"A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER..."
I think this speaks of the authority and security of living with your parents until you are ready for marriage. As far as I can tell, this is the way it was always done in the Bible. In general, for the most part, young people should remain at home under their parents' supervision and authority until they are ready for marriage. I think we should consider young people, who live away from home at a Christian college, or who have moved to another church's ministry for training, to still be under their parents' authority and supervision. There are no doubt exceptions to this rule, but you are probably not one of them, nor should you want to be. Your parents know you better, and care more for you than anyone else in the world. You need their love, wisdom and supervision for the major decisions of your life, especially for courtship and marriage.
I know it sounds startling for me to suggest that the parents should have primary role in the choice of spouses for their children, but that's the Biblical model. Abraham sent for a wife for his son. Isaac and Rebekah, being weary of the daughters of Heth, Esau's wives, sent Jacob to find a wife among their people. The principle of the parents supervising the choice of a spouse for their children was so much part of the Biblical model, that when it came time for the children of Israel to settle down in Babylonian captivity that God gave them these instructions through Jeremiah: Build ye, houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands..." (Jer. 29:5-6)
There was a Harvard research paper on the subject of parents arranging the marriage of their children. It was discovered that making love and romance, the basis of marriage was a Roman contribution to Western civilization I discovered that for thousands of years, in all parts of the world that the principles of family ties, religion, station of birth, wealth and education were the founding factors in marriage, and not love and physical attraction. This researcher dug up the fact that 100 years ago in Japan marrying for love was a capital crime. The Japanese wisely reasoned that family, its name and inheritance, were far too important to be left to something as shaky as love and romanceˇ Moreover, this researcher, much to her surprise, found that, in general, marriages arranged by the parents were just as happy and often more successful than marriages left to romance and falling in love. This is because the love that brings a couple together is not the love that keeps them together. There is no doubt that romantic songs, poems, plays, novels and movies have popularized the notion of romantic love being the basis for marriage. The plots of such plays as Romeo and Juliet have done as much as anything else to break down parental authority in marriage and idealize romantic love as the basis for marriageˇ Thus Shakespeare, and not the Bible, has become the accepted standard. The ideal of romantic love, the attitude that "I do not love him any more" is a real and legitimate excuse for divorce. Some have even gone so far as to change the marriage vows to "As long as we both shall love " instead of "As long as we both shall live. " Romantic love and physical attraction, while they are important, are not sound foundations to build a life and family upon.
Yes, I really mean it! Dad, mom and your pastor should have first and final approval on your choice of a spouse. If dad, mom, your pastor or godly grandparents do not approve of him or her, he or she is wrong for you! It may hurt very deeply to break off strong attraction to someone that you feel very good or a divorce will hurt about, but years of an unhappy marriage much more.
At this point, I would ask the parents if you are raising your children to accept such counsel and guidance? Are you bringing them up in the way that they should go? When the time comes for your children to seek a wife or husband, will they also seek your counsel and guidance? You see, many seem to fail at the critical point of dating, courtship and marriage, but really they failed years before. You need to start now to raise your sons and daughters for the day you see them exchange rings with the future parent of your grandchild and heir!
My young friend, there are a hundred ways for you to mess up your life and the lives of your family, and marrying the wrong person is one of the most popular. A 60% + divorce rate proves that romance and physical attraction are very poor ways to choose a spouse. If mom or dad do not approve, do not even go out with the person! A major part of the sin and rebellion that brought on the Flood was rebellious sons and wrong marriages based on physical attraction.
"That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.)(Gen. 6:2)
Here is a beautiful testimony from the life of Hudson Taylor. He met his wife on the mission field of China. His future wife was under the charge of a very strict Christian lady who disliked and distrusted Hudson Taylor because he lived with the Chinese and dressed like them. He did this because the Chinese hated and feared the white man. When Hudson proposed marriage, the girl's governess refused and forbade Hudson to see the girl. Hudson obeyed until by chance they were brought together and the girl accepted Hudson's proposal. However, they did not proceed with a wedding until they had received their parents' permission. When the girl's governess wrote a very disapproving letter about Hudson to the girl's guardian, they feared they would not receive permission to many, and this is what they determined to do: "lf our parents do not approve we will not get married for how can we expect the blessings of God upon our lives and ministry if we fail to honor our father and mother. "
"A MAN SHALL LEAVE..."
Notice that it is the man that is leaving, not the woman. This speaks to me about the ethics or priority to the male being the suitor. I know that hardly anyone thinks a thing about a girl calling a boy, or a woman asking a man out and paying for his lunch. But, hardly anyone bats an eye when a man and woman move in with each other without being married. Both of these attitudes come from the same source, the wicked world. We are not of this world, and a Christian girl has no suitor. This ideal is seen through the Bible, and it is especially seen in the intimate union between Christ and the Church. We are the sought, and He is the seeker. Times have changed, but boys and girls, men and women have not. The girl who chases a boy, calls and pursues him will be compromising herself. The wrong boy will take advantage of this. Moreover, it is not proper. It reverses God's order and opens the door to sin and compromise. I can hear you saying, "I do not think it is a compromise for me to call a boy!" But look around you at the aggressive girls, who spit, smoke and cuss like the boys. Look at their sloppy dress and morals and think that when you call a boy, that is the direction you are going and the level to which you are sinking. Compromise and worldliness starts somewhere, and one place it starts is letting down simple ethics and basic manners that have served us well for centuries!
THE BALL IS IN YOUR COURT
I will admit that up to this point, I have not taken an open minded approach to dating, and have shown strong bias for courting. However, I believe that in so doing, I have been consistent with the Bible, human nature and the facts about dating versus courting. Dating will not fit the Biblical model as an introduction into marriage. Dating is a worldly institution, which is not only based upon wrong principles, but it is also a social failure and a moral disaster.
What I have tried to do up to this point is offer some facts about dating and courting, and to build a framework of doctrine based on the Biblical model of marriage. If you have found some agreement with me in this regard, the ball is in your court. Your are going to have to judge the facts in the light of reality, take the framework of Biblical principles I have given, and clothe them with your own personal convictions.
CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE
A Guide For Courting
The above link will take you to 4 pages:
1. courtship vs. dating
2. A Man shall leave
3. Courtship - A Guide
4. Do's and Don'ts of Courtship, & a great link.
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