Friendship – Love – Choosing the right partner
on Freundschaft- Liebe-Partnerwahl by Thomas Jettel, 2000, 2001, 2004
Translated by Kevin Krug.
Jes 8, 20: Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.
Central question: Do I want to live like the Bible demands us to?
Otherwise, there is no light because God is just
leading people who fully obey him. He is your shepherd and provides, protects
you in every situation.
We believe in the message of the Holy Scripture without any exceptions ( 1. Petr. 4, 10.11.)
We do not think and speak beyond it. (1.Kor 4,6)
Notes: If you have not been a good exampleà repentance and pray because he is able to heal you. If it is his will he is able to recover your lost years (Joel 1-2).
What is your target in life? Getting married, a pretty house, prosperity, having a good prestige?
in God for 100 %, learn to be joyful just in/with him (Ps 37,5 Enjoy him)!
65% of all mission field workers are single women!
Preconditions for understanding:
Holy Scripture knows the principle of being subjugated.
- Towards God: If someone is not subjugated by Jesus Christ he is not part of his nation Eph. 5,24
- Towards the State: Who is subjugated by God also accepts the current laws of his state because God has given them (Rom 13,1ff)
- Towards their parents: Rom. 1,30; 2.Tim. 3,2-3. For how long? As long as you have contact with them.
- Towards her husband: Eph. 5, 24
B. Four basic questions to be answered
These questions have to be answered if I am thinking about a generic relationship.
Shall I marry at all? Who decides that?
1. Kor 7
From the New
Testament there is only one reason for marrying: For serving God and by having
more energy and financial resources for him. You do not have to decide for your
whole life but make a decision for NOW.
Everyone has a period in his life where she/he has to live without a partner 1.Kor 7,7.
It is a learning phase for everyone.
Is it possible for me to marry in the near future?
If the answer is “No” then you should not think about it now.
If the statement above is true for you, you should have the attitude of staying completely single ALSO in your mind (It does not say for how long)
Staying single is a gift of God’s mercy as well as being married (compare to 1.Kor 7,7)
Why do I not want to wait?
Can I marry now?
Am I emotionally and spiritually mature enough to do so?
A big problem nowadays: The inability to wait!
E.g. Israel had to bear with King Saul because they did not want to wait for King David.
See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it, will never be stricken with panic.
It is better to be married happily for 35 years than being unhappily married 40 years.
Has the person already appeared in my life?
Have I prayed enough?
Am I sure?
Is there no kind of restlessness if I pray and read in the bible? Is there peace?
Does my thinking of the person affect my relationship to Christ disturbed or disrupted?
Is the person reborn, proven and fitting?
A digression: What advantages does a partnerless time have?
a. Because it improves the spiritual and mental/emotional maturity.
It is good to live in abstinence because it leads to maturity also through waiting. There is nothing wrong if you are not married in your 30’s. If it is God’s will you can also marry in your 50’s.
b. Because you have more unhindered time for serving the LORD
Kor. 7, 34f:
An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
In General, it is good to say single if it is for serving God.
Being single is missionary time for God and his empire. Requirement: Serving God with all you are!
c. Because a man can fight poverty much easier without a woman and children.
1. Kor. 7,26 e.g. poverty. It prevents suffering a lot.
4 basic rules to keep in mind:
Choosing the right partner is a difficult decision because it WILL
influence your relationship and serving with God - either positively or
negatively. It can be improved or it can develop negatively.
You increase your maturity by waiting (diligence, order, self-control, obeying…). Each kind of characteristic weakness is going to affect a married couple negatively.
Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. (Song of Songs 2, 7; Genesis 2)
Keep in mind: Waiting time means improving maturity!
Advice: Pray Harder
ONLY God knows who the best fitting person for you is.
Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
It would be very unwise to trust in something else than God due to that.
Pray for your future wife/husband even though you do not know him yet.
Pray that God forms him for you.
Pray for the God’s will and his leadership.
(Don’t pray for “signs”)
Advice: Ask other persons for giving you
advices- especially parents or mature Christians.
Mature Christians- especially our parents who know us well enough - can give us good advices or warnings.
In the bible we find that parents are giving young people crucial advices and that they give the permission to marry.
Advice: Pay attention to God’s leadership
Include the possibility of marrying one day and ask for 2-3 approvals. Matthew 18, 16b
If there is no reply: Stay! Do not change anything! Be patient and
- Kol 3, 16
Wait until you can clearly see God’s leadership and that acting against it would be clear sign of disobedient (comparable to Israel’s following of God’s pillar of clouds in the desert).
Should a girl do a marriage proposal to the boy?
No. The young man has the leadership in his future marriage- also in his first conversation about that.
Digression: Is there just one specific chosen person for me? Yes and no.
NOT in the meaning of destination like in Greek mythology of being a half of a broken vase trying to find the other half.
If I ask God due to that he has someone fitting for me and the current situation that I am into.
Digression: Shall I pray for signs?
- Example: If she wears a blue pullover tomorrow she will be mine.
- Example: Drawing bible verses- as a biblical horoscope? Is this the way that the scripture tells us?
Pay attention that Gideon did not covered the question of marriage as he asked for signs (Judges 6)
Digression: How shall I wait?
Is this topic a serious part of your prayer list? How often and
intensively are you praying for it? Protect me Lord from going on ways and help
me through these emotions.
Emotions of love are caused by hormones and are just a biochemical process
Full of trust.
The Lord will let the person appear on the right time. Don’t look around
with a worried face. (Don’t panic: Nobody is going to marry the person
away from you and if so the person was not meant for you)
Psalm 37, 3-5; Lucas 6,46; Jes 28,16
Humiliated and altruistic:
Not selfish love: In
the world it is: Baby, I love you! = I love me and I need you for that!
Be willing to leave everything behind for Christ
(Example: Genesis 22: Be ready to sacrifice Isaac)
Waiting time means improving maturity!
D. Ten questions and categories to choose the right marriage partner:
1. Is he/she a proven, mature Christ? Is he/she serving God?
2. Does he/she love Christ and his Word? Does he/she regularly spend time with God and pray?
3. Is he/she able to control himself/herself? Can he/she wait? Is he/she disciplined?
4. Does he/she support you if there is work to do?
5. How does he/she react if there is any kind of (work/time) pressure?
6. How does he/she behave towards other persons (positively or negatively, friendly, patient, quick-tempered, reproachful)?
7. How does he/she treat his/her parents?
8. Does he/she have a passion for family? Does he/she love children and can treat them well?
9. What kind of friends does he/she have?
10. She: Can I entrust me to him and to take a subordinate role?
He: Can I definitely lead her?
Keep on watching him/her without letting the other one know.
Before marrying you should pay attention to the things that you do not like of him/her.
After being married you focus the things that you like of the person.
Necessary requirements for getting married:
1. Both of them have the legal right to marry and materialistic needs for
building up a family are available.
2. The complete approval of his and her parents. (Eph. 6, 1-3)
3. Both of them share steadfast principles based on the Bible.
4. HE knows that he can lead her. SHE is absolutely ready to take a
in everything (Eph. 5, 24).
5. They want to put their future marriage completely in the service of God.
[Beauty is never a criterion in choosing the right partner]
Negative examples are: Simson, Jakob, compare to Proverbs 31, 30; Jes 3,16
- I want to fully obey my LORD also in the choice of my
partner. (Kol. 1, 28f; 2.Tim. 4,7f)
- I just want to marry “in the service of God”. (1. Kor. 7,39-40)
- I am ready to wait for God’s chosen time to marry.
- It is up to God for how long I have to wait and I am not bitter about that by absolutely trusting him. (Genesis. 29,20 ; . Kor. 7,32; Mt. 6,33)
- The partner is reborn (2. Kor. 6,14ff; 1. Kor. 7,39; comp. Genesis 24,3), mature enough (he/she are proven as a Christian) and also a fitting one (e.g. having same targets in life).
Why we should not start a premarital friendship/partnership with the other gender as Christians
Sexuality was created by God. Genesis 1-2
God created mature people who he brought together (woman to the men)
Genesis 2; 24
- It means that they brought together for being married and playing with sexuality apart from that is not supported in the bible.
What the scripture does not teach should not be taught. (Jes 8,20).
1.Kor 7: It is a gift of mercy
There are two phases before marriage:
1. Proving phase (Getting to know each other)
You are unsure whether you are going to marry him/her.
6. Phase of engagement (after the decision)
You are sure, you have promised each other and you are preparing for getting married.
The first phase – proving phase- is not a friendship like phase. It
means that there is no “friendship” and that you are not going out with him/her.
F1. The Holy Scripture does not recommend a marriage on trial!
The opposite is supported: If there is something like that it is a clear sign of disobedient.
There are many examples in the Old Testament:
Positively: Genesis 24 and 28
Negatively: Genesis 34; Judges 14ff. Simson.
Searching for a partner by yourself shows a lack of trusting in God.
F2. Such kind of partnerships/friendships (without the target of getting married) are an obstacle for a personal spiritual growing process.
Focusing on satisfying personal needs (egoism ¹ love)à It leads to a marriage without a strong foundation!
[Having a desire to be loved and accepted by someone àPressure; over-hasty, rashly acting;
Expectations from my surrounding à Pressure; over-hasty, rashly acting;
Personal insecurity (low self-esteem) à Pressure; over-hasty, rashly acting;
Sexual love and lust as driving sources instead of real devotional love à It leads to a marriage without a strong foundation!
Keep in mind: Your decision has deep consequences!
F3. The real meeting of getting to know each other does not appear if
the person knows about it
You are learning more from him/or her if he/she does not know that you are interested in him/her.
What is the difference between a wardrobe and a drawer?
If you open a
wardrobe you see everything at once.
If a man opens himself you will just see a drawer. He needs more time to open the wardrobe (this is the woman). From his natural state a woman does not open herself fast (if she is feminine) because there is much to lose. However, if she decides to open herself once by gaining her trust she is going to open herself completely.
It is the natural state of a man that he is going to keep secrets again and again. He thinks more separately and with more distance about things like in drawers. (Women can hardly understand that what leads to many endless discussions between man and women)
nobody knows who he is going to marry in the future-
even if both of them know each other very well!
Therefore, all the conversations about engagement and marrying are like a giant bubble because neither of them knows who they will meet in the future and how the person will change. It is always a matter of trust.
Love is required for that - especially for a man who does not have a certain bent due to this.
Nevertheless, he is able to think and he shall think. He shall be the mind and he shall use it also by calculating.
F4. It is dangerous to give somebody your heart (partly or totally) where you do not know if he is using to be your marriage partner in future.
Massive damages can occur if both them do not marry at allà This leads to broken hearts.