Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's as easy as 1... 2... 3 (if by that you mean work... field... house)

Proverbs 24:27

Prepare your work outside;
get everything ready for yourself in the field,
and after that build your house.

All young men should consider whether they want to get married at some point.  All young men should consider the right and Biblical way to pursue that desire.

You are to prepare your work outside prior to building your house.

In other words, do not drag some poor young lady into your life until you have figured out where you are going.

She will be asked to submit to you, to follow you, to honor you, and to respect you.  The Bible makes it clear that these are her godly orientations toward you.  Do her and yourself the favor of figuring out where you'd like to go, what you'd like to do, and how you'd like to do it.  Too many Christian men think with their hormones and seek to get married because of what they are hoping to experience inside it.  First of all, kudos to you hypothetical Christian boy for waiting until marriage to "be married."  But secondly, marriage is much more than the physical expression of it.  It is a fruit of it, but not the foundation of it.

Get everything ready for yourself in the field before you build your house. 

Before you start a household, think about how the Bible informs your ideal house.  Ponder these things and have them available for conversation with the young lady upon whom you set your affections.  Do yourself the favor of discussing these with her at the appropriate time in your relational timeline.  Not so late that you are already yoked to her in a way that would create great pain to seperate, but not so early that you make the first date a hypothetical promise ring.

In your reading of Scripture what should a home look like?  How many children would you like?  How soon into marriage would you like kids?  Where do you want to live?  How do you want to support your wife and children financially, spiritually, emotionally, physically?  Who will raise the kids?  Will your wife work?  What will be taught?  What will be expected?  What traditions will be upheld? What traditions abandoned?  What traditions begun? 

Ponder these things.  Study them out.  Then resist the temptation to yoke yourself too soon to someone with whom these have not been discussed.  Much of this is adiaphora.  It is not a matter of sin.  It is a matter of preference.  You will save yourself many trials and pains in finding someone who finds the same foundations in Scripture upon which you desire to build.  In this, you have the security of relying on the other's devotion to God and His Word rather than their opinion at the moment (or what they think is least confrontational and most agreeable to you at the moment of inquiry).

Lastly, a young man should pursue a woman without delegating to her the weight of the risk.  Ask a woman to marry you.  Do not ask a woman what she would say if you happened to ask her to marry you?  Respect her enough to ask her for her hand only once you're ready to take it, guide it, cherish it, and covenantally bind yourself to it.  Do not run mock engagements to get a better feel for the real trials and triumphs of marriage.  Do not have a dress rehearsal.  Be a man.  Nut up.  Cast off cowardice and ask her to marry you if that is what you are wanting to do. 

I heard Mark Driscoll once say, "a man MUST choose what and who he loves; then he MUST love his choice."

By asking her what she would say if you happened to maybe propose someday you only bait the line with a promise you have not yet committed to keeping.

***Note I have placed the label adiaphora on this post.  While I feel strongly that there is good Biblical wisdom and evidence to suggest that these views are fully supported, I do recognize that on some points, my preferences may be pushing my pen.   Some of thise advice could be ignored without the ignoring party having done so sinfully or for sinful reasons.  We all often choose lesser hills than Calvary on which to die.  There are some hills on which it is worthy to die and in lieu of surrendering all grounds on the basis that it may not be the right ground, I seek to be humbled and taught by God in His Word and through His teachers to know the difference between mole hills and high ground.

1 comment:

  1. I am blessed that one day, you will point a suitor of mine to this entry.