The other night, we were blessed at the youth group to have our Senior pastor, Vasile Filat, come and join us and teach us the Biblical perspective on how young people are to act while waiting to get married and what are the proper steps to take in order to get married. It was an interesting and helpful lesson so I decided to share it via an article, especially for those who do not speak Romanian. So, here are the 9 simple steps to the process of marrying according to God’s will.
I. First God will place love in your heart for a person.
If it is His will and not your hormones, then the other person will receive those same feelings from the Lord at the right time. It may not be at the exact same time that you do and you may have to wait. This is not bad because waiting teaches us patience, which we all need. Wait until you have conformation from the Lord to begin the next steps. If you are not ready to marry in the near future and just want to be in a relationship then the Word of God pleads with you . . .
4 “I want you to swear, O daughters of Jerusalem, Do not arouse or awaken my love Until she pleases.” (Song of Solomon 8)
This is addressed to women but it is also for men too. If you do not have plans to marry soon then do not start a fire that you cannot put out. Do not awaken feelings that will torture you. Let love sleep until it is the right time. Do not seek to be in a relationship just to be in a relationship.
II. Do not initiate dating and do not accept dating as God’s plan
In our modern society, most people are taught that if you want to marry someone, you have to date them for an extended period of time. I have written on this subject and I believe that the modern pattern of dating is not God’s plan. As a male, the only date that you propose to a girl is the date where you will propose. As a girl, you should accept an invitation for the first date because the guy may be ready to propose. If he does not propose then you should not accept his offer for a second date. If time passes and then he asks you again, you should go because he may have changed his mind and be ready to ask.
III. Talk to your pastor
Before you make any decisions, it is nice to share your thoughts with your pastor. He can offer good advice and he may have seen some things that you have not seen. It is nice to have the pastor’s blessing before you ask for a girl’s hand in marriage. After she says “yes” it is good for both of you to speak with the pastor.
23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light ; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life (Proverbs 6:23)
IV. Talk to your parents first and then the girl’s parents
It is nice to let your parents know about your intentions. They may be able to give you advice or point out things that you may not have seen. It is nice to have your parents’ blessing. After you share with your parents it is nice to visit the girl’s parents and let them know of your intentions. Take the advice that they give you and receive their blessing as well because they are going to become your family and you will have to develop a good relationship with them. Plus, sharing this with your parents is a way of honoring, which the Bible commands us to do.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise ), 3 SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. (Ephesians 6)
V. Propose to the girl
This needs to be done in a romantic way. This is an exceptional occasion. God has placed love in your heart for this person and it is time to share your desires with her and ask for her hand in marriage. Be ready to celebrate if she says yes and be ready to accept her “no” in a respectful manner.
VI. Set the date for your engagement
In the American culture, engagement takes place when the guy proposes. In other cultures, especially in Evangelical circles, the engagement takes place after the proposal. The couples’ parents come to a neutral location and the pastor is invited to conduct the ceremony. I have written about the ceremony and you can read it here.
VII. The wedding
The time between the engagement and wedding should be short. Long engagement periods are not good because it is a huge temptation. Three months is about the longest period that an engaged couple should wait. My wife and I waited 6 months and it was extremely difficult. I would not recommend it. Plan the wedding according to your abilities. Always remember the saying, “less is more”. The wedding is the time when you receive your final instructions from your pastor and then you share your vows, solemn promises for life.
The honeymoon is very important to the young couple because this period is the foundational period of the relationship. You get to know each other. If you get married and then go to work or school then you will have problems in your relationship from the very beginning. In fact, the Bible gives a command for the honeymoon. We call it moon because it is to be a month long. That is in our modern language, yet the Bible sets the honeymoon period as 1 year.
5 “When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty ; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken. (Deuteronomy 24)
Please set time and money aside to go on a honeymoon. It is very important.
IX. Be satisfied with your current state
26 I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. (I Corinthians 7)
If you are not married, then do not seek to get married. Be content with your singleness and serve the Lord. Once you get married, serve the Lord as a couple. The key to success is to serve the Lord no matter what.