The Bible Way to Obtain Your Spouse part two
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.
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.