Seeking A MateBy Pastor Boffey on Sunday, January 6, 2008.
1. This study is primarily for the benefit of single, available adult Christians. 2. Have questions or issues like this crossed your mind?: A. Am I doomed to life-long single-living and celibacy? B. Is there a God-ordained special someone for everyone? C. How do I go about getting a mate? D. How do I attract a mate? E. What constitutes godly decorum in pre-marital relationships? F. Should I have to sacrifice any of my ideals in order to be married? G. Is marriage even for me? H. The "pickings" in our church are pretty slim. Where does that leave me? I. Is it a sin to marry someone who does not share my faith? J. "Falling in love" ---- is that how it should work? K. Could I stay single and celibate and be content? L. Could I stay single and celibate and not violate the "Dominion Mandate?" M. Does God even care whether or not I long to be married? 3. This study is not intended to deal with every possible question that this topic might generate or cover every scenario that individual believers face. 4. This study is not going to be a "silver bullet" or "Love Potion #9" to end the "misery" of single-living. 5. This study is designed to set forth some basic Biblical principles to help dispel faulty notions and encourage believers to exercise discernment. A. This may mean the casting down of imaginations that are exalted against the knowledge of Christ. 2CO 10:5. B. This could include casting down Hollywood or American cultural imaginations about romance. C. This could include casting down imaginations about what constitutes permissible behavior as a single or in unmarried relationships. D. This could include casting down one's own imaginations about what constitutes a good mate. E. This could include casting down imaginations about one's priorities or timetable. F. This could include casting down imaginations about emotions and their reliability. G. This could include casting down imaginations about "providential" leading. H. This could include casting down imaginations about compatibility. I. This could include casting down imaginations about a trouble-free relationship. 6. When all is said and done, the onus is on the believer to use their God-given ability to think, decide and act in a way that is in conformity with the wisdom and directives of the word of God. A. As noted earlier, the believer is encouraged to exercise discernment and so also to have discretion. (1) Discernment: "The act of discerning or perceiving by the intellect; intellectual perception or apprehension. b. The faculty of discerning; discrimination, judgement; keenness of intellectual perception; penetration, insight." (2) Discretion: "Ability to discern or distinguish what is right, befitting, or advisable, esp. as regards one's own conduct or action; the quality of being discreet; discernment; prudence, sagacity, circumspection, sound judgment." (3) Discernment and discretion springing from good knowledge are keys to a guided Christian walk delivered from evil as opposed to a misguided one which is delivered to evil. PRO 1:1-4; 2:10-17; 3:21-26; 11:22; TIT 2:3-5. (4) Many a saint has fallen into disrepair in the area of relationships for lack of knowledge (HOS 4:6) and sound judgment. B. Jesus Christ died to take away your sin, not your brain, judgment or responsibility. C. If acquiring a mate (spouse) would be for you a temporal salvation, mind that you are to "WORK out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (PHIL 2:12). D. You will need to put effort in prayer, needed reform of thought, wise and godly conduct, and in patience. E. Very little about the Christian walk is easy (MAT 7:14) except Christ's yoke (MAT 11:30), so faith says, (1) "...I esteem all thy precepts to be right...." (PSA 119:128), and (2) "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (PHIL 4:13), and (3) "...my God shall supply all [my] need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (PHIL 4:19), and (4) "[I will] trust in the LORD with all [my] heart; and lean not unto [my] own understanding. In all [my] ways [I will] acknowledge him, and he shall direct [my] paths" (PRO 3:5-6), and therefore (5) "Though he slay me ['Lord, this single-life is killing me'], yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain my ways before him" (JOB 13:15). The First Priority 1. How important is your God and Savior to you? Is He your first love (REV 2:4) according to the greatest commandment? MAT 22:36-37. A. Do you sincerely count all things loss for Him and the knowledge of Him? PHIL 3:8. B. Mind that God is a Jealous God Who does not look with favor on feigned or divided admiration. EXO 34:14; MAT 6:24; MAT 12:30. C. If we covet anything more than God we have made that an idol. COL 3:5. (1) Do you covet a relationship more than God? (2) Do you covet a particular person more than God? (3) Do you covet a particular person's affection more than God? (4) Do you covet satisfied emotions, desires or lusts more than God? (5) Consider the folly of the statement, "He just idolizes that gal." D. If the flesh be one's master, spiritual living is impossible. GAL 5:17. E. Is God and His timetable to you worth waiting for? Or are you prone to run ahead of Him out of impatience or human reasoning and end up with a troubled outcome as did Abram and Sarai? GEN 16:1-4, 12. (1) Mind that God sometimes grants the impatient, the insistent and the dissatisfied their requests as a judgment. 1SAM 12:12 c/w HOS 13:11; PSA 106:13-15. (2) Discipleship to Christ is largely a matter of patient waiting for Him. LUK 12:35-36 c/w JAM 5:7. (3) LAM 3:25-26. "The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD." 2. How important is God's kingdom and righteousness to you? MAT 6:33-34. A. What is your chief joy and how does it rate against God's venue in this world? PSA 137:6. B. Is your place in the church and at the Lord's Table worth sacrificing for a present need of the flesh which God would supply/add in due time? HEB 12:15-16. (1) Fornication has cost many a saint his/her place in the kingdom of God. (2) Unwise relationships or marriages have cost many a saint his/her peace in the kingdom of God and oftentimes also one's place. C. Are you willing to abandon or compromise His righteousness to get what you want? Mind that your God did not compromise His righteousness to give you what you needed. PHIL 2:8; ROM 8:31. D. Do you sincerely believe that God will add to you your needs (and a spouse may or may not be a need) if you seek FIRST His kingdom and righteousness? 1SAM 2:30. Prayer 1. It is not inappropriate to pray for a spouse. In fact, it would be inappropriate to NOT pray for a spouse if that is your desire. GEN 24:12-14; PHIL 4:6-7. 2. Effectual prayer is that which accords with the will of God (1JO 5:14-15). Compare these prayers: A. "Lord, there is this woman that I have seen in XXXXX; now get her for me to wife, for she pleaseth me well." JDG 14:2-3. B. "Lord, give me a spouse that satisfies my ego/lusts/flesh---I will settle for nothing less." C. "Lord, give me a spouse that loves you greatly and who would be good for my soul." 3. Asking is good, when the asking is from a humble, obedient believer who abides in God's word. JOH 15:7 c/w 1JO 3:21-22. 4. Asking is not good when one's own will and lusts are paramount. JAM 4:1-3. 5. The desires of the (godly) heart are granted to those who delight themselves in the Lord. PSA 37:4-5 c/w ISA 58:13-14.
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