One of the reasons I have rarely done specific "relationship" posts on this blog is that I don't think I can say anything well that hasn't already been said excellently, whether on Boundless, or YLCF, or by the wise elders at my church. Also, I simply feel unqualified, as a single lady who has been terrified of guys for much of her life, to give advice on getting married!
Here's the Task instructions:
1. Read through some of these articles and make a list of essentials in a marriage partner. Take a few minutes to pray about your requirements, sincerely asking God to show you what qualities He desires in your partner.
Make a list of people you're even mildly interested in? Hmm. That's a bit odd. Sounds almost like trying to decide which house to buy. But I guess the point of this is not so much the precise people on the list. Mainly, it's to see if we're being biblically or worldly in our attractions.
2. After you've completed the bullet points above, write a comment below[on the Boundless Line post], exploring in general terms (no specifics needed) a couple of the qualities that you identified.
- If you're single, then make a list of people you are "interested" in (even if only mildly) and cross out the ones who do not meet the above essentials. Hm.
- If you're dating or engaged, take time to think about ways you could improve this relationship and discuss with your fiancé what qualities you really appreciate about them.
- If you're married, go back to those things that drew you to that person and the qualities they have that you appreciate. Talk to them about this.
As it happens, I actually made the second list (qualities I'm praying for in my husband) earlier this year. Should have done one ages ago. I had some council from one of the elders in my church, which helped me see a bit more clearly through the bucket-loads of qualities I had sloshing about in my mind. The only two requirements absolutely in Scripture seem to be:
1. A Christian (II Cor 6:14)
2. Must be able to provide for his family (1 Tim 5:8)
That's all! But sticking with that, of course, one can still make an unwise choice. And even if there's nothing logically unwise about the person, there's still a huge amount of freedom involved.(Ack!) Just because someone is marrigable doesn't mean you are the person to marry them, or that if you don't marry them that you're in sin. So I have a short list of other things, still with Scriptural support, I think (but not explicitly commanded as requirements for marriage), what are vitally important to me, and will hopefully be helpful considerations when I am in a relationship. Beyond those, I also have a list of Preferences (important, but not deal-breakers), and Likes (just minor stuff for consideration).
Much to think and pray on.
I hope all my unmarried readers will be praying, too! We have an amazing God who wants us to pour out our frustrations and heartbreaks and longings and joys to Him. I'm learning that whether I get the answers I want or not, the joy of drawing near to God can overshadow even my saddest days with a cloud of unimagined glory. :-)
This is one of my favorite quotes from articles, because it reminds me to hope.
"Nobody really "settles" in a biblical marriage because God has designed marriage as a wonderful gift that gets better with age. This is what people worried about settling don't seem to get. They think joy in marriage is all about the original choice one makes about whom to marry, rather than how they nurture and build their marriage. Again, this misses the picture of biblical marriage.
Bottom line, the real danger for God's people in pursuing a spouse is that we will "settle" for the world's vision of self, love, marriage and even romance, rather than a vision of those things steeped in scripture and rooted in the love of Christ. Biblical love and marriage ask more of us than the world's selfish pursuit of non-existent perfection. But the rewards are infinitely richer."
Scott Croft's article, Settling (the original version)