Mindset Is Everything!

Examine carefully to see if your married life would be happy or inharmonious and wretched. Let the questions be raised, Will this union help me heavenward? Will it increase my love for God? And will it enlarge my sphere of usefulness in this life? If these reflections present no drawback, then in the fear of God move forward.

 Adventist Home 45.2

There is in the Christian world an astonishing, alarming indifference to the teaching of God’s word in regard to the marriage of Christians with unbelievers. Many who profess to love and fear God choose to follow the bent of their own minds rather than take counsel of Infinite Wisdom. In a matter which vitally concerns the happiness and well-being of both parties for this world and the next, reason, judgment, and the fear of God are set aside; and blind impulse, stubborn determination are allowed to control. Adventist Home 61.1

In the first blog in this series, we looked at “how not to choose a mate. Once we looked at these totally bad ways of finding our “Prince Charming or Cinderella” the obvious next question seemed to be “how do you choose a godly mate”?  But then we had to put the brakes on that conversation to ask a more important question. “If I did meet a godly man/woman would I be what he/she was looking for?” Hmmm. Great question. So we detoured from our hunt for Mr. Right to find how to become Miss Right!  We looked at what the armor of God outlined in Ephesians 6:11-18 could teach us about becoming who God wants us to be as singles. Whew! So now that we are all sorted, we can start figuring out how to choose a godly mate. It seems to me that if the armor is helping me to get to where God wants me to be, then it is good enough for me to use as a standard to check out any potential mate.

Belt of Truth

Since I have already determined that truth is my foundation, the first question I need to ask and get the answer to is, “Is truth his/her foundation?” Truth is not doctrine. Truth is God! For everyone who has encircled themselves with truth, God is the first and final authority in all areas of life. If He fills that position in your life and not in theirs that is a DEALBREAKER! NO matter what he/she says or does that is ‘good”, if the Truth, is not their foundation, you should not invite them into your life as a potential partner, or if need be you should invite them to exit your life today.

Really think about this! A believer and unbeliever in God, come at life from two completely different perspectives and you are moving through life with different ultimate destinations in mind. That means more often than not your “yes” will be his “no” and vice versa. Once you have determined to make truth your foundation, you can no longer be in intimate relationship with a person for whom that determination has not been made. Period.

The relationship that is blessed by God will have two people who have God as their foundation, their authority, and their guide individually and choose to do so willingly and joyfully as a couple. They know that with God leading them they cannot go off course. Truth is their foundation, even when they disagree on an issue, and they have the same destination as their goal. Both partners must encircle themselves in truth if they have any opportunity for building a strong relationship.

What ought every Christian to do when brought into the trying position which tests the soundness of religious principle? With a firmness worthy of imitation, he should say frankly: “I am a conscientious Christian. I believe the seventh day of the week to be the Sabbath of the Bible. Our faith and principles are such that they lead in opposite directions. We cannot be happy together, for if I follow on to gain a more perfect knowledge of the will of God, I shall become more and more unlike the world and assimilated to the likeness of Christ. If you continue to see no loveliness in Christ, no attractions in the truth, you will love the world, which I cannot love, while I shall love the things of God, which you cannot love. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Without spiritual discernment you will be unable to see the claims of God upon me, or to realize my obligations to the Master whom I serve; therefore you will feel that I neglect you for religious duties. You will not be happy; you will be jealous on account of the affections which I give to God, and I shall be alone in my religious belief. When your views shall change, when your heart shall respond to the claims of God, and you shall learn to love my Savior, then our relationship may be renewed.” Adventist Home, p.67

Breastplate of Righteousness

Right living creates an environment where the Son of God can shine His light through me. Where light shines, evil and sinfulness does not want to linger. Where Christ abides, satan cannot reign. So the man or woman who is living in darkness, though they may be attracted to your light, they cannot stay long because it makes them guilty and uncomfortable with their own darkness. If you are sexually pure, those who are sexually impure cannot be in relationship with you because their desires are not satisfied. If you enjoy spending time serving the Lord in His church, those who are not interested in godly things will not be interested in you for long. If you choose not to put ungodly movies, shows, or music before your senses, those who enjoy those things will not be happy in your presence. Righteousness creates an environment in which satan’s servants are uncomfortable and cannot stay long and prevents you from getting your heart tangled in wrong relationships.

Choose one who has demonstrated a life committed to right living over time. Many of us get attached to quickly because of a show of Christianity. Spend time in friendships, with others in groups, getting counsel from those who know your person of interest, to determine if their life is one that is in harmony with the Light and also your practical way of living. Many godly Christians see things differently on issues not clearly outlined in the Bible. This can become areas of contention, so take time to learn the lifestyle of the potential so that you can be sure that the light of heaven can shine in your relationship.

The happiness and prosperity of the married life depend upon the unity of the parties. How can the carnal mind harmonize with the mind that is assimilated to the mind of Christ? One is sowing to the flesh, thinking and acting in accordance with the promptings of his own heart; the other is sowing to the Spirit, seeking to repress selfishness, to overcome inclination, and to live in obedience to the Master, whose servant he professes to be. Thus there is a perpetual difference of taste, of inclination, and of purpose. Unless the believer shall, through his steadfast adherence to principle, win the impenitent, he will, as is much more common, become discouraged and sell his religious principles for the poor companionship of one who has no connection with Heaven.Adventist Home, p. 84

Shoes of the Gospel of Peace 

One who has not accepted the gospel for themselves, lacks the ability to navigate the difficult, slippery, and challenging situations in life. They are tossed and turned about constantly. The gospel of peace keeps us set, stable, and not easily moved. This gives me peace.

When you have a relationship with God that allows you to have peace and be unmoved in the storm, it is detrimental for you to choose a mate that doesn’t have that because they will end up destroying your peace as well. In addition, if someone that you are involved with or testing the waters with brings constant strife, fighting and bickering, breaking up and reconciling constantly, they don’t know the Prince of Peace and you will never have peace in that relationship. If the storm comes from within the relationship you need to end that today.

Choose for yourself, a partner who has surrendered to the gospel, who finds their purpose and their peace in the gospel, and who does not move from God when the storms come. In this person, you will find a partner with whom you can fight the vicissitudes of life rather than someone you are constantly fighting.

Shield of Faith

You have picked up your faith shield, but the person that you are engaging with does not have a shield. Every trial that comes they bail on God and go off to handle things on their own and always make it worse. satan is constantly attacking and winning because they simply do not believe that God can and will provide. You are unequally yoked and should you allow this relationship to continue, you will initially shoulder the burden of being the strength and faith in your family; then you will eventually not be either and satan will rule. Furthermore, if they mock your faith in God, they have no right to intimacy with you.

Anyone who I allow into my life, needs to be exercising his/her own faith so that I know we can stand together with God when the attacks of satan come. This potential mate must demonstrate his faith in actions and not just words. Our faith should grow as we walk together through the attacks of the enemy. I should be able to see him/her walk in this as our relationship develops and should know that this is someone that is worthy of intimacy with me because of their intimacy with my Father.

Helmet of Salvation

Your mind is protected from the whispers of satan and your thinking is focused and healthy. You need to examine the thought life of the one that you are considering bringing into your life. Is it full of negativity, doubt, fear, anger, resentment? Is there evidence of mental illness or emotional deficits? Do they struggle with depression or anxiety which are attacks of satan on the mind and emotions of people. Are they secure in their standing with God and their salvation, or are they constantly trying to “prove or work” themselves to God. Exclude those who have unhealthy thinking patterns and emotions because that will eventually kill the relationship or injure your mind.

Though no one is UP all of the time, choose for your partner one who has saturates their mind with themes of salvation, their purpose in God, their personal walk with Him and who finds joy in sharing, thinking, reading, and talking about the themes of the Bible. You can find comfort and happiness in the presence of one who is thoughtful, considerate, emotionally available and attentive, and exudes the joy that comes with his/her relationship with God.

Weigh every sentiment, and watch every development of character in the one with whom you think to link your life destiny. The step you are about to take is one of the most important in your life, and should not be taken hastily. While you may love, do not love blindly. {FE 104.2}Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 104

Sword of the Spirit

Attack the enemy with the Word when he tries to bring anyone into your life who lives in contradiction to the Bible. Some examples are “Be not unequally yoked”. If he/she is not a follower of Christ, then you should not be with them. If someone is still living off of a parent or have an unhealthy attachment, the Bible says “leave and cleave”. If someone is happy to live in debt, the sword attacks with, “The borrower is servant to the lender” etc. The Bible does not just outline who we are to be and how we are to live daily, it helps us know who should be excluded from our list of potential mates.

The holiness of the oracles of God is not loved by very many who claim to be Bible Christians. They show by their free, loose conduct that they prefer a wider scope. They do not want their selfish indulgences limited.15 {AH 54.1}Adventist Home, p.54

Any potential mate should be walking in obedience to the Word and able to stand against the enemy when faced with temptation. No one partner should be the moral and spiritual compass for the relationship. Each should have their own understanding of God’s principles and be able to make godly choices and support those in the Word. When both partners make principles for living based on God’s word then when temptation comes they are stronger together to overcome those temptations. 

Prayer

If men and women are in the habit of praying twice a day before they contemplate marriage, they should pray four times a day when such a step is anticipated. Marriage is something that will influence and affect your life, both in this world and in the world to come. A sincere Christian will not advance his plans in this direction without the knowledge that God approves his course. Letters to Young Lovers, p.39

Prayer is the fuel that activates all the pieces of the armor. If we are not in constant prayer to our Father seeking His will, then we will not be able to discern if a potential partner has a foundation of Truth, chooses to live right day-to-day, is stable in their surrender to the gospel and are walking in peace with the Prince of Peace, have faith to sustain the inevitable attacks of the enemy, have their minds fixed and whole on their Savior and His salvation, and are living their lives on the principles of God’s word and nothing else. When we diligently seek the Father in the process of selecting a mate, He will not be silent if we are surrendered to His will even if when it is not ours.

There are many important qualities that you should cultivate in yourself and seek out in another in order to have a successful, intimate, healthy marriage. Following your Cinderella dreams and Prince Charming wishes makes for a life of misery and leads to a destructive end. Paul ends his discussion on the armor of God with this. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end…” When it comes to choosing a mate, the end is a God-honoring, joyful marriage. Be prayerful and watch, using your spiritual tools to ward off the wrong choice and identify the right one.

Let us help you create a life you love as a Christian single so when you choose a mate the end is a God-honoring, joyful marriage.

Lorraine

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