Mr. Right or Miss Right?

This is another pet peeve of mine. 😉   Sorta along the lines of did David Dance Naked?   Yes, I know some of you are rolling your eyes, not that one again!  {I’m constantly reminded of it, because that post has been read sometimes three times an hour since 2009!}

Since 2008 when I started my blog I have gotten lots and lots of emails from a variety of people.  Many of them have been from women who are asking questions concerning their marriages.  There is often a regular theme that occurs.  Essentially a woman has determined that she did not marry “Mr. Right” because she did not do things God’s way or follow “Biblical” Courtship.  So now she desires to straighten out the mess she made in order to seek God’s will and find the real “Mr. Right”.

Now I don’t know about you but I really just cringe when someone uses the expression “Mr. Right” or “Miss Right” because I think that gives our children a wrong perception of marriage.  The idea that there is only one person out there that God has for us to marry is not a Biblical idea.  Because using that reasoning then if somehow you miss that person, sinned, or misunderstood and chose the “wrong” person then you have failed and are not in God’s will for you.  Or what if they choose wrong or sinned?  What happens then years later?  Do you seek to get back in God’s will for your life, even if that means divorcing your present spouse?  Heaven forbid!

There is technically a “Mr. Right” or “Mrs. Right” and they are your present spouse.  Once you are married you are married to “Mr. Right” or “Mrs. Right”.  No if, ands, or buts!  But until you are actually married that person may or may not be God’s will for you.  Once you are married that person is God’s will for you.  Whether or not that person is a wise choice is a whole ‘nother can of worms.  But once the choice has been made you are married to “Mr. Right.”

This also means that you are not to divorce because suddenly years down the road you’ve decided you did not seek God’s will and marry the “right” person.  The Bible is much more clear on marriage and divorce than it is on choosing a marriage partner.

Marriage, Divorce & Remarriage covers my best understanding of what the Bible says on marriage and divorce.  Granted that is much more strict than most interpret the passages, but nevertheless, never does the Lord say that a NT believer should divorce and seek another spouse.  Even in the case of a believer married to an unbeliever, the believer is commanded to remain with their spouse if the unbeliever will stay.

1 Corinthians 7:10-13 (ESV)

10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband  

11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.  

12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.  

13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.

Beyond the general guidelines of a man and woman who are not too closely related there is very, very little instruction given about choosing a spouse.  Oh, there are principles provided about character and qualities such as in Proverbs 31:10-31 and Ephesians 5:25-31.  Those and many more character qualities make useful studies to help in making wise decisions; however, they are just guidelines not commands.

The only specific instruction in the NT to believers is that they are to marry a believer.

1 Corinthians 7:39 (ESV)  A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

2 Corinthians 6:14 (ESV)  Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

While a believer can do all they can to strive to marry a believer, even then they may find that years later they were actually married to an unbeliever.  Our hearts can deceive ourselves (Jeremiah 17:9) and they can very easily deceive another.  You cannot always know a person’s heart well enough.  You can really only look closely and judge the fruit of their life.  Bad fruit before marriage will become rotten fruit after marriage.  But even then, thankfully, the Lord may bring real life out of the rotten fruit.  So don’t despair if you find you are married to a unsaved spouse.  He may become a good fruit bearer later.

Do you understand how freeing this is?  If you use the false premise that there is one person out there for you to marry then you can get caught up in a lot of false ideas.  The thought that if you failed to go to that event because you were sick and now you missed that one chance to meet “Mr. Right” and he is with your friend instead.  The idea that if you just continue to wait longer the real “Mr. Right” will eventually show up.   Or the idea that some other person who turns up years later was the real “Mr. Right” and you married too early and messed up your chance.  The real “Mr. Right” is who you are married to.

Until then make wise decisions.  Follow Biblical principles.  Seek wise counsel.  Listen to wise counsel. 😉  Observe, listen, talk, spend time with others, spend time with the extended family, and pray, pray, pray.  But once you marry that certain person then know he is “Mr. Right” and God’s will for you.  Don’t look back and don’t second guess.   “Mr. Darcy” is just fiction, real young men and older men are sinners like us, hopefully though saved by grace.


Marriage Made In Heaven


Facebook and Divorce

Why does this not surprise me in the least?

Pastor Warns Staff to Give up Facebook (Note link removed)

Thou shalt not commit adultery. And thou also shalt not use Facebook.

That’s the edict from a New Jersey pastor who feels the two often go together.

The Rev. Cedric Miller said 20 couples among the 1,100 members of his Living Word Christian Fellowship Church have run into marital trouble over the last six months after a spouse connected with an ex-flame over Facebook.

Because of the problems, he is ordering about 50 married church officials to delete their accounts with the social networking site or resign from their leadership positions. He had previously asked married congregants to share their login information with their spouses and now plans to suggest that they give up Facebook altogether.

“I’ve been in extended counseling with couples with marital problems because of Facebook for the last year and a half,” he said. “What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great.” …

This isn’t necessarily something I agree with.  However, I think it is worth discussing.  It might just turn out that many, many other pastors and counselors are seeing similar results from social media.  Anyway, funny how the harm Facebook is causing keeps popping up. Remember the previous post with John MacArthur’s warnings ?

Social Media and Digital Discernment – MacArthur

Might Facebook be hindering your marriage?

Are you more social with others than your spouse?

Are you in regular contact with old flames?


A Restored Daughter

The first we hear much about divorce in the Old Testament is in the Law.  Divorced individuals are clearly considered defiled and often rejected.

The Priests are instructed to not marry a divorced woman.

Leviticus 21:7 They shall not marry a prostitute or a woman who has been defiled, neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband, for the priest is holy to his God. ESV

Leviticus 21:13-15

13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity. 

14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute, these he shall not marry. But he shall take as his wife a virgin of his own people,

15 that he may not profane his offspring among his people, for I am the Lord who sanctifies him.”  ESV

Notice also that a Priest was not able to marry a widow either.  This was so that a Priest’s children may not be profaned but would be sanctified by the Lord.

Many treat the Bible as two completely different books that really have no connection with one another.  Often you will hear someone refer to the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament as if they are totally different individuals.  Or worse you will hear someone say they do not like the God of the Bible but they love Jesus.  You cannot do that!  You cannot separate the God of the Old Testament from the New Testament God; they are one and the same.  Nor can you separate God and Jesus because they are one and the same.

People love to hear about the Love, Grace and Mercy portrayed in the New Testament, yet to them the God in the Old Testament is harsh, cruel and unloving.  But they are wrong; there is judgment portrayed in the NT just as there is Love, Grace and Mercy portrayed in the OT.

The God we see portrayed in the Old Testament exhibits the Grace and Mercy of the Father to His people and even to Gentiles at times.  Grace and Mercy was extended even to those who were divorced. 

Leviticus 22:12-13

12 If a priest’s daughter marries a layman, she shall not eat of the contribution of the holy things.

13 But if a priest’s daughter is widowed or divorced and has no child and returns to her father’s house, as in her youth, she may eat of her father’s food; yet no lay person shall eat of it. ESV

This series of verses in Leviticus (Leviticus 22:1 -16) is explaining who may eat of the Holy food that was given to the Priests. 

  • No layman may eat of it. 

  • No foreigner.

  • No hired hand.

  • No unclean person. 

However, a daughter of the Priest that returns to her Father’s house may eat of the Holy food even when she was considered defiled or profane due to the divorce.

Do you see the beautiful picture of Grace extended to a daughter of the Priest? 

There is no doubt that God hates divorce, that God considers divorce sin and that sin has consequences. 

Yet even in our sin God offers us His Grace and Mercy.  Just as the Priestly Father would take back the impure daughter so also our Heavenly Father will take back His daughter.  Not as a hired servant, but as a restored member of the family who may partake of the Holy Things.  Oh, that we would all return to our Father’s House.


Such Were Some of You

As discussed in yesterday’s post most of us would have the title of liar, adulterer, and murder plus many, many more titles. 

That isn’t a good thing considering God’s Word says that such that are immoral, adulterers, thieves and greedy will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 

10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. ESV 

So those who have divorced and remarried can’t inherit the Kingdom of God, right?  Only if you take those two verses and ignore the following verse.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 

10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ESV

Those who have been called by the Lord were such sinners.  We now though are washed (cleansed, purified), sanctified (set apart, holy), and justified (made right with God). 

By our establishing our own holiness and right actions?  NOPE!

By the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Commentary

“Such were some of you, but you are not what you were. You are washed, you are sanctified, you are justified in the name of Christ, and by the Spirit of our God. Note, The wickedness of men before conversion is no bar to their regeneration and reconciliation to God. The blood of Christ, and the washing of regeneration, can purge away all guilt and defilement. Here is a rhetorical change of the natural order: You are sanctified, you are justified. Sanctification is mentioned before justification: and yet the name of Christ, by which we are justified, is placed before the Spirit of God, by whom we are sanctified. Our justification is owing to the merit of Christ; our sanctification to the operation of the Spirit: but both go together. Note, None are cleansed from the guilt of sin, and reconciled to God through Christ, but those who are also sanctified by his Spirit.”

(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

So we see clearly that an adulterer can be saved. 

Just as an idolater or a thief can be saved.


The Marriage Covenant Is Unbreakable Unless God Breaks It

Read this profound statement about marriage from John Piper.

What God Has Joined Together, Let Not Man Separate, Part 1

One of the reasons that I have emphasized the ultimate meaning of marriage so much in this series is that the meaning of marriage is such that human beings cannot legitimately break it. The ultimate meaning of marriage is the representation of the covenant keeping love between Christ and his church. To live this truth and to show this truth is what it means, most deeply, to be married. This is the ultimate reason why marriage exists. There are other reasons, but this is the main one. Therefore, if Christ ever abandons and discards his church, then a man may divorce his wife. And if the blood-bought church, under the new covenant, ever ceases to be the bride of Christ, then a wife may legitimately divorce her husband. But as long as Christ keeps his covenant with his bride, the church, and as long as the church, by the sustaining grace of God, remains the chosen people of Jesus Christ, then the very meaning of marriage will include: What God has joined, only God can separate, not man.

Do you see how this applies to our salvation?

If a person is truly a believer, then we cannot lose our salvation.

Christ does not divorce His Church and His Church may not divorce Christ.

Our marriages are pictures of Christ’s relationship to the church and thus divorce is not allowed unless we want our salvation to be dependent upon our own actions and not be dependent on the Lord’s Grace and Mercy to keep us.