04.22.15

Biblical Advice for Brothers Who Want to Find a Wife (pt. 2)

I love everything about weddings. I love their beauty. I love the mystery: how out of all the billions of people on earth, one man and one woman fell so in love that they vow to join together in a lifelong monogamous union. I love that out of all the ways God reveals His glory, He uniquely designed marriage to display His love for His people. With all that marriage offers and is (leading Peter to call it “the grace of life”) why would any godly brother let it pass him by? If you don’t want marriage to pass you by, then keep reading, and let me offer you five more tips of biblical advice on how to find a wife.

1. Pray for a Wife

I know this sounds obvious, but first you must pray. promises, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” God wants us to pray. He is the One who commands, “ask for whatever you wish!” By abiding in Jesus’ words, our prayer will be, “Father let Your will be done in my life, not mine.” When we pray in God’s will (and praying for a wife is), then we can be assured that He hears us. Persevere in prayer, brothers, God is not trying to trick you. He promises that, “we must not only believe that He is, but that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (). So while God commands us to pray, He also promises to answer! Therefore, in order to find a wife, pray fervently. There is nothing that I prayed harder and longer for than for a wife. There was a saying that went around some years ago using the acronym for pray called P.U.S.H. It stood for Pray Until Something Happens. God answers prayer! His answer might be “no,” “not this one,” or “wait,” but He will answer, and you must pray believing that. So keep PUSHING until you get a wife!

2. Lead Your Sisters

Back in the day, farmers used to pray with a hoe in their hand. That meant that although they prayed depending on God to do everything, they knew that God would work His answer out through them. Not surprisingly, the surest way to not find a wife is to pray and then avoid spending time with sisters in Christ. That being said, the Bible doesn’t call single men to be Casanovas. In , Paul, through Timothy, commands single men to treat women “as sisters in all purity.” So before you can be a good husband, learn to be a good brother. Single men, leading means initiating! You must organize times in your church to encourage your sisters in Christ. You set up fun events like bowling outings. You plan ministry trips to the Union Rescue Mission. Always escort the single sisters in your church to banquets. Be gentle, hold doors, greet them, encourage them. In other words, lead while you are learning to be good platonic brothers/friends. And establish your brother-sister relationships in such a way that you maintain the godly reputation of being a one-woman kind of man (). Don’t be a flirt, and don’t casually enter in and out of so-called dating relations.

3. Live a Life of Worship

Jesus died for you so that you could live for God. Are you doing that? describes the only proper response to Jesus’ great work of salvation is giving your life to Him as a living sacrifice. further describes what that looks like. It commands us to avoid passively allowing the world to mold our thinking. I pray that this would be true for brothers, especially in the area of marriage. Reject the world’s powerful influence to be passive about marriage. Instead of being molded by the lies of the god of this world, keep reaffirming the significance and blessing of marriage. gives commands, brothers. While you are commanded to stop passively allowing the world to mold you, God commands you to keep allowing His Word to transform you. When you consistently live this way, this verse gives you a marvelous promise to embrace. God’s will, which is perfect and good, will find you. Did you catch that? When you radically live for God instead of the world, your Father in Heaven, who knows your needs, will lead you to His will.

4. Be Wise

Use wise speech. Let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no” (). Be disciplined with your tongue and time. “Too much of anything is bad” (), especially getting together with a single sister late at night! Avoid the appearance of evil (). Practice guarding your sister’s heart so that you don’t defraud her by promising what you won’t fulfill (). And never go out with unbelievers. The only way a Christian can marry an unbeliever () is if he compromises and dates one first. Make a plan about how you will lead, and be accountable to it (). Don’t touch single women (). They’re not yours! Don’t arouse or awaken love before the time (). And make sure you are spiritually and emotionally mature enough to lead and provide for a sister before you ask if you can pursue her as a wife.

5. Make a Commitment

If God didn’t give you the gift of singleness, then know that He wants to give you a wife! Fear brings death to faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God (). In a prayerful, godly, disciplined, and wise way, look for your missing rib! And know that God will lead you to her. He’s not trying to trick you. She won’t be perfect, but she will be perfect for you. You need a helper, so when God leads you to her through prayer and counsel, God will confirm that she is the one. When He does, ask that sister if you can cross the brother sister line to see if God’s will for you two is marriage. At this stage of the relationship, you must walk by the Spirit. If you do, then you will manifest the fruit of self-control. If you are walking in the flesh, you won’t. The bottom line is if you are not a sanctifying influence in her life, and she is not helping you grow in Christ likeness, then believe what you see. Stop the relationship because something is wrong. Yellow lights mean slow down, not speed up. And red lights mean to stop altogether. But if the Spirit is saying “yes” and counselors [especially Christian parents () and pastors] agree, then get a ring and get down on your knee and propose.

I am sure there is more helpful advice one could find (in fact I will write a little more about Internet dating and a woman’s role in pursuing marriage in my next post), but I hope these biblical tips will help.

May God grant you the grace you need to find a wife. I’m praying for you, brothers.

This is part II of the series, “Biblical Advice for Brothers Who Want to Find a Wife.” See part I here, part III here, and part IV here

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (ESV)

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (ESV)

older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity. (ESV)

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, (ESV)

12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (ESV)

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)

37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. (ESV)

16 If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. (ESV)

22 Abstain from every form of evil. (ESV)

that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. (ESV)

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (ESV)

18 Plans are established by counsel;
by wise guidance wage war. (ESV)

7:1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” (ESV)

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.

Song of Solomon 3:5

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.

Song of Solomon 8:4

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases. (ESV)

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (ESV)

36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. (ESV)

Bobby Scott
Pastor Pastor Bobby, who pastors Community of Faith Bible Church in the Los Angeles area, cherishes his family: his devoted wife, Naomi, and his six children. It is his consuming desire to be used by God to strengthen the urban church, and he believes this objective will be best met by building families and developing a ministry upon the teaching of the Word of God. Give him a shout on twitter: @PastorBScott.

C’mon Up!

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  • Rajun Cajun

    Great lessons here. I am curious if you have any thoughts about how one’s unbiblical expectations regarding marriage may be a hindrance to God providing a helpmeet to His male children.

    Sometimes we are not spiritually mature enough to have realistic expectations as to what purpose the marriage serves in our life. Too often we expect the marriage to make us happy (i.e. marriage is the end goal in and of itself and not a means to the end) at the expense of our faith and obedience to God. When time tarries and the marriage becomes routine (as all marriages do in the long-term) some of us will think that the problem is with our spouse. Since we don’t feel those “warm and fuzzies” anymore we gradually seek to find it from something or someone else.

    If we truly embrace the mystery of marriage (as Paul defines it in ) we will honor our vow that we made before God and the church. I don’t think that God will allow His daughters (and vise versa) to join themselves in Holy matrimony to someone that is not spiritually mature enough to handle the realities of marriage. Maturing in this area can only come from studying God’s word and seeking counsel from older/more mature believers.

    Note that IMO this advice can only come from biblically sound instruction and not from the pop-psychology and secular marriage material that a lot of pre-marriage counseling workshops utilize. Also, IMO less emphasis/resources needs to be placed on the wedding ceremony/reception and more emphases need to be placed on preparing the two individuals to deal with the unforeseen circumstances that will come to them in the future.

  • Pastor Bobby Scott

    Rajun, thanks for the encouragement. I can’t add anything to what you’ve said other than Amen! brother. I just spoke at a biblical counseling conference on the topic of the purpose of marriage and in a nut shell taught what you just affirmed. God bless you. Stay faithful.

  • Louis Love

    “So before you can be a good husband, learn to be a good brother”. This was priceless my brother. Thanks for this much-needed series.

  • Pastor Bobby Scott

    Pastor Love, I need to thank you, Thabiti, Tony, and Isaac for giving our community “The Front Porch” so we can have open conversations like this.

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  • Jana Wallace

    First and foremost, thank you. Though this advice is for our brothers, it helps sisters like me what to look for and encourage in the brethren. I’m curious to how the church cultivates this healthy, platonic type of brother-sister interaction. The fear of not wanting to stumble or protect hearts can actually interfere with learning to live and love the body, especially when folks at church start asking myriad of questions when single brothers and sisters are genuine friends, or a single brother and sister sitting side by side at church must mean they’re an item… Just seems that many brothers and sisters go through this blindly, and it’s rare to see what you’ve described.

    • Pastor Bobby Scott

      Jana, you are more than welcome. My answer has two parts: good news and challenging news. The good news is that a church can cultivate an environment that fosters healthy spiritual brother-sister relationships. The church I attended (30 years
      ago) when I was single did. In fact, it’s where I learned most of the principles I shared. In addition to having great platonic relationships, most of the singles married within our group (of 500 of so people) and I am not aware of a divorce among us.

      The challenging news is that it takes a corporate counter-cultural approach to relationships to do it. My college pastor preached a yearlong series called “Let the Men be Men and the Women be Women,” and everyone bought into it. So somehow the singles in your church as a group would have to learn and live by the principles I shared in my posts.

      Second, the men will have to lead! They will have to consistently act like brothers and not Casanovas. Perhaps you could recommend that your group read Joshua Harris’ books, I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl. Practically, the men will have to initiate group get togethers instead of one on one romantic outings. More than likely this will mean that a pastor in your church will have to take this challenge on and help the single men in your church to lead.

      Third, the women would have to learn to wait in faith and not allow themselves to get emotionally ahead of where the relationships are. More than like this will mean wiser older women in your church will have to step in to help the single women to respond in helpful wise ways to the men.

      And fourth your question, Jana, is the million-dollar question. It’s where I pray single
      Christians serious about marriage take this discussion. Maybe I’ll have to write another series or a book. I just reached out to a publisher to see if they were interested. But the key is that brother-sister relationships have to be developed because we all are brothers and sisters. And crossing the brother-sister line has to be done as God leads and done with the commitments of courtship where marriage is the clearly stated goal of the relationship.

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