced you to run, blind)

    So now I say, take daughter one,
    or even daughter two
    take her as our soverign God designed:
    A Godly wife for you.

    Other men may mock me
    For being far too ‘easy’
    But when you bring me Grandson one
    That sure will end the teasing

    And when you bring me Grandson two
    As you are sure to do
    Then all across the church, I’m sure
    The other men will rue

    The days that they, time after time
    With Godly young men coming
    They did refuse, with nose ahigh
    and sent them all arunning

    And if instead a daughter cute
    you bring unto my knees
    Then I can but beg,
    With nothing but a please

    That when the time comes,
    as it will surely do
    That a shallow, nervous, awkward man
    comes hat in hand to you

    That you will not, as I have done
    deny his manly measure
    But give him then, as I do now
    Your most important treasure.

    1. You seem to be saying that a man has an obligation to give his daughter to a man 1) because he asks and 2) because he has no flaws. I do not find this obligation anywhere in Scripture.

          1. Ok. (2) is not what I teach, certainly. Indeed a section in my book is entitled ‘giving our daughters to imperfect young men’.

            Below the stanza’s indicated and their intended meanings:

            For this good gift which God has made
            And well designed for man
            and your obedience to the rules
            in my ‘courtship plan’

            1) The daughter is a good gift, a gift made by God for man.
            2) The young man followed all of the ‘rules of courtship’ that he was told about by the father during the courtship.

            I, in my foolishness and pride
            and poor teaching of my child
            who, hoping for a ‘better’man
            is playing ‘aces wild’

            3) The father is castigating himself for rejecting the young man who, altho imperfect, was still ‘there’… instead having basically rolled the dice hoping that another, better man would come along.

            For how can we then war with God
            As Calvin says we do
            When we refuse a Christian man
            Right honest, brave and true

            4) Calvin says that a young man who is not seeking a wife when he needs one ‘wars with God’. The father, by rejecting this  young man, puts the young man back into the situation that Calvin (commenting, I believe, on I Cor 7) says he should not be in. It is, obviously, fruitless for the church to say that young men should have wives and then turn around and tell fathers of daughters not to give them.

            (for what else could compel you
            To risk your heart and mind
            in the ugly course that I have made
            and forced you to run, blind)

            5) The father is saying that it took a brave young man to come to him and risk rejection, and to go through all of his ‘courtship plan’; which usually involves (as I know from the painful personal experience of friends) a long list of vague, subjective and unstated requirements (thus ‘ugly’ and ‘blind’)

      1. I”ve been working on a poem (you’ve inspired me!) kind of in parallel to yours, let me know what you think:

        Dear Sir,

        I must admit myself confused,
        as well as devastated,
        to hear my suit has been refused,
        and most obliterated.

        I well admit my many sins
        I am a son of Adam,
        Which while covered by the blood of Christ
        I am still fighting at’em

        Yet this and more you surely knew
        When all those months ago
        You did so carefully approve my ‘court’
        and set my heart aglow

        Your daughter too, that radiant girl,
        at first seemed quite elated
        Though later on I must admit
        of me she seemed quite sated.

        And so while disappointed sure
        Indeed my heart is broken
        I think, o’er time your response, while hard
        I knew before ’twas spoken

        E’en before we had begun
        I thought I had a problem
        Looking purely with my eyes at all the girls
        while still required to choose one

        To treat them as my sisters while
        a possible future wife
        I wrestled long, I wrestled hard
        with much internal strife

        Each time a conversation having
        with young woman of my church
        E’en if with the purest motives
        My heart would, with a lurch

        Realize that this young lady
        with beauty, grace and ease
        Might one day if I was lucky…
        or thus my heart would tease

        In vain I strove to fight it
        but the chorus ‘gain would come
        of the importance of wife and family
        ‘in your future life, my son’

        And so my thoughts would wander
        ‘fore courtship and beyond
        from sister to much other
        which left me in despond

        In short, oh father of the daughter
        I do not blame at all
        you and your blessed daughter
        for showing me the hall

        I will attempt, rejected
        to move from this disgrace
        unto, if ever I mature am,
        to another blessed place

        Who finds a wife, we are assured
        finds thus a blessed thing
        Thus tho despised, rejected,
        I won’t return the ring

        but will continue, struggle,
        A better man to be
        And purer, better, perfect
        That blessed hope to see

        Perhaps, as she is younger,
        One day (please not too far)
        The next girl of your family
        will think me up to par

        In conclusion, I want to thank you for doing me the incredible honor of allowing me to court your daughter, who I will always have affection for,
        Sincerely,
        A young man

  3. Now, the ‘steps’ of the betrothal of Christ:

    1) We are chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.
    2) At the fall, we are seperated from God, and become slaves to Satan. At this time God covenants with Eve that we would be redeemed.
    3) With Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc. God again reiterates His plan to redeem us. He foreshadows this redemption with the His relationships with the nation of Israel, even going so far as to metaphor His relation with Israel as husband/wife: including scenes of the frutiful wife nevertheless going off and committing adultery. With Hosea he also foreshadows the relationship by the marriage with a prostitute.
    4) Christ comes and chooses the disciples:
    a) Insisting that He chose the disciples, they did not choose him
    b) And insisting that he chose only those who His Father gave him (Paul says that this ‘giving’ was before the foundation of the world)
    5) While we were yet unreconciled sinners, Christ died and paid the bride price. (or, perhaps better, our slave redemption price: redeemed from Satan to become slaves to Christ: The church then being a redeemed slave bride.)
    6) As a result the church (Eph 5) is the bride of Christ, and He is washing us in the word preperatory to taking us to Himself at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
    7) While all of this was going on, from Adam to Revelation, individual people have been being born, rebelling, and being brought to Christ by His Grace.

    Now, the obligations:
    a) From the beginning until now, no human has been free of the obligation to honor, worship, and obey God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
    b) From before the beginning until now, Christ has, in obedience to the will of His Father, carrying out that will in all things.
    c) Having specifically been elect, redeemed, and justified: we are even more obligated to live in obedience to Christs’ will.

    Before I go on, have I missed anything here?

    1. As I said, in your scenario above, there seems to be no pressing obligation of a man to remove his betrothed from a master who requires her to daily commit whoredom. And I am talking at the individual level. A man who at the age of 90 receives Christ and is then brought into the household of God was according to your explanation betrothed to Christ his entire life, who left him in a state of constant iniquity. Am I correct that you would not expect a righteous man to make a rapid effort to remove his betrothed from such a state?

      I would argue strongly that betrothal follows purchase as a slave bride. We are elected before the foundation of the world, but we are only betrothed when we are purchased and brought into the household of God and raised as a daughter of God (and thus sanctified and conformed) prior to our marriage to His Son Jesus Christ.

      1. I think you have kind of skipped a step, but I will go along…

        The problem with betrothal, like so many other events, is that includes several parts: the choosing, finding out about the choosing, and going along in obedience to the choosing. And there are so many different types of betrothal: Adam/Eve… with God as the father of both, no sin involved, etc. Vs., as you point out, the purchase of a slave wife… or the capture of a slave wife… etc.God, in Scripture, uses several of these metaphors. He both speaks of us as a chaste virgin… and as a bloody prostitute.But my most basic point in all of them, which was where we started, is that there is, in no Biblical story, any ‘courtship’… at lease in any recognizable use of the term. The slave girl bought or captured is chosen and paid for (either with money or by battle… and it could well be argued that Christ typifies both) long before her will is engaged in the matter. She is (as we are) still in idolatrous rebellion when the battle is fought, the price paid.It is only once she actually has a new master that anything resembling ‘wooing’ begins (ala Eph 5).

        (more later)

        1. I honestly can’t imagine you suggesting that there is no courting in Ruth. Boaz pays special and escalating attention to Ruth and when she comes and lays at his feet, he says she has not gone after younger men. It is a Levirate marriage in the end, but Boaz does not pursue it until he is assured of Ruth’s affections (and I would agree that he had no reason to in this case, but it is still there).

          I also see the bringing of gold by Abraham’s servant as a means of courting by proxy. The fact that he is courting the parent’s affections is irrelevant.

          And maybe there is some confusion by what I mean by wooing. I would agree with you that parent’s have the authority to bind their children into marriage without examining their relational capacity and I will also agree that there are clearly places where it is righteous to do so.  But I would also argue a father may also choose to take his daughter’s or his son’s capacity for attraction into consideration. I have no plans to let some man strive for the full engagement of my daughter’s heart prior to betrothal, but unless some drastic circumstance prevents it, I do want to see a measure of interest and desire in her. I do want to see that she can work with this man and labor along side him. I do not want her to be repulsed by him and I cannot imagine the argument you would have to make to tell me I do not that authority to use this measure in my judgement or that it would be unrighteous to do so.

          Fundamentally, this is all I mean by courtship – it is the parents and children of both parties using their God-given authority to determine the rightness or wrongness of a union for the glory of God’s kingdom and to bring it about. In my mind, the common failings of courtship is not the fundamental process, it is in our understanding of the scope of the gospel. It is sad that parent’s value their child’s full capacity for emotional invovement above every other aspect and criteria of marriage, but the way to fix it, is for them to better understand the complexity of love and the offices of authority through which it is expressed.

          Does that make sense?

          1. That makes a lot of sense. I will answer more later, but I still will say there is not courting in Scripture… because of the root definition of that word… ie what seperates ‘courtship’ from ‘dating’ and from ‘arranged marriage’ etc.

            So given the modern definition Ruth is not courted because of Ruth 3:1-6, 3:10-13. I think that maybe you and I agree as to what happened… where I may disagree is that in using the word ‘courtship’ one has introduced a whole series of concepts that were not present in Ruth, Isaac, Adam, Jacob, etc.

            So we may agree much more than I thought at first 🙂

            (More later, point my point, gotta go to work)

          2. >>I honestly can’t imagine you suggesting that there is no courting in Ruth.

            Again, I think we are having definitional issues:

            1) The Scripture never speaks of any of the acts of Chapter 2 as being in pursuit of marriage.

            2) The Scripture speaks of Naomi initiating the process, indeed she says ‘shall I not seek rest for thee’… indicating that she saw the process she initiated as being ‘her’ process.

            3) Boaz expresses surprise, and intense pleasure, that she was willing to marry him, an older man. I intrepret this as Gill does:”for thou hast showed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning; that is, to her husband’s family; she had shown much love to her husband living and dying, and to her mother-in-law, in leaving her country and kindred to come with her into a strange country, and in labour to support her, as she had done, all which was great kindness; to which the Targum adds, her being proselyted; but the kindness she now showed exceeded all the former, in that she was desirous, according to the law of God, to build up her husband’s family, to marry the next near kinsman, even though an old man, to raise up seed to the name and memory of her husband:” ~John Gill, commentary on Ruth 3:104)

            He states that while he was willing to redeem the land and thus take her to raise up a son for his dead kinsman; there was another nearer who, if he was willing, would have her.

            Those four points fly in the face of pretty much everything I have ever read about courting:”

            1) Courtship is typically seen as a desire to at least explore marriage.

            2) Courtship typically speaks of the young man, or possibly his father, initiating the process… not the young woman or her mother in law.

            3) Courtship is typically seen as the young man and woman trying to figure out if they are ‘right’ for each other (I don’t mean to be sarcastic there, just to express it in shorthand. each author has a different way of expressing this God glorifying ‘right’ness.) Indeed Boaz almost seems to be saying that, given her own choice/inclinations, he would not be someone that Ruth would want to marry.

            4) Courtship makes it an absolute that we are not talking about marriage in general, but one particular marriage.So that is how I don’t see any ‘courting’ in Ruth. I see two Godly people, one older, one younger, pursuing marriage in a very God glorifying way: initiated by the young woman’s mother in law, and bounded in their relationship by the law of redemption and leverirate.I see them marrying not because they were ‘right’ for each other, but in order to obey God’s law, to provide a house for Ruth, and to raise up seed for Ruth’s dead husband (and/or Father in law, depending how you interpret that).

        2. Let me actually restate the bit about the bringing of the gold. Giving Rebekah bracelets and a nose ring is courting her and her parents (Rebekah sees she will be well treated – and her parents do as well). The fact that her parents make the ultimate decision is what is irrelevant to me.

          1. Again, I think we have a definitional difference: ie you are using the word ‘courting’ to cover things that fall far outside the modern use of the word.

            The core of the modern process of courtship is that it is the young man who (either with our without the guidance of his parents) takes the initiative to seek the girl, and then he seeks to win her heart.

            The father sending the servant with impressive gifts, while I fully agree would tend to win even an unGodly man’s heart, does not seem to fall into the definition of anyone I have ever read of what they are teaching their children to do.

    2. Additionally, I’m confused by the order of events. How is Christ betrothed to his brother’s wife prior to his brother’s death (the fall)? Levirate marriage is after all a picture of Christ taking from Eve  (the mother of all living) a wife to raise up seed to his brother Adam. After that point, what father agreed for us to be betrothed to Christ unless a price be paid? Like I said, the picture of  Exodus 21 matches much better for me. To complete the Levirate marriage, God instructs his Son to pay the price to purchase a slave who he then betrothes to His son and raises as a daughter until that time comes.

    3. I think the order is more along these lines:
      Before the foundation of the the world, the Godhead conspires with themselves to bring glory to themselves through creation. All things are fore-ordained, the elect are chosen, etc. I would argue that this is not betrothal as betrothal is identified by both parties being brought into a specific relationship. One party promising to to do something is not betrothal.

      Adam, the free son of God is created and is joined to his wife Eve. Prior to this point, Christ could not betrothed to us, because our first husband has not yet died (spiritual death). When he does sin and dies spiritually, his wife, and we corporately being in him, are sold by him, as a slave to sin and are places into the household of Satan.

      At this point, Eve is not free to be betrothed, because her slave master, sin, and her father Satan, are unwilling to let her depart, and her desire and nature make her unable to to desire it as well. God does how promise that he will redeem her in the future.

      I see Abraham as one of the the first solid picture of corporate betrothal, both of God’s future betrothal to Israel as a nation and those that are faithful as the eternal bride, as a covenant is made between God the Father and Abraham, the father of Israel, and the father of all those who have faith.

      Later, when Israel is taken into captivity and God frees  them to come and serve Him, Israel is brought into the household of God, is betrothed to Him and raised as a daughter and is cleansed and ornamented, until the point that God looks upon her and coventants with her and takes her as a wife Then, Israel plays the harlot and she is put away  (as described by God in Ezekiel 16) and is sent out as a free nation, and will never be taken corporately as a nation/people again.

      Can you see why I would argue along these lines and say that how things play out in time cannot be ignored?

      1. >>Before the foundation of the the world, the Godhead conspires with themselves to bring glory to themselves through creation.

        OK, my answer will be in several sections, as each depends on the other.

        Your statement above is perfectly true, however it is important to note that Christ specifically emphasizes a particular part of that ‘conspiring'”

        Joh 17:6  I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
        IE Christ Himself was very emphatic about the ‘father/son’ ‘gave/recieved’ aspect of this particular way of bringing glory.

        Do we agree?

        1. I have no disagreement that God the Father gave these men to Christ, but what are you tying it to? My concern is in what are you connecting this choosing and giving to earthly marriage?

      2. OK, so if we agree with that (moving toward answering you) then we have for your step one:

        1) The Godhead for their own glory chose the church for Christ: a choosing which Christ specifically emphasized metaphored as God His Father choosing the church for Him.

        2) This choosing involved two authorities, bound up in one person:
        a) God the Father of Christ finding and choosing for Him a bride,
        b) God the Father of the Church creating a bride for Christ.

        Are we still agreed?

        1. God chose all things at this point. He did not choose a bride in a special way as compared to all his other choices. He chose as God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). I do not see this choosing as having any analogous relationship to the decisions that we make in marriage.  

          If you are asserting that there is a relationship here, we are not yet in agreement. 

          1. Confused.

            I am stating that when God chose a bride for Christ before the foundation of the world, Jesus chose (while on Earth) to emphasize that God the Father ‘gave’ him that bride. I hadn’t yet gone near the issues you raise. So, again, specifically:

            ) The Godhead for their own glory chose the church for Christ: a choosing which Christ specifically emphasized metaphored as God His Father choosing the church for Him.

            2) This choosing involved two authorities, bound up in one person:
            a) God the Father of Christ finding and choosing for Him a bride,
            b) God the Father of the Church creating a bride for Christ.

            Are we still agreed?
            If not, what part of what I wrote do you disagree with?

            1. 1) The Godhead for their own glory chose the church for Christ: a choosing which Christ specifically emphasized metaphored as God His Father choosing the church for Him.

              2) This choosing involved two authorities, bound up in one person:
              a) God the Father of Christ finding and choosing for Him a bride,
              b) God the Father of the Church creating a bride for Christ.3) In Scripture the first step in a betrothal is for the father of the groom choosing a bride for his son. The expression is ‘take a wife for your son’. the flip side of this, which also applies to God the Father, is ‘give your daughter’ in marriage.Thus how I read this is that that initial choosing was the first step in Christ’s betrothal… a betrothal that continued with his coming to Earth and purchasing us; and now He prepares a place to bring us home and is currently washing us in His Word (Eph 5).

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