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The choice of your life's companion will determine how well your other two choices will work out in the end. When two persons are combined in one flesh, it is very vital and important that they have a kindred and harmonious relationship, with common spirits, goals and destinations. You will need God to help you choose the man or woman who will fit into your life and love, live and work together with you in all kinds of weather. This is why you must first have God's grace, plus His plan, for your life. Only God knows your nature, calling and destiny well enough to select your life companion for you. Your life companion is half of your life. Young friend, you'd better pray, night and day, lest you miss the way.
Then what are some of the things which must be considered in choosing your life's companion?
1. First, you should be a CHRISTIAN, and then choose a Christian companion, if Christ is to protect and direct your life, with all its future problems and work. "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" lest you become an unbeliever again, and lose your soul. Sinners and Christians have very few things in common. One cannot serve God, while the other serves the devil, and get along together. You will have conflicting natures, objectives, interests and worship.This means a CONSTANT CONFLICT, instead of peace and harmony.
In our work and ministry, we have contacted many homes where one was a sinner and the other a Christian. It is not only impossible to have proper relations to a sinner-companion, but it is very difficult to maintain your right relationship with God in an everlasting conflict with God'sgreatest enemy. Better get saved good, then select a CHRISTIAN COMPANION, if you wish tolive a happy life in a happy home here, and have a happy home in heaven, after this short life isover.
2. Then, again, next to your life's work, comes your life's companion. This is true in the secular, but especially in Christian work. A minister should never marry one who is not willing to give her life to supporting him in the ministry. Divided interests and occupations hinders, and oftenmars, the life of both companions.
However, if the wife is willing to be a keeper at home, and cooperate with her husband, she does not need to have a special call for his occupation. There should be a MUTUAL understanding. Husband and wife should not keep anything from each other, but love, live andwork together for God and others. Where the husband loves, the wife respects, and vice versa. The greatest tragedy of our day is that the hand that SHOULD rock the cradle often wrecks the cradle.Young lady, if you are not willing to settle down and keep the home fires burning, you may help keep the hell fires burning before it is over with. Too much money of your own makes it hard for you to be as submissive to your husband as you should be.
There can be only one head of the home, if there is to be peace instead of war. We cannot have more than one head of the home, any more than we can have such in the business world and all other institutions. You may be his counselor, but not his commander. Fine furniture and dresses often bring distresses. Then the common and constant mixture of both sexes, in our public enterprises tends to breed an undue familiarity not good for either sex or companion.
3. Another important thing in choosing your life's companion is their financial standing. Especially, when a poor man marries a rich girl or woman, it will be difficult for him to meet her accustomed demands and keep peace in the home. When you break a custom, you break your neck. Better be sure that the wife is to be willing to step down after the wedding and the honeymoon is over, and live on a lower financial level, and keep the sun of love warm and radiant.
It is not so difficult for a poor girl to marry a wealthier man, for it is easier to step up than down. Both must realize and properly estimate the value of the dollar if "The love of money is not to become the root of all evil." There are many other things more valuable than food and raiment,fine houses and furniture. Lazarus got to heaven from the beggar's den, while Dives went to hell from the palace. "Seek (and put) FIRST the KINGDOM OF GOD, and His righteousness and allthese THINGS shall be added unto you."
4. Another important factor in choosing your life companion is your cultural backgrounds.If one has been brought up in a refined, cultural home, while the other lived on the lower level, itmay be difficult for them to have common interests and understandings. However, many adjustments may be made here, if both parties have higher ideals and objectives. If a cultural, refined person marries an ignoramus, one will have to become cultured, or the other an ignoramus,if they are to live on the in the same plane together.
5. Our age level also has much to do with common realms and understandings. If one is too much older than the other, the younger will have to get old fast, especially when one passes the middle-years, and turns over into the older years, and loses the charms and attractions of previous years. The tie that binds may be broken. Usually, the husband should be the older, but if there is not too much difference, it may not matter much. However, an older man can fit into the life of a younger woman far better than an old woman can fit into the life of a young man. It has been said"it is better to be an old man's darling than a young man's slave," but it is better to be "Workers together" in all kinds of weather.
6. The complexion may have some, but not too much significance. An extremely fair complexioned person should marry one of the other extreme, if the features of their children are not to be extreme. Especially two of one extreme complexion should not usually marry each other,"unless the Lord is in it."
7. Then those of extreme statue, one very low and the other very high, might not look likethose of the same human family. A giant and a dwarf might not be able to keep pace in their family race. A short man should usually not marry a tall woman unless he "wants to look up" to her. Tall men usually ride out over short men in most of life's races, though they do not always deserve it.
8. Church relationships should be considered in matrimony. It is best for both to belong tothe same church, if their family and religious interests are not to be divided. Especially if their church relations are far apart in doctrines, rituals, etc. Above all things a Protestant should NEVER marry a Catholic, unless they want to change over and worship the priest instead of God. It would help if both would get converted before they get married.
When the children grow up and one parent goes to one church, and the other to another, the family is divided and the children may become unbelievers, especially if their parents argue overtheir religious relations in the home. In some cases, one may get converted to the true Christian experience after they are married, and have to disagree from their companion for a spiritual atmosphere and sound doctrine.This makes a difficult task, unless the other one becomes converted also. The Christian Companion will have to develop much patience, and be willing to bear whatever reproach comes from the home or opposing church. We must be loyal to God before any church or other human organization,or individual.
9. Those of like or unlike tempers or temperaments should be careful in their selection of life companions. Those of strong wills should not marry another of the same strong will. The times come when some one must yield. The grace of God is an important factor here. Stubbornness should never be practiced in the home. It takes more grace and humility to yield when principle isnot violated than it does to contend. Let your companion have the last word. Shooting a stone that cannot be stopped or turned aside, against a wall that cannot be torn down, or shot through, makes an impossible task -- explosion. There are times when all parents and companions must bear with each other. A sissy husband and a mannish wife make both horrible and offensive. Again, only the grace of God is sufficient. Both must know how to yield or stand to save the home.
Once upon a time it was said that a husband said to his wife, "Wife, when you see me coming home from work with my cap pulled down over my left eye, You'd better watch your steps." His wife replied, "Yes, husband, when you come home and see a knot tied in my apron,You'd better watch your steps." Well, one afternoon the husband came home with his cap pulled down over his left eye, and behold, his wife had a knot tied in her apron. You immediately ask,"Well, what happened?" Well what happens over there at your house when both decided to take over and not yield an inch? An explosion, of course! Your children will never forget it here, andmay not here after. The "Give and take" method will save more homes than the opposite. Let us decide which way is right, and both go that way, regardless of how much it may reflect on ourself-will, judgement and personal interests. Each must be willing to ask forgiveness and reverse his or her attitude and stand, when wrong.
10. The great climax in choosing a life's companion is LOVE. Love that never ends, butalways blends. Love must be the foundation of the home, flowing from husband and wife to eachother, and to their precious children. Never get married for money or lust, or any other selfish interest. Many of the other differences discussed may be adjusted or overlooked where love reigns until none complains. "Love hides a multitude of sins." All want to be loved, but the stream must keep flowing both ways if the home fires keep burning in radiant love, coming down from above.
Love is PATIENT and KIND. Love knows NEITHER envy nor JEALOUSY. Love is not forward and SELF ASSERTIVE, nor boastful and conceited. She does not behave herself UNBECOMINGLY, nor seek to aggrandize herself, nor blaze out in passionate anger, nor BROOD OVER WRONGS. She finds no pleasure in injustices (or unkindnesses) done to others, but joyfullysides with the truth. SHE KNOWS HOW TO BE SILENT (under pressure). She is full of trust, fullof hope, full of patient endurance. Love never fails. "And now there remain, faith, hope and lovethese three, but the greatest of these is love," B Weymouth. A home without love???? A home withlove.
My young friends, just a few suggestions about your love affairs before you are married, during your happy courtship days.
1. Be careful in all your relationships one to another, so that if you do not get married, you will not fear to look your lover's future wife or husband in the face and tell them how you once treated their companion. If you do not want others to hug and kiss your companion before you marry him or her, then do not do it to others. In these days of low, lax moral standards, better watch your affections and feelings. Listen: "Keep thyself pure" if you want your love to endure.
2. The length of courtships may vary, but they should never be too short or too long. It maybe easy to "fall in love," but not so easy to "fall out." If you make a mistake, make the best of it.You may be disappointed in your lover after the marriage, or she may be disappointed in you, but this is too late to change your minds. Take time to get acquainted before marriage. After marriage, correct your errors and faults which try each other, and live for each other.
3. Be sincere, honest and frank with each other before you are married like you must beafter you are married. You may court in your "Sunday clothes" and manners before you are married, but it is a seven days a week and a life time proposition AFTER you are married.
If you desire to know any thing about the past moral records of each other, ask the questions before you are married. It will be too late to do any thing about it AFTERWARD. Then be truthful and frank in your replies to the questions, or you will have to live and die a liar afteryou are married, or, make confessions which may wreck your home. Do not be too intimate in your sex discussions before marriage. It is best not to discuss previous relations after marriage, unless conscience demands it.
4. Your courtships should not be too long, lest you become overfamiliar, and lose your love for each other. If you wait until you are both set in your ways, the after marriage adjustments may be difficult or impossible. Once upon a time two courted until they were about forty before they got married. Later another young man was courting and wondered how long he should wait to get married. He said, "If ,any one knows how long our courtship should be before marriage our neighbor who courted until he was forty, should know; I'll ask him." Then he went and asked theman how long one should court before they were married, and the older, now, married man answered, "Well, which ever one you do, you will wish that you had done the other." Living in the valley of indecision too long makes it difficult to make a right and final choice. Besides it robs one of a number of the best years of the married life.
Do not fall or jump in, until you are sure that you should; neither wait so long that you do not know what you want to do. Get well acquainted, then get married, or get out before you fallout. Indecision makes life uncertain and insecure.
5. Of course you should be affectionate, but not indulgent in your courtships. In this loose, lax generation, you must be careful in your relations to the opposite sex, before, and after you are married. Then if you show proper respect for each other BEFORE YOU ARE MARRIED, youwill have more love, confidence and respect for each other AFTER YOU ARE MARRIED. The right kind of pure love will make it easy and necessary to respect your lover before marriage. The writer loved his wife so much before their marriage until he would not have blighted her character for any thing in the world.
Then if you have questionable or sinful relations with each other before your marriage, then what if you do not get married? How would you feel in the presence of another who might later love and marry your TEMPORARY sweet heart? If your own later lover and life companion asks you about your former courtships, how would you feel, and what would you say? "Keep thyself pure" if you want to be sure and happy as long as life doth endure. "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." Live like God wants you to live and you will have nothing to fear here, or over there. If you do not respect each other before you are married, you cannot love and trust eachother after you are married.
6. You need not wait to get rich before you set married, but it is fine to have a place to live after you get married . However, it is better to live in a rented cottage with one you love, than to live in a mansion with one not loved or appreciated. After marriage, both must live together, and each do his or her part to bear the burdens and enjoy the blessings of life. If you cannot reason withand understand each other before marriage, you cannot get along together after you are married. Leteach live for the other, and not for self, and your love will last.
7. From the beginning, the husband must be the head of the house, even as Christ is the headof the church, I Tim. 5:22-33. Every husband should love his wife and be the head of the house, if his wife is to respect and work with him. A sissy man and a mannish woman both are repulsive tothe other. The devil tries to reverse and destroy every thing that God has done. That's why women are being pushed into leadership in every realm, while men are being pushed aside and left out.World destruction is soon to prove the folly of this.
Admonitions To Parents
Parents should advise and council their young people relative to the selection of their life's companion, but should not do the choosing for them. They should win and hold the confidence oftheir children from their childhood up, so that they will come to them for advice and council in all important matters. Above all else, win them to Christ in their childhood, before they get tied up with the wrong crowd and companions. Except in EXTREME CASES, parents should never "butin" and forbid their children to court or marry certain persons. After they "fall in love," great caution must be used lest your opposition drive your children into the arms of their lovers.
Many, or most parents, often feel that their own children are better and superior to all other young people, but this is imagination, unless they are far superior to their parents?? We should begin in time to advise our children before they are too much in love. Teach them WHAT KIND OF LOVERS that they should seek and marry, BEFORE THEY FALL IN LOVE. Never tease children about their "sweethearts" until they are old enough to get married.They may court or marry too young.
If they decide to marry against your own advice and council, except in very extreme cases,always attend the wedding ceremonies. Then after the wedding take them into your lives and confidence, and make them feel welcome in your hearts and homes. This is the only way to turnthem in the right direction for your own child's protection. Never drive your own children out of your homes because they married the "wrong person." Do not indorse their wrong principles orconduct, but seek to win them to Christ.
Soon after they are married, they should be encouraged to move out into their own homes,and run their own affairs. There is not room enough in any home for two families, especially kinsfolk. Then do not meddle in the affairs of your "in-laws," lest you make them "outlaws." Be very cautious in taking sides, if your children have difficulties in getting along with their companions. It is easy to let your sympathies run away with you and your children. Never make a final decision until you give both sides a chance to state their side of the issue. Let both be present, and do your best to help them understand, love and allow for each other. "Blessed are the peacemakers." Keep them out of the divorce court by all means. Fast and pray for them and lead them to Christ by allmeans.
Do not meddle in the affairs of your grandchildren. Let your children raise their own children like you did. In extreme cases, you might make kindly suggestions, but never give orders or commands.
Grandma, do not let your SOFT sympathies run away with you in dealing with your GRAND children. Grandparents should never but in when parents are disciplining their children. The great danger has always been in being too easy on children. The grandchildren might not be so GRAND after all, especially if they take after or resemble their grandparents?
We have heard many older people express their appreciation for the strict discipline oftheir parents in bringing them up; but we NEVER heard any one express their appreciation that their parents were soft, easy and lax on them when children.
"Attend to your own business and let every one's else alone,"and you will have plenty to do.