Romance (A Letter From CampMeetingGirl)


Darrell,

I just wanted to drop you a line and say that I have met a very nice
young man. His name is Titus. He is an older brother of a friend of
my brother, Uriah. We are the same age and he is in graduate school
at The Conservative College. He is getting a Master’s Degree in
Pastoral Theology. His mother was sick when he was in high school and
when he graduated, it was God’s will that he go to a local Junior
College for two years. He was able to be available to help his mother
and father out. His time there doesn’t seem to have turned him into
an atheist, so I am thankful for that. I have heard that it can be
hard to resist the pressure from all the communist student
organizations at those state institutions.

He came to visit his brother who is doing some work with a local
evangelist while he saves money for school (Uriah also works for this
evangelist on his website store). While Titus was here, he and I (and
all my other brothers, of course) went to get ice cream, ride go-carts
(I am so glad I finally sewed that long black skirt and could wear
it!), visit the zoo, and attend church. We even got to share a
hymnal. He is an honorable man so he did not try to hold my hand
under the hymnal, like I’ve heard of some other boys trying to do.

He is back at school and has asked if he could write me. I told him
yes. He says it will probably be through the snail mail because he
wants his letters to be saved for posterity. I think that is so
romantic. He talked to my Father and asked if it was okay to write me
and that his intentions were to get to know me. Courtship via mail.
Father agreed that this was probably the best thing to do.

Titus is very cute. He is tall and has green eyes. He has never had
braces on his teeth, but you can’t even tell! They are as straight as
anything!

In between the ice cream and go-carts, we got to talk a little about
finding the right one. We had a lot in common in that area. Neither
one of us has dated anyone and we think that it’s akin to divorce to
date and then break up. I told him that my one goal in life is to be
a happy homemaker. He smiled and said that would be his goal for me,
as well. I think he means that he is very serious about getting to
know me and courting me!!!

Anyway, I just remembered that I had said in the little questionaire
that I wasn’t courting anyone. Well, now I am.

Blessings to you in the name of our Lord (and Savior) Jesus Christ,
CampMeetingGirl

130 thoughts on “Romance (A Letter From CampMeetingGirl)”

  1. CMG, you sound just like someone else I know, except her dad wouldn’t let her court anyone that easily (no matter how good the guy was). At least you get to choose who to court, and you actually have some interest in this Titus guy.

  2. CMG – I am so glad you have found someone who has such a testimony. He certainly follows “ye olde paths”. I mean, how many young men write cursive anymore?

    I certainly hope his encounter with that “real live atheist” doesn’t ruin his testimony. A weaker brother may have seen that and thought that Titus is now a friend of the atheists. He could have filled Titus’ mind with all those evil thoughts of cable TV and democrats.

  3. This made my morning.

    CMG: Please pray and fast over this. You must be sure he is God’s one-and-only-made-just-for-you. Might want to have your preacher interview the boy. (Just to double check he isn’t a communist atheist or a Calvinist.)

    1. We had a week of fasting where we did not write or think about each other. We instead sought out Bible verses that would speak to the matter. It was a little confusing because I my Bible would always open to Leviticus. But, I’m sure God has his mysterious ways at work for me!

  4. Forgot to add…

    Oh yes, I remember well the references to “emotional adultery” when a dating couple would tell each other they love them but end up breaking up later.

    1. I believe it’s unwise to tell someone you love him/her unless you’re really serious about the relationship (most teens don’t even know what real love is), and I do think a lot of dating today is practice for divorce, but seriously, young adults ought to be trusted to make decisions like that for themselves. If you mess up and say “I love you” to the wrong person, it’s not going to haunt your marriage later. It sure hasn’t done any harm to my marriage. That guy that I was “dating” several years ago doesn’t even matter anymore. Besides, he turned out to be a loser (and he was even approved by my old IFB pastor!).

      1. Well, these weren’t teenagers; they were twenty-something adults whose parents believed only in “courtship” and that you aren’t to “court” anyone until you meet the one you are to marry. And yes, someone, somewhere along the way, influenced the girl at least to believe she had committed emotional adultery. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

    1. When I was in my teens Gid told a man in our church that I was supposed to marry his daughter. The ______ told everybody that I was going to marry his daughter! So, I got out of there as quickly as possible and married “outside the will of Gid”. I am glad I married the woman I did.

  5. CMG- keep pursuing god’s man, god’s way sister. you want to be absolutely sure that he is the man that god has specifically chosen for you. you only get one man for life (unless he dies, then god probably has a backup, no?).

    1. Agree with you, “theotherguy”. Now, we need to make sure we don’t think of prayer as something as reverential as approaching the throne of grace to bring a request… but as a mission to pry into the Holy Archives of the Almighty and find out who this “one” is. You’ve got to spray paint all heavenly cameras, distract Peter at the Pearly Gates, dodge those infrared lights and evade the Seraphim and Cherubim. When you find out, could you also find me this month’s Education Lottery winning number while you’re at it? ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. @Tony- winning numbers…i do believe that i can get those winning numbers. like paul, “i can do all things through christ which strengtheneth me.” to get past peter at the pearly gates, i just pray 1 chronicles 4:10 five times in jesus name. the rest of the heavenly obstacle course is pretty easy for those familiar with the terrain…

  6. We have people that live on the street behind us who are AOG and ALL the women and girls wear long skirts and have long hair. Now days, I just look at them as an oddity of nature. They won’t look at you, talk to you or even aknowledge your presence if you are standing among them with some neighbors….

    1. By “AOG,” do you mean Assemblies of God? I’m curious what region of the U.S. you live in that the A/G folks dress like that, because I’ve never seen that in an A/G church I’ve attended before, either in the Northeast or in the Southeast.

      Mind you, the Assemblies of God is its own brand of fundamentalism with its own weird interpretation of and addition to scripture, but I’m not familiar with the modest dress code being a part of it.

    2. Those aren’t likely A/G if the whole church dresses like that (I know a few Bill Gothard followers who are in the A/G, so of course they dress like the IFB). They’d be UPC (United Pentecostal Church). The UPC are very similar to the IFB…except they’re Pentecostals and deny the Trinity (which the A/G do not do). They split from the A/G in the early days of the Pentecostal movement over the issue of the Trinity.

  7. Community College is actually a good place for seventeen year old homeschoolers to attend. Gives them an introduction to the classroom, before going off to the Fundie U. of their limited choice. I remember taking an art class with one homeschooler, whose highlight of her life, during that semester was meeting Phyllis Schlafly. When I walked toward the radio with tape cassette in hand, she expressed disapproval without actually asking what I had on it. Fortunately for her, the tape deck didn’t work.

  8. There was a girl at college, music major like myself, who wanted to date only the person she married. So she would turn down perfectly innocent, “wanna go to Vespers together?” because that would be a date and she didn’t want to “date” and then break up. Eventually guys just ignored her. Finally she met someone and they must have gone through the entire grind to where she was willing to date him. They broke up…Long have I wondered where she ended up or what that meant for her philosophy.

    Of course the whole thing is rather dumb. If you cannot even date a guy unless you “know” you are going to marry him then why date at all. Just skip right to the marriage. Marriage is hard enough to keep together in today’s age alone lets not complicated it and holding the same standard to dating couples.

    I also laughed about the whole atheist comment about community college. Sister CMG just be glad he didn’t go the the real state college. He would be an atheist right now (or not) actually likely not.

      1. Our pastor in high school preached something called “How to Date Your Mate.” One wise-guy changed it to “how to mate your date.” We spent the entire Bible class laughing at crude jokes related to that phrase. Maybe if he had at least cited one Bible verse, we would have listened.

      2. Well technically that one is true because every person of the opposite gender is a *potential* mate. Furthermore, I really don’t see the point of dating if you are not old enough and financially responsible enough to be seeking a mate.

      3. Funnily enough, the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe this as well. If you date, you’re dating with an eye to marriage. We were explicitly told this by my son’s girlfriend’s parents when they came to meet us.

        I can see it being a problem because our view on dating is very different.

      1. We had nearly the opposite – once you “know” they’re the right one, don’t wait. (I can’t remember exactly how he said it tho I’m sure I have it written down somewhere as it was so important). Big advocate for SHORT (ie under 8 weeks) engagements, and no pre-marital counseling because “the best way to have a good marriage is to be a good christian”.

        1. I was from that camp, too. Engagement: 2 months. Pre-marital counseling: Do you ________ promise not to wear pants? If Gid calls __________ to the deepest forest of Africa will you submit?

          Never bothered to notice that both of us were horrible with finances, so no help there. It’s a miracle we’re still married ๐Ÿ™„

    1. I was about to date a girl that had worked with me at the Wilds. She and I had discussed that we had feelings for each other, but she had to talk to her mom, dad and 2 brothers about it. I remember she discussed this with her mom and brothers, and they were OK with it, but she wanted to take things sloooooow (because Fundies are afraid of this sort of thing ๐Ÿ˜ ).. I was willing to put up with that. To make the long story short, the day after I visited her at the Wilds, she wrote an e-mail to me explaining that her dad did not approve of it, and therefore she was against the idea. In Fundyland, girls are encouraged to delegate their thinking to “authority” (which could be insecure parents, pastors or any man with a Choleric temperament).

      Now I’m enjoying a real girlfriend with a mind of her own, and we’re both learning more and more about the foibles of Fundyland. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      1. Wow! I had almost the same exact experience with a girl from Mark Minnick’s church (if you don’t know who he is, just google it; his is the infamous “hat church”), except her parents begrudgingly allowed us to “date” for a while before finally determining it wasn’t god’s will.

        Thankfully my story’s turned out a lot like yours too. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      2. I know someone this almost could have happened to. The parents actually had no problem with the guy but the daughter’s sin was she had picked him instead of waiting for them to pick someone for her.
        Thankfully she had a mind of her own and she is happily married to the man God wanted her to be with (the one she picked if that is confusing). ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. That’s me. I dated a guy, which means he drove me to all the youth functions at church with my sisters in the back seat of the car. My parent’s decided he wasn’t the guy for me. I dated another guy in college. My parents did the same thing, but this time I was older, and happened to think he was a keeper. We married against their will, which meant my whole church and family was against me so we married at his church. Funny thing is the first guy is a millionaire now and my parents are always sure to tell me how he is doing and wouldn’t I like to see him again?He was such a nice boy. ๐Ÿ˜ก

        2. @Escapee,
          So, the FIRST one wasn’t good enough until he started raking in the chips huh? And, in spite of being “christian” they want to know if you would like to see him again? Priceless.

      3. My future husband had gone out on a few dates with a girl from his Christian high school when her dad pulled him aside and said that God’s plan for her life was for her to go to BJU and marry a preacher boy. That wasn’t in my husband-to-be’s plans so the dad said they couldn’t date. She went off to BJU. Lo and behold, my h-2-be DID end up at BJU as a Bible major; thankfully he didn’t look her up. Instead he met me! ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. LOL! If I can be less than gracious for a moment, my husband is WAY better looking than the guy she ended up with! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ Then again, her husband is probably still in the IFB while my husband, while a godly, sincere, Bible-believing pastor, is NEVER going to be asked to come preach at Bible Conference.

    2. There was a young lady at our fundy church’s Bible College who had that same philosophy. She was determined to only date her future husband. She was convinced that dating anyone else would somehow sully her future marriage.

      A few older married persons attempted to explain how crazy (and downright dangerous) this philosophy was, but she was set in her ways.

      I sure hope she is doing okay all these years later.

      1. Probably still single and very assertive about her principles. She’ll change once she gets 40, reaches her mid-life crisis and develops other cognitive functions. By then, it will probably be too late… ๐Ÿ˜

      2. There’s a teacher on our staff like that — almost 30, still living at home, believes it’s unbiblical for an unmarried woman to live outside her father’s house. Up until someone said something to her (last year, I think), she even walked around church holding her daddy’s hand. Very odd…

  9. I’m just glad poor CMG didn’t run into one of those Fundy U guys who says, “God has told me it is His will for you to marry me.” Interesting how they think they get special revelation in these matters …

    1. at least he didn’t use anything from Song of Solomon…that could get interesting.

      “…thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead…” (SoS 4:1)

      1. I know someone who used Song of Solomon to flirt with his girlfriend. He’s happily married to her now, though. He’s just a nerdy type of guy and she’s crazy about him, so whatever floats their boat I guess… haha.

        1. While dating at BJU, my now-husband wrote “To [me] from [him]” in the margin of my Bible at 2 John 5: “And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.”

  10. Oh and CMG, just remember God only has one perfect mate for you. *One*! So don’t mess this up. You wouldn’t want to grab the wrong guy early when someone amazing is just around the corner, but you also don’t want to miss out on the will of God. Just remember, CMG, you only have 4 years to accomplish this. After that you are an old spinster who will likely be relegated to working for the dean of women when you are 50 and still single. Don’t fall for that trap. It sounds good, but DoW staff is nothing but jaded….

    Ok so keep it up and don’t miss out on the will of God.

  11. CMG and Titus sitting in a tree
    On opposite sides with her dress below the knee
    First comes courtship
    Then comes marriage
    Then comes that awkward time where sheltered fundy children figure out how babies get in a baby carriage

      1. that comes during the aforementioned “awkward time” – this time can be anywhere from a few hours, to months, or years – while said couple is waiting on the stork to deliver the baby to the baby carriage!

      1. I seriously know of a couple who attended Fundy U., got married, and didn’t actually consummate their marriage for several day because they didn’t know how. They had to refer to books, etc. True story.

  12. CMG this is so exciting to finally have your life calling of being a wife to a fundamentalist fulfilled! Just can’t wait to hear stories down the road of homeschooling all 10 kids, and the tremendous amount of God’s work they’ll be accomplishing condemning neighborhood kids! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love this girl/character!

    1. Hey now, my mom homeschooled all ten of us kids ๐Ÿ˜‰ Five of us all through high school (me included), the other five are now in a Christian school. Fundy, but decently ok. Sometimes….

  13. CMG, I am happy for you, of course, but I have to say that I feel somewhat disappointed that you did not devote all of your energies and considerable talents to serving God with a whole heart without hindrances. I hope you do realize that a married woman must please her husband while an unmarried woman is free to serve the Lord without being held back at all (as long as she is obedient to her father, and the pastor).

      1. Sisters Susan and Sarah,
        Thank you so much for your concern! I, too, am a bit concerned about leaving behind such a productive single life. I know that my focus when I get married will change so much.

        I have copies of “Lady In Waiting”, “Narrow Is My Bed” by Lucy Swindoll (this was before we realized that her brother was a compromiser), and “So Much More” by the Botkin sisters. They have all been a tremendous encouragement as I was moving through my single years. Serving in church. At home.

  14. As a matter of fact, the vice-president of a certain fundy bible college that happens to be located on the west coast boasted during his recruitment spiel to my high school youth group that his son had done this very thing and had thus won his wife. Apparently this was one of his chief selling points (that, and his routine about how he went to a different fundy u and he was miserable because it wasn’t gid’s will).

  15. CMG, be careful. Some fundie men will add a drop or two of รขโ‚ฌล“Old Spiceรขโ‚ฌย Cologne to the letters they mail to their girlfriends. For some fundie woman รขโ‚ฌล“Old Spiceรขโ‚ฌย is an aphrodisiac. For fundie men who are not allow to wear cologne, they might keep the letter near the oven while their mother bakes a pumpkin pie. I would advise you to have your father smell the letter first or put some รขโ‚ฌล“Vickรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs Vapor Rubรขโ‚ฌย under your nose before handling the correspondence.

    1. ROFL!

      I didn’t know you were supposed to put cologne on flowers until I got declined for a second date, and the guys in my prayer group asked and then said, “You didn’t put cologne on your flowers? No wonder she’s not interested in a second date!”

    2. Titus does not wear cologne as he believes it is a gateway to accepting homosexuality as a valid choice and not a sin. He wore it in high school, but he heard one of his professors (who has SEVEN honorary degrees) say that it was just Hollyweird’s way of creating a slippery slope. Just like those Sonic commercials where the two guys are in the car talking. They are awful close to each other and there’s no other reason than to advance the homosexual agenda. (I never would have realized this if Titus hadn’t pointed it out in one of his letters!)

      1. I’m surprised Titus knows what the Sonic commercial is. I would’ve thought he would be too devoted to the time-consuming bus ministry and snake handling to watch television.

  16. Whoop, Darrell, I got two of my e-mails mixed up. (reply to RobM is not an actual e-mail address I use)

    But here is what I wanted to say:

    And donรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt forget to learn how to make casseroles for those church dinners in your future!

  17. Though niave it is endearing to see two young people not “hooking up” and ruining their lives.

    I know it’s parody and supposed to be funny, but courtship is a hundred times superior to what most young men and ladies today are doing to themselves in relationships.

    The Biblical way to wait and mature and be hesitant and pray about it is funny?

    I guess this time you all are rihgt,I don’t see anything funny int his one.

      1. Yes that’s exactly what I meant
        ๐Ÿ™„

        Who said anything about an arranged marriage? Did I miss this in the letter?
        She said “courtship”….big, BIG difference.

      2. Arranging marriages is an ancient practice with thousands of years of demonstrated ability to produce successful marriage.

        In the West we have been doing it a different way for a thousand years or so, at least among the peasantry. Since the industrial age and the breakdown of older social structures, the modern dating system has emerged. Despite it’s problems, it is a functional system.

        I think that “courtship” in the modern American evangelical sense has yet to prove that it’s a functional system, and that’s being generous. There’s a growing body of evidence that it’s a near-complete failure.

        Joshua Harris, the man who wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye admits to dating the woman he eventually married. Guess he decided that getting married was more desirable than following the ideas that he wrote down at age 19.

        1. I’m FOR dating……just not sure how the subject of arranged marriages came up as a synonymn for courtship.

        2. @John. Maybe it’s because a lot of “courtships” end up as arranged marriages, given that parents have veto power over who their adult children will marry.

        3. Unfortunately, in one of the fundy churches I attended, the parents actually were arranging the marriages of their children. It started out jokingly in the nursery, but as the babies grew into their late teens, the parental pressure ratcheted up. It was not just a daddy’s guilt trip like: “You need to marry someone who is a “bible-believer” (or whatever stripe-du-jour). It was daddy saying, “I believe it is God’s will for (daughter)to marry (Daddy’s best friend-who just so happens to be the head deacon’s son). It is no wonder why 75% of the couples that I saw with the arranged marriages are now divorced, and according to the parents “are out of the Perfect Will of God and must never have been saved anyway.” The other 25% are still in the destructive system and have serious compatibility issues. Yet they are still deceived enough to raise their children as future fundies. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

        4. I remember asking my Dad to arrange my marriage after I listened to a tape from a conference on “Betrothal – God’s Plan for Marriage”. My father wisely said something along the lines of “We’ll see when the time comes”. I’ve always been kind of surprised (and very grateful) that he didn’t take me up on it, since I met my husband at school several hours away from home. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. John, the problem is, there is no such thing as “courtship” in Fundamental churches….plus, there is NOTHING remotely “biblical” about it.

      The realistic problem is that when it comes to finding a mate, the Fundamentalist church lives in a fantasy production of what it is “supposed” to look like (usually a mixture of ‘Leave it to Beaver’ and some biblical character that strikes their fancy). Then, add the pressure of this person or that person being “God’s will” for the boy or girl (Find a reference for THAT ONE…not an “example”…not a “principle”…a scriptural reference…)

      Whether you see it or not, TIME is what needs to happen…HOW that time happens, is up to the people in question…NOT some one’s imagination run amuk of how they THOUGHT it was back “in the olden days”.

  18. CMG, What does your pastor think of this “Titus”? Did you pray with your pastor about this courtship? I know your daddy said it was okay but you still should seek counsel from the Man-of-God before entering such a serious arrangement. I pray you havenรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt got involved in a situation that is contrary to Godรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs perfect will for your life.

  19. Darrell, do you have any posts on Bill Gothard/ATI/Basic Youth? While I learned a lot of good stuff at those conferences, there was also some pretty crazy stuff sometimes. One of his funniest recommendations had to do with questions a father should ask a fellow who asks for permission to marry his daughter. They were supposed to ask things like, “Are you financially secure? How do you plan to support my daughter? What about when you have children? Will my daughter work outside the home? Explain your philosophy on Christian parenting. How do you decide what is modest clothing? How is your relationship with your parents? What is your feeling about birth control? Where do you and my daughter plan to serve the Lord together? Are you secure in your sexuality?” Seriously, I’m not making any of those up. There were plenty more–more than 100, if memory serves.

  20. Sadly, my cousin is actually going through this right now. She’s recently engaged to a guy that she’s only been “courting” for less than 6 months – they had never been alone together until the night he asked her to marry him. As far as I know they’re still supervised all of the time. She’s 26 years old, but voluntarily submits to BS like this. I think they’re gonna get married this spring. I’m worried that she’ll end up miserable and mentally abused. F’ing fundies…

      1. I normally do too, but this subject has just been on my mind recently… ๐Ÿ˜

        Just to keep things diverse, a female cousin on my wife’s side of the family is also engaged…to another woman. They’re not courtship lesbians though. :mrgreen: They’ll also be getting “married” in the spring (since our fine state doesn’t recognize their right to do so), so it should make for a funny group of Facebook photos! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. I can just imagine all the Leviticus & Romans references in the picture comments you are gonna be getting! ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. This kind of teaching, that plays to evangelical fears of premarital sex, has been terribly destructive to the faith of an entire generation of Americans. Courtship advocates fail to grasp the fundamental reasons that the dating system exists: our society is fragmented (see David Wells’ first two books) due to industrialization.

        Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the vast majority of human beings lived in small farm villages. They married people from the same village or one nearby. They had plenty of opportunities to find mates because they all went to the same church (the state church), worked in the same fields, and went to the same barn dances.

        Today, we have individual cities that have a greater population than any European nation had 150 years ago. The people we go to church with are usually not the people we go to school with and those are usually not the people you work with. We also work many more hours, and change jobs and city of residence far more frequently. Most people have no opportunity to meet potential mates in a gradual, relaxed manner. The direct, intentional approach is necessary.

        *IF* you attend a very small church with a Christian school and go on to work at that same church or school, THEN it might be possible to make courtship work. But for the vast majority of American Christians, it’s completely infeasible.

        People who are force-fed the idea that courtship is Christian, and subsequently come up against a societal structure in which courtship is nigh impossible, often end up rejecting Christianity altogether. These ideas kill souls. We should stick to the Bible.

        1. Wow… A drop of common-sense in a cesspool of unchecked, impractical philosophies (Fundy courtship). Very good post.

  21. :sigh: If I hadn’t seen this exact thing play out after a few people came back from the “Holiness Conference” in Wisconsin, I’d laugh harder. (Though I did laugh a little.)

  22. suggestion if it hasn’t already been done. “God’s Plan For Your Life.”
    You know, that “Plan” always seems to look the same. There is a young person version, and an older adult version. A boy version and a girl version. 4 versions in all.

  23. Legend has it that at BJU, there was a guy who would walk around on campus askiing random girls to marry him. He had been told by the Lord that the one who accepted his proposal would be the one he was supposed to marry. Yes, he did eventually find “the one.” No word on how it worked out in the long run. Oh, and it wasn’t a rumor–a relative of mine knew him personally.

  24. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜ณ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ โ“ ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ‘ฟ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜Ž ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜ก ๐Ÿ˜ˆ ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ’ก โžก ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ฅ :mrgreen: ๐Ÿ˜€

    Fundyness, in emoticons.

  25. “He smiled and said that would be his goal for me,”

    Love.. it.

    CMG, when you sit with him and notice how strong his arms are, how tall he is, how good he smells, and how cute his tousch is… don’t worry, honey, you’re not a bad Christian… you’re normal. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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