Should I Marry Him?
Maybe it’s because I am days away from having my first daughter (after 3 sons), but I’ve been shocked by how many godly girls are dating guys who just don’t seem to love the Lord. Guys who seem like their teeth are being pulled when they come to church or you talk about spiritual things with them.
For some reason some single women in the church feel like they are better off being married to apathetic believers (or unbelievers?) than being single. While marriage is a huge blessing from God, marriage to an ungodly man is extremely difficult, and could be dangerous not only to potential children and grandchildren but to the church as a whole.
My heart goes out to these girls, who have bought the lie that godly men simply don’t exist, and who believe that they must settle for the first guy who comes along who shows them attention.
The calling to be a wife is great. Women are called to submit to a man in the same way as the church submits to Christ in everything (Eph. 5:22-24). This is why women have to be so careful whom they choose to marry. I’m scared to have a daughter because some overconfident dummy is going to come along some day and try to steal her heart away. My prayer is that she finds a man worth submitting to.
Of course we should point out that there are some women out there who are waiting for their prince charming, who will only ever be satisfied with Christ himself. These women ought to lower their standards a little bit. But there is a sense in which Ephesians 5:25-31 describes Christ and his incredible love for his bride and I believe challenges husbands to emulate him in everyway.
In order to warn you from making the same mistake my wife made, here are 5 aspects of a man worth marrying.
He must be a Christian
This is obvious. He cannot love a wife unless he first loves Christ. In fact, if a marriage is to succeed then both parties must love someone else more than they love each other. It just happens to be the same “someone else”.
Second Corinthians 6:14 says that a Christian must not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. And while you might say that we can’t ever be sure about anyone’s salvation, you must be confident the one you are marrying is a believer. You are sharing a bank account, going on vacation, training your kids, watching movies, picking your friends, and doing so much more with your spouse, that’s why being married to an unbeliever is potential disaster to your soul.
If you marry someone who is not a Christian you are hating your children. You are setting them up to be discipled by someone, who unless he repents, is on his way to hell.
He must model sacrificial love
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…
The question is: is he someone that will love me when he doesn’t feel like it?
In the same way that Christ obeyed the Lord and for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, husbands are called to love their wives even when they don’t feel like it.
You will be able to tell if he is someone who loves when the going gets tough, when he serves the church selflessly. When he offers up his time to serve others without concern of what he can get in return. He isn’t someone who is consistently selfish in his relationships, but instead he spends his time reaching out to those who can’t give him anything in return. He is also someone who isn’t constantly complaining and easily gives up on school, jobs, friends and family the minute he faces some adversity. He isn’t a quitter. If he is someone who loves sacrificially, you can bet that he will stick it out in marriage whatever comes his way, and will serve the Lord till his dying breath despite trials and persecution.
He must love the Bible
…so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word…
This is so important. And this goes with whether he is a Christian? If someone is to be the spiritual leader of the family he is to love the word of God. The Word will be his delight (Psalm 1). He will know that it is the Word that causes change in his own heart and others. He will know that faith comes from hearing and hearing form the word of Christ (Rom 10:17). He keeps his life pure by living his life according to the Word (psalm 119:9).
In order to have a successful, God-honoring marriage you must have a man who loves the Word of God, who lives by the Word of God, and who wants to learn more of the Word of God.
Is he teachable? Does he want to know God more? Does he read God’s word on his own? Does he enjoy hearing biblical preaching?
The best place to find a man is in church. If you go to a church where the Bible is faithfully preached, then you are a little safer because chances are that guy is attracted to that church because he want to be exposed to the Word.
He must pursue purity
…that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing…
I didn’t know how sinful I was until I got married.
Marriage is taking two selfish people and putting them under the same roof. As believers we are called to surround ourselves with people who will push us towards godliness. And perhaps the greatest tool God uses us to make us holy is our spouse.
I will never be closer to anyone than to the person I’m married to. They see me at my best and at my worst. They see the side of me not many people get to see. They will see me sin. The big question is, will this person encourage me towards Christ-likeness?
Before you start thinking about whether he will care about your soul and your purity, you must ask yourself, does he care about his?
If a guy is consistently minimizing his sin, if he is prideful and likes to point out his accomplishments, if everyone else’s sins are always so terrible, then you have a man who doesn’t take his own sin seriously. You need to run away because there is no way that he will be able to lead you in your sanctification if he is not leading himself.
How can you trust him to point your kids towards holiness, if he doesn’t pursue it himself?
How can you trust him to run away when a woman comes and tries to seduce him?
Does he pursue accountability? Does he meet with older, mature men? What are his favorite movies? What is his favorite music? Does he love reading the Word and hearing convicting preaching? Does he confess sin? Does he think his sin is worthy of hell.
You need to ask yourself these questions, because he can only take you as far as he’s willing to take himself.
He must be a provider/protector
…In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church…
Of course the husband is called to provide and protect his family. The minute the vows are exchanged and the I do’s are said, the couple becomes one, and the husband goes from caring only for himself, to cherishing someone else as long as they both shall live.
A selfish man will never be able to care about anyone but himself and the wife will spend her days longing for someone to be cherished by. It is imperative that we marry someone who is able to provide for his wife not only financially, but spiritually as well.
Why does it matter?
…This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Marriage is an opportunity to understand the gospel better. It is also an opportunity to display the gospel to a dying world that has no clue about what love is.
A marriage that is built upon the gospel is a beautiful picture that ultimately points to a greater truth.
A husband who serves his wife and lovingly leads her is a picture of Jesus lovingly and sacrificially giving his life for his bride the church. A wife who submits to her husband and lovingly and sacrificially chooses to set her desires aside and to embrace her God given role as helper of her husband is a beautiful metaphor for the church submitting to Christ and trusting Him to lead.
There is no marriage in heaven. Let me rephrase that. There is one marriage in heaven and that will be between Jesus Christ and the church. As believers our calling is great, because our mission is to display the gospel to a dying world and there is no better way to do that than through a godly marriage. It is imperative then, that we see our marriage as an opportunity, not for our own happiness, but for the great privilege of displaying the Gospel to a dying world. That’s why we must not settle when it comes to choosing our spouse.
Jordan Standridge is a pastoral associate at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA, where he leads the college ministry. He is also the founder of The Foundry Bible Immersion. You can find his personal blog at surrender.us.
Publication date: September 20, 2016