Getting Your Family’s Permission to Start Courting

In my quest to expand my vision of what Godly-based courtship involves, especially as I guide my two eligible children through it, I was delighted to discover the latest Bates family adventure regarding it. The Gill and Kelly Bates family lives in Tennessee. Gill and Kelly have 19 children, four of whom have flown the nest and gotten married: Zach, Michaella, Erin, and Alyssa. Now Nathan has started courting. I love how he decided to announce to his whole family his desire to start courting Ashley, and asked for anybody’s objection before he proposed courtship to her.

It just warms my heart that a huge family of 19 kids can be so close that one of the kids decides to do that. I admire Gill and Kelly for creating such a close-knit family with their Bible-believing and homeschooling ways. I hope to create such a family where the children would actually listen to their parents or siblings if one of us had an objection to a potential courting partner or spouse.

Do you want more of the Bates? Here is a page that shows links to the full episodes of “Bringing Up Bates” on

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