The Bates Family

More than Friends!

by Kelly on January 7, 2013

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As we have gotten to know the Pai2012110495232708(0)ne family over the last two years, their friendship has IMG_9264meant quite a  bit more to one particular member of our family!

   We’ve watched Chad and Erin’s affections begin to blossom for each other as they have sought God’s will for their lives. We couldn’t be more excited about their recent choice to begin a more serious relationship. (Courtship update to follow!)

  

Chad sought to earn Erin’s favor and to earn our respect… and that he has done!! ThroIMG_8360ugh his love for the Lord, his humility, his thoughtfulness, his diligence, his perseverance, his love for his family, and his wise goals, he has shown himself a man of great character.

   We look forward to watching God work in their lives and through their relationship.   

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{ 132 comments… read them below or add one }

Chad January 8, 2013 at 1:41 am

Love y’all! … I love you Erin!
<3<3
~ Chad =')

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Shannon January 8, 2013 at 2:38 am

I’m so happy for Erin! Can’t wait to see what God has in store for this couple.

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Doris January 8, 2013 at 2:55 am

They are a beautiful couple together. I love all the pictures. May God richly bless them as they both seek his will in their lifes.

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Arielle January 8, 2013 at 3:16 am

I am so happy for you two! My husband and I really enjoyed the wholesome family programming you brought to TV. We think of your family as a role model for our future one. God Bless, we will pray for your courtship!
-Arielle (& Kyle) from Boston, Massachusetts.

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JenniferL January 8, 2013 at 3:24 am

What a cute couple! Congratulations!!! :)

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Tori January 8, 2013 at 3:27 am

Aww, you guys are cute together and look like you actually have fun just being near each other and great chemistry in the pics. The Lord putting y’all in each others lives looks to be true and a blessing for sure! I hope you can continue in your journey with God and getting to know each other on a deeper level though you definitely have a great start! God bless!

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Erin May 7, 2013 at 12:11 am

That is cute for sure. And God Bless you too!

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Rachael January 8, 2013 at 3:30 am

Congratulations on your courtship. God bless.

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Christina Engleman January 8, 2013 at 3:41 am

Hello Bates Family,
What joyful news! Many blessings to Erin and Chad as they began this new chapter!May the Lord continue to bless your entire family throughout the year!

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Mary January 8, 2013 at 4:13 am

They look so cute together!

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Angie D January 8, 2013 at 4:18 am

Lovely!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

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Tina January 8, 2013 at 4:28 am

What a precious couple! Love the pix; they say it all. I look forward to watching this courtship grow. In Christ, Tina

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Landon January 8, 2013 at 4:52 am

Praise the Lord!
All things happen in the Lord’s time. Way to go Chad!!!!!!!!!
I’ll be praying for both of y’all.
God bless you!
Rejoicing L9

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Robert Staddon January 8, 2013 at 5:16 am

Congratulations!!!

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Kendalyn January 8, 2013 at 5:16 am

How wonderful! God is so good and it is so encouraging to see couples willing to wait and do it His way and in His time. It is truly worth waiting for! Praying for you both!

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Rena Burris January 8, 2013 at 5:19 am

Congratulations Chad and Erin! The Burris family is so happy for both of you. We are so happy that there are young couples out there seeking God’s will for their future. Blessings

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Molly January 8, 2013 at 5:38 am

I see from this picture that they don’t have the extra, er, distance between them that Zach and Sarah chose to keep – does this mean that each of yours are encouraged to make their own decision in terms of contact between them and the person that they’re courting?

Good luck to them!

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Kelly January 8, 2013 at 6:31 am

Molly,
They’ve chosen to not hold hands at this point, but yes, we think they should pray about their goals and commitments. They both love the Lord and we trust they will make wise choices! They both want purity before maarriage, but we’re glad there’s a little spark of romance in their eyes, as well!Love, Kelly

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Molly January 9, 2013 at 2:22 am

He seems like a nice young man from his website! I wish them well :)

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Ness January 8, 2013 at 7:22 am

Erin is quite easily one of the most beautiful girls I have EVER seen – & I live on the other side of the world! Even in photos, you can see Christ just shining out of her! Such an awesome testimony to God & how it is through HIM that we will find true happiness & contentment! :) .

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Kate January 8, 2013 at 10:00 am

Aww I’m so happy for them!! Congratulations :D

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Maja January 8, 2013 at 11:36 am

It’s an awesome news!! Congratulations to all of you!! :)

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Brenda H. January 8, 2013 at 11:46 am

What joyful news to begin the new year!! Will keep both Erin & Chad in my prayers- God Bless them both!

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Lisa E. January 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Both of these young people are very sweet. They both seem to have a heart for the Lord and I am happy for them. I look forward to seeing what God does in and through them. Congratulations guys!

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Lisa January 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm

When they came to visit you on one of your episodes my kids and I knew this day was coming! We all said “Those two are gonna be courtin’ soon.” So happy for your family!!

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Candace Calentine January 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm

God does not always give us what we ask for in the time frame that we ask; however, he ALWAYS delivers the BEST!!!

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Rebekah Tower January 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Hi Bates family!! I almost cried when I heard the news!! How special! It gives me encouragement and I am so happy for them! God is so good! Congratulations!

Rebekah
East Brookfield, MA

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Jennifer January 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Congratulations Erin! Blessings upon you, Jennifer

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Sanna-Kaisa Laarimo January 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I wanted to share this beautiful song with you =) Congratulations to the young couple!

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Meghan January 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm

How sweet are they!?!?!
Yes, yes, I love the “spark of romance in their eyes” as you stated, Kelly. My children are all still younger (oldest is 11), and it is great for young(ish) moms like myself to see this.
Many prayers for the happy couple and the happy families.

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Kari January 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Congratulations! What happy news! I’ve been inspired by your family for a long time and this is such happy news. They both look all lit up! Praying for them and so excited for this new chapter for beautiful Erin! Miss seeing you all on tv so much! Thanks for still sharing updates! It’s always great to hear from your family!

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Kristi January 8, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I so happy for them! May God bless them!!!! So exciting!!!!

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Heather Ferguson January 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I am so happy for Erin, i wish them all the best as God leads them to this best journey, I was just thinking about Zack to did He and the girl he was Courting ever get merried yet? Congrat Erin and may God bless you in this new chapter of your life

Love

Heather

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Molly January 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Congratulations! Those are great pictures!

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Emily January 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm

What an amazing couple! Praying for the Lord to bless them as they grow closer together and closer to Him!

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Sue from Lititz, Pa January 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Doing things in God’s plan always works for the best. Congratulations to Chad and Erin and may you continue to seek and follow His plan for you. May Gods’ blessings rain down upon you and may your lives touch many others bringing His message forward. Always keep smiling. It’s part of your ministry.

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Olya January 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Thank you for the pictures and the update. My family looks up to your family :)

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Pam A. January 8, 2013 at 3:37 pm

What happy news! Erin and Chad look just right for each other! You can see the love in their eyes for one another. God knows what he is doing!

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Beanie January 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Wow!

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Dottie January 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Congratulations! They are a very handsome couple. Are they allowed to spend time alone together in conversation? How about private telephone conversations? I’ve always been confused about how courtship allows couples to really get to know each other if there is no opportunity for private conversations.

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Kelly January 8, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Dottie,
I guess every family is different about the ideas they have on courtship. There are so many books and speakers on the subject now. It has become a hot topic around many conservative families. There are a lot of ideas we don’t necessarily agree with, which is why we struggle with what to call it… courtship, pre-engagement, or dating with a purpose. The thing we do agree with is a desire to maintain purity until marriage. We agree with having a desire to discern God’s will for marriage, rather than just dating around with multiple companions, for many years.
There are also many things we disagree with. We don’t think there is a mold that everyone has to fit in (i.e. do it this way, in this amount of time). Although no one wants a long drawn out 7 – 14 year relationship like Jacob had, it doesn’t make sense to tell couples they should have to rush and get married in 3 months either. The couple misses so much that way. They miss learning to romance each other; they miss learning self-control; they miss a very fun and important part of their relationship. Every couple is different; their circumstances are different; their geographical distance is different; so there should not be just one mold. We also don’t agree with some avid courtship speakers who maintain that the couple shouldn’t say, “I love you” until whatever time they think is appropriate. We think the couple should certainly be serious before that stage, because it’s easy to have shallow conversations filled with emotional “I love you’s” and “I miss you’s”, to the neglect of deeper conversations to get to know more about each other. However, we expect any boy who is serious about pursuing our daughter to have feelings for her! Imagine courting someone with no love! We’ve heard people preach that is a good thing, but I think a relationship with spark is a much healthier relationship!
We think if a couple is old enough to think about getting married, they’re plenty old enough to learn to talk to God and each other, and make some decisions for themselves. We’re glad that our children respect us and ask our counsel about things, but I think far too often parents have a very difficult time “letting go.” An adult child entering a serious relationship better be able to also make decisions!! So yes, Chad and Erin are allowed to talk on the phone alone. They have chosen to have chaperones when in each others presence, because they like the accountability. Having chaperones doesn’t mean they aren’t given some space or that they have to have all their conversations monitored (i.e. they asked us and some siblings to accompany them on a date, but we all sat at a different table so they could be alone).
Before courtship, we chose to allow them to communicate through something we called accountability texting. They texted to a sibling’s phone who forwarded their messages. This may seem like an unnecessaary process, but it served two purposes for us: 1. It allowed them to guard their conversations before they were certain that they were ready to become more serious about their relationship. This meant they focused their talk on really getting to know each other, rather than just repeating a lot of emotionally charged words before they were ready for that phase. (Many couples can say “I love you,” but they never learned to show it, and they never took time to ask questions to find what makes their companion feel loved). 2. It made the whole family become close friends with Chad. Chad even gave the siblings “Thank you” gifts for all the forwarding they had done for him before courtship. This was one of the best and sweetest things we did!
Before courtship, when it was obvious they were growing more fond of each other, we felt like they needed some alone conversations to share personal things to learn about each other’s pasts, goals, etc… so we had what we called “Open-talk Saturdays.” They talked on the phone direct on Saturdays for a half hour in the morning and evening (of course they could ask for extensions whenever they needed to). After courtship, they began to text direct and talk on the phone each morning and night.
Does this mean courtships can’t end? Obviously not…two people plus their families are involved when dealing with relationships. Any one of those people might decide that they don’t think the relationship should continue. I think that’s why many parents don’t want the couple to express their feelings for each other. But we’ve learned sometimes the greatest lessons of life are painful, but God has a purpose in everything. We learned this through Zach’s courtship, and I think we’re all closer as a result. Because of that, we decided that we still wanted to post about this stage of Erin’s life. Exciting information is fun to share, and it is a phase of their life that they desire to have prayer for. As a family, we’ve had mountain top experiences and valleys! We share them both… so our friends rejoice with us through the good and encourage us through the trials.
Chad and Erin’s goal is that this relationship would glorify God to the fullest degree. They covet the prayers of others. They have made certain commitments because they want to be good role models for their younger siblings. They have a genuine and refreshing Christ-like love for one another, because their goal is to help each other become closer to Christ as they become closer to one another. So if for some unthinkable reason they decided to end their courtship, their goal would’ve been to have helped one another spiritually…which means they both are benefactors, no matter what their future holds. They’ve already challenged and encouraged one another spiritually in such a way that we can all say, “We’ve been so blessed!” Love, Kelly

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Rena Burris January 8, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Kelly, That was one of the best and most beautiful descriptions of courting I have ever heard. I am going to read this to my husband! We are going in the direction of courtship instead of traditional dating for our young daughters and your family’s example is much help to those of us who are going in the same direction, but are not as far into the journey yet. Blessings

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Beanie January 9, 2013 at 12:26 am

That was a long speech, Mrs. Kelly! :) I agree with a lot of it. My three older sisters all went through 10+ months of hands-off courtship, (three feet apart from each other), and one even went 2 years because of complications. All are very happy, and the rest of the family likes the guys; I have a lowboy driver, a missionary to Alaska, and an a/c technician for brother-in-laws! :) Hope Chad and Erin have a great courtship!

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Alexis January 10, 2013 at 6:44 am

Thank you for such a sweet and thorough explanation.

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Erin May 7, 2013 at 12:13 am

You did very good on that Kelly. God Bless you!

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Just Sayin January 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Totally called it. Totally knew it by the comments Chad chose to post on your page. Congrats you guys

Ginger

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Christy January 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm

What a wonderful couple!! Best wishes to you both!!

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Jackie January 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm

This is such wonderful news to hear for a beautiful and talented woman like yourself Erin! Proverbs 31:10-31

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Nohely January 8, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Congrats!!! Good news. God Bless :)

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Kaitlin from Maine! January 8, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Congratulations to them! After watching your show on TLC I was waiting for a courtship announcement! (I wish you would have more episodes airing…) I have loved following your family, you are such an encouragement to me as I am a young mother. Chad and Erin are an adorable couple!

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Kristina January 9, 2013 at 12:16 am

Kelly,

Hi, I was wondering when you will be on TV again, I loved watching you guys and was just wondering. Thank you and thanks for writing that encouraging reply, I just read it and found it truly inspiring. Thanks, have a great day!!

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Kelly January 9, 2013 at 4:12 am

Dear Kristina,
There are no plans in the making that we know of…lol!! We left it in God’s hands and asked Him to make it really clear if He wanted us to continue. The show did not get as high of ratings as they wanted, so they didn’t ask us to continue. That made our direction clear, and we were very grateful since we often struggle with discernment and decisiveness! Love, Kelly

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Smitty January 9, 2013 at 12:18 am

Congratulations! They are an attractive couple?

Will the happy couple leave near your home after the wedding? Where does Chad work?

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Kelly January 9, 2013 at 4:08 am

Smitty,
I’m not sure where they’ll choose to live, but I know God will give Chad direction. Chad does carpentry and is currently remodelling a house. Love, Kelly

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mjw January 10, 2013 at 1:52 am

I would have assumed they would need to live near his or her work.

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Kelly January 10, 2013 at 3:30 am

Dear mjw,
I’m sure that’ll be a large part of their decision, along with living near a good church! :) Love, Kelly

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Jessica January 9, 2013 at 12:48 am

Oh, beautiful people! Beautiful outwardly, and I can discern, inwardly too. Praise God for 2 young people seeking HIM!!!!

Your family encourages ours. It seems we know you, but we don’t! Ha!

May the Lord use this couple for His glory!

I have commented a few times. I love your family. You guys inspire us and if you ever visit Idaho, remember me!!! :)

Love,
Jessica

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Sarah Ellen January 9, 2013 at 12:51 am

This is very exciting news!
Kelly~Thank you for the explanation on “courtship”. I like how you explained it so plainly.

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Delilah January 9, 2013 at 1:29 am

So sweet. Congratulations:) I love reading updates on your beautiful family!!

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Patti January 9, 2013 at 2:41 am

Congratulations to Erin and Chad! What wonderful news to begin the new year with!

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Maggie January 9, 2013 at 2:46 am

HOW EXCITING!!!!!!!!!! I can see it now a beautiful spring country wedding. The reception hall covered in wild flowers and all the tables covered with beautiful quilts!!!! A ceremony centered on God and the love he has blessed Erin and Chad with!!! I’m so excited for your family!! Congratulations!!!! God Bless!!

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Maggie January 9, 2013 at 3:05 am

Okay!! :) I know I got a little carried away in my last comment. I couldn’t help myself :) I know this is a courtship. I pray that God directs their paths as they head down this road and that His will comes to pass. I still think quilts make beautiful tablecloths!!! :) God Bless!!

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Kelly January 9, 2013 at 4:06 am

Maggie,
It sounds like they better save your info. and contact you for ideas!!! You almost make me wanna marry my husband again…lol!!! That sounds sooo pretty! Love, Kelly

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Maggie January 10, 2013 at 4:44 am

I’m from West Virginia. I’ve seen my share of country weddings and “rebneck” weddings. All I’m gonna say is camouflage and blaze orange!!!LOL. I have plenty of ideas. I love when the bride and groom take Communion together after they are married. I’ve seen people do this in place of unity candles. Its beautiful. The congregation has prayer for the couple as they start out their journey together! I’m so excited for you all!! God Bless :)

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Lydia January 9, 2013 at 3:18 am

Congratulations! Your testimony is a blessing!

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Nicky January 9, 2013 at 4:16 am

Congratulations Erin and Chad.

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#1batesfan! January 9, 2013 at 5:39 am

O My Stars they are the cutest!!! That’s so exciting Erin has a boyfriend! I’m sure you all are very excited! In the long reply you had to someone (which I thought was very nice of you to take the time to do that), you mentioned about them texting and sending texts to the siblings. I was wondering, which children have phones, and is there a certain age they get one? Do they have to meet certain requirements? Pay for their own? And by the way, their pictures looked just wonderful! Did Alyssa take them? Thanks soooo much!!!!!!

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Kelly January 9, 2013 at 7:00 am

Dear #1fan,
If the children are driving or away from home, they have a phone. And the pics were by Carlin. Love, Kelly

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Jonathan Hartono January 9, 2013 at 5:57 am

Congratulations Chad & Erin! I’m sooooo happy for u both… It’s been a huge privilege to be able to know you both personally. You guys have been such a blessing and encouragement to me. Glad i could celebrate tonight (midnight 1/9/13) with some ice cream, random laughter, outstanding pictures by erin, and texts! Lol God Bless you too! Dont forget to invite me to your wedding!

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Juanita January 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Congrats! The pics are beautiful, and I’m happy for them. Though yeah, after Zach and Sarah’s break-up, I wouldn’t have blamed you for being cautious. I too join you in prayer that this relationship draws these two closer to Jesus and glorifies Him, and that they would know His guidance every step of the way. Thanks for sharing of what you continue to learn in the process, that we all can be inspired.

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JENNIFER FROM FRANCE January 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm

I’m so happy for Erin and chad and your family. Congratulations, God bless you!

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Melanie January 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Congratulations to the happy couple. May their lives continue to be blessed. The spark in Erins eye is very similiar to the spark in your eyes when you look at Gil.

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Angela January 9, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Congratulations to Erin and Chad!

Thank you for sharing your wisdom in relationship area in these posts…..

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fj January 9, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Praise the Lord… ” May He Bless this courtship ”
“May He Bless this future couple”with love hope and praise
“May He Bless the scripture to you both”reminder of His Love 4 u
“May He Bless you”by leading on the narrow path”His way
“May He Bless you “with many Blessings of happines

Love and Blessings
fj Coyle

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BRANDY STEVENS January 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm

yay erin!!!!!! what a gorgeous couple

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Julianne Alloggio January 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Congrats on this very sweet news! May God Bless the two of you!

XOXO
Jules

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kelly jo willey January 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm

this news is so exciting. erin is such a beautiful girl as all of your dauhters are. your family are such great role models. i was sorry to hear the show was not picked up, we will miss it. i loved the explanation of courtship. i strongly believe that is the best way to go. blessings to your family.

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mjw January 9, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Does Chad have a job or profession that will allow for him to support a wife and family in the near future?

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Kelly January 10, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Dear mjw,
Yes, Chad does construction work! Love, Kelly

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mjw January 11, 2013 at 12:23 am

Good to hear! I hope that it continues to go well for him.

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Donna January 9, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Kelly,

I am so excited for Chad & Erin. I know that this is a really exciting time for all of you. My daughter married almost 4 years ago and they are expecting their first child (my first grand which is a girl) in April. I wish them all the luck for a wonderful life together. Please pray for my youngest daughter who will be leaving Friday to go out of the country for school for 9 weeks. She will be returning 3 weeks before the baby gets here. We would love to go and see your family Friday night in NC but there is just no way with my husband and myself working until 5:00. Maybe next time or sometime when we are in Tennessee we may just run into you. Once again let me say Congratulations and good luck with all the planning. I did my daughters wedding and had the most special time with her while we did everything.

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Denise January 10, 2013 at 12:48 am

I am sooo excited to hear the great news of Chad and Erin. Thank you for explaining courtship to us all. I wish you all we still on TV, but maybe you will appear with the Duggars.. I only wish for the best for them, they are such a beautiful couple.. God Bless them both and you all..
Good thing the other girls play musical instruments, since Erin will be busy for the wedding:)

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Denise January 10, 2013 at 12:51 am

Forgot to ask, are the pictures taken near your house?? They have such lovely backgrounds.

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Kelly January 10, 2013 at 3:31 am

Dear Denise,
Some were taken here in East Tennessee, and some were at Papa Bill’s farm. Love, Kelly

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Grace M. January 10, 2013 at 2:19 am

Yay! Aww, I’m so happy for Erin and Chad. They are just precious. Erin is so beautiful and talented! Congratulations(:

Love,
Grace

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sunshine January 10, 2013 at 3:11 am

Praise God!!!! I am glad to hear such blessed news. Best wishes to tbe Bates and Paine family.

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Alexis January 10, 2013 at 6:28 am

Dear Mrs. Bates,

It has been a while since I posted on your site, although I do not miss anything you put on here. This is simply amazing news! Your faithfulness, love, spirit, giving, and true belief are blooming into the next generation. Chad is a lucky man to have caught Erin’s attention. I will be praying for Gods will in their lives.

On a personal note, I wanted to share with you that we are expecting our first baby. I finally found the one meant for me and we are thrilled to have a baby boy due in May. I would appreciate prayers for us as it has been a rather difficult road.

Love,
Alexis

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Alexis January 10, 2013 at 6:44 am

Sorry, forgot to ask if Erin has finished or is planning on finishing her degree in college before marriage?

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Kelly January 10, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Dear Alexis,
Yes, Erin has 2 semesters left. She hopes to graduate this summer :) Love, Kelly

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Bianca January 10, 2013 at 9:48 am

Congrats Chad and Erin!!!

Love from a fan in New Zealand :)

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Jaci January 10, 2013 at 2:57 pm

This is so sweet and such a beautiful example of child-rearing done right! I pray that as I raise my children up they have hearts like yours do!
So sad to hear the show didn’t get picked up again, my family and I LOVED watching it! It is one of the few shows my husband and I can watch with our children! Thank you for continuing to encourage people with your lives and your beliefs!

Praying God’s grace over you,

Jaci

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Ashton Nicole January 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Awwh! So happy for you Erin! I’ll be praying that it works out for you. :)

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Blair Krisman January 10, 2013 at 6:55 pm

What a blessing! Kelly, my husband and I are so excited to see your children growing in Christ and taking the courtship route in their lives. I just gave birth to our 4th child and 4th daughter on Christmas Eve and we are constantly talking about raising our children in a similar manner. Thank you for your example and we look forward to see where God takes each of your children. Our oldest daughter just turned 5 and we plan on applying for ATI when she is 7, so one day we may meet down the road. Your a blessing to our family to live a Christ like example for our young children. God Bless you and Gil and your children, and especially Erin and Chad on this new season in their life.

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Patsy Anne January 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Dear Kelly what wonderful news!!!! I was laughing thinking about your comment re Erins cooking skills ie her husband would have to eat out a lot, I hope her sisters are helping her to add cookery to her amazing repertoire. Best wishes to all from the UK

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mjw January 11, 2013 at 12:26 am

It seems your family will be visiting NC tomorrow. I hope you enjoy your trip to our beautiful state!

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Victoria January 11, 2013 at 2:44 am

Please keep us all updated. I find your family such a great inspiration. And I hope to one day find a love like what you Kelly and your husband have.

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Natasha January 11, 2013 at 5:22 am

Mrs. Bates,

Congratulations! I just wanted to let you know that your family is very encouraging to me as well as others! I feel very privileged to see the examples of how each member of your family is allowing the Lord to guide and direct their lives.

Looking forward to seeing how the Lord continues His work in your ministry and lives. I will also be praying for Erin and Chad!

In Christ,
Natasha

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Meredith January 11, 2013 at 5:49 am

I stumbled upon your website, and was intrigued. Although I do not believe in, nor find comfort in faith, it is nice to see people so guided by it. Good luck to your family!

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Jackson87 January 11, 2013 at 9:21 am

Praise be the Lord that we can totally see the difference in who is the man and who is the woman by who wears the pants and who wears the shirt. Otherwise, the Lord wouldn’t be able to tell the difference and neither could we (duh).

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Sunshine January 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Kelly,

I love your description on courtship. There is no pressure which can allow the relationship to grow natural. I pray the God continues to bless you and your family.

Sincerely,

Sunshine

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Erin Adams January 12, 2013 at 12:29 am

I am a 19 Kids & Counting and United Bates of America fan and just wanted to send my congratulations to Erin & Chad. I will be praying for them and for your beautiful family :)

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Marilyn January 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Dear Kelly,
Erin and Chad look lovely together and seem to really enjoy one another’s company. I am happy for them. Awww, young love…. Have fun getting to know one another and planning your future togehter, Erin and Chad!

Wishing all the Bateses a Happy and Healthy New Year!

~Marilyn

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Alisha Ann January 13, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Congratulations Erin!!! I’m so happy for you and your man =)

I strongly believe that courtship is the best way for two people to cultivate a God-filled, pure love relationship! I’ll be praying for God’s will for you two.

Serving HIM,
Alisha

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Vi January 14, 2013 at 4:51 am

What a blessing! Mama Kelly I love how you shared about your family’s way of “courting” or dating with a purpose, or whatever! It’s all about the heart, right? I am truly, truly blessed by your family every time I read or hear about you all. Erin, we are praying for God’s full blessings on you and Chad. You make a lovely couple.

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shelly January 14, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Please consider writing a courtship book Mrs.Bates~

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Kelvey January 16, 2013 at 12:56 am

Dear Bates Family,
This news is so wonderful!!!
I am also from East Tennessee and live about 45 minutes away from ya’ll.
Please let Erin and Chad know that I will pray that God will keep them pure and keep there focus on Him as they seek His will in this courtship!
Is it true that you all started a church? If so,where exactly is it and what time does the service start? I would love to visit sometime!
Love,
Kelvey

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Kelly January 18, 2013 at 12:10 am

Dear Kelvey,
The church info. is posted on the home page of our website, under “News.” We’d love to have you visit! Love, Kelly

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Kelvey January 18, 2013 at 3:56 am

Thank you Miss Kelly! :)

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Ellie January 16, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I’m very glad to see that they’re such a loving couple. So many of the courtships I see seem so forced and unnatural, almost as if they’re rushing into the decisions based purely on lust. But, these two seem so natural together. They appear to be completely at ease with one another and with their decision. Congratulations to them. I hope it works out for the best =)

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Jody January 19, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Praying the best for Erin & Chad.

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Tami January 20, 2013 at 12:47 am

Congratulation! You sure look lovely together :) Praying for God’s light to show the way!

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The Perez Family January 21, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Congratulations to Erin and Chad!!! We are sooo excited for y’all! :) Y’all are in our prayers :) May the Lord Bless y’all in a great way as you follow His will for your lives :)

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Jennifer January 22, 2013 at 5:09 am

Yes Mrs.Bates I agree with the previous comment, you should write a book about courtship. Have you ever considered writing any books about your family, or even a cookbook?

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Kelly January 22, 2013 at 5:21 am

Dear Jennifer,
Hmmm… I don’t forsee that happening… but I guess God could do a miracle! Love, Kelly

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Jennifer January 23, 2013 at 3:52 am

I understand but thanks for your reply. May the Lord continue to bless and use your family for His glory!

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Allison January 24, 2013 at 2:21 am

Kelly & Gil.., With Erin getting her degree and being so talented, will she be encouraged to work after marriage?

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Kelly January 24, 2013 at 4:43 am

Dear Allison,
I’m sure she will pray with Chad and discuss their goals, but I know she loves investing in the lives of others in the area of music. She currently teaches students two days a week. Love, Kelly

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leah Taconet January 28, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Erin,
I am sooooo excited for you! (and Chad) =)
My sister is engaged ( after going through the courtship process with a young man from church) and I can not wait until the Lord brings me a wonderful man to spend the rest of my life with. Praying for you, Leah

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Christy January 29, 2013 at 1:50 am

Knew it!!!!!! So excited!!!!!! Christy from
Florida :)

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Ruthie February 10, 2013 at 4:11 am

Smiling from ear to ear! So happy for you all, most of all Erin and Chad!

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Sherry Fisher March 1, 2013 at 12:46 am

Absolutely wonderful. Thank you for sharing this special time.
God Bless you both.

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Natalie L. March 14, 2013 at 4:02 am

Does Erin like hair bows? I make and sell them. She is welcome to e-mail-call-send a letter, if she wants to see one.:)

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Natalie L. March 20, 2013 at 4:21 am

I do sell them, but I would also LOVE to get to know her, or any of the others. I f I did write to your P.O. box, would you get it? Or does it go to a person who looks through it, and then gets to you a few months later? i know she wheres bows a lot, so I thought it would be fun for her to look. Please don’t feel like I am pushing you to buy or look.:-)

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Kelly March 25, 2013 at 7:39 am

Dear Natalie,
I’m sure she’d love to look at the bows you sell. The PO Box mail comes straight to us so I’ll give your letter to her. Love, Kelly

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Natalie L. March 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Thank you sooooooooooooo much! I can send her a letter with the info, but I might have to send a e-mail so I can show you the bows. Is that okay for one e-mail?

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sara karr March 18, 2013 at 4:56 pm

awe precious and you certainly do make a beutiful couple and it brings tears to my eyes as well to see the love you have for each other . Thinking and praying for you both and that God will continue lead you and Guide you and use you mightly for Him and praying your lives and your courtship will be such an example to others espically young people

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Erin May 6, 2013 at 10:33 pm

So Cute!

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Brandi F June 16, 2013 at 12:08 am

Congrats. They make a beautiful couple. I hope the lord leads them to their future.

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Stephanie June 23, 2013 at 3:27 am

Any updates on the beautiful couple???

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Kelly June 25, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Dear Stephanie,
Several have asked and they’ve had quite a few visits and tons of pics, so I’ll try to do a new post to update! Thanks, Kelly

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Nadia July 26, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Hi Kelly

I find your family to be such an encouragement in how you are so faithful to The Lord in all that you do. My family and I try to do the same but it is nice to know we are not alone in a society that places so much value on things, looks and money insteadbof The Lord. I was overjoyed to see Zach has been able to heal and begin a new courtship. I wish him and Whit all the best in discovering what He has planned for their futures. I was curious though as to what happened with Erin’s studies and her courtship with Chad. She is an extremely talented musician, I wish she could teach my kids to play the piano…too bad I live all the way in Canada! Anyways, may He continue to bless your lives and thank you for the blessing of encouragement.

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Kelly July 27, 2013 at 1:34 am

Dear Nadia,
Erin & Chad are doing great! I’m gonna do an update on them in a few days! She’s been taking online classes all summer. She has one semester left! Love, Kelly

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