“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the LORD.” Prov. 18:22
She was a very pretty girl by all the standards which are natural for ascertaining natural beauty. She did not only have a very beautiful figure, the right dimensions; she also had a pleasant personality. Besides, she was intelligent and morally upright. She had a good name among her peers. Everyone thought of her as a lovely person. Her family was from good citizenry. They were people who paid their debts, worked industriously for a living. And, in a way, all the young blades in town cast their approving glances at her.
She appeared to be a girl which could make a good wife for anyone who would seriously seek her hand.
However, not quite!!
She could not make a good wife for a Christian young man who loved the Lord. Sad to say, she did not know the Lord. She did not love the Lord and she did not know what it means to be loved by the Lord with the love that sent Christ to the Cross and which is the deepest reason and motive in God for forgiving our sins.
She was a nice girl who could not possibly be a blessing as a wife in the life of a Christian man. She could not pray with him, nor could she confess the name of Christ with him. Yes, she went to church, too, at times; it was the expected thing to do in the community where she lived. She occasionally even dated with a Christian young man. However, then the conversation was only of the things of this world, the football team, the basketball teams, the acquaintances and some chit-chat. But the young man could not speak to her about these matters. He reasoned that this could still be done later…yes, l-a-t-e-r! After all, who knows, perhaps if he took her to church with him, he might even be a good influence in her life. She might even consent to go with him to his church. She might just love him that much.
No, it had not occurred to him seriously that the church which he attended was not merely the building, but was a church composed of believers, who confessed their Lord. They were people who confessed it to be their only comfort in life and in death that they are not their own property, but that they belong to their faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He knew better. However, he did not like the thought that this beautiful girl was separated from him by a great gulf. He belonged to the Lord and she did not. She did not desire to speak about the Christ. At least she never did! She did not bow her knees before the Lord in prayer. She could not belong to the church, Christ’s church, because she did not believe in Him.
It gave the young man some misgiving which he himself could hardly understand. Of course, he could speak to his parents, but they were from another generation and somehow had a strange ability to misunderstand young people, particularly the needs of the teenagers. They took the absurd position that he would do better if he would seek a girl in his own church, that is, in the Protestant Reformed Church. No, he could not ask them! Was this not a man’s own private business? It was his life which he was going to lead. Ah, yes, that is what the parents said rather disapprovingly “marry in haste and repent at leisure!” Yes, and they would point out to him that one could not get married as a Christian with one eye on the divorce court. Marriage was so permanent, they held. It was “till death do us part.”
Perhaps this was one of the “teenage problems” which one could outgrow like measles and other diseases which appear in different times of life. But no! The Word of God stands, “therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh. What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
The thought occurred to him that he ought to talk this matter out with this beautiful, understanding girl. He ought to tell her that he had not been entirely honest with himself and with her. Above all he had not been entirely honest before the Lord, since he had not really seen the problem in the light of his new and unique relationship to Christ. He could not really marry this girl as long as she was an avowed unbeliever. If he would be joined to an unbeliever in a marriage vow, he would be denying his Lord. Yes, the way was very narrow, very narrow indeed. Few there be that find it, Jesus has said. And blessed is he that knoweth these things and doeth them. He shall be likened unto a man which built his house upon the rock. Also the little house of his marriage, his family.
Ah, there was the difficulty. He could talk it out with her, his new relationship to Christ, that this new relationship was all-controlling in his life; that Christ was his first love and allegiance. And, sad to say, she would never understand. She would never understand the things of the kingdom of heaven. They were foolishness to her.
Yes, the Bible says, “Be ye not unequally yoked with an unbeliever.” If he married her, he could only keep “peace in the family” be capitulating to her position. The world only loves her own. For a while she might condone his position. But the truth will come out; he will find that he did not marry a wife in the Scriptural sense of the term. He did not marry “in the Lord.” And now he can vex his righteous (?) soul, or better, can reap the fruit of his own foolhardiness. He married in carelessness and he can repent at leisure of his folly.
He did not find a wife for he was not walking “in the Lord.” He did not find a “good thing.” He does not obtain favor of the Lord. For he that findeth such a good and God-fearing wife seeks for such a wife. He is seeking the favor and the good-pleasure of the Lord.
In all seriousness, my son, are you certain you will be finding such a wife?
What are you seeking for? A good thing? You shall find it and obtain favor from the Lord.
Originally Published in:
Vol. 29 No. 3 May 1969