Archive for the ‘marriage’ Category

Are You Serious When You Pray

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

[Most recent Newsletter]

April 4, 2011

Greetings!

Contents:
Are You Serious When You Pray
Updates on Mission Trips
Travel Adventures
Updates on Dan’s work in Michigan
Updates on Web site
A Thought to Ponder

Introduction:
It is good to be back home, but I confess to missing my friends back in El Suyatal, Honduras. Actually I miss friends in many places, but since Honduras is the most recent place I visited I am especially thinking of them right now. I had a great week there and will tell you a bit more in this newsletter. However I first want to ask you if you are serious when you pray?

Are You Serious When You Pray?:
“Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’-let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac….” Gen. 24:14

“Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you….” Isa. 30:18

I’ve often marveled at the way God answered Eliezer’s prayer when he was seeking a spouse for Isaac. Two things are worth noting: (1) He specifically answered Eliezer’s prayer, and (2) He immediately brought the person-while he was STILL praying Rebekah came along. Eliezer soon realized that God had answered his prayer. That was a fast answer to prayer. I am grateful God is both willing and able to answer our prayers.

Do you wish God answered your prayers as specifically and quickly? I think He wants to do the same for us in our day, but I don’t think most of us are prepared to receive such a specific answer, at least we are not prepared to receive it so quickly.

Reviewing the story found in Genesis 24, Abraham seems to have sensed the need of a godly spouse for Isaac. Isaac was of a kind and compliant nature; having a godly wife would strengthen his spiritual resolve and would be a blessing-Yes, marriage contracted in the fear of the Lord is a good thing and I often pray for young adults who seek marriage partners.

Abraham was very specific when instructing Eliezer about the person he was to return with: (1) she was to come from his family; and (2) she was to return to the land of Canaan. Regardless of how wonderful or spiritual she might be, regardless of her beauty or intelligence, if these two criteria were not met, she could not be the one! These were so important, in fact, that Eliezer was released from bringing anyone back if no one was willing to return-apparently there are times when being single is better than being married.

Eliezer made his preparations, and headed off-Isaac trusted this godly man even though Isaac was 40 at the time probably.

Arriving in Mesopotamia, the land where Abraham was from, Eliezer made his way to the well where the local people came to draw water. It was a good place for Eliezer to come to, since he would be able to mingle with the local people and his camels were also thirsty-apparently some places can be more suitable than others to receive God’s answer.

There he prayed. “Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’-let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac.” Gen. 24:13,14

Before he even finished praying, God responded: “And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, … came out with her pitcher on her shoulder” (Gen. 24:15) Of a hospitable and generous nature, she offered to not only bring water to Eliezer, but also fetched water for all of his camels-a good place to find God’s choice is where others are being served. His prayer was perfectly answered!

Eliezer asked about her family, soon realized God had answered his prayer, and proceeded to praise God before he did anything else-he never forgot that he was on a mission for God!

When he met with Rebekah’s family, he was able to share all the ways God had led up to the moment-when God works His providential leadings are easy to follow, and the family could neither respond yay or nay because it was so obvious that God was in charge-when God is leading there won’t need to be a lot of convincing of others.

Rebekah agreed to return to Canaan, they traveled back, Isaac received her, and there was love at first sight-since God is the author of love, the marriages He brings about are the sweetest.

Returning to my original question, I ask: Why was God able to answer Eliezer’s prayer so specifically and quickly? Because Eliezer was prepared to IMMEDIATELY accept GOD’S SPECIFIC CHOICE!

When it comes to serious things in life, like marriage, most people want TIME to consider possibilities, want MULTIPLE prospects to choose from, and the LAST WORD on the final choice. Yes, we seek God’s blessings, but in the end we want what we want, and often leave God out of the decision process.

For example, as I travel around the world I often speak with young adults who are working for God. Many of these conversations are about their prayerful quest for a godly marriage partner. As a result I pray for many of them and am pleased when I hear that God has brought the much prayed for partner.

95% of the godly young adults who attend my meetings are single. 99% of the young women of this group are praying for God to lead them to a godly man who they can safely give their hearts to. Some of the young women have joined other young women to seek God’s help in finding a godly husband.

I wish I could say as many young men are praying, praying as earnestly, or joining other young men to unite in praying about this important facet of life. I wish, but it doesn’t seem to be so. Some of the young men are also considering their options as they play the “friend” game-enjoying close friendships that are considered casual and come without obligations-at least in their minds. But what seems casual to them is far more than casual to the young woman they are friends with sometimes. Sadly breakups from “friendships” are confusing and hurt just as badly as when serious relationships break up.

Knowing of the godly desires of the young people, I am always keeping my eyes open for possible matches. Some time back I was speaking with a young man about a godly young woman who would make a wonderful partner for someone. He had formerly asked me to pray that God would help him find a godly partner to serve God with him, and I thought I might have found such a person. He was please to hear of someone, but responded that he wanted an “organic” relationship-new term to me-explained with the following descriptors: “natural growth, makes things go smoother. Low expectations.” In pondering the response, seemed to me he wasn’t ready to make a decision in that area of his life and I shouldn’t have mentioned anyone to him until he was ready. To look at this spiritually, He wasn’t prepared to to get a fast answer to his prayer for a partner because he wasn’t ready to enter into a serious relationship, or he wasn’t prepared to accept God’s choice.

Is it possible my friend was wanting options to consider-perhaps even playing the field? That is unfortunate since I am constantly talking with brokenhearted young adults who got into relationships where either one or the other of the parties wasn’t that serious yet, and broke things off eventually, little realizing the heartbreak that would result. I’ve also heard from more than one individual who has gone down the “tentative” relationship pathway, been disappointed multiple times, and has decided to no longer be part of such relationships-preferring to wait for the individual who is seriously seeking God’s choice, and is surrendered to accept God’s choice. Here’s some advice: don’t start a relationship unless you are prepared to court and get married.

And remember “just being friends” and spending lots of time with a member of the opposite sex is like being in a relationship after some time for a young woman. The guys may not realize this, but a woman’s heart responds to attention and time, even if the young man doesn’t intend for the relationship to be anything more than a friendship! Don’t play the “just friends” game. Those breakups hurt just as bad!

I am reminded of another young adult who once wrote asking that I pray that she get admitted to a particular college. So I prayed and was pleased to learn that she had been accepted-even received a scholarship. I was praising God. But she didn’t come! Inquiring what happened, I discovered she had changed her mind! I was left wondering if she had really sought God’s direction prior to asking me to pray. I wondered why I had prayed for her so specifically.

My prayers in both of these cases were misguided. Praying that they would become serious with God and seek whatever God wanted, would have been more appropriate. But praying for a specific person, and a specific college, was misguided. God didn’t answer my prayers, and I am realizing that I don’t want to waste time praying those prayers anymore. In the future, I will be very interested to know why the person making the request is so sure their request is God’s will? Lack of seeking after God, lack of surrendering to God’s direction, will preclude praying specifically, and will necessitate a general prayer for direction and surrender to the direction eventually given.

I have mentioned two young adult examples, but I think the same happens for adults whether single or married. We have a problem, we consider what is going on in our lives, come up with our own solution, and then beg God to grant whatever we have asked-even ask our friends to pray for whatever we want. We could save ourselves lots of time and frustration if we were to ask God what He wants, and how He wants us to pray. I believe those answers would come much faster.

So I ask: Are you serious when you pray? I believe many of the delays encountered when we pray, come because we are not serious with God-at least not serious about receiving HIS answer. As a result, God waits until we become so frustrated with our attempts-attempts which can go on for years, that we will finally surrender and accept HIS answer. Then He will quickly answer, according to His will, like He did for Eliezer.

Update on Mission Trips:
Two weeks ago I was in Honduras in Central America, where I spent a delightful week at the IBC Mission School at a tiny village called El Suyatal. You may have heard that Honduras is among the poorest and most challenged countries in Central America. That may be true, but I was always surrounded by kind and loving people and had a wonderful experience. I spoke to the students about what it means to follow Jesus for their devotional hour in the morning, taught a morning class on witnessing, went with them on visits in the village some of the days, and spoke every evening on prayer to the villagers. The signs of poverty were all around. The streets had no paving, the donkeys were often loose, horses were an important part of transportation, and many of the homes have dirt floors, etc.. But smiles came in response to my “buenos” greetings, and spoke of a happiness which I appreciated. The school was founded by young adults, and today includes dorms and other buildings, wonderful gardens, a bilingual kindergarten, and a leadership that has great spiritual maturity and commitment to Jesus. There is no electricity-a good thing I came to realize since the constant bombardment of noise and media so prevalent in today’s society were absent, making more time for prayer, conversations with people, quiet time with Jesus, and earlier bedtimes-a welcome and needed change. In fact I’ve thought it might be good to shut off the electric here in Michigan at times. The lack of hot water for showers was very character refining-fortunately I didn’t die from the shock of the cold water, but neither did the water get any warmer over the course of the week. The food was delicious-vegan food that I looked forward to, the fellowship and friendships were of the sweetest variety, daily times praying at 6:30 AM will be remembered for a long time, and I rejoiced at the very positive work going on in the little village. Students and staff go there from many places in the world (Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, United States, etc.) and one can speak many different languages in the course of the day. I will happily return in the future, and happily recommend the school for any young adult who wants to learn about sharing Christ with people in the marketplace, learn about medical missionary work, studying the Bible, and learning how to grow and live off the land-even the guys learn how to bake bread. And all the students are learning to speak Spanish as well. I continue to pray for the people at the school, and the people in the village. I’m even learning a bit of Spanish now that I am home in preparation of returning one day. Should you be interested, you can learn more about them at this web site: http://www.vidaprojects.org/english They gave me a CD of Christian music upon leaving which was a mix of English and German songs that is really beautiful. Please join me praying for them, and if God puts it on your heart, supporting them financially. Though they want to be self-supporting, they are still living by faith and depend on the rest of us to get through day by day.

Travel Adventures:
Traveling to and from Honduras was an interesting prayer-driven adventure. On the way down, my first seat mate could have traded his name for mine, so far as similarities of the things we have experienced in life go. I hope we stay in touch. In Miami, as I was sitting and waiting for my plane to Honduras, an American woman who was seated close by, asked where I was going. I didn’t know right off, but pulled out the sheet of paper to show her “El Suyatal. She was amazed and exclaimed, “El Suyatal is a tiny little village 1.5 hours from Tegucigalpa which no one knows about. I live there! She was from the same town I was going to. That coincidence assured me that God was directing me to go. During the week I looked up Sarah and her family, and spent time visiting with her. She later came to the school with her daughter to visit with the staff and students. On the way home, my seat mate was a young adult who grew up in an orphanage in Honduras and we became friends. God is good.

I am working on a trip to India for May perhaps. Please remember that in your prayers.

Life in Michigan:
I am teaching the history of great Christians at the Seminary here. I love teaching the course because we get inspired every class by someone who pulled off great things for God. This week we have considered famous women: Susannah Wesley-the mother of John and Charles Wesley; Mary Lyons-a pioneer educator in New England whose Mount Holyoke Female Seminary made a great difference in many parts of the world; Francis Ridley Havergal-the author of many favorite Christian hymns; and Amy Carmichael-who founded the Dohnavur Fellowship orphanage in the southern most part of India. You can find information on these women at this link at path2prayer.com.

Some Quotes from Mary Lyons:
“When in doubt which of two courses to take, follow that which involves the most self-denial. You will then find yourself in the safe and happier path.”

“Jesus was never seeking a place where to live, but a place where he could deny himself for others.”

“Go where no one else will go, not seeking the praise of man, but the favor which comes from God only.”

“I felt that in the sight of God, my duty in my own little sphere and with my own feeble ability was more to me than the duty of all the world besides. Could I call thousands into the treasury of the Lord, it might not be so important a duty for me as to give from my own purse that last farthing which God requires.”

“The yielding of the will to the parent or teacher is often the schoolmaster that leads to Christ. Thank God if you have learned to submit your will to that of your parents.”

“We can train benevolent workers only by being benevolent ourselves. The Levites had no portion among the tribes; the Lord was their inheritance; but out of their living they gave their tithes to the Lord. Let us live in the same spirit.”

“If work needs to be done, and no one wants to do it, that is the work for you. Much of the work of the world, if done at all, must be done for love – not for pecuniary returns.”

“Loving self supremely continually disappoints.”

“Privilege and responsibility go hand in hand.”

Recent Answers to Prayer:
One brother wrote to say that immigration papers came in answer to many prayers. Another young woman wrote to say that an impossible job internship was offered to her that was totally unexpected. Another person has landed a job at a large hospital in answer to prayer. A student got almost a perfect score on a test that he prayed about much. God is still answering our prayers!

Update on Website:
I keep adding resources to the web site. I am currently researching much the writings of famous missionaries and finding much to bless my soul. I often hear from others the blessings they are gaining in visiting. Add a link to my site to your church’s site.

Foreign Language Resources:
My meetings were taped in Honduras. Since they were all translated into Spanish, there are now complete messages on prayer, following Jesus and witness. These will be added to path2prayer.com when the editing is completed. Do you feel called to translate? Some volunteers are doing some translation for the web site and I would welcome more. At this point we have resources in Romanian and Spanish. Find out about them at the Foreign Language Link at path2prayer.com

A Thought to Ponder:
As I study the history of great Christians, I am becoming increasingly convinced that a healthy mature walk with God not only includes reading the Bible and praying every day, and serving God locally, but also either going as missionaries on short or long-term trips, or giving to support those who are already in missions, or making it possible for others to go in our place. What do you think in this regard? I think of Louis Harms who had the little church in Hermannsburg, Germany. No one would have expected much of his church in the little village, but he was convinced his church could only be healthy if the members were actively sending and supporting missionaries. And so they did. Eventually they had eight mission stations and many missionaries serving God in Africa. Later they also worked in India. I don’t think the formula for spiritual health has changed since his time. If you want to have a strong walk with Jesus, you will have to start asking God what He would have you do in this regard. We should seek opportunities to serve God oversees, at least short-term. God will call some individuals to long-term mission service; for some something shorter. If for some reason you cannot go, then God needs you to financially make it possible for others to go-either go, or help someone else who can go.

A Prayer:
Father in heaven, thank you for allowing me to go on the mission trip to Honduras. Thank you for guiding me as I selected planes, as I served you at the mission school, as I returned, etc.. Thank you for letting me serve you in teaching about great Christians here. Thank you that You have given us so many examples of individuals who surrendered their lives and what they had, and were used by You in a great way as a result. Father, bless my friend Dan. I don’t know what is going on for Dan, but You do. Please grant the same blessings that you gave me, and continue to give me, as we seek to serve You. You know the prayers that are going up. You know to what degree Dan is serious about having prayers answered. Might you give Dan the willingness to seek Your answers, and the courage to accept Your Answers when they come. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thank you for the difference you are making and God bless you! You are in my thoughts and prayers!

Dan

Evaluating a Marriage Partner

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Every day people write me at path2prayer.com regarding their Christian walk. Some questions come more frequently than others. One of them is the “Who should I marry” question.

Some time ago I was asked for suggestions relative to evaluating a potential marriage partner. I did some praying about it and came up with a list that has proved helpful. I have also come to realize that there are a few preliminary questions that need to be positively answered to determine whether one can even ask the “Who should I marry” question. The list is not exhaustive but suggests important indicators that should be considered. Perhaps you have ideas as well. Please comment and let me know.

Evaluating a Potential Marriage Partner

There is no more important decision after one has surrendered to Jesus.

In the Bible you will find the story of a wife being found for Isaac very helpful. Beyond that, I personally find the books Finding the Love of Your Life by Neil Clark Warren and Passion and Purity and Quest For Love by Elizabeth Elliot to be helpful. There are MANY other good books as well on the subject.

Here are a few preliminary things to consider. Pay special attention to these first three questions. Depending on the answers to these three, you may not have to consider the ones that follow for a few years since you are NOT ready to consider the “who to marry” question.

1. Are you of sufficient physical and emotional maturity to make such a decision. An 18 year old, for example, is going to change quite a bit in the next four years and doesn’t even know what he or she will be like at the age of 22. What seemed perfect at 18, may seem awful four years later. It is best to wait before you get into serious discussions with a person of the opposite sex about marriage if a considerable portion of your university experience is still to be completed, for the university experience will greatly broaden your views of life and greatly augment your intellectual and emotional maturity. As a result it is only later that you can properly evaluate a potential marriage partner. For some people it may need to be even later. When in doubt it is always better to delay.

2. Are you of sufficient spiritual maturity to make a decision. If you have not fully surrendered your life to God, you probably won’t ask God to lead you in this, or at the very least you will evaluate on the basis of human criteria instead of using Biblical criteria. If you have not surrendered your life to God, you are NOT ready to consider the “marriage” decision.

3. Do you know God’s purpose for your life? Do you know what kind of work He is calling you to? Until you can answer this question, it is will be very hard to know WHO God may be calling you to marry. Someone has said there are two great questions in life: 1. Where you want to go in life (for the Christian, this would be God’s calling in your life), and 2. Who do you want to go there with (note the right person will be an individual who is wanting, or at least sincerely willing, to go on the same journey you feel called to). IF you can answer the “where” question, the “who” question is far easier to answer. Too many people answer the “who” question before they answer the “where” question. This can cause much frustration and sadness later. In my own mind, the great purpose in life is to know Jesus, to surrender to Him, and to devote one’s life to serving Him. Many attend church, but they haven’t seen that their lives belong to God. For the person who recognizes that he or she belongs to God, it is important to marry someone who similarly recognizes God’s ownership.

If you ARE of sufficient emotional and physical maturity, HAVE surrendered to God, and know WHAT God is preparing you for in life, then you are prepared to consider the rest of the questions.

I am sure there may be instances where people got married in spite of not knowing what God was calling them to, however where these marriages worked out there was great spiritual maturity and a close relationship with God, that allowed God to clearly communicate His will. Too often marriages are rushed into where there isn’t the maturity, the close walk with God, to say nothing of lacking the kind of surrender needed, and the result isn’t the happiness and godly productivity that was hoped for.

The rest of the questions…

4. To what degree do you feel that God has specifically led the two of you together to serve Him in your marriage. In this respect what Muller says about knowing God’s will is very important.

5. Are you both Christians? Don’t even consider marriage with someone who is not a Christian. You may not care today, but you will eventually in most cases, and the saddest people I know are the ones who didn’t care ahead of time, but later changed their mind, and found themselves in very unhappy marriages. The person should also be a member of your own denomination. If not, have them study what you believe BEFORE you get married. A prior strong relationship with the Lord and with the church is a major strength for the future relationship.

6. How close are you in lifestyle? The way you spend your time and money are important to consider. Granted marriage was given to help overcome selfishness, however trend lines in this regard are worth considering.

7. Can the person admit when they have made mistakes and ask forgiveness. One would assume that Christians could easily say “I am sorry,” and “forgive me,” words which are magical in a relationship, but the reality is often otherwise. It is hard being married to someone who cannot—or will not—ask forgiveness. Asking forgiveness is often learned through example at home growing up. A deficit in this area will bring significant challenges to your marriage.

8. Are there similar energy levels. Some people are like the energy bunny, others need quite a bit of rest. Both groups include fine people, but significant differences in energy can challenge the relationship. Ambitions should also be similar, or at least compatible.

9. What are the family dynamics on each side? Can the families celebrate the union? If the family refuses to celebrate the union, are there valid reasons for refusing? What were the values of the respective families? Those values will often significantly impact the relationship in the future. What were the communication styles in the respective families? Do they communicate? Can they express affection? These styles definitely continue into the next relationship. None are necessarily bad, though there are exceptions such as abusive communication styles. Some people refer to the different languages of love and how each person communicates and responds to love in different ways—for example one person verbally expresses love, while another expresses love in giving gifts. Such differences are worth knowing about ahead of time. Reading a good book on the subject would be good. One should also consider how the respective families resolved their differences? Families tend to develop their own ways—patterns—of resolving differences. Some don’t address problems, preferring silence—which can get old over time. Some are very verbal when they are working things out, but resolved whatever is going on and forget about what was said. It has been suggested we all have two communication modes: the one we have when we are on our best behavior, and a backup mode that comes out when we feel threatened or upset, which isn’t that pleasant, and can be similar to what we learned growing up. You should also consider the kind of respect shown to the mom and to the dad. This is an important one, because if the guy didn’t see his mom being respected and valued, he may not show respect to his spouse. The same is true for the wife relative to her respect for her father. Challenges mentioned are not unchangeable life sentences, but they should not be minimized either. In some ways you ARE marrying each other’s family and are bringing the relational styles of your respective families to the marriage. Serious issues should result in serious counseling ahead of time.

10. How optimistic is the person? Optimism and hopefulness comes more easily to some than others. However, in my opinion, it is also a decision, and we can develop a more optimistic frame of mind by saying “yes” and “thank you” to God more often, which of course helps us develop a more confident belief that He is somehow working for good in ALL situations.

11. Can the respective parties make room for differing opinions and different rates of spiritual growth? Some individuals see every decision as a “yes” or “no” kind of decision—some would use the term “black and white”, regardless of what others say. Life isn’t always so simple and appropriate open-mindedness can make for a happier marriage.

12. Minimize the wonderful things ahead of time; maximize the little things. I am not negating the good things that attracted you, but they tend to be forgotten later and the little “We can change that later” things become all important. Don’t assume you can change each other AFTER the marriage. Warren says some good things in this regard.

13. Common interests are often cited as important ingredients of a happy marriage. The more things you enjoy in common, the more things you will enjoy doing together. The more time you spend together, the closer you will feel to each other. These commonalities will also help you weather relational storms.

14. To what degree are former associations having to change. Friendships are voluntary and are a good indicator of compatibility. Having to change your friends to maintain the relationship can be an important negative indicator of compatibility since friendships are voluntary and you usually spend time with people you are compatible with. Of course it could be a positive indicator if you find yourself spending time with people who help you walk with Jesus. Just realize that any change of friendships is an important indicator that yields helpful data.

15. A suspicious, critical, spirit is also to be watched out for—everyone struggles with this some, but some people have more of a problem with this than others, and it can make for future unhappiness. Are there good reasons for the suspicions? Was this mode of thinking learned at home? Do the suspicians indicate an underlying insecurity? If it was a part of the home growing up, it may well continue into the new home. We are advised that this kind of spirit will destroy the spirituality of a church; it will also mar—perhaps even destroy—the happiness of your home. Life is too short to go through life being suspicious of everyone. If you want to experiment with this, spend a week criticizing each other and being suspicious of each another. Then spend a week affirming each other. See which mode results in a sense of feeling closer. Evaluate which mode results in a greater desire to love and cherish each other. I have heard it said that for every critical thing expressed to another person, ten positive things should be expressed.

16. How free is communication? Are your thoughts welcomed and seriously considered, or do you find your opinions being subordinated to the other? Do you find yourself “walking on egg shells” and avoiding certain subjects? This is a major red flag since it often gets worse after marriage. Open communication is an indicator of mutual respect.

17. Inordinate possessiveness can also be problematic. Some people feel good about themselves and can give much in the relationship, for example, desiring the other person to succeed. Others are not as confident, and therefore struggle to allow the other person to have a “healthy” degree of freedom, in fact, sometimes finding it impossible to allow any freedom. This is a serious red flag problem and I urge you to get counseling for this—if this is a serious issue, you should get out of the relationship as quickly as possible!

18. Are you able to study the Bible and pray together? This isn’t the easiest thing to do.

19. What are other people who know you both saying? The heart is deceptive above all things, and love can cause one to be blind. Asking the opinions of others is always a good idea. Many mistakes are made as a result of not seeking counsel from the godly people God has placed in our lives. Ask your parents what they think, but remember that non Christian parents cannot be looked to for godly counsel in the same way Christian parents can be looked to. Ask spiritually mature people what they think? Ask your friends who know you? Most of all ask God. Don’t minimize what is said, but also make sure you let God have the last word. Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary to China, was eventually happily married to Maria Dryer, in spite of a governess who was totally opposed to the marriage—friends secretly arranged for them to meet, at which time he immediately proposed. However, her parents’ permission was sought and obtained prior to their getting married!

There is more I could share but these are a few things that come to mind.

There is something worse than being single, and something better than being single: being married. With the right person it is wonderful; with the wrong person it redefines the word “awful.” But after you are married it will be too late to change anything. That is why you should seriously consider the questions raised!

Happy marriages are God’s desire, God’s will, and are very possible. George Muller was married twice and we get the sense that both marriages were wonderful. In fact, regarding his first wife Mary, he said there was never a moment when he did not look on her without feeling joy and that they NEVER had problems. You will find that most of the people who God used in a great way WERE married. There were exceptions—William Burns, the revivalist from Scotland remained single for example; John Wesley the founder of the Methodist Church was unhappily married—but most great Christians seemed to be happily married. If you want to read a book on the marriages of great Christians, I recommend Quest for Love by Elizabeth Elliot.

You can find a sermon I shared on the subject in NZ at this link: Finding a Wife for Isaac. There are also sections on marriage and knowing God’s will in the practical Christianity section at path2prayer.com

Please feel free to write if you have questions on what I have written.

Download a pdf of this document.