The Rapidian

Local film to feature courtship, finding Mr. Right

A New York Emmy Award winning Documentary filmmaker is following a local woman's experiences with Christian Courtship
Underwriting support from:
Kelly Boggus, and possible match with Mr. Wright

Kelly Boggus, and possible match with Mr. Wright /Amy Kohn

Kelly Boggus

Kelly Boggus /Amy Kohn

Amy Kohn, New York Emmy Award winning documentary film maker, is producing a documentary about Kelly Boggus, a local woman who lives in Allendale and works in Grand Rapids. Boggus is choosing "Christian Courtship" over conventional dating.

"I was looking into doing something about arranged marriages in the U.S when I stumbled upon Before the Kiss," Kohn says.

The website, created by Allendale residents Ron and Dawn Wright, provides resources and support for those interested in Christian courtship. Kohn decided to contact the Wrights. Through them, Kohn met Boggus, and began filming. 

"As silly as it sounds, I really did believe that one day a handsome man would smile at me, do some helpful gesture for me, and then busy himself to make all my dreams come true," says Boggus, reflecting on her pre-courtship decision.

"There were many books" Boggus says, along with "many broken relationships" that ultimately lead her to decide on courtship. After her parents expressed that they did not necessarily approve of her decision, Boggus sought out the Wrights. They agreed to act as her spiritual parents and guide her with the process of courtship.

"Different families choose different levels of involvement in the broad umbrella of courtship," Boggus says about Christian courtship, "[but] I believe the basics are the same."

Kohn's film follows the process Boggus chose to find her spouse. The process means that Boggus lives with the Wrights and waits for possible suitors. The suitors are not necessarily sought out, but either suggested by acquaintances or men that Ron Wright has met. Wright then approves the suitors before introducing them to Boggus. The suitors visit and interact with the entire family. Boggus then, in addition with her spiritual family, decides whether or not the suitor is right for her. The couple is not allowed to be alone until they are ready to meet at the altar.

One man, Boggus says, asked "Hey, you're into courtship? So am I. Wanna go out for coffee?" The suitor would not agree to meet with Ron Wright, and was taken out of the running.

"We [the family] always have fun," Boggus says about her experience with the bachelors, "It's always fun to see how they interact with our family's joking."

"Six pounds of barbeque was barely enough for us and two male guests one time," Boggus says. "We wondered if they would ever stop piling their plates with meat. We asked if they would come back for another visit and one said, 'Will you feed us again?'"

Another suitor reminded Boggus and the Wrights of Peter Pan.

"He immediately struck a hands-on-the-hips-feet-spread pose and all but changed his outfit green right there." Boggus says. 

But not all of Boggus' experiences have been fun.

"After the consideration period of a year or so with a certain young man, he let it be known to Ron that he was ending it," she says. "I really wasn't heartbroken. Disappointed, yes." Nevertheless, Boggus thought the experience with the suitor was rewarding to her growth in the courtship process. She recognizes him now as a friend.

 "I felt it was the way it should be,"she says about the relationship.

"The most difficult part was the three years of tearing [that] the Lord did in my heart to root out those habits of seeking constant attention from young men," Boggus says about her hardships.

"I also had to learn to stop giving out my phone number to young men I just met," she says.

While Kohn filmed these interactions between the suitors and Boggus she also learned a few things about courtship.

"I come from a more secular background," Kohn says, "Their lifestyle is very different from my own." Despite her unfamiliarity with courtship, Kohn says she was able to relate with Kelly's dating struggles.

"It's about the difficulty of vulnerability," she says. 

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