Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Finding a Good Spouse


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When I was searching for sermon illustrations on marriage, I saw in one of my books that the entry on “marriage” was sandwiched between “mark of the beast” and “martyrdom.” 

Now that’s very interesting! In case you thought you made a mistake and you married the wrong person or, worse, the Antichrist, remember what Socrates the philosopher said, “By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you will become very happy; if you get a bad one, you will become a philosopher—and that is also good.” 

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Seriously, here’s what God has to say about finding a life partner: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22) [1] If you think that it only talks about finding a wife and not a husband, The Message version goes like this, “Find a good spouse, you find a good life—and even more: the favor of God!” 

Getting married is a good thing and a favor from the Lord. The Hebrew word for “favor” means “acceptance, goodwill, or approval.” [2] For our single people, please don’t think that God did not give you His favor. That’s not the intent of the verse. When he talked about singleness, marriage and remarriage, the apostle Paul declared,
I wish that all were as I myself am. [As far as Bible scholars are concerned, Paul was either a widow or he has never married.] But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. (1 Corinthians 7:7. Emphasis added.)
Singleness and marriage are both a “gift from God”. But they are different gifts.

The point of Proverbs 18:22 is, “The Lord sanctions marriage for He states that finding a wife is a good thing and that God is pleased with marriage” (emphasis added). [3] In his “Be Skillful,” Dr. Warren Wiersbe wrote,
Blessed is that marriage in which the husband acknowledges God’s goodness to him in giving him his wife! When a husband takes her for granted, he grieves both her and the Lord. He should love her and be loyal to her all the days of his life. [4]
The question now is, do we see our marriage as an expression of God’s favor upon us? Do we acknowledge that His blessings upon our marriage spell the difference between a successful marriage and a failed one? 

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As Psalm 127:1 declared, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” 

[1] All Bible verses are from the English Standard Version, unless otherwise noted.

[2] Sid S. Buzzel, “Proverbs” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, Eds. John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983, 1985), 923.

[3] Ibid, 945.

[4] Warren Wiersbe, Be Skillful (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1995), 98-99.