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Lindsay Philpott
Cosmin Ritivoiu
English 102
4 February 2015
Courtship and the First Commandment
Courtship is an important aspect of preparing for marriage. It is during this time that both
persons get to know each other in a deeper way. However, there is something important that each
should remember when in this stage. The Bible says, Thou shalt have no other gods before
me (Exodus 20:3). This commandment should be followed closely by each person, and it can be
applied in such a way that each should keep in mind that God is to be kept first in both their lives
and in their relationship together.
The first commandment Thou shalt have no other gods before me is a simple yet
profound commandment. It explains the duty of Gods people. In the Old Testament times, the
commandment meant more of the use of physical graven images made of stone, wood, and gold.
Yet, today it has a much deeper meaning. Ellen White puts the commandment in this light from
the book From Eternity Past, page 211, Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Whatever
we cherish that tends to lessen our love for God or to interfere with the service due Him, of that
do we make a god. The quote says that one can make a god of whatever they cherish that will
take away their love for God or their service to Him. This would include not only material things,
such as money,

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houses, or lands, but it can also be applied to spiritual things, such as friends, family, and
relationships.
Courtship is a time when it is especially crucial for one to keep their eyes focused
continually on Christ; He is our God, and in our lives He is to be supremely first. Jesus says,
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine;
no more can ye, except ye abide in me (John 15:4). One needs to be connected to Christ, even
as the branch is connected with the vine. If one is connected to Christ, they can receive life and
nourishment through His Word and what He teaches them regarding what His will is for their
lives, especially in regards to courtship.
Even before coming to the point of a special relationship, one should already have an
abiding relationship with Christ that is so strong, that not even the closest person to them can
break it. A relationship with Christ should be such as is described here in Steps to Christ page
100:
The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there
were not another soul upon the earth to share His watchcare [sic], nor another soul
for whom He gave His beloved Son.
Christ should be their everythingone should be completely satisfied, because He can fill their
every need.
And so, during courtship the couple should keep God ever before them in their personal
lives. They should not let each other get in the way of their relationship with Christ, as their
relationship with Him is of utmost importance. Ellen White talks about the first commandment
in another statement here:

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This command must be sacredly observed if we would fulfill the purpose of God
for us in our creation and redemption. We must rise heavenward, making God first
and last and best in everything. He is our sole, supreme, and everlasting good.
Before we are ready to enter his kingdom, self must be crucified. When self is
made first, God is put aside, and the sweet sense of his presence and love is lost.
(White Review)
When someone is in a relationship, they will especially want Gods presence with them. They
will want to clearly know His will in every step of the way. Therefore, making God first, last,
and best in everything is crucial, especially when someone is in this stage.
Not only does God want one to keep Him first in their work, in their finances, and in
their daily transactions of life, but He also wants them to keep Him first in their family, friends,
and relationships. Gods commandment Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Exodus
20:3) was given for a reason.
Keeping God first in ones life and in their relationship is important when considering
this commandment found in Exodus 20:3. Before one should ever consider courtship, they
should have a strong, abiding relationship with Christ. They should be complete and content
with Him. And when considering to take the next step of courtship, God should be kept first in
everything that they do. Ellen White says that God requires the whole heart, the supreme
affections (White Letters 39). Keeping God first in ones life especially during courtship is
truly important, and when they have Christ first in their lives, they can be satisfied that they are
right before God.

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Works Cited
The King James Study Bible: King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995. Print.
White, Ellen Gould Harmon. From Eternity past. Mountain View, CA: Pacific, 1983. Web. 4 Feb.
2015.
Letters to Young Lovers. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Pub. Association, 1983. Web. 4
Feb. 2015
Steps to Christ. Brookfield, IL: Pacific, 1918. Web. 4 Feb. 2015.
The Workers Needed, Review and Herald, 24 Nov. 1910. Web. 4 Feb. 2015.