Home > Brandenburg, Marriage, The Family > The Bible Way to Obtain Your Spouse part two

The Bible Way to Obtain Your Spouse part two

June 17, 2008

Scripture reveals God’s way to obtain a spouse.  The Bible shows only one way.  God’s Word reveals that one way by means of a consistent general pattern and very specific principles.  God expects us to learn that one way.  The point of this, like it is in everything else, is to obey and honor God.  God has a design and we should emulate it.  By doing so, we glorify Him.  We say that He is wise and righteous.  When we lean on our own understanding and not trust Him, we don’t please Him.

Some might argue that the Biblical way is nothing more than a different time and culture not intended for our imitation.  That might be true if this wasn’t the regular pattern traversing the entire Bible.  We don’t see any other way among the Godly than the one way.  We shouldn’t assume that God doesn’t want us to follow the consistent Scriptural example, especially in light of 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.

The Overall Scriptural Presentation of the General Pattern

God Chose Eve for Adam

Adam and Eve married first.  Their matrimony represents the model for marriage.  Just like Adam and Eve were yoked, a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife for two to become one (Gen 2:24).  God made a woman and she was Adam’s help meet.

Abraham Chose Rebekah for Isaac

Abraham covenanted with a trusted servant to choose a bride for his son in the longest chapter in Genesis (24).  Those sixty-seven verses seem to have no other purpose than portraying how this was supposed to be done.  Genesis doesn’t tell every occasion in the life of the patriarchs, and yet it gives tremendous detail that would be relatively meaningless if it weren’t for illustrating God’s method for choosing a wife.  This chapter breaks this event down in little pieces for examination and duplication.

God Chooses the Bride of Christ

The husband-wife relationship parallels God’s relationship with the church (Eph 5:22-33).  Even more so, the Biblical way of obtaining a spouse parallels God’s choice of a bride for His Son.  You can see this in several places.

John 10:29, “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

Ephesians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who . . . hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”

Christ is groom and church is bride and we see this all over in the New Testament (Matthew 9:15; 25:1-13; John 14:1-6; Revelation 21:9).  Within this pattern the Father, we can see, chooses the bride for His Son.  This is just like what we see in the pattern that God set up in Genesis 2.

The Pieces of the General Pattern Found Consistently in Other Places

As clear as the general pattern is, everything else in the Bible fits this pattern.  We don’t have the whole picture given in other places like we do in the three that I mentioned above, but we have either a few or many of the parts of the whole in other locations.  Before we’re all done looking at this issue throughout Scripture, we will see that when the pattern isn’t followed, some kind of mess comes.  The essence of this is that we do it His way and it works out and we do it our way and it’s disarray.

I’m not going to mention every single location for examples, but I want to present several to give the quintessence of this subject.

Proverbs 5-7

These three chapters of Proverbs manifest principles of both the right and wrong way.  Regarding what’s right, immediately we get in 5:1, “My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding.”  The right way means listening to Dad.  Through the rest of chapter five, we can see that a man shouldn’t take things into his own hands.  If he does, things won’t turn out right.  When this section gets back to this topic again in chapter six, we get this in v. 20, “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother.”  Again, it must be the way of the parents.  They must be listened to.   All of chapter seven hits this subject again, and starts with this in vv. 1-2:  “My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.  Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.”  For a man to avoid the multitude of problems that can occur in this task, he must obey his dad.

The major point of the Bible way is parental authority.  This is emphasized as much as anywhere in Proverbs 5-7.  When we look at what happens when someone does not listen to his parents, these chapters show a man, often a young man, takes things into his own hands and the way becomes one of lust.  Parental authority takes hormones out of the equation.  The conclusion is that without that authority, we get lust taking charge and the destruction of lives.

Song of Solomon 8

We’ve got a man, Solomon, and a women, the Shulammite (6:13).  Song of Solomon portrays married love, the bed undefiled of Hebrews 13:4.  However, it also talks about the virgin before her marriage.  Listen to her brothers, before she’s married, in Song of Solomon 8:8-9:

We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?  If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.

When their sister was young, before she had breasts, and someone would choose to acquire her as a life’s partner, her brothers would get in the way.  Her Dad may have been dead, so the brothers stood in place of the Father.  They would protect her from all intruders by inclosing her with boards of cedar.  If she did not want to keep herself away from men, that is, if she didn’t want to be a wall but wanted to be a door, then they would encase her in a fortress of protection.

1 Corinthians 7:36-38

Dad has authority over His daughter and gives her away, only if he wants.

But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.  Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.  So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.

Whether a daughter marries a man, that’s totally the prerogative of Dad.  If he doesn’t want her to marry for whatever reason, he doesn’t have to allow it.  This is God’s will.  If she does marry, the Dad gives her in marriage.  The text even says that he is better off if he didn’t give her in marriage.

There is the assumption in Scripture that a Dad has this kind of authority over his son as well.  We read this in Galatians 4:1-2:

Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

When does a boy become a man?  When his Dad says that he does.  A Dad is to understand manhood, inform his son how to get there, and then tell him when he’s arrived.  We’ve gotten a long ways away from this in our culture.  A man leaves his father and cleaves to his wife.  It must be a man, not a boy.  That’s a basic in this process.

We’ll look at some other places in Scripture to show that this is the pattern that God gives.  Before we do, we’re going to break down one passage and show the principles there, connecting to other places in the Bible.

Advertisements
  1. June 18, 2008 at 5:49 am

    well i agree with you, because God himself instituted marriage and he has his own way that which his people can enter into it , the bible says do not unequally yoke with unbelievers, that is , a believer must marry a believer that the first principle . and they have to seek the face of God before taking any step .

    http://marriagecommonlaw.net/

  2. June 18, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Abraham did not choose a wife for Isaac. Abraham’s servant chose the wife, following Abraham’s instruction. Abraham’s servant acted as Abraham’s agent, duly commissioned by Abraham.

    Isaac in turn commissioned his son Jacob, giving him a very similar set of instructions as Abraham had given his servant (compare Gen 24:1-4 with Gen 28:1-3).

    At the very least then, the father has authority to delegate the responsibility of choosing the wife, and instructing the son in how to choose one. But to say that only the father can choose the wife for the son goes beyond the examples (since that is the basis for the argument) of Scripture.

  3. Don Heinz
    June 18, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    And Abraham’s servant let God make the choice. Abraham knew that would be the case (Gen. 24:7). Hey, there’s a logo, finding a wife the 24/7 way.

  4. Don Heinz
    June 18, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    My wife’s 24/7! Amen!

  5. June 18, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    So, Don, you must be winning the faithfulness contest, too!

  6. Don Heinz
    June 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Amen. In a month it will have been 19 yrs. Only God could have found this woman for me. We didn’t have the help from our parents that we might have liked, but Psalm 27:10 has proven true.

  7. June 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Did you read the first sentence in that paragraph? “Abraham covenanted with a trusted servant to choose a bride for his son in the longest chapter in Genesis (24).”

    It opens the door for networking, but it still utilizes parental authority and it wasn’t Isaac. What’s the whole hand on the thigh ceremony (v. 2) if Abraham wasn’t in charge?

    Regarding Jacob, we’ve got a whole different set of circumstances, resulting in polygamy. Notice that Isaac said, “Take thee a wife,” not “take thee several wives and a few concubines.” Outside of parental authority, we have disobedience to God.

    We’ll be looking at Gen 24 next week.

  8. Don Heinz
    June 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Definitely, it’s kind of a circular (or triangular) thing – God, Abraham, servant, God. But, one thing is clear Isaac was totally out of the loop. Good stuff. Can’t wait till next week then.

  9. Travis Burke
    June 18, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Jacob was on his own without parents there…what a mess!
    Samson told his parents and disregarded their counsel…what a mess!
    When the parents are not in the lead in finding a spouse in every instance of the Scripture…we have a mess.

    I always start out with asking folks..”Is our present ‘typical’ way of dating working?” According to a Barna research, Baptist have second highest divorce rate amongst all “faiths”. http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm
    What a shame. This is not the Lord’s will…something is being done wrong.

  10. Anvil
    June 19, 2008 at 8:28 am

    You certainly have to be careful with the conclusions you draw. Jacob did get into a mess, but in all fairness he was treated deceitfully by his father in law. But then you could also lay the whole mess with Rebekah being deceitful with Isaac during the Jacob/Esau rivalry at the feet of Abraham since he was in charge of choosing her. Samson directly disobeyed God’s commands about relationships with non-Israelites. You can’t say conclusively what would have happened had he chosen a bride from within Israel and not defiled himself in other ways. For that matter, the bride God himself chose for Adam turned out to cause problems that eventually affected the entire human race. The fact that there were things that turned out badly in marriages where the father didn’t choose the bride doesn’t necessarily point to any cause other than the sinful hearts of all involved.

    None of what I’ve said answers the question of God’s way to choose partners in marriage one way or the other. Nonetheless, I don’t think we can draw conclusions about the way a relationship/marriage started being right or wrong causing the problems we see later unless God tells us that is the case (e.g. David & Bathsheba and Nathan’s prophecy).

  11. June 19, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Jacob was not on his own without parents there – I don’t know how you can say that. First, Jacob’s father told him where to find his wife, and Jacob did that. Jacob went through Laban to get Rachel. Jacob obeyed Laban’s requirements and jumped through every one of his ridiculous hoops. The truth is, Jacob’s problems were the result of subjecting himself to an unscrupulous father. Laban committed a fraud against Jacob.

    As far as Isaac’s instruction —

    Notice that Isaac said, “Take thee a wife,” not “take thee several wives and a few concubines.”

    I agree. Another way of saying it would be, “don’t follow Abraham’s example, son.”

    And on the issue of Barna’s “research,” I would only point out that his use of the term “Baptist” is pretty broad. I highly doubt that Barna contacted any of the churches represented on this blog. Certainly, the typical worldly baptist church teen will go about his “mating” practices in the lust of concupiscence.

    I am opposed to the worldly way that young men go about finding a wife. I am all for parental superintendance, involvement, and authority. But I disagree that this can only be done in one way, following one very strict model, all on the basis of one human example.

    The Bible gives us principles for finding a wife. The Bible nowhere requires us all to follow one specific example in Scripture. Nor does the Bible require a godly Christian young man or young lady to live indefinitely under a tyrant father, without any hope of escaping the Thumb.

    Earthly authority is never absolute. A father’s authority is not absolute, and I can’t believe that anyone would argue that a father has a Biblical warrant to require his children to disobey the clear commands of Scripture. God commands us to be fruitful and multiply, and to replenish the earth. This is a Scriptural mandate. No father has the authority to usurp God’s command in this.

  12. Travis Burke
    June 19, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I know Barna wasn’t just asking independent fundamental Baptist…but be honest we have a problem in “our” churches too. Homes are being divided, divorces are occurring, affairs are going on…and it can be traced to this “dating” mentality.
    I have no idea how far Bro. Brandendburg is going to take this..so I really can’t say if i agree with him totally or not, but this I know. Dating breaks many principles in God’s Word, it creates a thinking process in our children that is unfortunately carried on into their married lives, it causes young people to leave “part of their hearts” with people other than the one God chose for them.
    In the Garden, God had one mate for Adam…Eve. He didn’t have to create multiple women for Adam to date and see which one he was most compatible with…God had one.
    I beleive we all would tell our married men and ladies not to have “eyes” for any other man or woman but for the one God has willed for your life. That will was the same will before marriage.
    I will claim to be no expert on any matter, but I truly have prayed and spent hours upon hours studying this out.
    After salvation, probably the most important decision that a person will ever make in his/her life is who his spouse will be. Do we not agree that God has someone He has prepared for each of us? Do we really have to “try out” or “test drive” 30 others before we find the right match…or rather, cannot God speak to us, as He does in every other matter in life, and tell us who we are to marry through our walk with Him and the authorities in our life? Can we not teach our young people to rather prepare for that time by serving the Lord and learning from our parents and being prepared in every way for marriage?
    Problem is, too many young people are so busy “dating” they do not have a walk with God to hear His voice.
    Imagine a youth group without “dating”. How many problems would be removed that are dealt with everyday by a pastor/youth pastor? It makes a huge difference, because I see it everyday.

  13. June 19, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Travis,

    As far as what you have written here goes, I agree. I happen to have a youth group without “dating” and (for the most part) parents who are careful stewards of their children’s hearts. I believe in parental involvement, that our young people are to work through their parents towards getting their spouse. And I doubt that any of our regular readers would disagree with that.

    I’ll critique a couple of your statements in a minute, but first, I will simply say that Kent and I see almost completely eye to eye on the way a young man should go about obtaining a wife. The point of disagreement is in his requirement that the young man’s father find him a wife. I think we probably don’t disagree hugely in a practical sense (we have discussed this more than once), but we clearly disagree on the betrothal requirement.

    And I too have studied this issue out for hours, and have taught it extensively in my church.

    The only critique I will offer right now to what you said is this: I don’t know how a man is to know that “this girl” is the one for him without some sort of investigation, and the consequent investment it will take in order to find out. No method of “obtaining a life’s partner” is fool proof in this way. Whatever man does, he is bound to mess up. Some way or other, he will have to find out whether or not this girl is the one God has for him. After all, unlike Adam, we do have multiple choices. And this “finding out” will require an investment on some level on his part.

    Does that mean that he will give “a piece of his heart” to her? Well, yes, and no. When I was a teeny-bopper, I had more than one “like-interest.” I heard the same “piece of your heart” argument that you have used. I don’t say that it is a wrong argument. I will only say that when I married my wife, I did not give her a fractional part of my heart. She has it all. And nobody else does.

  14. Travis Burke
    June 19, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Dave,
    Thanks for the write-back. I agree with you pretty much all the way. If what you say about Bro. Brandenburg is true, I probably agree more with you, but I will wait and read and learn. I do know this….
    I have a young lady who is marrying a young man from Bro. Brandenburg’s church. This lady never dated any boy, but focused herself on being the lady God wanted her to be. She now, in July will walk down an aisle and be given to a man who she will be able to love with all her heart. She was one of the finest girls I had in my youth group, and that is in part to tremendous parents who had her heart and that she didn’t play the dating game everybody else played.
    I appreciate the posts and topic this month and look forward to learning from it.

  15. June 19, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Not to spoil the spirit here, but one thing I wonder about with some of the conclusions here is how far we take Biblical examples. I’ve never heard a set of principles like, say, the expediency laws that govern how far to apply an example. I’m not saying there aren’t any, only that I’ve not heard of them. I’d be happy to be enlightened. These were, after all, the decisions and actions of sinful men based upon, we know not what. When Abraham got a wife for Isaac, what was he looking back to in choosing the Espousal By Father’s Choice model (EBFC)?

    I would conclude that if the examples of espousal that Pastor Brandenburg states are, in fact, authoritative, then the other passages he references would seem to line up with them. If the examples cannot be shown to be authoritative, then the seemed coincidence is just that. (Pastor Brandenburg, please forgive me if I’m nuancing. 🙂

    I also believe that things that are actually taught in Scripture as the mind of God actually DO work. Traveling tendeth to poverty, fornication entraps a man, and the rod drives away foolishness. Another example is the Biblical teaching of “one wife”. If it’s taught in the OT, it’s certainly clear as glass in the NT. Thus, the examples in the OT of the troubles caused by polygamy can be said to be a result of polygamy which God never intended. The problem I see then, is that when someone forbids all forms of wife-getting besides betrothal, and the problems found in Scripture are assuredly the result of the other forms, then we should see them uniformly (or at least they should exist uniformly). The harmony of betrothal and the dissonance of dating/courtship, etc…

    Now as a member of Pastor Mallinak’s church, I’m not calling for un-monitored, worldly-style dating or anything of the like. I just have lived barely long enough to have talked with many of the betrothal crowd and watched their lives and I’ve seen three things. First, there are many couples not united through betrothal that don’t suffer the consequences inevitably assigned to their ilk, were their names only Samson. Secondly, I’ve seen the betrothal crowd in Indiana suffer divorces and the same kind of marital problems that betrothal is supposed to mitigate. And thirdly, in talking with the betrothal advocates, hardly a one of them were actually married through a betrothal model or found their convictions in betrothal before marriage.

    Thus, 1Ki 20:11 “…Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.” I’ve also seen plenty of Pastor’s and Youth Pastor’s pets live to shame their Pastors. My only cautions would be twofold:

    1) That any example you (or I) could state would only be anecdotal; Scripture either teaches it or it doesn’t. It must be supported by Scripture to be found authoritative. That doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be wise, if it’s not explicitly taught in Scripture. It also MAY be that betrothal conforms to more Biblical principles than other forms of courtship, including lottery or mail-order from Russia/China :), even if it’s not commanded in Scripture.

    2) Be careful who you brag on in public. It’s best to brag on the dead.

    All that being said, I also strongly agree that parents (especially Father when available) should be greatly involved in every stage of the courtship of their children, male and female. It still frightens me to see how ignorant we are during those years when we are making the biggest decisions of our lives!!

    And finally, a question. For those here that believe that there is “only one way” that God works in courtship, do you then believe that any marriage in existence today (including your own) that was formed outside of betrothal was by the will of God? If so, then it satisfies (potentially) 2 of the 3 goals that seemed to be involved here: 1) to get the right spouse, 2) to avoid pitfalls/sins common with dating/marriage, and 3) to be obedient to the voice of God, if that’s what we believe He is teaching us.

    Next month…the only right way to choose 5 stones. Just being light hearted, don’t fillet me. 🙂

  16. June 20, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Hey guys,

    Sorry I’ve not been in here. I get accustomed to our blogsite emailing me when there are comments. After I’ve written, I sometimes forget to come over when it doesn’t remind me.

    I am going to say much more. I had started a book on this. I do have a seven part sermon series that had about 80 pages of notes that went along with it. I won’t get that all in here, but I also didn’t have it written out succinctly in the cliff notes version like I do here. Everything anyone says does run through that gauntlet.

    To start with, I did write on here several months ago that I believe that we are regulated by Biblical example (please Thomas Ross, don’t come over and argue with me about cosmetics again). In other words, Scripture is sufficient. I believe that we put too much emphasis on how it works out, a point I think Bro. Hodge was mentioning. I think we need to look at effect and tie it into cause in Scripture. However, more causes go into an effect than just one. When we consider this issue (obtaining our spouse), we should keep it to what is definitely about that.

    I look at cause and effect too. Bro. Mallinack seems to be making a bigger deal of it than I do. I think we need to make the connection when it connects. To say that the problems that Isaac and Rebekah had in their marriage related to Abraham seems to be stretching it. To look at Jacob working without the same degree of parental authority and ending up with four mothers of his children, well, I see a bigger connection there.

    Here is the bigger deal, however, and no one has said anything about this. What about the Genesis 2 and the God chooses the bride for His Son issue, that parallels with Gen. 24? If I took just Gen. 24, I wouldn’t feel as strongly, but we have these two others, and then I see the parallels that I showed later in principle. All of that connection develops into a set pattern. We can see in 1 Thess. 4 that there is a way.

    I think too much is placed on the result. I do believe that couples that weren’t trained up correctly can marry Scripturally and then have a terrible marriage. That’s why when I preach this subject, I get into how parents should be choosing. Obviously, they practice something similar to this in India and I don’t think they’ve got good marriages there for the most part. A lot of Shakespearian plays and Romantic novels mocked the old way of obtaining a life’s partner, when economics became the chief trait for the betrothal or courtship, or class distinctions.

    Again, this is taking poor examples or taking poor parenting, showing that courtship “didn’t work” and then saying that we can do it anyway that we want now. No, there is a way that we can do it that is right, but that doesn’t guarantee that our marriages and Christian life are now bullett proof. I believe that this is a fallacious argument, a non sequitur. Not every result follows. Kids with bigger shoe sizes have better hand writing also misreads the causation. Older kids have better handwriting, they also have bigger feet.

    I’ve given some good principles already, but I haven’t laid them out like I will in next week’s post.

    I believe that dating is wrong on a number of fronts. I do think we can say with our Biblical evidence that there is one way to do this. I believe dating was an invention of men, but some form of betrothal or courtship is looking to a Biblical model. It doesn’t guarantee all the results; however, I haven’t been arguing that way either. I’ve said that our chief end in this is to honor God in the way we obtain a life’s partner. I hope you have noticed this.

  17. June 20, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Pastor Brandenburg,

    Do you think that’s you’ll have an opportunity to go into Biblical examples and how/how far/when to apply them? I have to admit about being somewhat confused about this far beyond just the topic of betrothal, and having wondered about it for decades. On the one hand, I hear Biblical examples applied by many preachers all the time and rarely does the example seem a stretch to the point that’s being made. On the other hand, there are many actions in Scripture that are either negative or hard to call whether there was a positive/negative aspect exists in them. Aside from simply being discerning, I don’t know how I would explain to a new Christian, for instance, how and when to apply a Biblical example and when not to, and how far to apply it.

    Before this discussion, I would have said that example seems the weakest form of teaching (even I object to the word “weakest”, I just couldn’t think how else to put it.). Certainly “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not” would trump any example when comparing Scripture with Scripture. Thus, Rahab’s lie wouldn’t be used as a pattern for our behavior, except in the same exact conditions since it’s said to be of faith, because God said directly not to lie. The example is obviously canceled out by a direct command. The direct command is more authoritative (again, I also object to the word “authoritative” since both came from God, the Chief Authority). When I use words like “trump”, “weakest” and “authoritative”, I don’t mean to denigrate a single word of Scripture. I only mean to refer to the process that we use in discerning truth from God’s Words. Since men are fallible, but the Bible is perfect, adding in that honest men often disagree on the meaning/application of Scripture, then it’s helpful, perhaps, to have a set of principles that govern when/how/how far Biblical examples are applied.

    The problem is made either simpler or more complex, depending on what set of principles you apply if there is no countermanding command. If an example exists without being commended or condemned and without clearer countermanding command in Scripture, then is it to be followed? Because we have examples today of when we do and and other examples of when we don’t actually follow them.

    If no such set of principles has been revealed, then perhaps we just need to be content that God wanted us to strive to know Him even though our knowledge would never be full or in agreement with others. Maybe it’s simply the Berean pattern of searching the Scriptures daily.

    I’m just “whiteboarding” here, so forgive me if I’m not making much sense.

    As far as looking at the outcome goes, I acknowledge that the words “the thing” may ONLY apply to foretelling of future events:

    Deu 18:20-22 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
    21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
    22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

    I’m only drawing out that the outcome was to be observed to discern the truthfulness of what was spoken. Perhaps this doesn’t apply here.

  18. June 25, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Dear Jason,

    Scripture teaches that Please note the brief discussion of this (in relation to another topic) in the article “Cosmetics in Scripture and History” at:

    http://thross7.googlepages.com/home

    Examples are profitable for doctrine, 2 Tim 3:16, etc.

    Have a wonderful day.

  19. June 26, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Thomas,

    Thanks for the enlightening interpretation of cosmetics. I will apply this by making no effort to keep my clothing in good repair. In fact, I think I will buy some burlap for my wife to make clothes, socks, underwear, etc. But, hey, I can just let those Sunday shoes stay scuffed. Perhaps I’ll just wear work boots or tennis shoes to church. No need to comb what little hair I have left. Then I will paint my house with pitch, since it worked for Noah and the ark, and I don’t remember reading about paint in the Bible. I guess the fake flowers in the house will definitely have to go. Man, I didn’t know I was so bad off.

  20. June 27, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    QUOTE–a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife for two to become one

    When?

    QUOTE–the longest chapter in Genesis (24).

    Genesis wasn’t written in chapters. The detail is meaningful, the length of the chapter means nothing.

    QUOTE–tremendous detail that would be relatively meaningless if it weren’t for illustrating God’s method for choosing a wife.

    There’s nothing else worth learning from this narrative?

    QUOTE–As clear as the general pattern is,

    Still not that clear to me, sorry. There are way too many things in the tremendous detail that don’t have the ring of consistency with the rest of Scripture. Maybe you’ll address those. Things like the trusted servant, and no scriptural evaluation of the prospective bride

    QUOTE–The right way means listening to Dad.

    I agree with this statement 100% Your son had better listen to you and every other son had better listen to their godly father.

    QUOTE–For a man to avoid the multitude of problems that can occur in this task, he must obey his dad.

    For a man to show that he’s obeying, he must have opportunity to disobey. If you choose his wife, he had no opportunity to follow your instruction or not to follow it.

    QUOTE–Parental authority takes hormones out of the equation.

    Parental action take the young man out of the equation.

    QUOTE–When does a boy become a man? When his Dad says that he does.

    I’m fine with this. Are you going to proceed to say that the Bible says that the dad won’t say his son is a man until after he has found him a wife? I’ll need some convincing to be fine with that.

    These are my thoughts after reading this post. I still need to interact with the comments.

  21. June 27, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    When his dad says he’s ready is the ideal. If not, he ought to find out from someone else whether he is ready. This falls under the ‘listen to your parents’ section, but also Gal. 4:1-2.

    Regarding longest chapter, it is a measurement device that people can comprehend. 67 verses, a whole chapter. Very much stuff. And included. For what purpose?

    I’m asking what’s the point of the narrative. What else is worth learning in there if not that. Something about faith. About the will of God. About relying on other people. But what for? You don’t go for all the ancillary principles and skip what it’s about.

    I hit evaluation of the bride in Gen. 24. I’m not done with that part. You get the principle already in vv. 3, 4. The general pattern I’ve shown. I’m fleshing out details now. I can’t do the job I’d want in four sessions.

    Out of the context the statement about obeying dad doesn’t look as good. However, the point in the context is that when he goes through dad, he avoids certain problems, which I haven’t broken down like I’d like in these sessions. I’ve dealt with some of it. Defrauding. The sins of Col. 3:5. Etc.

    You’re wrong on the young being out of the equation. He is trusting His parents. Can the parents flop? Yes. We have a basis in Gen. 24 and other places for rejection of the wrong one. But they are less likely to flop then he will. They should accomplish it with their children. I think the young man should be listening to his parents. Should they listen to him? Yes, but that is secondary to his listening to them.

    I don’t think he can get married until he is a man. Man comes first. Then wife.

  22. June 27, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    I’m now getting into the comments section:

    Dave Mallinak said–I am opposed to the worldly way that young men go about finding a wife. I am all for parental superintendance, involvement, and authority. But I disagree that this can only be done in one way, following one very strict model, all on the basis of one human example.

    With this I concur, and one of the most clear reasons I agree is that I’ve yet to see someone claim that Genesis 24 is the model and then follow it. If you’re going to say it’s the model, follow it. If you admit that there’s room for leeway, don’t claim that your leeway is any better than my leeway.

    I agree that Genesis 24 teaches parental (particularly fatherly) involvement and authority, but the extent of each of those is where everyone I know has some “lee.”

  23. June 27, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Jason Hodge said–First, there are many couples not united through betrothal that don’t suffer the consequences inevitably assigned to their ilk, were their names only Samson. Secondly, I’ve seen the betrothal crowd in Indiana suffer divorces and the same kind of marital problems that betrothal is supposed to mitigate. And thirdly, in talking with the betrothal advocates, hardly a one of them were actually married through a betrothal model or found their convictions in betrothal before marriage.

    While Jason is a member of Pastor Mallinak’s church, he and I grew up together in the same church and I would point out that I observed the same things.

    Which things mean you have an uphill battle to convince me. All of them said it was the only Bible way also. But their “Bible way” resulted in worse marriages than the ones I saw formed around me. I’m not saying that results determine whether something is right or not. But I am saying that if it is the Bible way, it should have Bible results. Not the same results as “worldly” ways that have been “Christianized.”

  24. June 27, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Kent said no one had dealt with Genesis 2. Yet, Dave did deal with that. While only in passing, he pointed out that now there is more than one man and one woman on the earth! He called it multiple choice. No one on here is denying that God has one woman for each man on the earth, and a particular one at that. The question is what is the biblical process for determining which one goes with which one? And I don’t see how Genesis 2 fits into that. Adam didn’t have a father or a choice.

    I’ll concede that I think your strongest argument is God choosing the bride for His son.

    QUOTE–I believe that dating is wrong on a number of fronts.

    I would like to have a definition of what “dating” is. If you mean the worldly recreational dating system of obtaining a mate, I agree. But what constitutes a “date”? And if someone does that once, are they “dating”? If a boy sits near a girl at a school basketball game and has a conversation about more than the game and the weather, is that a date?

  25. June 27, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    QUOTE–You’re wrong on the young being out of the equation.

    That’s what I would hope. But the impression given is that he IS out of the equation. Hopefully, your future posts will clear that up for me. But that’s the impression I’m getting right now.

    OK, now to read part three.

  26. June 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    I had not read all the comments when I posted my brief one on the examples being binding–I noticed afterwards that Pastor Brandenburg had specifically mentioned my discussion of that before–so I’ll say no more on that. Perhaps that shows why it might be good for one like me to read the comments before writing anything (Prov 17:28).

    I believe Pastor Brandenburg is well able to defend a Biblical way of obtaining a life’s partner, and I have a bunch of other things to work on, so I’ll let him take care of it–I haven’t preached a series on it, etc. like he has anyway. I would say that, as a personal testimony, following the Scriptural way has worked out very well for me so far (yes, it’s only one year to this point, though), and I’m glad that I didn’t give myself emotionally to anyone before engagement/betrothal. I believe it is impossible to obey Col 3:5 and date.

    The narratives in Scripture are profitable for doctrine, according to 2 Tim 3:16-17, for they are part of “all Scripture.” Christ taught doctrinal points from examples in the NT–think how He proved one man for one woman by using the example of Adam and Eve. Of course, if we think we have a point from an example, but it contradicts a specific didactic statement, we know we are interpreting the example incorrectly. Also, if examples are clearly dispensational, or clearly, from Scripture alone as the norm, not binding, then we are OK doing otherwise (think the apostles visiting the temple in Jerusalem, healing people by laying hands on them, etc.)

    Otherwise the burden of proof is on those who say we are NOT to follow Biblical examples.

    It seems that Bro Heinz’ point assumes that I was arguing that all paint of all kinds is wrong. I will let one who wishes to read my analysis and see if he thinks this is a valid or invalid critique. I do not intend to comment on that subject, or the subject actually on this article, again for time’s sake.

    The grace of Christ, love of the Father, and communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all.

  27. June 28, 2008 at 10:10 am

    I’m going to answer everything in the comments that I haven’t answered. Some new stuff will come out in the next post. Saturday is my second busiest day of the week. There are two aspects to this: presenting it and proving it. It’s good to hash it out.

  28. June 30, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Jeff wrote: With this I concur, and one of the most clear reasons I agree is that I’ve yet to see someone claim that Genesis 24 is the model and then follow it.

    Kent answers: We have had several follow it to the T. I can list at least four couples—I was involved in all four ceremonies too. We don’t have that many marriages. Thomas Ross is one of them. You haven’t seen our kids handle it like we teach at Fairhaven. I’m sorry about that. That’s not because the way isn’t right. I can’t blame Fairhaven, because Fairhaven doesn’t believe like we do. We knew that going in. It is difficult in that environment to go, respect the authority, the pulpit, but separate a few issues that we don’t agree or follow, and practice those in that situation, where there is literally pressure against the way we believe, especially for young people. Should they do it how we’ve taught? Yes. But it does show how that our companionship affects our behavior. I would say that our principles still help our kids abundantly whil they are at Fairhaven, even if they didn’t follow them to the T.

    Jeff wrote: If you admit that there’s room for leeway, don’t claim that your leeway is any better than my leeway.

    Kent answers: I don’t see room for leeway. I believe there are exceptional situations. I explain that in my answer over at your first drive-by post. I believe that most leeway results in sinning, usually violating something in Colossians 3:5 or 1 Thessalonians 4:5-8, in addition to not following the pattern that honors God, and, therefore, not living by faith.

    Kent also answers: Regarding your comment on Jason’s comment, about what you’ve seen by experience. I don’t know what you’ve seen, so I can’t argue there. I also don’t know how they’ve handled it. You may have felt some emotion towards the “betrothal” crowd and so feel sort of justified in rejecting that altogether. I suggest you look at Scripture. I can say that every one of our kids at Fairhaven, getting involved in the way that it’s done at Fairhaven has run into violations of Colossians 3:5. If they haven’t done that, they’ve had other troubles which I could list for you. Jason says the dating people found the right wife and the betrothal people didn’t. There are a lot of results-oriented activity that work like that. Unsaved people have more money than saved people. I can go on. I’m not surprised that dating people have good marriages in a Christian context. I do think that since almost all of the people have done it by dating at Fairhaven, you can point to good examples. Should we start looking to the bad examples now too? Maybe there were other factors, such as the “betrothal” people were crazies in other ways. Mussolini got the trains to run on time, but I’m not opposed to that just because. Did your dating people violate Colossians 3:5? I’m going to guess that they did, because dating tends toward that. But if your goal is just getting the right wife, and you don’t care about the aspects of your pursuit that are like the Gentiles which know not God, then you have won. However, that isn’t Scriptural criteria.

    Jeff wrote: I would like to have a definition of what “dating” is. If you mean the worldly recreational dating system of obtaining a mate, I agree. But what constitutes a “date”? And if someone does that once, are they “dating”? If a boy sits near a girl at a school basketball game and has a conversation about more than the game and the weather, is that a date?

    Kent answers: I think we are better to judge what we are doing as to it’s violations of Scripture. Where do we have a basis for a boy/young man sitting right next to a girl for hours on end? What is the basis for him buying her things, saying very, very friendly things to her that he would never say to one of his guy friends? All of this before marriage. What is the basis for developing a relationship with her previous to engagement? You can say “to get to know her.” Hopefully, we don’t mean “know” in the Scriptural sense. I believe that often emotionally and even sometimes at least in the heated feelings, it does. I have asked you, what does he need to know that he has a special ability to find out on his own, without his parents? I have asked about why he needs these conversations at the basketball game, but I don’t get an answer. This pattern isn’t in Scripture. I know the boy and girl want to sit together, and I don’t think “what’s wrong with it” is a good question. A lot wrong can happen. God has made it to be that way when there is such proximity that is intended, I believe, only for marriage.

    Kent answers further: Regarding how much a son is in the equation, I see cooperation in Scripture, which I showed in my answer to your drive-by. I think it is part of a good parent-son relationship for them to be on the same page on what they are looking for. Regarding how I practice this, I talk about what we’re looking for. I talk about prospects. We talk together about how certain features may not work out. We talk about where the son falls short. Etc.

  29. Soldier of War
    July 1, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Someone said to me about six months ago that the Bible does not speak about this issue for either way to be right. So according to him, the issue was up in the air to believe whatever. Of course, I thinking in my mind, “Huh?” and then several Scripture passages popped in my mind concerning obtaining a life’s partner. So I believe Scripture is clear about both the right way and the wrong way.

    The dating game. It’s all a game. I can say, from personal experience with it, that it does not fulfill godliness. In many aspects of it, it is not of the Spirit, but of the flesh.

    Was I looking for some parental authority? Yes. From both sides, in fact. I was expecting some authority from parents for the situation. I was waiting for it. Did I get it? Uh, never got it.

  30. July 5, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    QUOTE–We have had several follow it to the T….Thomas Ross is one of them.

    I seem to recall seeing Thomas in the company of his wife before they were married. Isaac never had that chance. That fits my definition of leeway.

    In all four situations, did the father of the groom send someone else to find a bride for his son? If not, that fits my definition of leeway.

    QUOTE–You haven’t seen our kids handle it like we teach at Fairhaven.

    I never had your kids in mind as part of this discussion, and I’m sorry that Fairhaven came up in the conversation. I know you didn’t mean it this way, but I think it detracts from truly trying to understand what the Scriptures teach about this.

    And for the record, Fairhaven Baptist College’s position is that before any young man and lady are considered a “couple” we must be notified of both students’ pastors and parents “blessing.” It seems that that should pretty much fit any plan of finding a life’s partner.

    Kent answers: I don’t see room for leeway.

    Jeff answers: I’ve already pointed out where there was leeway in even the situations you’ve said were followed to a ‘T’

    QUOTE–I suggest you look at Scripture.

    Thanks, that’s why I’m in this discussion.

    QUOTE–I can say that every one of our kids at Fairhaven, getting involved in the way that it’s done at Fairhaven has run into violations of Colossians 3:5.

    Jeff answers: It’s disheartening that you seem to think it’s Fairhaven’s fault. Or that Fairhaven’s way is at fault. Fairhaven doesn’t have a “way” in the sense that it doesn’t change. Fairhaven’s “way” has gradually changed for many years, and it’s gotten stronger and stronger. The attitude toward FINDING when I was looking was different than when I was ten years old; and it’s much different now than then, which was over 15 years ago.

    QUOTE–What is the basis for developing a relationship with her previous to engagement?

    Where did engagement come into the picture? There’s not engagement in the model. So, the basis for all the things you mention is the same basis as for engagement, because neither is in the model.

    QUOTE–Hopefully, we don’t mean “know” in the Scriptural sense.

    This is unnecessary. But it goes to show, that if I use the term “date” then I must mean every bad thing that the world does in dating.

    Would you be happy if I just said, “Okay, I’ve converted! I now believe in betrothal. And this is how it’s done: In betrothal, you let your kids hang out with as many other kids their age for as long as they would like and just goof off, play games, listen to music, have a real good, loose, time and just let them figure out what their flesh likes about the opposite sex, find one that seems to fit for the moment and try them out, if that doesn’t work, pick another one. This is betrothal, and I’m all for it!” — now Brandenburg will be happy. OF COURSE NOT. So let’s leave off the misrepresenting what someone believes and practices because they use the term “date” or “court.”

    QUOTE–I have asked you, what does he need to know that he has a special ability to find out on his own, without his parents?

    My point would be (and maybe it’s not been clear) that he doesn’t have the “special ability” WITHOUT his parents, he has the “special ability” BECAUSE of his parents.

    QUOTE–I have asked about why he needs these conversations at the basketball game, but I don’t get an answer.

    Is your point here to say that he doesn’t need to have these conversations at all? Or not at a basketball game, in a “dating” situation? I would like to attempt an answer, but I need a clarification of the question.

    QUOTE–I know the boy and girl want to sit together, and I don’t think “what’s wrong with it” is a good question. A lot wrong can happen. God has made it to be that way when there is such proximity that is intended, I believe, only for marriage.

    Just to be clear, are you saying that your son will not sit with a girl (dating, courting, betrothed, or found) until after he is married? That’s the impression I get from this statement, and I’m not trying to twist your words. That’s how I’m reading you.

    (I’d like to know if anyone besides Soldier of War gets the same impression I do. Soldier of War is one of P. Brandenburg’s church members. He therefore, would have the best understanding of the context of Kent’s statements. The rest of us don’t have that benefit.)

    QUOTE–Regarding how I practice this, I talk about what we’re looking for. I talk about prospects. We talk together about how certain features may not work out. We talk about where the son falls short. Etc.

    Your son is your oldest and so you’ve thought this aspect through most. I have not. I’m dealing with a daughter situation, but a consistent application of how I would foresee me dealing with a son would be that I have many conversations with him about what he is like, what he needs in a wife, what general and specific qualities to look for in a wife, how to judge whether those qualities are true or superficial, and then point out 2-4 young ladies that I percieve to be possibilities. He then would through informal situations (not even sitting at a basketball game) make a choice from the “short list.” If he saw another girl that he believed had the same qualities, we would talk about her and possibly add her to the “short list.” Once he’d made his choice, he would approach the girl’s father and work under his (the father of the girl) guidelines. If the father of the girl didn’t have any guidelines, I would step in.

    I know that’s not betrothal, but it’s a long, long way from your perjorative “dating game.”

  31. July 5, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Soldier of War said: Someone said to me about six months ago that the Bible does not speak about this issue for either way to be right. So according to him, the issue was up in the air to believe whatever.

    Soldier, either you misrepresent “someone’s” conclusion, or “someone” is wrong. It’s not “up in the air” to believe “whatever” in relation to this issue. But for “someone” to say that the Bible does not speak directly to whether a certain way is right is different than saying that the Bible says you can do “whatever” you’d like.

  32. Robin Peake (Northern Ireland)
    July 24, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Google brings out some gems from time to time.

    The idea of a Biblical Model for finding a wife is something I´m working through at the moment. I found this link very useful – http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001196.cfm

    This idea of my parents choosing a spouse, practically for me, does not fit. I live over an hour and a half drive from my parents. They have not met the vast majority of my female friends. I spend less time with them so they don´t realise my passions and the directions I may be going in life. Is this a model which is only applicable while a child is at home? Now that I am not under the house of my parents does this free me from their ´duty´ to find me a wife? How will my parents meet young girls who are suitable for me? What if they weren´t Christians?

    QUOTE (Kent)
    Those sixty-seven verses seem to have no other purpose than portraying how this was supposed to be done.

    I have to disagree. You also ask the question why is this narrative there in a later response

    The whole Bible is only about one thing – Jesus. This narrative is also about Jesus. Do we not see how God is fulfilling his promise to Abraham and bringing out of him the nation of Israel, out of whom will come the New Israel?

    Does this passage not show us God´s soverignty? How God answers prayer? Is this passage not useful for rebuking (2 Tim 3.16) ?

  1. No trackbacks yet.
%d bloggers like this: