63. WHO TO MARRY?
(The Called To Be A Wife Series – Batch 3)
Today I was randomly reading a portion in Deuteronomy chapter 17 and when I reached verses 14-15, I reread it a few times and meditated on it for a while.
Verse 14 -15 reads:
- “When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee and shalt possess it, and shall dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me, Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother…”
In this chapter, Moses was conveying to the Israelites, the statutes and judgments of God, which God expected them to obey. In verses 14-15 therefore, through Moses, God was letting this nation know in advance, that when they arrived in the Promised Land, there would come a point when they would ask that a king be set up over them, in similar fashion to the model used by other nations.
This speaks wonderfully of the foreknowledge of God, as that is exactly what the Israelites did years later in 1 Samuel 8, when they demanded that Samuel make them a king to judge them, like all the other nations.
Although verses 14-15 was stated in reference to the nation of Israel and the selection of a king to rule or lead over them though, it dawned on me that the principle is consistent with that which should apply, when it comes to God’s daughters (Believers in the resurrection of Jesus Christ) selecting a man for marriage.
The role of a man is to lead and to have rule of his home and therefore, there is a comparison between his role in relation to his wife and family and a king, whose role is to lead and have rule over a nation.
In this regard, there are two (2) key points that emerge from verses 14-15, in relation to a Christian woman who desires a husband to lead her and her eventual family. It relates particularly to the issue of who she should select to align herself with.
Moses stated: “Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: ONE FROM AMONG THY BRETHREN shalt thou set king over thee: THOU MAYEST NOT SET A STRANGER OVER THEE, WHICH IS NOT THY BROTHER. ”
THE FIRST REQUIREMENT for selection of the right husband therefore is that he must be a brother in the Lord, from the household of faith.
He must not just be a person who regularly attends Church or who is in the membership or participates in the activities of the Church but he must be a bona fide believer in the doctrine of Christ, a person regenerated by God’s Holy Spirit and a member of the body of Christ. He must be one from among thy brethren (meaning of like authentic faith) and the Word of God is clear that thou mayest NOT set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
This can therefore be applied consistently with the principle which exists in the New Testament, to the effect that God’s children are NOT to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV) .
If a Christian woman is desiring a husband to lovingly rule and lead over her and their eventual family, she must NOT give this very important role to a stranger, meaning a non-Christian or unsaved, ungodly man (no matter how nice he seems or how handsome or how influential or how much money he has) but only to one that is her brother in the Lord.
For, apart from being disobedient to the Word of God which clearly says that God’s children should only align themselves with other children in the household of faith, where a woman selects the wrong man to lead and rule over her and her family, this will be detrimental to her walk with God (as he will lead her astray and cause her to compromise) and it could even result in her demise. For, such a man does not have the Spirit of Christ in him and therefore, takes his cues from his master the devil. He has no fear for God and does not aspire to submit to his will. He is his own little god and he is therefore bound to make foolish decisions that will adversely impact his wife and family.
We saw this in the case of Lot’s daughters who were married to ungodly men in Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot had two (2) daughters still living at home with him and his wife who were virgins but it is clear from the scriptures that he also had at least two (2) other daughters who were not virgins and who had married men from Sodom and Gomorrah, the evil and godless place where they lived.
These men may have had affluence naturally but they were spiritually impoverished. While the bright lights of money and glamour and influence may have held some appeal for Lot’s daughters therefore (which I am merely speculating that they may have had), these men were foolish because they did not know God and therefore were bad choices for Lot’s daughters.
They were so foolish in their own deceit, that when Lot approached them to tell them they needed to flee that place because God was about to destroy it, they did not believe him or take him seriously. The Bible states that Lot was as one that mocked. They therefore chose to continue on as if nothing was about to happen, although danger was lurking and imminent.
In Genesis 19:12-14, it reads of the angels sent by God to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and of Lot:
- “And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.”
As a result, when God rained fire and brimstone on that place, these sons-in-law perished and so did Lot’s daughters who were married to them. If they had children, these too perished because the men that Lot’s daughters chose to lead and rule over them were not godly men but fools. They were so foolish, that, although they were given an opportunity through grace (which the rest of the people in Sodom and Gomorrah did not have), to escape the pending judgment, they did not take it and being under their wayward leadership, their wives (Lot’s daughters), could not also take it but remained in that godless place under their leadership and died.
Lot’s daughters (maybe by reason of where they lived) were unequally yoked to ungodly men. Whereas Abraham refused to just accept the fact that he lived among the Canaanites who were ungodly people and therefore, that this meant that Isaac had to select a wife from among them but instead, he sent his servant to a far country to select a wife for his son from his own household, Lot did not do the same. Whether or not he consented to the union of these ungodly men with his daughters, marriages took place and his daughters entrusted themselves foolishly, under the leadership of these ungodly men.
Whereas these men may have been wealthy, may most likely have had a really nice and impressive place to live, influence in society and all the grandeur of what the world had to offer back then, Lot’s daughters paid for their poor choice with their lives, as their husbands did not have the spiritual foresight to act to save themselves and their family from the danger that was coming.
We also see how miserable God’s daughters will inevitably be in an unequally yoked marriage to an ungodly man, when we look at the story of Abigail, a woman who clearly had strong faith in God, who was married to a rich fool called Nabal.
In 1 Samuel 25, as the leader of Abigail and their household, Nabal’s poor, proud and reckless decision almost cost the entire household their lives! Abigail had to rush to do damage control and to appease the wrath of David, who planned to destroy all the men in Nabal’s company.
Alas, money may be a defence but wisdom (often referred to as knowledge and which begins with fearing God – Proverbs 9:10) is a far better defence, as it can save a person from much trouble and even preserve his or her life.
Ecclesiastes 7:12 sums it up perfectly. It states: “For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom GIVETH LIFE to them that have it.”
Proverbs 22:3 states that “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” This was certainly the case with Lot’s sons-in-law, who were not wise and therefore chose to continue on in their folly and were punished, along with their wives and the rest of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.
A man that is not of the household of faith, that does not believe in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, that has refused to confess with his mouth that he is Lord and to surrender his life to his Lordship is not a prudent man, no matter how seemingly influential he is or how fat his bank account is or how respected he is in the community. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10) and no amount of money or influence can bring this.
THE SECOND REQUIREMENT for selecting the right man to lead and rule over a woman of God is that he must be God’s choice.
Verse 15 of Deuteronomy reads: “Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, WHOM THE LORD THY GOD SHALL CHOOSE: One from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: Thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.”
I am a firm believer in the fact that God desires to choose spouses for his children. He wants to guide them because he knows what and who is best and if his children will submit to his perfect will, then, if it is his will for them to be married, he will guide them to the right person, although in his own timing and in his own way.
This was perfectly demonstrated I think, in the story of Isaac and Rebekah (which I wrote about at length in Article 61 entitled: ‘I Being In The Way The Lord Led Me’).
God is the best matchmaker. He is love and therefore knows what a love story should look like. He knows us inside out and better than we know ourselves and therefore, he knows who would be a right fit for us. We can trust his counsel above that of other people and even our own hearts, which at times can deceive us.
Many professing Christians take the view that, once two people are saved, they can go ahead and marry with God’s blessing, as God is not interested in choosing spouses for us or the mere fact that you met the person and you are both interested in each other and are both purportedly Christians, that it is God’s will that you be together.
I disagree. God knows the hearts of men and sometimes, a person who appears to be saved may not be or may be saved but may not be God’s will for your life in terms of the direction he wants you to take. It is therefore prudent to seek God’s will on the issue and I can’t imagine having a loving, close walk and relationship with God and not asking for his advice and recommendation on such an important question, as to who to marry.
In fact, Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In ALL thy ways acknowledge him, and he SHALL direct thy paths.”
For those seeking the perfect and not just the permissive will of God therefore, seeking him diligently on the issue of who to marry is a must. I maintain, that the same God that led Abraham’s servant to Rebekah when he prayed for his help in the selection of a spouse for Isaac is the same God that is available to do the same for us today.
My advice therefore and it is upon good biblical authority is that to ensure that you are aligned to the right kind of man to lead you and your family with God-given wisdom and where both your purposes in God’s Kingdom complement each other, seek the Lord first on the issue. Trust him enough to let him choose for you.
This may mean that you have to wait longer than you would like but it will be worth it in the end. For, you serve a God that is about quality and purpose. He will not have you wait and then send you a poor quality man or one that undermines his call on your life.
He is the giver of good and perfect gifts. James 1:17 states: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
It is important to note as well that who God picks will not be forced upon you. I believe that God is so great, that, if we allow him, he will choose someone for us and then, once we are submitting to him and seeking him, he will work on our hearts to cause us to then choose that same person, where we have peace in our spirit, based on what we read in the Word and as we pray, that this is God’s pick for us as well. In this way, he will be excited about our union and so will we!
Whenever something is God’s perfect will, he has a tendency to show up and let his children know and will even send confirmation, after confirmation from the point of presentation, to the point where you are about to walk down the altar. He is that faithful!
In closing, for emphasis, I am going to refer to the same verses 14-15 in which I mentioned in opening, which states:
- “When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee and shalt possess it, and shall dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me, Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, WHOM THE LORD THY GOD SHALL CHOOSE: one FROM AMONG THY BRETHREN shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother…”
In Isaiah 62:2, God told the Israelites: “…thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.”
When it is time to change that surname of yours (whether this means that you plan to remove your maiden name or leave it and add your husband’s surname to yours), make sure that it is a name that the Lord your God approves of, firstly because the man to whom you are engaged is a fellow brother (bona fide believer) and secondly because he is the man that God has handpicked for your life.
It is not sufficient to say that he is in the household of faith. Is he God’s choice for your life? Remember, God never loses his sovereignty and if he allows difficulties to the point where two of his children part ways, then if they have both been seeking him in prayer for his will in their lives, the fact that they parted most likely signalled that it was not God’s will for them to be together.
At the end of the day, everything else considered, THE MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION is what is God’s will in the matter?
(Written on 09th November, 2020)
I would just like to add the following to all that I wrote above:
That a man is of the household of God is not a sufficient reason to marry him, if it is that you are seeking the perfect will of God. You should marry the one that God chooses.
I think that this is demonstrated in the story with Samuel in 1 Samuel 16. God told Samuel that he had provided a king among the sons of Jesse to replace Saul, who he had rejected. He told Samuel to therefore go to the household of Jesse and that he should anoint the person that he (God) chose.
When Samuel went, verse 6 states that he looked on Eliab, one of Jesse’s sons, saying, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.”
Although Samuel was a very spiritual man, he was convinced, based on how Eliab looked, maybe his posture, how he seemed to be someone that commanded respect, how articulate he may have sounded and how godly and upright he seemed, that he must be the one that God had willed to be king over Israel.
Yet, this was not the case. The Bible states:
- “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
God had refused him. This is significant. For, Eliab was of the household of Jesse! He was therefore eligible for the position of king. For God had said that the person to be anointed was to come from Jesse’s household. Yet, God refused him.
This may have been because Eliab, although belonging to the household of Jesse and being a bona fide son, his heart was not right with God. He may have seemed to be godly and upright but maybe this was all for show and God, knowing his heart and his true character, rejected him.
Alternatively, it may have been that Eliab was a godly man with upstanding character. However, he may have been rejected despite having such fine traits because he was not the man that God had chosen for that specific purpose.
The same can be true in the household of faith. Like Samuel, we are called to marry only a man of the household of faith. This means that he must be a Christian.
Not because a man is of the household of faith and a bona fide son of God though, does it mean that he is who God wants for us and that God would be pleased with our union. Such a man may even be of upstanding character and godly but God may have rejected him for the specific purpose of marriage to us and the ministry that he wants borne from our marriage.
This therefore emphasizes the importance of leaning not on our own understanding and acknowledging the Lord in all of our ways, allowing him to direct our path. To direct our path, he must be the one to choose for us. For, even among his sons in the household of faith, he knows their hearts, he knows who is sincere and who is not, he knows who will be a good match for us as husband and he knows who he has called to the purpose of being our spouse and has therefore graced and equipped accordingly.
Finally, to marry the one who God has chosen, we must wait on HIS timing. For, God chooses in his own timing. We must therefore learn patience and trust. We must trust God’s will, his purpose for our lives, his plan and his timing. His timing may not be our timing. He may have us wait longer than we had anticipated, hoped or wanted but if we trust in God we know that despite the wait, his timing is best.
(Addendum written on 15th May, 2021)
I’m not sure why I’m adding this but the thought came to me this morning and so I started writing and decided to add it here.
Practically speaking, when asking the question: WHO TO MARRY, you should remember two (2) important points in addition to all that I have written above. These are as follows:
POINT 1 – Be nice, in order to ATTRACT nice and KEEP nice.
You can’t expect to attract apples and keep apples, if you know that you are grapes.
If you are not nice (and are merely putting on a show to fool people, as sadly, some professing believers do), you may find it harder to attract nice and even if you somehow do, you may have difficulty keeping nice, when nice realizes your true colours.
Even if nice sticks around, nice will be miserable with you and resentful of the decision that nice made to be with you because nice realizes that nice was duped into marrying you. That is, unless you decide to change your character with God’s help and become nice, as some people sometimes do later on in life.
The long and short of it is, while single, you should spend time in introspection, evaluating yourself and identifying with God’s help and through his Word, the areas in your life that you need to work on and improve. You should want to be a person of good character, not in terms of any image that you project to people but in terms of who God knows you to be.
POINT 2 – We often attract what we are – Not who we pretend to be but what we really are. We also make choices in life based on who we are.
Think about it: Who we choose to be with and eventually marry is really a reflection of who we are (not who people think we are or the impression that we have given people to make them think that that is what we are but who we really are).
Who we choose is the summation of how we really think, what we really believe, what we really value, what virtues we really hold, how we really feel about ourselves and the Lord and our philosophy of life in general.
For example, if A is very proud and full of self-importance, he will tend to look for someone that is similar, on the same ‘level’ in terms of who he considers important and who can help him perpetuate that image of importance.
If B is not very spiritual, even if he gives the impression that he is, when it comes to choosing a wife, he would tend to do so flippantly, not placing value on her character (because he himself lacks that), not considering or caring whether she is a Christian or that they are agreed spiritually or if she knows her Word and is faithfully growing in the Lord but will, like Samson, focus mainly on her beauty, her body, what she can do for him in the secular world and how she can help him get ahead in life and make him look good in the eyes of society.
If C is a woman that values money and influence and being considered important, she would tend to not align herself with a man who may be of good sound character, spiritually mature and able to lovingly lead in the manner that God intended, solely because he doesn’t have much money, doesn’t have a prestigious job, does not have a whole lot of influence in society and in the Church (at that point in time) and will therefore not be able to help her (in her mind) with her social and ‘Church-climbing’ ambitions. Believe it or not, there are some women that will not align themselves with any man, unless they are popular or at least a Deacon, Elder, Pastor, Youth Pastor or have some kind of position of leadership, clout or influence in the Church or have aspirations to one day occupy one of these positions.
If D is all about good looks or a person’s height or a person’s complexion, then she would have a tendency to completely blank all the men that she does not regard as good looking or that are not as tall or taller than her or that have the wrong shade of complexion, although she likes their spirit and thinks they will make good husbands and she sees where she could have been married to them, if it wasn’t for those areas where she considers that they are ineligible. She will only give a pass to the men that she finds jaw-droppingly gorgeous (not necessarily those that she is attracted to physically) and those men that are the right height or right shade. Many times, in doing so, she will end up with a man that is as shallow in his thinking as she is, which does not augur well for a sustainable, happy ever after.
Don’t get me wrong: I believe that a Christian must be physically, emotionally and spiritually attracted to the person that he or she marries. However, it is possible to be physically attracted to someone without that person meeting our ideal preference, in terms of looks, complexion, age, height or body weight.
It is fine to have a preference and to really hope that we get that but when we refuse people from the get-go that we know have a personality and character that we find attractive and interesting, simply because they don’t meet these requirements, we may do ourselves an injustice. Many times, a woman knows that she is attracted to someone or that there is potential for her to be attracted to him because of his character and personality but gives him no opportunity whatsoever to pursue her, not because she is repulsed by him physically, emotionally and spiritually (in which case, if you feel that way, I would not suggest you allow him to pursue you) but simply because he doesn’t fit the strict criteria of Prince Charming that she has created in her head.
In summary, the whole point of this Further Addendum is to state, that we all want to attract the best but to get this whole issue of WHO TO MARRY right, we must spend time working on our character, taking in God’s wisdom as revealed in His Word, growing in his knowledge and grace and focusing on becoming spiritually mature individuals.
When we do this, as we allow God’s Word to make us wise and as we become spiritually mature in our thinking, perspective and take on life in general, God helps us and without having to be forced into anything that we do not want, we willingly, excitedly and eagerly make the best, most sound and wise decisions. We end up with the best (meaning a high quality man who is divinely compatible for us and who we absolutely love) because we have taken the time to grow in the Lord, to work on our character and we see life as God sees it.
By God’s grace, we attract and keep the best because what the person is, we are. We are on the same wavelength. He is spiritually mature but so are we. He loves the Word but so do we. He holds fast to his integrity and so do we. He believes in fervent, passionate, sacrificial love and so do we. He is humble and so are we. He has a vision for the family that will bring glory to God and aspirations for how God can use us as a couple and so do we. He has a life philosophy that is grounded in God’s truth and he doesn’t just talk the talk but walks the talk and so do we. Although not perfect, he is principled, a high quality human being, one that is favoured by God and puts Jesus first in everything and guess what? So are we.
(Further Addendum Written on 3rd September, 2021)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be beneficial or interesting, I strongly recommend that you also take the time to read the following:
- Note 50 – ‘Taking On His Last Name – Is It Significant?’
- Note 16 – ‘Dear Christian, Does God Approve Of Your Relationship?’
- Note 42 – ‘Making The Wrong Decision Can Be Costly – When You Don’t Wait On God To Introduce Your Spouse‘
- Note 62 – ‘I Being In The Way, The Lord Led Me – A Match Made In Heaven’
Also, on my ‘SINGLE Daughters Of God’ Page:
- Note 8 – ‘My Quick Ten Point Checklist – Is He The One?‘
- Note 51 – ‘Characteristics Of A Counterfeit‘
- Note 18 – ‘You Cannot Change Him’
- Note 21 – ‘When He Doesn’t See Your Worth’
- Note 53 – ‘God-sent vs Devil-sent – The Difference’
- Note 58 – ‘To Tell If He’s The One Put On Your Spiritual Glasses’
- Note 69 – ‘Taking On His Last Name – Is It Significant?’
- Note 128 – ‘God-sent Or Just God-ly?’
- Note 130 – ‘Ladies, How Long Are You Prepared To Wait?’
- Note 144 – ‘Before You Say ‘I Do’
- Note 145 – ‘Does He Love You Or Lust You?’
- Note 147 – ‘How To Tell If He’s Your God-sent And Not Just God-ly’
- Note 148 – ‘What Does The Bible Say About Being Unequally Yoked With An Unbeliever’
- Note 258 – ‘The Man Of The World vs The Man Of God’
- Note 260 – ‘Common Sense Tips For Choosing The Right One’
- Note 271 – ‘Not Just Any Man Will Do – My Top Ten (10) Pet Peeves In A Man’
- Note 275 – ‘How God Wants Us To Treat With Our Idols’