Monday, August 26, 2013

The value of courtship

Don't you hate it when you know something, but you still struggle to act on it?

Knowledge, as great as it is, cannot change us alone. Growth requires knowledge plus the will to act plus actually putting it into practice. And none of this can be done in a vacuum, it has to be done in relation to another.

Courtship is like that for me. If you've been to any marriage seminar in the past 20 years (maybe more than that, but I've only been married for 22) you've heard that courtship has to continue after marriage so that the relationship continues to mature. Very true, but challenging to practice consistently.

Oddly enough, it was a marketing email this morning that prompted this post. Roy Williams over at the Wizard of Ads said this:

The perfect customer is like a beautiful woman, distant and desirable and pursued by countless competitors. An appropriate metaphor, don’t you think?
Most advertisers want ads that equate to a magical pickup line. “Tell me what to say to this beautiful woman so that she’ll rip off her clothes and jump into bed with me.”
 (find the whole blog here)

Leaving the sexual innuendo behind for a moment, the reality is we all want people to like us. We want to be desirable, as people, as employees, as spouses, whatever. And a good chunk of our own self-value comes from our success at "selling" ourselves. We could fight this if we want--many people do--but I'm convinced that's the totally wrong approach. We were made for relationship. We were made to love and be loved. And while it's hard work, life is meaningless without it.

Relationship--with God, with your spouse, with your friends, with your boss, with your team--will define  you and shape you. So it's worth cultivating deep and lasting relationships with those around you.

It's worth courting.

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