It is amazing how little focus is placed on deciding Who to Marry, which is one of the most important decisions in life. Using the Bible as a guide, you, as a teen, are encouraged to think through these questions so you will be prepared to recognize God’s leading and know when Miss or Mr. Right comes along.
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“ I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
When do I Decide Who to Marry?
Who to Marry is an interesting and very important question to examine in this teen devotional. The issue here is not an age issue; it is not when in years, but when should I be thinking about Who to Marry. This is also not a question about dating or courting; this is a question about planning, and planning Who to Marry should be done before dating or courting.
Make a list of the non-negotiable traits of my future spouse.
When thinking of Who to Marry, let’s find some Biblical traits that are non-negotiable. If you answer “yes” to these traits, that person may be considered as a potential spouse. If you answer “no” to any of these questions, they are not suitable for you, in fact, to avoid temptation, do not date them. It is fine to have them as friends, and they may even change and become acceptable choices, but, they may not be on this list until that time.
In 2 Corinthians 6:14, we read, Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?
When deciding Who to Marry, I must not be yoked together with an unbeliever. I always find the term “unequally yoked” to be an interesting choice of words to describe marriage. To better understand this, let’s look at Genesis 2:24, Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. When God looks down upon a married couple, he sees one flesh. The two have joined to become one. In deciding Who to Marry, for the Christian this simply cannot be overlooked or its importance minimized.
There are not many places in the world where a farmer puts two oxen together with a yoke to plow his field. So, let’s use an example you are more familiar with to understand the importance of not being unequallly yoked together; that of taking two dogs for a walk instead. You’ve decided to use one leash that can be hooked to two dogs. For our example of equality, let’s say that the two dogs are equal if they have both been trained, and are very obedient; and they are equal if they both have not been trained, and do not usually obey. The unequal dogs, then, will be a pair of dogs with one dog being well trained and obedient, and the other dog being untrained and mostly disobedient.
You have been hired to walk Shorty and Sniffer once a day for at least an hour a day. Neither dog is trained, and both dogs are very disobedient. This is going to be a challenge, isn’t it? It is still workable though, because the natural tendency of untrained dogs is to play follow the leader. You are walking along. and both dogs are smelling the flowers and looking for bugs. All of a sudden, Boxy, the dog down the street is coming toward you, walking his master. Sniffer smells Boxy first and takes off on a run. Shorty is not going to be outrun, so he takes off in the same direction as well. Your walk becomes a run, now, but still not too out of control.
In the next example, you have been hired to walk Micky and Rascal once a day for at least an hour. No problem, right? Well, I forgot to tell you, Micky is a very well trained, well mannered dog; Rascal, however is used to running freely, and does not want to be held by a leash. So here with are with the same scenario. Micky is walking beside you, but Rascal wants to smell the flowers and look for bugs. Now you are going at a haphazard pace, because Micky is willing to heel, but Rascal keeps pulling on the leash because he wants to walk in the flowers. All of a sudden, Fifi, the dog down the street is coming toward you walking her mistress. Micky sees Fifi, but stays beside you. Rascal sees Fifi, and away he goes, dragging you and Micky behind him. You yell, “Sit.” Micky immediately sits, but Rascal does not pay any attention, and keeps right on running toward Fifi. Rascal is about twice the size of Micky, so, even though Micky tries to obey, you and Micky are still being drug along while you are trying to get the disobedient Rascal to stop.
Now, here is the third scene. You have been hired to walk Thunderbolt, and Lightning once a day for at least an hour. Both dogs are huge, and with the names they have, you are not at all sure this is going to work. However, both dogs have been to obedience school, and obey very well.
You, as a Christian are bound to your Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. When you marry another Christian, you are both bound to the same Master, you desire the same things spiritually, and you have much the same goals in life, so you are now one in Christ. When thinking of Who to Marry you should come to the decision that I will marry a Christian.
If you as a Christian, however, desire to marry someone who is not a Christian, you will have serious trouble. You and your future spouse would become one in flesh, but not one in Christ. Your goal would be to live a Biblical life, guided by the principles taught in God’s Word, but though your spouse may be a very nice person, if he or she is not in Christ, he will not desire to be obedient to the Bible. He may, or more often may not want you to go to church, have Christian friends over, and raise your children to be obedient to God’s Word. In other words, being unequally yoked has nothing to do with age, race, or abilities, but it has everything to do with your relationship to Christ.
In thinking about Who to Marry, what is the most important, non-negotiable trait that must be found in the person you will marry. Because you are a Christian, your spouse must also be a Christian.
Other non-negotiable traits from a Biblical perspective are similar to the first.
Your spouse must love the Bible, and lead and teach the family, as the husband, and support that leadership and help teach the children, as the wife.
Your spouse must desire to go to church with you on a consistent basis, etc.
Your spouse must truly love you, and you must truly be in love with your spouse.
Most of these traits, as you can see, relate to your spouse being a Christian.
Make a list of traits and qualities that you would like to see in your spouse, but are not necessary.
When thinking about Who to Marry, you can have some fun with this section. This section is really helpful to have pretty complete before you start dating or courting, as this will help you to avoid people who, though they are a Christian, may not be the best choice for you. Remember, God knows you and loves you and cares about your likes and dislikes. Have you ever noticed that the longer people are together, they become more and more alike, and sometimes even begin to look alike. That is usually indicative of a good, loving relationship between husband and wife. In thinking of Who to Marry, that is exactly the kind of relationship you want.
List everything you want in your spouse, and then rearrange them by order of importance to you. List qualities like: good looking, blonde, tall, intelligent, not arrogant, seems interested in me, is a good listener when I’m talking, is humble, is quiet, etc. You will soon begin to see that your list is entirely different than everyone else’s list. This list is negotiable, so you might desire someone who is tall, dark, and handsome, and instead their nose is a little too long, and they are freckled, and rather short, but they meet almost every other qualification on your list. When thinking of Who to Marry, this might be the time to say, being tall, dark, and handsome is really not all that important to me.
Make a list of absolute traits I will not allow.
When thinking of Who to Marry, this list is another very important one to make; it will contain traits not acceptable by Biblical standards, as well as personal traits you just don’t happen to like in a person. Like the last list, be sure to put them in order of priority. Again, your list may contain many of the same qualities as found on another person’s list, but it will still be uniquely your list. It’s not wrong to say I don’t want someone who likes sports, or I don’t want someone who likes classical music, and your list is not set in stone.
You will find yourself updating your lists constantly. You may meet someone with traits you really like, or really don’t like, but hadn’t put them on your lists. In thinking about Who to Marry, you may decide to add them to your lists.
In conclusion, our world is not a world of fantasy. Good planning makes good sense, and hopefully will produce a great marriage. Plan ahead when thinking about Who to Marry.
Is love important? It had better be important; you should have that on your non-negotiable list. Does it take away from love to have all of these lists? Absolutely not, in fact, I believe that you are more likely to find Mr. or Miss Right if you have an idea as to what characteristics are important to you. I also believe, that you are more likely to avoid a person who distracts you and keeps you from finding Miss or Mr. Right; and, you are more likely to avoid marrying someone who ends of not being Mr. or Miss Right. As in all other areas, music, art, poetry, and others, a good plan always produces a better result. Make sure that being in love is added to your Traits that are Necessary List of Who to Marry.
Remember, God is a personal God who loves us and keeps us, therefore, do not neglect your prayer life. Continually take the matter of a future spouse to prayer, asking God to give you guidance, and to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls people tend to fall into in this area, and start planning now, if you haven’t already done so. Who to Marry is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Plan and prepare yourself now so you will be ready to decide Who to Marry when that right person comes along.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
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