Tuesday, December 1, 2020

How To Have A Chaste Courtship

This book was written specially for young Catholics, but would probably be of interest to other Christians as well. It's quite vintage (I think 1930s-40s, judging by the fact that movie theaters and driving around for fun are mentioned, but TV is not) but I heard it's still recommended in more trad Catholic circles even though some parts of it could possibly offend modern sensibilities.

It goes into great detail about dangers of s*xual sin, while the last chapter is all about choosing a mate. I guess the idea of never marrying outside the Catholic faith could be offensive to some, but if you extrapolate it to never marrying unbelievers, you'll realise that the author isn't really that far from the truth.

This is an interesting piece of advice: 

Refrain from  beginning to keep regular company too soon. If you begin to do so at sixteen or seventeen years, you expose yourself either to the danger of a premature marriage with its frequent mistake of poor choice or you court the hardly lesser evil of an immoderately long courtship with the attendant disadvantages. You tie yourself down to one person and thus lose the social advantages and contacts that will have a great influence upon your later life. You expose yourself in a special way to temptations against chastity, because this love affair may be a very prolonged one, and the danger of violating chastity increases as the affection is prolonged.

 If you begin “to go steady” while you are a student, you will find it almost impossible to do justice to your studies. Since courtship limits your interest to a single person, it should not be undertaken until you are in a  position seriously to consider marriage in the not too distant future. This presupposes that you have attained the age to understand the great responsibilities of marriage and that you have enough financial resources to establish and maintain a home.

It goes contrary to what some Christians online teach about every young girl needing to marry at 18, doesn't it? 

 Marrying in haste nearly always means repenting bitterly at leisure. Do not prefer to be sorry to being certain. 

(emphasis mine)



  1. The "marry at 18" mantra is mostly propagated by online types who find the impressionability of 18-year-old women advantageous to men who want to be able to mold a wife to their specifications, who want to have a reasonable expectation that the wife is virginal, and who want to have someone who will more easily accept his particular failings.

    The problem with it is that the same impressionability they think they want in a wife also makes a wife who will be flaky and apt to leave when times get hard. I have no problem on principle with women marrying very young. I just don't like the notion of marrying a young woman off so that a man gets all the advantages of her youth (with little regard for her long term best interests.

  2. I agree, Elspeth. It may work in some other society, but not in ours in the current year. As a general rule, I think folks should marry when they are mature enough, and for the man, having a sufficient income to support a family. For some, it will be very young, but not for the majority, I'm afraid.