More on seeking a marriage partner…

I wrote the other day something about the characteristics of someone a Christian should marry. I thought I would continue that theme today.

As far as I am concerned, the ONLY valid reason to date is to determine who we want to marry. If we are not looking to get married, then I dont think we should date. I say this because dating can put us in potentially compromising situations if we are not careful, putting us in danger of facing temptations we need to avoid. Once we have determined a person is not the one for us, then we should stop dating that person.

As I said in an earlier post, a Christian should only consider other Christians as potential marriage partners. I would take it even further and say that we should consider other Christians who hold similar thoughts on God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, salvation, personal holiness, finances, materialism, marriage, and children. I am not saying we have to be copies of each other, but those are the areas we will most likely argue the most about. Scripture says we are to be yoked to like-minded people.

I try to look at what Scripture says to see if a woman lines up with what God has said a wife should be.

Paul told Titus in Titus 2:3-5,

3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

If that’s what older women are to be taught to be and do, then I’d imagine that what younger women should be and do as well.

Granted, women who have never been married will not have love for their husband. But if she has children, then she should love them. Since she is not married, is she subject to her father (short of sinning of course), or at least respectful if he is still living but not a large part of her life?

Certainly she should not be a liar (slanderer), nor should she be an addict. Scripture states she should not be addicted to much wine (a drunk). But the principle is stated later – she should be self-controlled. She should not be an addict – to shopping, to gambling, to alcohol, to drugs, etc…

To be self-controlled and pure, busy doing things she should be doing instead of being a busybody. That is to say, she should be someone who controls her mind, her temper, her body (including her mouth). She should not fly into rages. She should  not be affected by drugs or alcohol. Nor should she speak poorly of others. Basically, she should know God and Scripture well enough to allow God to change and mold her character so she willingly does what she SHOULD do and not do what she should NOT do.

Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:1-6,

1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Peter is saying a wife is to submit herself to her husband as well. Argue with that all you want, but God has said it in a number of places: a wife is to submit to her husband. If the woman has a hard time being subject to someone at work or to her father and mother when she was growing up, she will likely have a hard time being subject to her husband when she marries. Do you want to be married to someone with whom you have to argue with all the time or compete with to determine who has the final say? I dont. I’d rather find someone who fits the biblical model we are given.

Interestingly, Peter also said that a woman’s beauty doesnt come from clothes or hair styles or anything outward (like makeup). No, a woman’s beauty is her character – her “inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” Is she gentle, or a firestorm? Does she listen or does she jump to conclusions about what you mean before you even finish a sentence? Is she one to garner attention for herself? Personally, I would prefer someone who puts the attention on God.

Scripture also tells us a contentious, quarrelsome, wife is to be avoided. Not just once, but many times. So it must be important. If a woman likes to argue before you get married, do you imagine she will argue more or less once you marry?

Proverbs 19:13

13 A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof.

Proverbs 21:9

9 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs 21:19

19 Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.

Proverbs 25:24

24 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs 27:15

15 A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm

A woman should not walk in the ways of sinners – that is to say, she should not allow someone to cause her to sin or to lead her into sin.

Psalms 1:1

1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,

In fact, Paul says that no only should a woman not walk in the ways of sinners, but she should have nothing to do with sin and should expose them.

Ephesians 5:11

11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them

She should seek to encourage, edify, and exhort others to do the right things.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Hebrews 3:13

13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Colossians 3:16

16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Hebrews 10:24

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,

Now, many will have come to realize that most of the verses I have used have little or nothing to do with marriage directly. In fact, most of them are given in other contexts – such as personal character, or the church. But my point is that we are given clear scripture for what a woman (or man, as most of these apply directly to men as well) of God should look like. That is the type of person we are to seek for marriage.

Our hearts and thoughts should be filled with and focused upon God. As we seek God and God’s kingdom and righteousness, we will grow in spiritual maturity – in knowledge and obedience to God. As we grow in Christ, we will find people who are like minded. No one is perfect. But the person you seek for marriage should be trying to allow God to transform them to become who God wants them to be and should be growing more and more Christ-like.

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