| Re: |
I have often believed that marriage should be postponed until the man can "prepare a place" for his bride. A man who cannot provide for his home, after all, is worse than an infidel. I know so many young people who run into marriage -- without truly understanding the depth of what such a covenant requires.
However, I don't think that there is any sort of Scriptural mandate about WHEN to get married. Yes, the writer of Ecclesiastes tells us to "enjoy the wife of our youth." However, I don't believe that this is any sort of requirement (and I don't think that anyone would claim that it is). I do think that a "common sense" prerequisite is that both the man and woman should be mature enough to both understand and fulfill the vows of a marriage covenant. In today's society -- including the Church -- there are so many young adults who think and act like children. They are still juvenile in thought, actions, and desires. This is often reflected in their marriages.
I have known such young Christian couples who were quickly engaged and then quickly married. In the back of my mind (although I prayed that it would be otherwise), I felt that serious trouble might arise in the future. Sure enough, most of these young couples (18-21 yr olds) experienced very real problems. One young "Christian" couple was divorced within a month -- after the young "Christian" man was not all that he presented himself to be (and was caught up into gross, sexual sin)! Another young lady in our Church used to come over to my family's house just to cry on the shoulder of my mother (less than a year after getting married). My mom used to explain that young Christian ladies often "glamorize" marriage with pre-conceived fantasies and notions that are unrealistic (and almost entirely unscriptural).
Sadly, many young people feel that they are more mature than they actually are. This is especially true when they think that they are in love. I think that the truly wise young adults are those who pray about such a covenant and are truly prepared and willing for a "no" answer from God or their parents. Life can be hard -- even for young Christian couples! A young man must understand and be willing to take upon himself the responsibility of a husband and a father BEFORE he enters into such a lasting and binding covenant.
That said: I am happily married! I love my wife more than myself. I am constantly consumed with a desire to take care of her -- spiritually, emotionally, and physically. This is a natural desire -- but one that weighs heavily upon me at times. Thankfully, I was fully aware of most of these things before we were engaged. Yet, even with this knowledge, I was still surprised by it all.
Of course, the bottom line is to pray before ever considering such a thing. We must make sure that young, Christian adults can sift through hormones, personal desires and goals, the voices of others and the true voice of God before engaging into such a covenant. It is truly a wonderful thing!
| 2009/8/12 14:13||Profile|
Coral Springs, FL
| Re: |
I really think that is good for young people to marry as long as they are not just trained to be providers (for males) and taught to take care of a home and children (for females) but trained in the fear of God and that one is a great sinner in need of Christ. One thing I've learned in marriage is that you can either become Christ like or destroy your marriage, there's no other way. So whether you marry young which is better and good all that should matter is Christ.
| 2009/8/12 18:43||Profile|
| Re: |
Roniya, Thanks so much for posting this link to the Albert Mohler show. I listened to it, then 'rewound' it again to relisten to certain parts again. I would highly recommend it. I am so glad people are discussing this issue, making folks think that perhaps this is another aspect of American culture that is broke and needs repairing.
Ginny, in your little community do you see any issues of delaying marriage amongst the conservative youth that you know?
hhmm, how can I answer this question in a few words? For starters, the church we belong to is part of an Anabaptist group and there are five of Anabaptist churches in our county, of whom three belong to the same conference and the other two belong to other fellowships but not the same ones. Between these three groups there are a lot of similarities but also some differences. Keep this in mind as I reply.
In this culture, education beyond high school is not promoted. In the larger group education beyond the eighth grade is discouraged. So secular education beyond what is needed to read, write and do math is not considered essential for life.
The males that grow up in these churches find their life work by their dad helping him get started in his chosen occupation. Most dads are self-employed and as time goes on his business grows and he will incorporate his sons into his operation so that by the time he is 20 or soon after, he can support a wife. Usually, a mobile home, or a small house will be purchased for the son and his wife to live in. There they will live until finances increase and they will build larger on a larger piece of land in the country.
The girl, in the meantime, will be taught homemaking skills by her mother. She will be able to do gardening, can/freeze food, cook, bake, sew, clean, keep a house orderly and clean. She may also do some work outside the home to earn an income but it is not with the idea that this will be a career for her to pursue for a long time - just something to do to earn some spending money.
These youth are taught that marriage is for life and that divorce is not an option. Children are to be welcomed into the home and their arrivals are celebrated. Family size will vary from one to eight, most have four. If there are any less it may be because nature did not give them any more.
Mothers are expected to stay home and care for the children; Dads are the primary breadwinner. As his work expands, the wife may assist and as the children grow older they help. are these people poor? No. None are on public assistance but do accept social security payments when retirement is reached.
In the fifty years the Anabaptists have lived here there have been only two unwed mothers and this just happened in the past year. The one says she was raped and the other - will call her May - got involved in sin. She was 'forbidden to marry' a fellow her parents did not deem good enough for her and then she got involved with someone else and had a child. May was involved with this man for 8 years, unknown to her parents or family. These situations sent shock waves through the entire community because it just is not supposed to happen and it didn't until now.
Moral purity is taught and expected. The lifelong commitment to marriage is taught and expected. This is 'our' culture.
Roniya, to answer your question, I would have to say "no" because the young people are not waiting to get married until they are quite old although there are some older singles who would love to be married.
For fifteen years I have worked at a Crises Pregnancy Center and am well acquainted with the morals of the world 'out there'. Since we all live in the world, the struggle to not be a part of the world is very real - we will not escape unscathed.
My real concern is the premature maturing of girls and how it will impact their ability to stay pure until they are emotionally ready for marriage. Couple that with mothers who refuse to teach their daughters any responcibility and homemaking skills you are allowing a girls to grow up totally unprepared to face life as a wife and mother, hence the rise in divorces and single motherhood.
I was a young girl once, I know the drives that dwell within to mate and menarche did not appear until I became a teen. How on earth are little girls going to handle this stress at 9, at 10 or 11??? And then you tell them they cannot marry until 25 or so??!!
I mentioned light as being a factor in early maturing. Ccrider (I think it was) mentioned diet being a factor. From what I have read both contribute to early maturing. My husband reminded me how my dad used artificial light to hasten maturing in the foxes he raised (for pelts). If somehow one could limit artificial light in homes (like getting to bed earlier) and watch the foods fed to the children, one could perhaps control some of this.
This piece is too long...there are more issues, like the males needing to get married...just listen to Mohler's program - it is so good.
God bless all of you, especially, you singles. My heart goes out to you because the world and its culture is exceedingly wicked -you know that. I would strongly encourage those who have godly parents to solicit their assistance in helping you find a mate. Be open with them about your desires, your struggles...you might actually find them helpful...
| 2009/8/12 22:07||Profile|
| Re: |
Thank you for answering my question, sister. :) That was kinda what I was thinking about the more Anabaptists circles.
I found an interesting article that is on a secular website on this topic. You can read it [url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/24/AR2009042402122.html]here[/url]
A verse that I have been thinking about in regards to marriage is Romans 12:2
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
[b]And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God[/b]."
It's interesting to read that article by Mark Regnerus and then think about what ways we (the church as a whole) have conformed ourselves to the thinking of the world in this area of life. I'm so glad to see church leaders like Al Mohler considering this and searching to see if there is a conforming to the world in the matter of marriage.
That's one thing I really appreciate about Voddie Baucham's [url=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=726092128481]message[/url] on finding the will of God for your life and it is the challenge to examine our thinking and see if our thoughts are conformed to the world or to Scripture.
Good things to think about....
| 2009/8/18 23:31|
| Re: Chasity|
Last night a friend, BonnieJane, and I attended a fund raiser by Life Choices. Their featured speaker was Pam Stenzel. Pam is a renown speaker promoting chasity, speaking to teens, parents, educators and whoever. She speaks to 500,000 teens in a year, sometimes in public schools as well.
Pam has worked at a CPC in Chicago for nine years and speaks from her experience in Chastity counseling. She speaks from a Biblical view, does not mince words, is blunt, passionate and on fire. She is a feminine version of Paul Washer - speaks with lots of energy and conviction. She kept me riveted to my seat, a major accomplishment for any speaker to be able to do this to me!
Pam detailed the danger, the destructiveness of STDs in the human body; illustrating that one cannot sin safely, there will always be grievous consequences.
As Pam spoke Romans 1:24-32 came to my mind. It seems to me we indeed are seeing the judgement of God poured out on the individual who will mock God and serve his own lusts.
On the practical level modern day STDs will cause infertility. In a matter of a few years you will have many young women who will want to have children but will find themselves infertile because of immorality. May I be so bold to suggest that those who hanker for zero population growth will find their goals achieved through the youth's promiscuous living?
Now where does the church find itself in this mix? Stats declare that these youth are just as involved in this sin as their secular counterparts. Is your brotherhood declaring war on immorality? or is it taking a relaxed attitude towards it "we must forgive" and then proceed as though nothing happened? What is the victim to do when a debilitating disease shows up, maybe not even for 3 years? Test yourself next week and all looks clear, but wait - in three - five years you may test positive! When you want to marry, will you be honest enough to tell your potential spouse that you carry a disease that will infect her? Yes, people can forgive, but your body does not forgive. (1Corinthians 6:18) There is a reason why Paul admonishes the church to not allow this sin to be named once among you. (Ephesians 5:3). This will call for some strong preaching, teaching, strong parents who will work more diligently to protect their children.
Fortunately, scripture also says that where sin abounds, grace did much more. Romans 5:20. So, while the moral climate is worse then bleak, the divine assistance is in bountiful supply.
| 2009/8/21 15:43||Profile|