| ||Prince, Derek. God is a Match-Maker New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1986.|
God first appeared on the scene of human history in the role of a matchmaker.
Gen. 2:22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
In His public teaching ministry, Jesus consistently upheld the plan of marriage initiated at creation by the Father.
Genesis account reveals four vitally important truths about marriage:
1 - the concept of marriage originated entirely with God
2 - It was God who formed Eve for Adam. He alone knew the kind of mate Adam needed.
3- It was God who presented Eve to Adam. Adam did not have to go in search for her
4 - It was God who determined the way in which Adam and Eve were to relate to each other. The end purpose of their relationship was perfect unity:
Gen 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh
A successful marriage does not begin with the wedding ceremony. Its foundation is laid much earlier, first, in the careful preparation of character, and then in the matching of a man and woman whom God has appointed for one another.
Four Attitudes to cultivate
1 - Your attitude towards marriage
2 - Your attitude towards yourself
3 - Your attitude towards other people
4 - Your attitude towards your parents -
Marriage: reverence and humility
Every Christian who contemplates marriage should read and reread Ephesians 5:25-32
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church– 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church.
Yourself: you are a new creation!
II Cor. 5:17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Parents: a proper attitude toward parents is an essential requirement for God’s blessing on any person’s life
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise– 3“that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.
To pass from the single to the married state is one of the most important and challenging transitions that can take place in a person’s life.
To attempt such at transition without adequate preparation is like jumping into deep water without first learning to swim. The results are usually disastrous
The man’s role he must prepare for is head of the family - I Corinthians 11:3
3Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
Your success as head of your family will depend on your relationship to Jesus. Make Him the source of your words and actions. Rely on His strength and wisdom within you, not on your own. Let Him live out His life through you
Follow the pattern of Jesus, and aim for a marriage that will be like the one He is planning with His Church. Don’t settle for a drab marriage.
Your marriage will benefit greatly if you learn to give of yourself now in the relationships you have with those around you.
Challenged and inspired by Revelation 19:7...his bride has made herself ready.
The same qualities that make a woman pleasing to the Lord will make her pleasing to her mate
God describes woman as a.. “I will make a HELPER suitable for (man)” Gen. 2:18
Cultivate commitment and loyalty - to your job, family, etc
Observe wife’s behavior in exemplary marriages
Be willing to learn, serve, adjust to your husband’s priorities
Powlison, David and Yenchko, John. Pre-Engagement: Five Questions to Ask Yourselves New Jersey: P and R Publishing, 1987.
1. Are you both Christians
Marriage is a wonderful gift from God, but it cannot take God’s place. Do you think marriage will be your source of joy and happiness? People often come to marriage with such unrealistic expectations
Are you ready to give, cuz that is that is what it will take when the disappoints come to withold the vows…
“For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part”.
Has God given you the gift of singleness? Some of the most fruitful ministries in the contemporary church are based on the freedom that singleness gives.
2. Do you have a track record of solving problems biblically?
Problems will come, but if you learn to face them his way, he promises you will stand. Mt. 7:24-27 - built his house on rock
Do you do what the Bible says?
Do you manipulate?
Do you blame shift? Do you strive to forgive? Do you pray together?
Where do you need to change and grow to become a wiser person?
To enjoy the blessings in marriage, you need skills in solving problems and building honesty and trust.
Serious questions to ask before engagement:
Are there patterns of sin in your lives?
Are you tempting each other sexually?
Do you spend money impulsively?
Not speaking of perfection, then no one could ever get married, but moving in the right direction progress.
Why is a counselor concerned - because problem patterns don’t go away in marriage
3. Are you heading in the same direction in life?
“leaving and cleaving” - cleaving means you choose to move in the same direction of your spouse
leaving - Are you willing to break with your friends and your single life?
Cleaving - Basic lifestyle? Financial and material expectations? Level of church involvement? Theology? Views towards roles of men and woman? Children? Visiting parents?
4. What do those who know you well think of your relationship?
We often do not see ourselves as well as others see us.
Proverbs 12:15, “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice”
Don’t be too proud to ask for help
5. Do you want to marry this person? Are you willing to accept each other just as you are?
The bible tells us that the decision to marry is a choice we make. Getting married is your choice!
I Cor. 7:36..”He should do as he wants. He is not sinning” - God expects you to make the decision.
The time to decide whether or not you want to marry is before your engagement.
Honestly ask yourselves these questions first
Search your heart and pray to the Lord,
Cleanse your motives , and put Him first.
If you love Jesus Christ more than your wife or husband, you will learn how to love your spouse with something of his intensity and depth. (Jesus loves his bride with an intensity and depth that is unequaled
26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.
If you love and want your spouse more than anything, you will end up selfish, fearful, bitter or disillusioned. If you love Jesus more than anything else, you will really love and enjoy you spouse. You will be someone worth marring! And that after all, is the biggest question of all. Will you be a source of gladness to another? With Jesus’ help - YES!
Fryling, Robert and Alice. A Handbook for Engaged Couples Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1977.
No skill in marriage ism ore important to develop than the art of clear communication. Without it, love cannot be completely expressed, intimate knowledge cannot grow, problems cannot be solved,
With money make it a goal to fully enjoy whatever God has given you, and to ask him to help us be content with what we have.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
In regarding emotions, the goal is not to make your partner conform to your own emotional make-up/ The goal, rather, is to try to understand each other’s emotions, and then to help one another handle these feelings in godly, obedient ways.
A good guide in regards to the physical relationship during engagement is “The one with the more sensitive conscience should be the helper of the other one” or
“When in doubt, leave it out”
McRae, William J. Preparing for Your Marriage Michigan: Zondervan Corporation, 1980
Marriage represents the relationship between Christ and the church and this could never be represented by a marriage where one is a believer and the other is not.
Timeless Triangle - your marriage will only be as strong as the weakest of the three points
2 - cleaving
3 - one flesh
“The success of a marriage depends not only on having the right partner, but on being the right partner”. - Abe Lincoln
What the head is to the body, the husband is to the wife. What the body is without a head, a wife is without a true husband.
Headship implies three things: union, authority, and responsibility
As head, you will be in vital union with her
You will possess authority over her
You will be responsible to the Lord for the direction, welfare, and growth of your wife and family. You are responsible for its welfare: socially, spiritually, educationally, financially, physically, etc.
is volitional, not emotional,
Is an attitude, not a feeling
Is discerning, not sentimental
You are to love your wife as Christ loved the church, what a standard, for..
From heaven He came and sought her,
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died
I Peter 3:7
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
A Christian wife is far more than a wife who is a Christian.
Bachelor George Whitefield visited Jonathan Edwards, and left greatly impressed with Mrs. Edwards and wrote in his diary,
“She is a woman adorned with a meek and quiet spirit and talked so feelingly and so solidly of the things of God, and seemed to be such a helpmeet to her husband, that she caused me to renew those prayers which for some months I have put up to God, that He would send a daughter of Abraham to be my wife”.
The motivation for your submission. You are to submit to your husband, rendering it as a service to your Lord. Her obedience to her husband is part of her obedience to her Lord.
Do you plan to be a working wife, that is, working outside your home? In discussing the subject, in making a decision:
- Consider carefully your husband’s request - Ephesians 5:22-24
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
- Examine prayerfully your motives - II Corinthians 5:9
So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
- Remember constantly your priority - Titus 2:3-5
3Likewise, 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. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to 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.
Every marriage has its problems. They are inevitable.
Two newlyweds are like two planets that have been going around the sun at different speeds in different orbits. Now they are in the same orbit. Unless they adjust their rate of travel they will crash.
Adjust they must. But such adjustments are neither easy nor instantaneous.
The only approach to solving problems that works, according to Jay Adams, is to “go through it” - “it can be solved through Christ” - Boldly and confidently the couple must say, “this problem can be solved by the power of the Spirit of God and the application of the Word of God”
Truthful speaking involves speaking, saying it straight, avoiding exaggerations (be careful to not use words such as “never“, “always“ - sweeping generalizations are selfdom the truth, admitting a wrong,
Be quick to reconcile
In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold.
Set goals. Without goals you will be going nowhere in particular. With goals, every step in your married life takes on tremendous significance.
What are the biblical goals of marriage?
A functional goal is simply a step to be taken toward achieving a biblical goal.
For example: Biblical goal - to know Christ intimately (Ph. 3:10)
Functional goal - daily quiet time, meditation
Talk about the wedding night
Plan a spiritual project for your honeymoon
Wilson, P.B. Knight in Shining Armor: Discovering your Lifelong Love Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 1995.
For your Maker is your husband-
the LORD Almighty is his name-
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
he is called the God of all the earth.
Have you and the Lord been on your honeymoon? Have you spent as much time thinking about Him as you have thinking about “eligible” men?
Do you remember meeting someone new and being consumed with thoughts and daydreams about him? Need to enjoy that kind of relationship with the Lord.
The Lord wants to be our First Love. He can’t be our first love if we focus all our emotional energy on another human.
Money is a vital issue in life. Finances are one of the primary reasons for divorce, so getting your priorities established now will help you select a mate with compatible values.
One of the greatest lessons you can learn before you get married is that your future husband will never be your provider. God can use him as a provision, but the Lord alone is our Provider. As you learn to entrust your single life to God as your provider, that confidence in Him will carry on into marriage.
As single, use “counter cards” 3X5 cards to counteract any negative thinking
God will give us the desires of our hearts, but we are first required to delight ourselves in Him!
In looking for a man - does he make good decisions?
Unrealistic Expectations about marriage
A fairly typical response to the question, What do you expect from marriage?
“I expect my husband to be loving and understanding. I want him to encourage my talents. I want to have someone to talk to after a long day, someone who has a listening ear. And let’s not forget- he’s got to be sexy!”
Seldom have I heard…
“I expect to make my husband the object of my love and affection. I yearn to be there with a listening ear when he comes home from work. I want to serve him unselfishly, and I plan to surrender my body sexually even when, initially, I don’t have the desire.”
Strange as it sounds, the second set reflects God’s intentions for marriage.
A gentle and quiet spirit should be developing during your single life
List the way you would like your Knight in Shining Armor to perceive you. In what areas do you need to grow?
The only time you have a right to make changes you your “knight” is when your single, cuz when married, you lose that right to demand a change, under the submission to his leadership. Do you see the importance of identifying and addressing areas of growth prior to romance and commitment? Use the influence God has given you to challenge him to be a godly man. If he runs away, thank God that he left before you were married.
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