Questions & Answers To Everyday Life
Things To Consider When Seeking To Get Married
Very few Christianís today consult the
Word of God regarding marriage. How do I know this?
I only need look at the divorce rate of Christianís to figure that out.
Of course, some divorces are unavoidable especially when adultery is
involved. Personally, I believe this (adultery) is the only
circumstance in which the Bible permits divorce, but as you know, there are far
more who split just because they canít get along. This is a
tragic yet effective tool Satan has used to destroy the family that too many
Christianís are all to quick to jump at. If you are
looking, about to get married or presently married, here are some critical
Biblical principles for keeping your marriage from ending up a failure.
Principle Number One: You
Donít Have To Get Married!
I realize that many of you reading this are saying, ďThatís not an option!Ē I have to warn you that thatís your first mistake. I know a lot of married couples that wish they would have heeded to this principle.
If at this time youíre not married, but
wish to be and thatís okay, there is a correct response to this situation.
First, you must come to the realization that no man or woman can complete
you and that only the Lord can do that. If you believe this
it will save you a lot of misery.
Principle Number Two: Ask The Lord For
When seeking to find a Godly mate, ask the Lord to bring men/women into your life that are right for you and can compliment your service to Him. In the process be patient, learn to be content and wait on the Lord. Here is a verse to live by in whatever situation you may be in. ďGodliness with contentment is great gain.Ē (I Timothy 6:6) This is a position the Lord seeks to finally get you to, but it usually takes a few whuppinsí along the way, especially if youíre as hardheaded as I am.
If you have confessed the above to the
Lord youíre now in a position for the Lord to bless you with the right mate
for your lifeÖif it is His will. When
I say Ďif it is His willí you must be willing to accept whatever the Lord
has planned for your life. Marriage may not be in His plan
Principle Number Three: Stay
Pure And In The Will Of The Lord
Itís very important that you be living in the will of the Lord in all areas of your life. I always tell people that the best way to know how to live for the Lord is to consult the Bible and ask the Lord through prayer if you are right with Him. If youíre sincere and will listen He will show you. Be prepared to make some changes and follow through.
Stay sexually pure and demand it from those
you may consider. The quickest way to get the curse of God on
your future marriage is to become sexually active outside of Godís bounds.
Certainly you can be forgiven, and by all means, if you have already been
sexually active outside of marriage seek immediate forgiveness, but there is
still Godís eternal law of sowing and reaping. Just like
the pull of gravity, whatever goes up must come down; sin also is under
immutable laws. Whatever you sow youíre going to reap at
some point in your life (Galatians 6:7). It might not be
today, tomorrow or even ten years from now, but some day your harvest will come
in. We only need look at the life of David to see how
terrible the price can be. I heard a wise man once say ďSin
will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay
and cost you more than you want to pay. Youíre not going to
out run your sins. Theyíll always come back to haunt you.
Itís critical that you just say no until you're married and flea from
those who would pressure you. If they are asking for you to have sex that
reveals a deep spiritual problem that has many roots you will not be able to
untangle (selfishness, mistrust, unfaithfulness, etc.).
Principle Number Four: Donít Settle For
Second, Third Or Fourth Best
Now letís get to the selection process. This is one of the most overlooked parts of a Christianís life. Every Christian has heard or read II Corinthians 6:14: ďBe ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?Ē This is probably the hallmark verse for all who are searching for a mate.
My father always told me if you look in the
sewer youíre always going to come out with garbage. MeaningÖwhen
trying to find a mate search in places that will yield the results that will
last a lifetime. That place is usually centered around a
Godly church, but be sure the Christianís you consider are at your same
spiritual level. Not everyone that says they're a Christian
is. Know the Bible and be a fruit inspector. Your
knowledge of the Word will expose a phony every time without exception. It will
also save you from making a terrible mistake.
Donít settle or compromise your values.
Too many have settled just because they were staring thirty in the face.
Donít let age dictate your life and scare you into making a terrible
choice. This is a very important life changing decision.
Set down and make a list of all the must
have qualities that a man or woman must possess before you will consider a
relationship with them. Remember, these are qualities in a
person you canít live without so put some real thought into it. For
example, I would say that he/she cannot squeeze the toothpaste in the middle of
the tube should not be on this list. Of course, if you really
canít live with this put it on the list.
If the person you are considering a
relationship with does not meet all your must have qualities move on to the next
person. I mean, if your list contains twenty qualities and
they possess nineteen of themÖwalk away! Any other response
would be settling for second best. And do it early in the
relationship (probably within the first few dates). This way
you save everyone involved a lot of pain including yourself. You
also avoid becoming attached to a person you know is not right for you.
Many a divorce started with a person they knew was not right for them but
they allowed themselves to get attached over time. Donít
let this happen to you.
Principle Number Five: Divorce
In todayís society, secular and Christian alike, there are a tremendous amount of divorcees. Many are Biblically divorced (adultery), but the vast majority are not (see Question# 55: When Should I Leave: Biblical Reasons For Divorce). When considering a relationship, be sure you find out early on if they are Biblically divorced. If not, you are wasting your time. Both Matthew 19:1-10 and I Corinthians 7:10 & 11 are clear that a person who is divorced may only remarry if they were a victim of adultery. The truth according to the Bible is that they are to remain single, but I would consult your local pastor if you consider their situation to be a special circumstance.
Usually, where there is a divorce there are
children. Anytime you enter a relationship where children are
involved know that it will be a difficult and challenging transition.
One things for sure, you will always be second place to their children,
but that can also turn into an exciting ministry for you as well. Make
sure you seek the Lord before you get to far into a relationship where children
are involved. One other thing, children usually bring with
them ex-husbands or ex-wives that will be in your life for the duration so
Principle Number Six: Selfishness The
Mother Of Divorce
Most statistics confirm that money is the number one cause of divorce in America. I have to disagree! I went back and checked the divorce rate during arguably the most financially challenging period in U.S. history The Great Depression (1930-40). What I found was in 1930 the U.S. divorce rate was 17.4% and by 1940 the U.S. divorce rate had dropped to 16.5%. Of course, today we know the divorce rate is over 50%. So whatís the difference? Certainly money was a major problem in that era, yet the divorce rate remained low and even declined.
As Christians, we could probably name a
number of factors that have led to todayís destruction of marriage and family,
but if I were to put my finger on one thing it would be selfishness.
The Bible warned against the ďme firstĒ attitude in marriage with a
command for both the husband and the wife: Take a look at
this passage of scripture found in the book of Ephesians.
Eph 5:17 Wherefore be ye
not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
If you just pick and choose verses in this
passage it might make you a little angry and cause you to slip back into the
ďme firstĒ attitude. But if you take it as a whole itís
the formula for a successful, romantic and happy marriage, and best of all, it
has all the ingredients for selflessness (putting your mate first).
Let me prove it by breaking this passage
down. It starts out (v. 17) by making it clear that the
following verses would describe what the will of God is. First,
we are to be filled with the Spirit (v. 18). Second, we are
to praise the Lord through psalms and hymns (v. 19) giving thanks to God always
(v. 20). Third, both husbands and wives are to submit to one
another in the fear of God (v. 21). Fourth, the man is to be
the head of the home as Christ is the head of the church (v. 23). Fifth,
the husband is commanded to love the wife as Christ loved the church and gave
His life for it (v. 25). Sixth, husbands donít get married
unless you can love your wife as much as your own self (v. 28-31). Seventh,
wives see that you reverence your husbands (v. 33).
I think we can agree that if both the
husband and the wife are committed to carrying out Ephesians 5:17-33 they will
have a marvelous and committed marriage for which the gates of hell will not
prevail against. ďBut what if my spouse will not carry out
his/her end of the bargain?Ē Donít worry about your
spouse carrying out their end, keep your focus on carrying out your end and pray
for them. God will deal with them in ways you canít.
Our problem is we want to play God in our spouseís life and that
usually ends up in a big blowout argument.
Principle Number Seven: Be
Committed To The End
I am amazed at the number of Christianís that believe that they can just walk away from their marriage and marry another. Many times itís just because they donít love them anymore or canít get along. Theyíve fallen out of love and have the nerve to claim they never loved them from the beginning although they have produced three or four children together. This is just flat selfishness. Should they stay together for the sake of the children? Yes, but thereís a much higher authority than the children you should be worried about. God has clearly written warnings in the Bible about divorcing your spouse. Take a look at Mark 10:6-9:
Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them
male and female.
Mar 10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
Mar 10:8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
Mar 10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
This isnít a suggestion itís a command
from the Lord Himself. Today, I think we spend more time
trying to get out of an uncomfortable situation than staying committed to what
God has given us. At one time you were very happy with the
situation, but the first sign of trouble, youíre ready to walk away.
Of course, if you are in a physically violent marriage or feel that you or your childrenís lives are in danger consult your local pastor and get his spiritual advice on what you should do. Each situation is different and sometimes you may have to leave before things turn dangerous. But too many today are inventing reasons that are not Biblical just to get out of their marriage. They seem to be socially acceptable to the world but God is completely against them.
It takes two to make a marriage work and sometimes even with your best effort as a Christian husband or wife things just donít workout. Maybe you married someone who didnít know the Lord or has fallen back in sin. Of course, that doesnít give you a license to divorce him/her but you are to pray for them. In fact, I Peter 3:1 exhorts a wife to stand by her husband if he is out of the will of God or not saved. Husbands should stay with their wives as well under these circumstances. Take a look at this verse:
"Likewise, ye wives, be in
subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may
without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.
Itís your duty to be a witness to
your spouse. The Lord knows that you maybe the mouthpiece that brings your
mate to Him. Too many times Christianís neglect to be a witness to
their spouses by their actions. Just think, you maybe their only chance.
I hope this has helped you in your future search or your present marriage.
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