Announcer: Mike thought he had found the one. How he responded to the red flags he saw made all the difference in saving him from his near‑fatal mistake.
Michael Pearl: If you think I was a little overboard, I beg to differ. I had determined that I wanted the best marriage possible. I did my homework. Did I want to spend my life waiting on a pitiful wife or dealing with weird emotional issues? No. I wanted a partner to share my vision and responsibilities. I wanted someone to help me do what I needed to do in life and ministry. I checked out every possible girl, watching, waiting‑‑not long‑‑and considering.
It was a tantalizing time in developing manhood, dreaming of my very own Eve. When I was 20 years old I finally settled on the most virtuous and attractive of all the girls I knew. She did have hair, a little too short, but she looked mighty fine. She could play the piano and had a real nice singing voice. She was in big demand and stood out at any crowd.
We had been brought up in the same church. I knew her family and she knew mine. After observing her for some time and getting to know her in one‑on‑one conversations, I became convinced I couldn't live without her. I decided to take the plunge. One evening after church, with the ring in my pocket, I took her home in the family station wagon. I was filled with wild anticipation.
A man doesn't really feel like he's arrived until the day he finally finds his other half. God says he created the male and female in his image. The longer I live, the clearer it is to me that man is just not all there until he has his wife.
My moment had arrived. I took sweet thing's tiny hand in mine and looked deep into her dark brown eyes. I smiled, knowing she was waiting and knowing what I was about to say. Knowing the answer, I asked her if she would be my wife.
With shining eyes, she accepted my proposal, but the next day as we contemplated our future together, she wanted my assurance that I would always be a Southern Baptist preacher. I was already ordained and licensed as a Southern Baptist preacher. Until that moment, it had never occurred to me to be anything else.
To be or not to be a Southern Baptist preacher was of no concern to me, but I was very much alarmed by her readiness to place frivolous conditions upon our future together. I was God's man, period. I would not limit him nor accept any limits upon my future.
An old preacher once told me that if you were seeking the Lord and walking in truth, yet a girl wants to change one thing about you before you marry, then you might as well plan on being her whatever all your life. You will surely not be your own man.
This wasn't exactly her trying to change me, but it was a forecast of things to come. Several days transpired with very sober discussions. She tried to retract her demand. Other issues came up. What took two years to develop undeveloped in a few days. My sweet thing was not the one. I hoped things would turn around, but we grew in different directions.
It took me a year or two to get over her. Sure, I felt like crud. I've got feelings just like the next guy. You haven't loved more than I or been hurt more. Every guy thinks his heartbreak is the cruelest. It is difficult to think with your brains and not your emotions. Many men drop the ball right here. They sense that something is not right. They wait for a better time to break it off with the girl.
Maybe they even break up, but loneliness drives them back. Time passes. It gets harder and harder to cut the string. Then one day you wake up married and she is in control. Some things have to be done right the first time, and marriage is one. I walked away a disappointed lover, but how much better than being a bound, dissatisfied husband?
It was a very wise move, though I didn't feel wise at the time. No regrets.
Announcer: Thank you for listening to this excerpt from "In Search of a Help Meet." As always, remember to check out the current specials on our audio books and more.