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  • Writer's picturestrengthintruth

Updated: Feb 10

Whilst the Bible does not provide specific guidance for finding a husband or wife, it does say that marriage should be in the Lord[1], believers should not marry un-believers[2].

Marriage was created by God to be between one man and one woman[3][4]. God gave Adam his wife Eve to be a help meet to him, and for the begetting of children. Marriage is honourable and a good thing to desire[5][6], but casual relationships are not. Dating should only ever be considered with a view to finding someone suitable to eventually marry. Casual intimate relationships are condemned by scripture[7].

Today, we seem to have four stages in a relationship, it starts with dating, then the couple say they are in a relationship, engagement follows, and finally marriage; the Bible does not make these distinctions. The custom in Bible times was engagement and then marriage, that was it. The bride was normally selected for the bridegroom, and they weren’t allowed to be alone before marriage. What a difference!

We need to pray for wisdom, discernment and guidance every step of life, just like Cornelius in Acts 10 who prayed to God always[8].

It is always best to spend plenty of time getting to know eachother, before deciding to go on a date. Do not look at dating as scoring a catch, you should consider what is best for you both. Always be 100% genuine, do not deceive to get what you want; it will not end well.

Whilst physical attraction is necessary, it is not the glue that will bind a successful marriage together. The Bible reveals that inner beauty is of far more importance than outer beauty[9] [10]. You should enjoy just talking, and being in each other’s company. Holding hands, hugging, and kissing are not necessary to build a strong friendship relationship, critical for a successful future marriage.

Whilst desiring marriage is good, we must remember that anything we desire more than God is idolatry. God requires us to love Him with all our heart, mind and soul[11], who achieves this standard? The answer is no-one, except the God man, the Lord Jesus Christ, which is why we need His righteousness and obedience to be given to us so that it becomes ours, we need His righteousness to cover our unrighteousness[12], this is the gift of God[13]; shall He not give good things to them that ask Him?[14]

Do not make marriage the priority of your life. Your need of salvation, a relationship with God, and to serve him are the most important things. Desperate people do desperate things, desperation is unattractive. If you are desperate, you are more likely to yield to the temptation of going with someone who will not be a godly spouse, who will not bring you closer to God, but instead lead you further away.

Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you[15].

Remembering that:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world[16].

Bible References [click links below to read references]

[16] James 1:27.

  • Writer's picturestrengthintruth

Updated: Feb 10

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart[1].

Many desires such as the desire for a marriage relationship are good[2], but as with all desires they are polluted and corrupted by sin[3], the desire for intimacy is not exempt from this. Lusts are desires which consume us, we are captured by them.

Lust is not only a problem confined to the unmarried. Self-control is required in every area of life, whether married or unmarried[4]. You may think that your uncontrolled desires are evidence that you are not a Christian, but are you attempting to heed God’s word, and flee youthful lusts?

God’s instruction through the Apostle Paul to the young Pastor Timothy is to flee youthful lusts, but not just to flee them, to instead follow righteousness, faith, charity and peace.

Potiphar’s wife was Joseph’s temptation[5], maybe your phone is yours? How do you flee from that? Getting rid of your phone of course isn’t a long-term solution, accountability software might help. Potiphar’s wife was constantly pressing Joseph to sleep with her, to remove himself from the temptation Joseph avoided being with her, Joseph took practical steps to avoid the temptation, so should you.

Whilst it is prudent to avoid sources of temptation, idleness can also be dangerous. Relaxation time is necessary, but it can be a hotbed for temptation in certain scenarios. The battleground is in the mind. Is there not a sense of hypocrisy if you are praying for God to keep you from sin, and yet making no effort to avoid situations that present fertile ground for sinful thoughts, and actions?

How can you expect to follow righteousness, faith, charity, and peace, when you spend so little time filling your mind with Christ’s ways, and words? Modern technology brings with it many temptations and snares, but it also provides an endless stream of sermons, podcasts, and books. There has never been a time in history when people have had so much access to The Word of God.

Maybe you say, “will God ever deliver me from my lusts?” You will never be completely free from the sin of lust in this life. The only place where your condemnation for sin can be removed is in Christ[6]. Christians are not condemned in God’s sight, because Christ’s perfect obedience to the law is given to them[7], and Christ has paid the death penalty they deserved for their sin[8].

Are you a captive to your lust? Then remember the words of Christ:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord[9].

Bible References [click links below to read references]

  • Writer's picturestrengthintruth

Updated: Feb 10

Answer not a fool according to his folly lest thou also be like unto him[1].

This is an important verse to remember. Be careful what questions you answer, and how you answer them, particularly questions about God and His Word. Of course, Christians should speak of Christ, they are to be ready to give an answer to every person that asks them of the reason of the hope that is in them[2], but they are also to be wise as serpents and meek as doves[3].

In a past job, my colleagues used to talk about every subject under the sun, no topic was off limits, not even religion, they used to ask me all sorts of questions about Christianity, and I used to try and answer them all, tying myself up in knots in the process. One of my colleagues once admitted to me that he only asked me questions about Christianity to make fun of it, I naively thought my colleagues were interested, and never stopped to question their motives.

Every situation is different, wisdom from God is needed in every conversation we have. Sometimes it is wise to think about the motive of a question, don’t be afraid to question the questioner if necessary. It might be a series of questions that start off seeming serious but then degenerate into joking. Maybe you want people to like you, so you are just glad they are talking to you, but real friends’ care. Friends that don’t care about you are no friends at all.

However lonely we may be, we have not even begun to suffer the loneliness Jesus suffered. All His disciples forsook Him and fled[4], He felt forsaken of His Father whilst suffering in agony on the cross[5], why did He do it? Because He is the friend of sinners[6].

One there is above all others, Well deserves the name of friend: His is love beyond a brother’s, Costly, free and knows no end. [Hymn 133, Gadsby's Hymn Book]

Remember David’s prayer; Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; Keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing[7]. Pray that God would give you wisdom in all situations[8] and remember not to answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also become like him.

Bible References [click links below to read references]

[7] Psalm 141:3, [8] Luke 21:15.

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