So why am I telling you about them? Because I have been privileged to review one of the books offered by them, Of Knights and Fair Maidens. This book was written by Jeff & Danielle Myers, and was out-of-print for a time but has been re-published in a hardcover edition by Grace & Truth Books.
It's a book that does give "A Radical New Approach to a Very Old Way of Developing Relationships" (title page of book).
"How's that?", you ask. Well Jeff & Danielle Myers weren't always Mr. & Mrs. Myers, and before they said "I do", they chose to learn the "three keys to a successful courtship" (back cover). They wanted to have a relationship that was founded not on physical attractions, but on Godly principles. Their goal: "to figure out how Christians can develop relationships with members of the opposite sex in a way that glorifies God and reflects the character of Jesus Christ" (pg. 5). And they wrote Of Knights and Fair Maidens to help others discover the "keys to a successful courtship."
So before we delve completely into the book, I want to go over the definition of courtship according to Merriam-Webster online:
Courtship: "the act, process, or period of courting". Ok. So let's look up courting.
Courting: "to seek the affections of; especially : to seek to win a pledge of marriage". This was the best definition of those given. I was disappointed to read some of the definitions. They weren't very . . .nice. And the synonyms given really surprised me. It's no wonder today's teens think of courting as just another word for dating, going out or hooking up.
I like the explanation that Jeff & Danielle gave: "Courtship, to us, is a guy/girl relationship that leads to marriage. It focuses on three primary things: accountability to parents...building each other's character rather than focusing on physical attraction, and waiting to develop serious relationships until you are really ready to get married" (pg. 8). That's so well said. In today's society, the primary attributes sought by teens and adults in a partner are appearance, then money, then character (maybe). This leads to heartache, despair, abuse, and ultimately, the destruction of the family unit. If we would go back to the days of Knights and Maiden, not in armor and long gowns, but in attitude and tenderness, love would be so much more than it is today. It would be pure, unadulterated, and Godly.
My daughter loves old books and searches for them everywhere. We found one at an antique store that was published in 1902. It was entirely about the proper way to court. It talked about the different ways to hold a fan to convey what the lady is thinking, or how to tip your hat. And where and how to put postage on a letter to show interest, or disinterest. The ideas & etiquette that were characteristic of this era were fascinating. She found them inspiring and wished "that's the way it still was".
Jeff & Danielle's book Of Knights and Fair Maidens opens the possibilities and reality that it still can be that way. Courtship is not difficult, unless you see it that way. If you allow God to guide you through your relationship, it will come naturally, like taking a breath, or smiling when you hold a puppy.
My husband and I had a somewhat "fairy tale" beginning in our relationship. It was wonderful, and was so natural. Though there wasn't the exact courting that Jeff & Danielle talk about, God's hand was definitely involved in every step we took. They discuss getting to know the true character of each other. We were able to do this. We "met" through a letter. I sent a care package and card to soldiers in Somalia, and he happened to be one of them. I didn't know any of them, was just doing it because of a suggestion from a friend, just to be nice. The day I received his first letter, I knew. I didn't know who he was in person, but I knew that I was going to marry him. I told my sister-in-law that very day. We wrote back and forth for 3 months, as much as we could in the 90's since military mail overseas seemed to take forever. We talked twice while he was there. Once he arrived back in the states, we met on Jan. 8th, were engaged on the 13th, spent one more weekend together (in the company of his family), and were married on Feb 5th. We've been married for nearly 19 years! And though we didn't know Christ as our Savior (have a personal relationship with Him) at the time we were married, within months of our marriage we had both accepted Him. The Lord guided our steps toward each other and to Him. And though our courtship was short, writing the letters to each other and talking on the phone allowed us to see each other for who we were and not what we looked like or anything physical at all. It was wonderful. And that's what I want for my children. Of Knights and Fair Maidens brings the possibility of "true romance" even today.
So What Is The Book About? Jeff & Danielle interviewed married couples and learned certain principles that made a successful relationship. This was done prior to their own marriage. They used this wisdom in their relationship and then, wrote it down in this book. The book is written like an interview, and Jeff & Danielle are interviewed by a "mystery interviewer" that asks witty & thought provoking questions. The book is a fun and "heartwarming" tale of Jeff & Danielle's courtship that is filled with lessons of love, and "straighforward counsel" for those beginning their journey into the relationship created for them by God. It is for the old and young to enjoy, and a touching guide for all that desire more than just a date.
The book is broken into 3 sections, as follows:
So You Want to Go Back to Medieval Times?
Rethinking a Very Old, But Very Cook Idea
How We Met and Committed to Marriage Before We Fell in Love
Important Steps to Great Relationships
Breaking the "Lone Ranger" Habit
Waiting in the Wings
How to Fall in Love, Courtship Style
How to "Do" Courtship
Okay, Smart Guy!
Involving Others in Your Relationship
Just for Guys
Beyond Pizza and a Movie
Getting Ready, Part One
Getting Ready, Part Two
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Question Is
Happily Ever After
Of Knights and Fair Maidens is recommended for teens 14-19 but can be a valuable book for young adults or anyone seeking guidance on courting. It is available for $9.75 through Grace and Truth Books. I am certain you will appreciate this book as much as we have.
Grace and Truth Books offers many other wonderful books. Members of the SRC were able to review a few of them. By clicking the button below, you will be able to read more reviews on these great books.