Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 17, 2008
Sask. woman’s novel ministry promotes purity
Her stories show difference between courting, dating
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
“It’s a fabulous thing to see young people embracing the message of not dating as the world dates.”
"It's a fabulous thing to see young people embracing the message of not dating as the world dates," she said.
"Now we're sitting in a culture that has no limitations and our young people are hungry for truth," she said. "They've seen the pain and devastation of parents' marriages that ended in divorce, single parenting, the hardship. They want something better and different."
Marcoux, often with her 17-year-old daughter at her side, urges young people to get out of the dating game until they are ready for marriage.
"Because dating is such a casual, recreational thing, people get hooked into these long-term relationships and they don't know how to get out of them," she said.
"Even those committed to chastity become emotionally entangled and are not free to enjoy the gifts of their singleness," she said. Instead young people should be developing their talents, and experiencing life through travel and a variety of friendships.
Marcoux recognizes there is an immense social pressure to date, as if "you are a nobody until you have a somebody."
Most young people who date "have a real dependency on that for their identity," she said, noting it reflects "personal insecurity."
Those insecurities need to be addressed so they "are free to step out of the dating culture."
"Those who do just shine, they stand out among their peers," she said. "You can see a difference. They have chosen to dedicate themselves, to be open to God's will for their lives, to invest in their relationship with Jesus."
Marcoux encourages young people to embrace what God is calling them to in their lives and not to be afraid of exploring whether he is calling them to the priesthood, religious consecrated life, or the single life instead of marriage.
"Whatever God's calling is on your life is where you will be happiest," she said.
When a young person decides he or she is ready for marriage, then Marcoux advises courtship, not dating.
As a discernment process, courtship will either result in an engagement for marriage, or break off "with an appropriate level of friendship" that Marcoux said can avoid the usual disappointment and sense of rejection involved in a conventional dating breakup.
She believes those engaged in courtship, with honest effort, will know "within a very short time" if God is calling them to marriage.
With dating, no matter how "sanitized" by boundaries around sexual activity, people can become emotionally entangled with people they knew from the outset would never make good marriage partners.
Marcoux published a sequel called Surrender last spring. It too is doing well. Surrender picks up on the lives of secondary characters and their "process of vocational discernment" Marcoux said.
"Fiction is a powerful medium," she said. "It communicates a message because you identify with the characters. They get into your heart."
The Marcoux family as a whole embraces the ministry. They are in the process of selling their home in Saskatoon to move to a small town, and downsizing their lifestyle and expenses so they can realize what they see as "a calling on our life" to promote chastity and purity.
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