I have a friend who is in human resources and one of her jobs is to conduct engagement surveys. Her roommate teases that this involves going about to all of her employees and asking them:
“Are you engaged? Are you engaged? Are you planning on becoming engaged?”
I am not engaged (to be married, that is), nor am I planning (er…expecting) to become engaged anytime in the near future.
But I’m all for storing up little bits of engagement advice–and it just so happens that I’ve read some this week.
From Lane Maitland in Grace Livingston Hill’s Maris:
“Yes, that’s what I’m saying,” broke in Merrick. “….That’s why I say marriage is a mess and I hope I never fall in love.”
“Say, you know marriage wasn’t meant to be a mess, and God planned the first marriage to be helpful to both the man and the woman. It wasn’t till the man and woman tried to be independent of God that sin came into the world, and happiness was spoiled. It’s somebody’s fault when marriages go wrong.”
“Oh, is it! And whose fault would it be?”
“Well, people ought to be careful who they pick to fall in love with in the first place. You don’t have to fall in love with everybody you admire. You have to watch yourself. You have to choose the right one. You have to get the one God planned for you.”
“Oh, yeah? And how would you know who that was?…”
“Well, in the first place, if I found I was getting really interested in a girl I’d find out whether she was a real sincere Christian or not…That would be my first step in deciding….In a true marriage both parties would have to qualify, wouldn’t they? It’s only as two people are dominated by the same Spirit, and are surrendered to the same Lord, that they can live together in harmony, isn’t it?”
Such good advice for anyone considering marriage. I think that last bit is so important.
I see so many people who are content to say that the person they are interested in professes Christ. But the Christian man or woman who is looking to marry someone should be concerned that whoever they marry be dominated by and surrendered to the same Lord.
I think that if this condition is met, matters of preferences and temperaments and hobbies become much less important. One could marry someone who is otherwise “incompatible” (by the world’s standards) so long as both are completely surrendered to the same Lord–the Lord Jesus Christ.
It just so happens that my pastor is blogging on the topic of preparation for marriage–and I think he’s got some really great insights. You can find his posts at justinerickson.org. Please pass them along to someone who could use them.
Don’t forget to take a look at Barbara H’s meme “The Week in Words”, where bloggers collect quotes they’ve read throughout the week.