Saturday, June 10, 2006

When courtship doesn't work
BRIDGEPORT, MA -- After three months of marriage, Anne and Joe Toepe recently concluded that courtship is a failed experiment.

"We went through all seven principles of courtship," said Anne. "After we met at an ATI function, Joe began to sense God's leading toward marriage. He spent months in prayer and fasting. After seeking his parents' counsel, he called my father. They corresponded for a year, with my father giving him projects for spiritual growth."

Joe agreed. "Anne's father was committed to protecting his daughter, which impressed me all the more. I knew she was a pearl of great price."

"My father and mother eventually told me there was a young man interested in me," Anne continued. "They asked me to pray for God's direction before they told me who the young man was. I decided if my parents approved of him, God's blessing was on it."

Joe traveled from IBLP Headquarters to spend time with Anne and her family. Her parents and siblings were impressed with his character, and enthusiastically gave their approval.

Joe and Anne were married a few months later. Their wedding was a God-honoring ceremony, and a testimony to the effectiveness of courtship. Several couples who attended the wedding pledged to trade dating for courtship in their relationships. Joe and Anne touched for the first time when the pastor declared, "You may kiss the bride."

Now that Joe and Anne are married, they were shocked to discover that the courtship principles did not adequately prepare them for marriage! "We're constantly discovering new areas we'd never talked about before marriage," said Joe. "I just assumed with God and our parents' blessing that marriage would be easier."

"We disagree on things frequently," says Anne. "We fight more than Brad and Angelina in Mr. and Mrs. Smith."

Joe and Anne contacted IBLP to discuss their relationship. The ATI coordinator was grieved to hear their story, and encouraged them that the principles of courtship could be used to strengthen their marriage. "They told us to review the courtship booklet -- that maybe we did something wrong during the courtship phase," said Joe.

At this point, Joe and Anne became fed up with ATI. "We decided to trade courtship for dating." They are now happily dating.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious which area they haven't surrendered to the Lord. A truly Godly couple wouldn't even know the title of a recent movie, much less who starred in it. The fact that this couple blames their troubles on authority-approved courtship instead of on their own sinful hearts is the reason their marriage has conflict.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Drschplatt said...

I think the real problem would have to be that she's not expecting a child yet...I mean, it's several months into're supposed to get nailed the first night. If you don't how can you have 19 children before you die?

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right, my dear father says if you keep your wife pregnant she's in no position to leave you.

11:45 PM  
Anonymous kimimila said...

if they grew up in ATI, maybe they're still trying to figure out *how to make a baby*. heh heh....

6:24 PM  
Blogger TulipGirl said...


I'm laughing because of how true I've seen this be. . . Sadly.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Yeah, can you imagine Elsie Dinsmore on her honeymoon? Ewwww!

When love is based on combination of sentiment and platonic feeling, the earthiness of marriage tends to be a problem.


7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pregnancy is the only 100% effective method of birth control. I never heard of a pregnant woman getting pregnant...

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ELSIE DINSMORE!!! Ha Ha! I haven't heard that name in FOREVER. And yes, I have read them all...*gag*

1:05 PM  
Blogger Caleb Dahl said...

"Christian Courtship" according to the rules laid down by Goatherd is probably the most damaging thing that has ever happened to a number of young guys.

Because of the ultra serious, (carnal) connotations that have been constructed around this, the most crucial aspect human nature, many I know have developed significant difficulties with talking to girls, or, on the other extreem, have tossed aside all biblical restraints and choose to flirt (and more) with any hottie that comes along.

My sincere condolences to any who has wasted thier life in the pursuit of the perfect courship.

We are flawed humans and no connect the dots approach to relationships will fix that. There is hope, just not in a multi step system.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Goat-herd"?! HA!! Pretty good one! ... Well, I just got a little packet in the mail. I don't know how I ended up on their mailing list, but IBLP sent me an invitation to a Basic Seminar, Anger Seminar (teaches you how to be more angry), etc. What I think is fascinating is, the pictures (photos) of people. I see a family on a yacht or sailboat, the older son is wearing a long-sleeve dress shirt and tie. The two teenaged girls are wearing clothing that daringly approaches the limits: Skirts that graze the knee, and shirts with somewhat low necks. What's happening to IBLP?! Are they trying to be as worldly as possible in order to attract more people with dough-re-mi ($$ , for those of you in Rio Linda) ? How come they're not wearing skirts that are even slightly longer? ... I see another family that is wearing all winter clothing, mostly it's the upper body (bodies) visible; this family is not, say, the best "eye candy" they could have picked -- not even the brightest smiles. But that family on the yacht takes the cake! Even the Pierponts (as seen elsewhere, on the internet) have a slight tendency to try to appear "stylish", although it's nothing like that family on the yacht / sailboat. Makes ya long for the good ol' days, when Doctor Gothard was younger and kept a sharper eye on things. *grinnnnn*

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what teenaged boy in his right mind would wear a tie and dress shirt while casually goofing off with his family on a sailboat?!

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come to think of it, the typical ATI family that HAS the dough-re-mi, is NOT going to have two teenaged girls wearing skirts (short or not) on a sailboat on a casual occasion. Their girls would be wearing shorts or jeans. PLEASE give me a break. The pictures reflect ATI dreamworld, not reality. :)

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, why don't they just go all the way and have the girls wear sunglasses, dye / spike their hair, and put the teenaged son in some baggy pants with an untucked shirt, etc.?! That would really attract some people and make them decide to go to the Basic! Or, they could just shorten the skirts about one or two inches, and that would attract some people to go to the Anger Seminar!

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see the truth in this. I'm a former ATI-er that has seen some of my best friends go through courtships. Some that were called off, bacause they never would have gotten into a serious relationship if they had dated.

I think courtship is over rated. I'm sure there are tons of couples out there who followed "all the courtship rules", and should never have gotten married in the first place.

There are exceptions. And while I would consider dating, I would want to go the route of being more commited and serious about getting to know one another and whether or not, we could ever work. There is a lot to discuss before marriage/engagemnet.

And pulleeaaze. Not touching at all til they had been pronounced man and wife? That is disgusting.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, all the courtships that I have seen work have been long time family friends before and after ATI. I knew my husband before ATI ever hit our families and yes we are happily married. Would I let my daughter court a guy we ALL hardly knew? Give me a break!!!! Would we encourgage a courtship with a long time family friend if they seemed right together? Sure! My daughter or son is no "prize" to be won just because you are a godly man or woman and you knew daddies phone number. I feel sorry for all the young people who have married people they hardly knew. Not my children! Courtship can be done in a way that doesn't leave permanent damage on a marriage, just spend the time to date and really get to know the person;-)

10:47 PM  
Anonymous ~an x-ati girl~ said...

(lol) That is so funny!

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any significant difference between courtship and pre-arranged marriage? The Amish do the same thing. And is it bad that I know that Pirates of the Carribean is a recent movie and that Johnny Depp stars in it? Appearantly so! haha. lol.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous IdidTheDirtyInaTrainingCenter said...

I can't believe that people still get on here and try to convince us that we are the ones that are wrong and are unwilling to submit to God. Yes I listen to Rock, Rap, and whatever else I want to.....but my spiritual life has gotten stronger since I moved out and got away from the oppression of ATI. "Life is like a box of chocolates."

7:33 AM  
Blogger Caleb Dahl said...

"And pulleeaaze. Not touching at all til they had been pronounced man and wife? That is disgusting."

yeah. agreed. imagine: "Hi, it's nice to be married, I know we have never even smelled each other but are you ready for bowm-chicka-bowm..."


Godly living is a heart thing, and so are relationships. If people are out to get thiers, it doesn't matter what system is used things won't work. One of my good frends got his heart broken wide open by a girl that was following the formula but never loved him.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, there is a Bill Gothard page on Myspace now. It's really funny. The comments people leave are crazy!

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please tell me how to get to the myspace thing. what's the link?? thank you

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh sad but true... i dated my now husband for 6 months before i let him meet the crazy parents...who actually gave him the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye"...yes. they they really embarassed me like that! ;) very happily married 8 years later...we still laugh at that.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all the X-ATIers - whatever you call yourselves - I want to let you know that we will be praying that the Lord will bring you back to the right path.

2:14 PM  
Blogger jesuislemec said...

Hey, nobody is here to take repentance calls. Get with the program you loser.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been married for 12 yrs and dated for 2 yrs before I got married. There is no amount of courtship whether it be 2 months or 12 yrs which will guarantee a successful marriage.

Two very different people coming from diverse background, upbringing, emotions, personality and etc. cannot expect to be able to “live happily ever after” like the story in fairy tales without adjusting to each others’ likes and dislikes, personality and a whole load of idiosyncrasies.

Joe & Anne are way too naïve to expect that the Principle of Courtship will help them in the next level of their marriage. As the title states, its for courtship. Marriage is another matter. Their comments, "We're constantly discovering new areas we'd never talked about before marriage," said Joe. "I just assumed with God and our parents' blessing that marriage would be easier." The question I would like to pose to them is that:

1. Do you expect to know everything about each other before you get married? Won’t that be too boring! Even I don’t everything about my parents after living them for 24 yrs before I got married. Or about my husband, now that we have been married for 12 yrs!
2. What is the definition of ‘easy’? Its way too subjective. Easy to one is difficult to another. E.g. mathematics…

So, Joe & Anne, welcome to the world of married life. NOTHING and NO ONE will ever be able to prepare us for marriage brings to us… the joy and tears.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Tinastyn said...

You know ATI is a cult? I wasnt raised that way, thank the good Lord. however, my Parents are about the worst when coming to courtship. My dad has a rule that I am not allowed to talk to my man unless someones is always present, never allowed to go to dinner, and yada yada yada, so yeah I need some help, anyone? The *touching* thingy is ridiculous, I was so tired of my BF running away from me that I took him off guard and hugged him oneday. That changed things fast. Instead of treating eachother like robots with no feelings, it opened the proper doors for future true love... and yes it is true that some homeschooled children do not understand the nature of creating a baby. I have a freind married 4 years now and she and her hubby still dont get the drift, lots of marital problems, lemme tell you just that.

Any advice or courting rules, please hit my account....

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wait, your friends seriously don't know what sex is?


6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in response to previous comment:
And what may I ask is true love?
obviously if you have to touch
someone to make them "feel"
that you love them, then that
is kinda fake.
Your parents want to protect you
and someday you will see just what
you are missing out on. You don't
have to "hug" someone to make them
know you love them. Love is a ton
deeper than that. Hope you
experience that someday.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous trail gardens said...

Wait till these courtshippers discover PMS

2:15 AM  

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