I test the mind.
God knows your true motives.
Mankind’s sinful mind tries hard to justify everything we do, but God is not as interested in our actions as He is in the reasons behind our actions. He is interested in our motivation. What was the real reason you did what you did? Was it to please God—or man?
All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight,
But the LORD weighs the motives. —Proverbs 16:2
And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” —Luke 16:15
There is an abundance of Scripture that shows God knows our every thought.
The LORD knows the thoughts of man,
That they are a mere breath. —Psalm 94:11
See also Psalm 139:23; Amos 4:13; Matthew 9:4; 12:25; Luke 1:51.
And we’ll be judged not only on our actions (what we allowed God to do through us) but also our thoughts and motives!
Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God. —1 Corinthians 4:5
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. —James 4:3
the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives . . . —Philippians 1:17
I am confused as to how to find a husband. What are rules for dating? How long should you date before getting married? What are the characteristics someone should look for in a spouse? What are the “deal-breakers?”
In today’s secular world, dating could be viewed as “practice for divorce.” A typical person begins to date someone who they believe will meet all their needs. But after a while, for myriads of usually self-centered reasons, they “break up.” The process of dating and breaking up is repeated over and over until the solution to every relationship problem is to start over.
Eventually two people hang in there long enough and get married. The husband expects his new wife to never change and the wife expects her husband will change—a recipe for disaster. When the honeymoon fades, problems arise, and from past experience the cure is known, practiced over and over during dating—it’s time to “break up.” But in marriage it’s called divorce.
The Bible offers a quite different model for relationships. First and foremost, the Bible teaches that no human can fulfill another human’s needs. Only God can do that. So the first principle in finding a spouse is not to try to find someone to meet your needs. Rather, wait for God to bring a biblically oriented person into your life, someone who trusts Jesus fully in every area. How they love God is a good indication of how they will love you.
Being attracted to someone is good. But true love is not an emotion. It is an act of will. For you, as a Believer, to say, “I love you,” means you are saying, “I will allow God to love you through me, using me any way He wishes.”
If a guy says to you, “I love the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to serve Him. I want you by my side for the rest of my God-ordained days and for us to serve Him together. I want to love you (act not emotion), provide for you and have all the children God will bless us with,” pray about accepting his offer.
It doesn’t matter if he’s rich or poor, fat or thin, tall or short, black or white or what age he is. You have a great opportunity to have an awesome Christ-centered marriage. You don’t HAVE to take the offer, but you have found a potential husband who will lead you spiritually with incredible joy in Him.
Within the context of the above, any list of “deal-breakers” should include (in no particular order):
- God is not first in his life.
Just because he goes to church doesn’t mean he’s a God-first guy. What’s his testimony? What’s he been like since he became a Believer? Does Scripture drive his life? Does he know what he believes and can he defend it scripturally? Is he looking for a scripturally solid, biblically sound, Christ-loving bride? If he is prideful, opposite of humble, decline to continue.
- His flesh is uncontrollable.
If at any time he pushes inappropriate behavior, he is telling you he is not “God first.” Most guys will see where the girl’s lines are drawn. A guy who lets God establish where the lines should be drawn is exceptional. If he is a man given to anger, decline to continue.
- He has no direction.
If he has no job, no education, no vision, no idea what he wants to do—he’s just “trusting God,” he’s a loser. Move on. The Bible clearly says to get your act together before you take on a wife and home. He may be a great husband one day, but not yet. And don’t wait!
- He doesn’t respect his parents.
God says we are to honor our fathers and mothers, so any guy who doesn’t do that is ignoring a clear scriptural command.
- Your parents object.
Regardless of whether or not your parents are solid believers, if they say this guy is bad news, listen! As hard as it would be, assume God is talking though your parents. Most likely you’re missing something that they see. God gave us parents to protect us as we grow up. (BTW – Any dad who doesn’t take an active role in checking out a prospective suitor for his daughter is not much of a protector. Too often a dad takes more of an interest in who’s borrowing his car or boat than in who’s taking out his daughter for a test drive!)
Regarding how long you should date—
You should make it clear that you are not interested in dating. Rather, you are interested in finding a Godly mate. That’ll weed out non-Christians and most weak Christians. Stick to your guns regardless of how long it takes. God wants you to keep your eyes on the long-term, not the short-term.
When you have found the Godly man who captures your heart, get engaged, set the date with enough time to plan the wedding, and get married. Long engagements are rarely good. If you can’t get married for a year, don’t get engaged.
Age is not really a factor—many who marry late in life crash and burn. Many who marry young stay married forever. Success has everything to do with having a doctrinally sound, God-centered marriage and little else.
God has designed you to be a helper to your husband. So when you evaluate your prospective husband, seeing some areas where he has shortcomings is a plus. Those are areas where you may be used as a great complement.
Lastly, pray. Pray like crazy. Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Pray for your husband now, even though you don’t know him.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life. —Proverbs 31:12
“All the days of her life” would include BEFORE you get married—before you know who he is!
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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
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