Heavenly Father Knows Best.
C H U R C H R E F O R M S E R I E S
By Biblicism Institute
Marriage is so important that God uses it to describe His own love and affection for the world.
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” Revelation 19: 7
It is also the only institution God cares about.
“The only institution which God loves.” Malachi 2:11
Furthermore, God hates divorce: See Of Fornication, Divorce and Adultery
” ‘For I hate divorce,’ says the LORD.” Malachi 2:16
Therefore since marriage is so important, wouldn’t it make sense that God would establish a commandment and a blueprint on how to go about getting married?
“Find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters.” Jeremiah 29:6
Find wives for your sons… is God’s commandment. People in the modern Western world don’t like to hear that proposition, even though it is a system that used to be the norm once upon a time, and is still in vogue today in many other cultures.
But let’s believe God anyway and follow His trail or blueprint.
HOW GOD THE FATHER FOUND BRIDES FOR HIS 2 SONS
God the father had 2 sons: Adam (Luke 3:38) and Jesus. How did He get them wives?
He made one for Adam, someone who would be helpful to him.
“Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.'” Genesis 2:18
The Spiritual Bride of Christ is composed of all believers. And who gave those believers to Jesus? His Father.
“While I was with them, I kept them in your name, those you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” John 17:12
But how does Jesus get helped in such a situation?
“So that He might present the assembly to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5: 27
Therefore, as Christ’s betrothed, our selfless and spotless conduct here on earth helps glorify our spiritual husband.
HOW ABRAHAM THE FATHER OF FAITH FOUND A WIFE FOR HIS SON
“He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, ‘Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.’” Genesis 24: 2-4
This is quite interesting.
Abraham couldn’t go himself, given that he was well advanced in age and incapable of making the trip. Now the obvious question should be, why didn’t he send his son Isaac to get himself a wife? Why Eliezer, the senior servant? (Let’s keep in mind that in those days senior really meant senior and elder really meant elder.)
The answer is simple.
An older man is usually wiser and more temperate, whereas a younger man who is personally looking for a wife, more often than not, gets caught into various traps: the female’s outer beauty above all else, pernicious fathers-in-law, raging hormones, family quarrel, etc.
And the main reason younger men usually fall into those traps is because they’re not as wise and experienced as older men. Plus the fact that they are emotionally invested does not help matters – they can’t really think straight. Ask Jacob, Moses, David, or Solomon.
All these men found themselves entangled in major complications once they chose wives for themselves. Usually such ramifications have a way of destroying marriages, individuals, families, or a combination thereof.
Notice also how Eliezer had to go to a place where Abraham knew the people. You don’t just pick a stranger out of the blues to marry your son, especially one with ungodly customs. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Once there, Eliezer found Rebekah. Beside the obvious fact that she was not a Canaanite (i.e., she was not worshiping false gods, which all Canaanites did at the time), she had something only an older and wiser man would recognize.
Here’s what Eliezer prayed for.
“When I came to the spring today, I said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come. See, I am standing beside this spring. If a young woman comes out to draw water and I say to her, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your jar,’ and if she says to me, ‘Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too,’ let her be the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’ ” Genesis 24: 42-44
He didn’t pray for some magic trick or enchantment to materialize. He prayed for someone who’d be kind and helpful. He knew that to find Isaac a wife was to find him a helpmate.
Now contrast this with how swank Jacob got tangled up.
“While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherd. When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud.” Genesis 29: 9-11
Typical single man’s behavior, is it not? Spot a beautiful girl, get smitten, woe her by acting all chivalrous, kiss her, go home, and cry until your parents are forced to accept the one you chose.
But if an older man had gone instead of Jacob, he would have picked kind and helpful Leah, and not beautifully curvy and wily Rachel.
“Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.” Genesis 29:17
Leah was the one who was right for Jacob, but Jacob couldn’t see it. God chose Jacob and Leah’s offspring, Judah, to be the great-great-granddaddy of our Savior Jesus, who with his life showed us kindness and mercy. Rachel and her strange idols almost got herself and Jacob killed. God was the one who intervened by warning Laban the Aramean in a dream (Genesis 31:24).
“Jacob answered Laban, ‘I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force. But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it.’ Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.” Genesis 31:31-32
After the right girl is found, what then is the next step?
Her father must be in agreement because it takes a man to know another man. In this instance, Bethuel is Rebekah’s father. And the two most important things a girl’s father wants to know are 1) if the groom is a godly man, and 2) how his daughter and soon-to-be-born grandchildren will be taken care of.
Here’s how Eliezer in his wisdom framed the prospective groom before he was even asked. He wrapped him under the only covering that mattered: Isaac’s father and authority, Abraham, the guarantor of the proposal who could not be present.
“The Lord has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.” Genesis 24:35
“I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham...” Genesis 24: 48
Once these main concerns are alleviated, the girl’s father can either accept or reject the proposal.
“Laban and Bethuel answered, ‘This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.’” Genesis 24: 50-51
Now that the girl’s father is in agreement, the girl is asked for her consent.
“So they called Rebekah and asked her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ ‘I will go,’ she said.” Genesis 24: 58
Notice how Laban, Rebekah’s brother, was also involved in the decision-making process. A brother is next in line in case dad is deceased, incapacitated, or too old to see straight.
But also contrast how that same Laban later on would play Jacob like a fiddle, when his green-behind-the-ears nephew showed up on his own for his particular proposal regarding Rachel. Laban tricked him into marrying both his daughters, and in the process squeezed 14 years of free labor out of the poor sod. See Can a Man have Many Wives?
That’s what “love at first sight” and “raging hormones” get you – a lesson loaded with complications you never forget. Life is not a feel-good romantic movie. There are rules, young man.
THE PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE AND TODAY’S REALITY
Marriage is God and mankind (man and woman) working together to fill the earth with godly people.
“Did He not make them one… and why one? That He might seek a godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15
“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.'” Matthew 1:20
In the modern western world, marriage has been so romanticized that it has lost its primary purpose. In fact, it has become a maudlin project where one seeks to fall in love with a so-called soul mate. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as “the one”.
Marriage was always meant to be the union of man and woman for the purpose of procreation (i.e., marriage is about making babies). But for procreation to materialize many things must first align, including the right spouse and the appropriate financial conditions. Once these things are in place, marriage can happen with babies immediately following.
“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them…” Psalm 127:4,5
However, many married couples today wait years and years before they have children. It seems that as a society we have completely sidestepped the fact that woman was created to be a nurturer, and if that void is not filled she will fall into either depression or unhappiness, which could then lead to marital problems and subsequently to divorce.
“She shall be saved in childbearing.” 1 Timothy 2:15
It is estimated that over 50% of couples who get married end up divorcing, a sad indictment against the romantics.
If romantic love were a true marital anchor, then divorce would not occur. The premarital “love” that is often experienced is either an emotional attachment or an intense sexual attraction, and in many cases a deluded obsession. Such a “feeling” is not a prerequisite to get married. When the purpose of marriage is properly understood, those who decide to marry realize that their goal is to start a family that soon will involve children. As for the emotional attachment that is mistaken for love, it’ll surely grow over time. Love is neither a feeling nor a shallow emotional connection or attraction. To love is to do what is right even when it doesn’t feel good. See The Heart Adjustment.
Without a good financial foundation, the true purpose of marriage will fall into disarray. Even a cursory study would show that most marriages today cannot afford many children as once was the norm.
As a matter of fact, a great number of them cannot even afford two or three children. Others refuse to even consider the possibility of any child whatsoever.
Many women wait until their biological clocks almost run out before having children. A costly mistake that takes a toll on their bodies and often on the newborns themselves.
When Mary, the mother of Jesus, was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, she was about fifteen years old. And the man she ended up marrying, Joseph, was anywhere between forty and fifty. The reasoning in those days was that a woman in her teens was a fertile ground for children, while a man of Joseph’s age was mature and financially stable.
The next time a sixteen-year old boy comes to date your fifteen-year old daughter, just ask yourself (or them) these questions:
– What does he really want from my daughter?
– What does my daughter really want from him?
The answers to these questions will make you realize that neither can give the other what each truly wants. She desires marriage and children while he most likely wants to satisfy his urges, something he could forcibly or easily steal from her, which in turn would leave her miserable and wounded. At least, that’s what happens in the majority of these cases. After all, a sixteen-year old boy is not ready for marriage. He would say so himself. However, ask any fifteen-year old girl if she’s ready for marriage, and her honest answer would unequivocally be, “Yes”.
Marriage entails personal and financial sacrifices that many today – whether young or old – are neither willing nor are prepared to make. See The Family is God’s Plan.
THE BIBLICAL MARRIAGE BLUEPRINT IN A NUTSHELL
Or How To Find A Wife For Your Son
1. What only matters in the Groom.
That he is a reputable, godly, and hard-working man from a good family, with the means to provide for his household.
“But if someone doesn’t provide for their own family…They are worse than those who have no faith.” 1 Timothy 5:8
“Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:28
“Urge the young men to be sensible; in all things be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say.” Titus 2:6-8
2. What only matters in the Bride.
That she is a reputable, godly, and kind woman from a good family, with a sincere inclination to help her husband. See Of Nagging Women and Angry Men
“As the assembly submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:24
“Wives, respect and obey your husbands…” 1 Peter 3: 1
“Encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, homemakers, kind, obedient to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” Titus 2:4,5
“Your adornment must not be merely external– braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands.” 1 Peter 3: 3-5
Proverbs 31: 10-31
3. Fathers of the Groom and Bride are heavily involved.
The children’s participation are not necessarily excluded. Fathers are the ones who stand at the forefront in order to protect their children’s interests. They are their kids’ marital agents.
The last major duty of a father is to make sure that the children God entrusted him with are married to spouses God approves of. One of the ways children honor their parents is by allowing them to fulfill that duty, and in so doing recognizing their God-given authority and all the years of sacrifice they went through to get them to that point.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1
4. Paternal blessings on both sides are primordial.
They are the only blessings that matter. They are to be heartfelt, not coerced or manipulated.
“Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you.” Deuteronomy 5:16
The state has nothing to say. Religious “leaders” have nothing to say. These two entities have usurped some of the God-given parental authority concerning the marriage process.
In fact, the entire marriage “ceremony” is just rehearsed theater. Neither a government permission nor a “church service” and/or counseling is needed to create a biblical union, especially as there is no verse in the bible that bestows on a “preacher” or a judge the right to perform said ceremony. The head of every man – in this instance every father – is Christ alone and not a preacher/church nor any local/state/federal official.
“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” 1 Corinthians 11:3
Fathers are the ones whom God appointed as His representatives to oversee, authorize, and perform the entire process (with elder brothers next in line).
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts and done all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me.” Jeremiah 35:18,19
So go ahead fathers, YOU marry your children. Then throw a party if you wish.
“And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.” Genesis 29:22
5. The conjugal night.
The couple’s first sexual encounter, which leads to the woman’s hymen getting pierced, is the final act of the process and the true seal of the biblical marriage covenant. See Sex and the Christian.
Biblical Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman, who join as one for the purpose of making children, with God-assigned authorities, the parents on both sides, agreeing to the union of their children.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31
“And why one? That He might seek a godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15
For those who can’t have or don’t want children, God made the marriage covenant available as well whereby they can satiate their sexual desires, even though in their case staying single while exercising abstinence is the better option.
“It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman. But since sexual immorality is so rampant, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:1,2
Marriage is the only institution which God loves, and for which He established a certain process.
“The only institution which God loves.” Malachi 2:11
However, there will be those rare situations where such a systematic routine will be impossible to enforce in whole or in part. In those instances that deviate from established biblical norms, it’s up to every Christian to listen to the voice of His Lord. After all, each individual will give an account of himself to God.
“Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” Romans 14:12
That’s why the Holy Spirit has been given to us. He’s the Helper who guides each and everyone into all truths. Let Him help.
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears…” John 16:13
Note in the margin: In today’s world we think that either a marriage “license” or a legally-binding contract (prenup or otherwise) should not be discounted, given that either one can protect the parties involved. However, neither should be understood as a state-granted permission, but only as an agreed-upon article of fact that is registered through a third party for the protection of all. It may not necessarily be a biblical marriage mandate, but it may very well be inspired wisdom that falls under the purview of parental rights for the protection of their offspring. Your call.
Dating causes your emotions to get all wrapped up in a person who may not be right for you; and even when you know they’re not right, time and/or desperation often cause you to become addicted to them.
Worse still, many give away their sexuality, some their virginity, only to get nothing positive in return. After desires are satiated and contempt is brought on by familiarity, they break up. Then the painful withdrawal process tees off as tangled emotions ferociously and pitilessly unravel – a needless situation that could have easily been avoided.
In addition, people put their best faces forward when dating; so if marriage materializes you have to get to know them all over again, because it seems you don’t recognize them.
When looking for a spouse, keep these 3 succinct points in mind.
1. Don’t consider divorcés/divorcées (unless it’s a divorcé who divorced his wife because of her fornication). It’s not only a sin, but a commonsensical point as well (i.e., if he/she divorced once, he/she could divorce again). There are plenty of fish in the sea, so look for those with no baggage.
2. Guys, don’t get involved with women who have kids, they’re usually looking for a financial anchor. These women will always put their kids ahead of you, and you will never be their kids’ fathers. Besides, why do some other guy’s job for him? Again, there are plenty of fish in the sea, so ignore the Hollywood propaganda that depicts stepfathers trying to surpass their stepkids’ real fathers by proving how much better they can be to them. It’s all bull biscuit geared toward social reengineering.
And you ladies with kids, if you find yourselves separated from your kids’ fathers, do not bring other men into the picture, as they will likely butt heads with your sons, possibly eye your daughters, and even take you for a ride financially – once more, pay no heed to the Hollywood propaganda. However, single non-divorced women can consider widowers with kids, since women have a maternal instinct that can be transferred to kids not their own, as opposed to men trying to do the same as stepfathers. Fathers are a whole different ball of wax. The bible tells us so.
“The glory of children is their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6
3. There’s no such thing as “the one”. The purpose of marriage is to start a family that soon will involve children (i.e., marriage is about making babies). So the only query that matters is this: Is he/she father/mother material from a respectable family?
Then, instead of dating, follow God’s blueprint.
The Way Of Love (PG) is a great movie that delineates godly love and marriage. A courtesy of Cinetent International. Enjoy!