From the pages of In Search of a Help Meet, here is Ben Sargent’s 7-lesson “Bible Studies for New Couples.” Young men, you can use this as a guide to learn together the basic principles that will help you and your prospective bride build a glorious, God-honoring marriage (or to learn that she is not the woman for you).
I. It is common today for Christians to be encouraged to seek counseling, talk to their pastor, their mentor, etc., but is that God’s position? Where should a child of God go for instruction, encouragement, for counsel? Where is the bedrock truth that is not influenced by time, culture or man’s sin?
For a couple to be successful they need to have a source of truth that is relevant in every area of their lives. Without an anchor the ship called the USS Marriage drifts aimlessly with every current or strong wind until it finally is beaten upon the rocks and utterly destroyed.
II. As with everything God creates, he does so with decency and order (1 Corinthians 14:40). The home is no different.
Husbands are commanded to love their wives, not to make them obey or submit. The command from God to husbands is that they love their wives. God’s commandments to the wives about their husbands are between the wives and God.
Becoming the woman God intends her to be and the woman her husband needs her to be will cause him to love her. A wife’s conversation (speech, attitude, and body language) is critical to the spirit in the home. God’s commandments to husbands are between the husbands and God.
From the inception of the Law, offspring were counted as adults in the Old Testament for accountability and census taking in preparation for war at twenty. They were no longer referred to as children. They are independent decision-makers, held accountable to God and society (Old Testament Law), not parents.
God’s provision of roles in a family was not to minimize the importance of any member, but rather, to provide a framework for family success. This design was for the triumph of the family over evil and for the glory of God.
III. Some young women see bitterness in their parents’ relationship and it makes them gun-shy about marriage and distrustful of men generally. Bitterness is to be avoided without exception, so it would be wise to observe a potential mate’s conversation toward others, particularly her dad.
The Christian landscape is littered with marriages that were destroyed due to a single root of bitterness that sprang up like a Kudzu vine and choked the life from a previously successful couple. It is better not to purchase the field that is already overrun with Kudzu when you’re trying to grow grapes.
IV. It is often stated that couples struggle over two primary things: communication and money. It is unlikely that any two people have the exact same approach about money even if they are raised in the same house. Consequently, it would be prudent to converse regularly about the approach of the home finances.
Money is a tool for purchasing power, the ability to be a blessing to others, to provide for the ministry, and to glorify God. Loving it causes destruction; sowing it well reaps a wonderful harvest.
V. Samson and Solomon failed to become what God intended them to be. Both married women they were expressly forbidden to marry. Christians are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, so it is prudent to ensure any potential bride’s relationship with the Master.
Does this woman to whom you are attracted really know the Lord herself? Is she saved or just really nice, really attractive, and really lost? Loving someone to whom you are attracted does not mean you should marry them.
VI. The disciples of Christ never asked if they were to be involved in the ministry to bring glory to their Lord. They got to work teaching, table wiping, and tent making. They looked for ways to honor the one who had bled to death in their place.
Jesus implored his disciples to keep his commandments (John 14:15, 15:10). He commanded us to go. He provides gifts (Romans 12:6-8), administrations and operations (1 Corinthians 12:5-6), opportunities (Acts chapters 2, 10, & 16), and the leadership of the Holy Ghost (Romans 8:14). Irrespective of our background, blue-collar (Peter the fisherman, Paul the tentmaker), or white (Matthew the tax collector), a Christian family should be about their father’s business (Luke 2:49).
VII. Years ago the United States military members were admired for their self-discipline. This discipline came from continual preparation and carefulness in their personal conduct. Christian men are tender warriors who seek self-discipline for the glory of God.
A combat warrior stealthily moving through the jungle watches where his feet go to avoid stepping on an IED; he exercises and hardens his body for warfare and constantly trains and prepares for the next mission by study and practice. Christian men are in a warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Timothy 1:18) with a real adversary (1 Peter 5:8). Self-discipline keeps a man of God focused and busy.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;