LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Friday, April 20, 2007

TEAM ALERT

Bluecollar Team: Let us not leave this topic just yet. Please keep all posting on the marriage relationship

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22 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

What do you have to say to people who are not married?

April 20, 2007 4:09 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Good question. One I hope to look at.

April 20, 2007 4:31 PM

 
Blogger Bluecollar said...

Matthew - Welcome!

I was 29 before I was married. Most of my friends had been married for 7-8 years by that point. Not many of those marriages survived to this day. You do well to wait for a mature Christian lady, one who has seen the hard times and still praises and worships the Lord with a thankful heart; one who will support your missionary desires. Wait for that one who longs to intercede before God on your behalf; one who will let you cry in her lap when it seems everything is against you in the ministry. Wait for that one who is wise in the scriptures, who can admonish you when you need it, and give wise advice in its time.

My two cents.

April 21, 2007 1:23 AM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Mark,
Very wise advice! There are too many folks getting married too quickly and too young and not really taking the time to see if they want to spend the rest of their lives with each other. They rush into marriage and then a lot end up in divorce. We have advised our children to take your time, do not marry the first person that comes along and you think you are in love with, date others to make sure this is the one. Then,get marrige counceling, talk to your parents. Marriage is forever or at least it should be...and sadly there are just as much christians divorcing then the world, if not more.

Cristina

April 21, 2007 9:31 AM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Mark,

See, it's two cents like what you gave that is very valuable. What makes those two cents so very valuable is because it didn't come from the wisdom of man, but from God.
*******************************

Matthew,

To directly answer your question: continue to seek the Lord in all things. In Christ, marriage has certain responsibilities that must be met. While you are single, you are free of those responsibilities, and have instead a different set of responsibilities that go with singleness (1 Cor. 7). Use your singleness to glorify God in all things. That is it, in a nutshell, although tons more could be said.

April 21, 2007 9:41 AM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Cristina,

Your two cents are just as valuable as Mark's. People do rush into marriage when in fact they should wait. The results are terrible. It is an ungodly thing to think that one ***has*** to be married by "x" time in their life. Good post, Cristina.

April 21, 2007 9:47 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew
Be sure she takes her shoes off at the door and likes cats before you even date her.

April 21, 2007 11:39 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jazzycat, the first of those fundamental, but the second is not so important. But no Dog lovers please.

Thanks for the advice people.

I got engaged to a girl three years ago and it was a huge mistake, so I know about being careful.

But if I can cope with not being married during my Twenties, why bother marrying later in life?

Does the fact that I have coped with being single during that time of life prove that I can be content?

If I do not need to get married, following Paul's logic in 1 Corinthians 7, surely I should not get married?

April 21, 2007 3:56 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Hi Matthew,
There is nothing wrong with getting married when you are in your thirties or even 40s or 50s. What is most important is finding the woman that will be just right for you, someone that you can be one with for the rest of your days. Someone that will compiment you in everyway. My husband was 34 when he married me, lucky man that he is! lol. Just take all the time you need, God will lead you down the right path where ever it may be. Just keep praying. *S*

Cristina

April 21, 2007 7:16 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Baptist Girl, what reason does Paul give for marrying in 1 Corinthians 7?

April 22, 2007 7:40 AM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"Baptist Girl, what reason does Paul give for marrying in 1 Corinthians 7?"

Matthew,

If remaining single is what you want, and you think that it is part of your calling to remain single, then that is your right before God. And as stated before, singleness carries with it it's own responsibilities before God. If I am not mistaken, singleness is also the path taken by Zane Hodges, whom I know you like. So he would be an example for you.

That said, remaining single doesn't make one more spiritual than marriage does.

From your comments, I can't help but wonder if somehow you are wanting to debate the merits of remaining single vs. marriage.

April 22, 2007 4:09 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Gojirah

I think there are some tricky issues here. Particularly as there are hints that Paul took a different position on marriage in 1 Timothy to that in 1 Corinthians.

I am not sure how one would asses whether one has a call to singleness or not. As with the idea of a 'call to ministry', there is a huge danger of subjectivism.

I think Paul's message in 1 Corinthians can be summarised 'Marry if you need to, but it is better not to.'

I rather think if a man can remain single in his twenties, it would seem that he does not actually need to marry and so raises questions about the idea of delaying marriage until one is 'ready' at some later period in life.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

April 22, 2007 4:40 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Matthew,

"I think there are some tricky issues here. Particularly as there are hints that Paul took a different position on marriage in 1 Timothy to that in 1 Corinthians."

I am not too sure what in 1 Tim. you are wanting to point to. The idea there has to do first off with widows who were elderly and had no means of support. The passage breaks down from that to younger widows.
________________________________


"I am not sure how one would asses whether one has a call to singleness or not."

Me neither.
_________________________________


" As with the idea of a 'call to ministry', there is a huge danger of subjectivism."


But then again, it would also seem that you yourself are also stepping into what you have termed "a huge danger of subjectivism" by your next words:
"I rather think if a man can remain single in his twenties, it would seem that he does not actually need to marry...." Right there all you have done is to trade one "subjectivism" for another, which would be your own thoughts about remaining single into his twenties and how that would seem to show that the one doesn't need to get married. Another problem, it would seem, in defining marriage in terms of "need", is that doing so implies something along the lines of a business deal. That is, it gives the idea of "I need A or B in my life, therefore I seek a wife." That would actually miss the point of falling in love. I am not saying that is what you are saying, but it is somewhere that type of thought may lead.
_________________________________

"I think Paul's message in 1 Corinthians can be summarised 'Marry if you need to, but it is better not to.'"

For various reasons, I would have to respectfully disagree if by that you would mean so in the overall witness of scripture. In the larger context of New Testament scripture, marriage is comparable to our relationship with Christ, where Christ becomes the defining point of how we are to love and treat our spouses. In the Old Testament scripture, we find marriage comparable to God's relationship with His people. Marriage has never been lowered to the stance of "Get married if you ***NEED*** to." None of that is to say that there is anything wrong with the single life. The advantages of a single life are certainly brought out in 1 Cor.7. However, singleness does not make one more or less "spiritual" than the married couple. While remaining single frees one from the responsibilities of marriage, singleness also carries with it it's own set of responsibilities, the main one regarding sexuality. But, and if, one remains single or gets married, they have not sinned. In 1 Cor., again, one carries a responsibility the other does not. But neither one makes the other more "spiritual" in God's eyes.

April 22, 2007 6:56 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"I am not too sure what in 1 Tim. you are wanting to point to. The idea there has to do first off with widows who were elderly and had no means of support. The passage breaks down from that to younger widows."

That Paul expects younger widows to marry assumes that there are men willing to marry them. This points to marriage as an expected norm, as situation not envisaged in 1 Cor 7. As does Paul's requirement (or at least assumption) that elders be married.

"That would actually miss the point of falling in love."

Is 'falling in love' a helpful concept?

I think perhaps we need to move toward a more pragmatic conception of marriage, closer to the 'business deal' model. Paul's comments on the necessity of younger widows marrying would seem to support such a notion of marriage.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

April 23, 2007 3:52 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew said……..I think perhaps we need to move toward a more pragmatic conception of marriage.

I am very much in agreement with this statement. I think certain attributes and traits of a potential spouse should be determined first before a relationship even begins. I believe a checklist of non-negotiable points would be in order. Christian, evidence of fruit of the spirit, no pierced tongues, no addictions or drug use, etc. A Christian should be interested in a person’s “profile” long before love enters the scene or even dating. My son is in a relationship that I am real excited about because the young lady meets and even exceeds every attribute and trait that I would like to see for a wife.

Good point Matthew.

Wayne

April 23, 2007 10:04 AM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"That Paul expects younger widows to marry assumes that there are men willing to marry them."

Yes, indeed. And he advises marriage first off because he wants the church to take care of the true widows who have no family or any other means of support. He also states marriage for the younger women so they do not become idle, which would lead to sin. So his council is for them to get remarried. Saying there were singles there isn't really saying anything as there are singles in all churches. However, it is a huge skip in logic to take Paul as counciling them to get married to mean that they operate on a "business" model. Read 1 Cor. 13. Love is not selfish. To operate on some type of "business model" is to promote one's own selfishness.

"This points to marriage as an expected norm, as situation not envisaged in 1 Cor 7."

Yes. And Paul's point there had to do with the "present distress" the Corinthians were under. They were facing some kind of trouble there, some kind of persecution. He was wanting to save them from added worry that whatever the situation was would have stressed any new marriage relationship.

"I think perhaps we need to move toward a more pragmatic conception of marriage, closer to the 'business deal' model."

I would have to disagree with that. That wouldn't mean that one would not have certain standards or qualities one would look for, but scriptures speaks about marriage in terms of intimacy rather than in what works best for you. That again speaks of self centeredness. It has nothing to do with love. It has nothing to do with intimacy. Can you please state how if we are to love our spouse as Christ loves the Church that could ever be translated into some type of business model for marriage?

April 23, 2007 12:50 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Can you please state how if we are to love our spouse as Christ loves the Church that could ever be translated into some type of business model for marriage?"

I fail to see that mutual benefit excludes the possibility of sacrificial love.

If an employee can love his employer within a commercial relationship, I fail to see that taking a more functional approach to entering the married relationship entails a lack of love or intimacy.

I do not see any zero sum between rational planning of marriage and intimacy once the married relationship is entered. But then I have never been married.

Still, in most Asian cultures (incuding the Biblical world), an approach along the lines of what I am advocating is taken. Are marriages in Asian countries generally lacking in intimacy? (that last question was not rhetorical. I am sincerely raising the question)

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

April 23, 2007 2:51 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"If an employee can love his employer within a commercial relationship, I fail to see that taking a more functional approach to entering the married relationship entails a lack of love or intimacy."

Matthew,

The problem there, I would think, is that the employer doesn't have to love the employee in return. In that type of relationship, if the employee fails to perform, even if they are faithful in showing up everyday, that one can expect a dismissal slip.

Is that how Christ loves the church, Matthew? I ask that in terms of Christ loving the Church since that is the pattern we are to follow in loving our spouses. Does Christ threaten to divorce His Church?

Matthew, can you please tell me how the employer, ***within a commercial relationship***, can love as outlined here:

"4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

Can you show how an "employer within a commercial relationship" can show love that does not insist on it's own way? If a husband insists on having his own way then scripturally he is not walking according to love.

Another problem, it would seem, is that such a view can be based on superficialness. Without an intimate love relationship, what would one do when what is superficial has gone away? Beauty and charms, the scriptures tell us, is fleeting. You will also note in that Proverbs scripture, neither beauty nor charm is praised.

None of this means that one doesn't have standards. In fact, we are given one standard -- our mate is to be a Christian. "Mate" would be another indication that would speak against a buisness model.

"Still, in most Asian cultures (incuding the Biblical world), an approach along the lines of what I am advocating is taken. Are marriages in Asian countries generally lacking in intimacy? (that last question was not rhetorical. I am sincerely raising the question)"

Don't know, as I have never been there. But any marriage not built on love will not function as the scriptures teach that marriage is to function. I would also caution against saying what is successful based on a culture, any culture, that does not espouse godliness. Otherwise it is just another facet of the world system that is ultimately against God.

One last thing, I highly doubt that we will convince each other, Matthew, but I do thank you very much for the interaction.

April 23, 2007 8:34 PM

 
Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Matthew! You have some excellent points that really should be discussed in more detail.

I have spent a great deal of time in India over the last 17 years and the Christian marriages there are 99% arranged, frequently without the bride and groom meeting before the wedding day. There is hardly ANY divorce. Not to say their marriages are perfect but their record sure beats ours!

As to modeling the love Christ has for the church. I understand that love to be UNCONDITIONAL. In other words, it is not brought about by anything good or attractive in us. Nor is it based on God's feelings, but on his decision!

Intimacy in marriage increases as time goes by. A wedding is not based on intimacy but on the promise of intimacy as a couple becomes one.

I have to sign off even though I have tons to say about this. My wife is waiting for me! (No joke!)

Matthew, you're doing some excellent thinking on this subject and I want to encourage you. More on 1 Corinthians 7 and 1 Timothy tomorrow, DV.

Dave Moorhead

April 23, 2007 11:47 PM

 
Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

By the way, you guys, thanks for hanging on this subject for several days. I appreciate your patience. I have just started a series of four or five posts on Ephesians 5:22-24 and I'd welcome your company while I work through them. Hope to see you at Shiloh Guy. Thanks again.

April 23, 2007 11:49 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 24, 2007 1:02 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

This might be a little bit off topic, but.........

Question: Wasn't the Apostle Paul a Rabbi and a member of the Sanhedrin and if he was, Isn't one of the qualifications of a Rabbi, to be married? I always wondered about this..

Cristina

Matthew,
I believe some folks have the gift of marriage and some have the gift of singleness, I guess what matter is what God's will is for that one person.

The hard part is to figure out what God wants for our lives and that is where you seem to be struggling with. The most important things in life are not in finding a husband or wife and having children, but in serving God. I believe the Holy Spirit will guide us and lead us where ever He want us. If you feel the Lord wants you stay single for the rest of your life there is absolutly nothing wrong with that, what is most important like I said is how we serve him. You really make folks think Matthew! *S

April 24, 2007 1:05 PM

 

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