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Marriage: Considering Marriage

Overview

Attraction, compatibility, rapport and some warnings.

 

  • Introduction: There are at least three stages in a man woman relationship.
    • Attraction
    • Compatibility
    • Rapport.
      • Spiritual living and spiritual growth are necessary at all stages. General rules of thumb are
        • Spiritual compatibility is necessary
          • both are believers
          • growing believers
          • doctrinal agreement
          • Christian service or serving the Lord agreement.
        • Life compatibility is very important: The more things in common with each other, especially within the spiritual life, the better opportunity for a good marriage.
        • Loneliness is not a reason to get married to a person who is less than God’s will for a person. Marriage was designed to solve the “aloneness” of Adam, but only through the right person. Helpmeet was the second reason, and for this to be good, both the man and the woman must be walking in the same direction and under God’s word, God’s Spirit, God’s will, and by faith.
        • The man must be the spiritual and human leader.
  • Attraction is the first stage. It is the reconnaissance or gathering information stage of the relationship. If it is recognized as such, then that is good.
    • It is also superficial and the emotion driven stage. A person is attracted to another of the opposite sex by various characteristics such as sex drive, physical looks, dress, personality, similar standards, similar interests, peer pressure, loneliness, wanting to leave home, close proximity.
    • Attraction is very subjective; the attraction stage overlooks flaws, weaknesses, and potential problems.
    • People who marry in the attraction stage have the most pressure and the most problems and the least chance to have a good marriage. Wisdom and virtue are ignored. Emotional revolt of the soul occurs with the result that those qualities that ought to sustain a marriage are overthrown by emotional reaction against thinking.
    • The only chance for a good marriage in the unbeliever is strong and rapid human growth and the application of strong values. The only hope for the believer to have a chance for a good marriage is gain rapid and strong spiritual growth and the application of Bible doctrine.
  • Compatibility is the second stage. It is stage where you recognize what you have in common and the degree to which you are similar, especially in spiritual interests, but also in other areas. It is the likeness, the sameness, the similarity of the two persons. This stage has moved past attraction into objective understanding and mutual appreciation of each other. This is discovered and developed by conversation and time together. Compatibility takes time to discover and share.
    • You should not even consider marriage without a reasonable degree of compatibility.
    • Compatibility is the basis for friendship. You like the person.
    • Compatibility is the stage in which you know the facts about each other and are in agreement with those facts.
    • Compatibility means that you know the strengths and weakness of the other person and realize that they are the same as yours.
    • Fundamental compatibility should include:
      • Spiritual life: salvation, desire for spiritual growth, strong love for the Word, consistently living the Christian life, views of the local church, importance of the Word of God, and Christian service.
      • Economic outlook and views on money: making, saving, using money.
      • Children: do you want children, how  many, discipline, education.
      • Intellectual ability and interests and pursuits.
      • Housekeeping: general views of tidiness, cleanliness, responsibility, and honesty.
      • The role of the man and woman in marriage.
      • It is helpful if you have compatibility of areas of strengths and weaknesses of the old sin nature.
  • Rapport is the third stage. This is first of all the soul rapport. It is the accumulation and combination of attraction and compatibility that you develop to the point of having the same thoughts, feelings, likes, dislikes, interests, and attitudes. This is the crown of a relationship. This takes time to develop.
  • When marriage takes place at stage 2 and better yet at stage 3, there is the greatest opportunity for happiness in the marriage, less friction, great mutual enjoyment of each other, and Christian service. The marriage roles are fulfilled out of genuine desire and pleasure, not so much from a sense of responsibility or duty.
  • When marriage takes place at the attraction stage, that marriage faces an uphill battle. You cannot change your status simply because you find that you are less compatible and that rapport does not readily develop. The marriage roles and responsibilities remain in force. Only consistent divine love, spiritual growth, and living the Christian life will make this an enjoyable and productive marriage.
  • Warnings to heed when you are considering marriage.
    • Believers may marry only believers. Even if two believers marry, this does not make the marriage a right marriage. Any believer is not right for any other believer.
    • People are no better in marriage than they are as people. When two people marry, that does not immediately solve their personal problems. You still bring yourself into the marriage. Two people in a good marriage form a synergism. You must have something worthwhile to bring into the marriage.
    • Marriage is not the solution to your problems. It brings more pressures, and more problems to solve.
    • Do not marry to escape parents, to please friends, family, or peer group, and do not marry on an emotional high.
    • Sex is forbidden outside of marriage. In that case it is sin; it produces guilt and scar tissue, and takes spiritual growth and much grace orientation to remove the spiritual scar tissue.
    • Women, do not marry a man whom you do not respect and cannot freely call your lord.
    • Men, do not marry until you understand the basics of leadership and authority.
    • Men, do not marry someone to replace your mother and expect her to mother you.
  • For singles—what about the time before you identify the right person for you to marry? What do you do when you think that there is no right person for you on the horizon? This is a test. You face this test just like any other test with emphasis on the faith rest and faith waiting principles.
    • Standard Procedure: 1. Consistently live the Christian life: Word of God + walking by the Holy Spirit + faith application and faith rest. This can produce supernatural Christian living.
    • Doctrine of status quo (1 Corinthians 7.17-24): do not make sudden changes in your status just because something appears better at that moment.
    • God has his will for you in marriage just as in other areas of life. Genesis 24.14 illustrates this. The principle or the standard is that God will provide the right person for you in his time or fulfill you without a right person (He has planned for you to remain single). Either way, God’s will is the right way for you and the happiest way for you.
    • While you wait, use the time to grow in your spiritual life; develop occupation with Christ and a strong faith rest and faith waiting; put your spiritual gift to work. While you wait, pray diligently that God 1) will prepare you and your right man or right woman person, and pray 2) that God will bring the right person into your life at the right time, 3) that you will recognize your right man or woman, 4) that you will make the right choice.
    • For the women, develop inner beauty; for the men, develop leadership.
    • Continue to participate in the spiritual battle and continue to serve Jesus Christ.
    • While you wait, develop and practice faith rest and faith waiting. Incorporate promises into your everyday life and apply them to the question at hand (Proverbs 3.5-6; Isaiah 40.31; Lamentations 3.22-25; Matthew 6.33; Romans 8.28; 2 Corinthians 12.10; Philippians 4.11; Hebrews 10.35-36; 13.5; 1 Peter 5.7). The right woman is the man’s helper and corresponds to the right man. When God created the woman for Adam, she was more than the correct genus and specie; she was in his image; she was compatible to him; she corresponded to him.
  • Scripture: Genesis 2.18-25; 24.4,14-27; Proverbs 12.4; 18.22; 19.14; 31.10; Song of Solomon 5.16; 7.10; 1 Corinthians 7.17-40;  Ephesians 5.22-33; Colossians 3.18-19; 1 Peter 3.1-7.
  • While you wait for the right person to marry, develop your spiritual life and ministry. While you develop your spiritual life and ministry practice faith rest, faith waiting, and faith application. Here are some promises that you can live in. In fact, they apply to all believers throughout life, especially in the testing times.
    • Proverbs 3.5-6:
    • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    • And do not lean on your own understanding.
    • In all your ways acknowledge Him,
    • And He will make your paths straight.”
  • Notable quotes:
    •  “She was my daughter and my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my sovereign; and always, holding all these in solution, my trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow-solider.”  “My Mistress; but at the same time all that any man friend has ever been to me. Perhaps more.”   “If we had never fallen in love we should have none the less always been together, and created a scandal.” (C.S. Lewis, quoted in And God Came In pages 136-137)
    • Others by Anne Morrow Lindberg, and the Nimitz biography, and others.

Last Update

Monday, December 25, 2006