Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Simple Lesson from the Bible that Can Help You Get Married

There seems to be many Christian singles books on the shelves these days, on how to pick a mate, how to love a mate and how to keep a mate. But before you can be picked, loved or kept, you have to be found or find somebody. Following what people did in the Bible may help you on your way... Community Counts... When a man or woman reached an appropriate age in the Bible, their love ticket was basically written for them. Abraham found a wife for his son, Isaac. Naomi helped her widowed daughter-in-law Ruth find her man Boaz and Mordecai helped his cousin, Esther marry a king. Unlike our modern culture, in biblical times people had families, communities and a social structure to help them get married. Nowadays, it's rare to have that kind of help. If somebody wants to get married, many times we're told: "You're on your own, baby!" But just like people seek mentoring; coaching and support when they want to focus on careers and academics, having people around that share your vision for marriage can be crucial. You need their faith and maybe even their prodding and planning along the path to your wedding day. It might be they "know somebody" that might be a good mate for you, or it could be that they can be faithful in prayer for you. Whatever the case, according to the Bible, we are not meant to take the journey to matrimony alone. So how do you develop your community? You can start by building up the courage to (gasp) tell those around you that want to get married. After that, you wait and see what happens. If they support you, they are part of your community. If they give a negative response like, "Hey, Jesus will be your boyfriend" or a neutral one like "Just wait on the Lord," take a clue from the early disciples: dust off your feet and move on. You are looking to get married and you can't let platitudes stop you. Follow in the tracks of Naomi when she told Ruth: "My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you?" Ruth 3:1. We need people in our lives like that. We need a community that has the vision for us to get married. Be brave, pray and search until you find one. You have the green light from God... Adam and God in the Garden of Eden had a love thing going on. No sin, no separation, just man and God in a natural state. That's about as close to God as you can get! But despite Adam kickin' it with God on a regular basis, God said Adam still needed something... a woman. God even had a name for the predicament Adam was in - God called it "not good" (Genesis 2:18) The Bible says marriage is a reflection of God and his church and that marriage should be honored by all. Why wouldn't you want to make good on something that God speaks so highly of? Christian singles frequently get stuck by phases like, "You just need to be content" and "Wait on the Lord" but being content and waiting on the Lord does not mean don't do anything. When you look at love in the Bible, people took action and worked on the premise that it was not good for man to be alone. Marriage was the norm and expected of most everyone. Even Paul's stipulations on singles in the book of Corinthians were made duringa period of "present distress." We are not in that "present distress" any more. God's word still stands, if we want to listen. If it was not good for Adam to be alone, it is not good for us. Renewing your mind for men... There are women I know who want to get married, but their actions and words speak otherwise. They complain about men, they make fun of men; they stereotype men and wonder out loud where all the "real men" are. I know these women because I used to be one. That was until I had an "aha" moment. God came down in a cloud from heaven one day (just kidding) and said to me, "Karen, when men don't think you like them, they stay away from you." Now, I am not talking about that one guy who you don't like but who likes you. I am talking about men in general. Our culture can ridicule traditional masculinity and femininity. That's why I implore all single, Christian women... learn about men. If you hear over and over in the media and in conversations with your sister friends that men are wrong, it will be hard to find a Mr. Right. Let's take a new look at men. We all know men and women are different and relate to each other in different ways. I would encourage you to find out how this plays out in everyday life. Renew your mind on men. Read books. Go to workshops. If you have had bad situations with men, pray and seek help. Don't let a bad experience with a man in the past; destroy a good experience with a man in the future. You want to marry a friend - not an adversary! I love the scripture in Titus 2:2 where it says the older women need to teach the younger women to love their husbands. This was yet another "aha" moment for me.... love can be taught! Make the investment and learn how to love men. Find someone who is doing the same for women and you have a winning combination. The Bible says we will reap what we sow, those in the Bible were intentional about taking steps towards marriage and they... got married. They believed God, took him at his word and took action. Let's follow suit and be intentional as we try to become a reflection of God and his church by striving towards marriage.

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