How Can I Get A Christian Wife?
This question can be asked in reverse: “How does one get a Christian husband?” for the two are really the same. To answer it, I would like to put together three verses from the Word of God.
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22).
“Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife” (1 Corinthians 7:27).
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
From the question I deduce one or two things. In the first place, I am assuming that the enquirer is himself a Christian. It isn’t any kind of wife he wants, but a Christian wife. “How can one get a Christianwife?” he asks. This in turn indicates that the questioner has some recognition of the real significance of marriage. Not that marriage is in itself Christian, for it antedates Christianity by a very long time. The first thing that God did when He created man was to give him a wife. God saw that it was not good for the man to be alone. He dealt with that situation, and from the very beginning of the story of the Word of God we have the human family, husband and wife.
Marriage, therefore, antedates Christianity, but at the same time Christianity brings to marriage its real significance, that it is to be something that is in the center of the purpose and plan of God. It is not simply the union of a man and a woman, but it is the surrender and the commitment of both to Jesus Christ. Marriage essentially is not a physical but a spiritual thing.
The questioner apparently recognizes this fact. He is asking how one can get a Christianwife. In other words he is asking the question, “How can I get someone who knows the Lord Jesus Christ as her Saviour, who is surrendered to Him, who is seeking to live day by day in the will of God, who is a Christian?”
Not only does the questioner realize the significance of marriage, that it is a spiritual thing and cannot stand the test of time unless it is united together in the love of the Lord Jesus, but because he is anxious that his wife be a Christian, I am assuming that he himself also is a Christian. He has accepted Jesus Christ personally, confessed his sin to God, received salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, and has been born of the Spirit. Therefore, the only kind of union that he would contemplate is a union with another believer.
The questioner is no fool. He knows the dangers and the perils of an unequal yoke. He knows the awful disaster that could take place in his life if he was united just to anyone. He knows that in order to be happy the woman must share with him in the deep convictions that are his concerning the Christian faith. He knows that unity together in the love of God, in the fear of God, in a desire to serve the Lord, is the essential foundation for lasting happiness.
So this question is a very real and significant one, as well as a very important one. The Word of God supports this, for quite clearly the first of the three verses indicates that marriage is in the will of God and is “a good thing.” The Rev. Sidlow Baxter once said, “Thank God for our wives! They halve our sorrows, double our joys, and treble our expenses.” Then he concludes his remark by saying, “That is why they are so dear to us!”
Because marriage is a good thing this search is not only a pertinent one, but it is also a very right one. There is nothing wrong about it. Here is a man seeking something that would be a great blessing and could make a big difference in his life. Maybe he is conscious of loneliness, and therefore the question is perfectly legitimate, and his search is in accordance with the Word of God.
However, we reach our first problem in this question when the Scripture tells us that when a man is loosed from a wife he is not to seek for one. This must not be his search. There is to be something in life that is going to grip this man first and foremost, and if he is determined to let this “something” grip him, then God’s answer is that, if it is in His will for him to have a wife, He will bring her along his path.
Now whenever a man or a woman, a fellow or a girl, make the search for a life-partner the predominant thing in life, it is not long before they run across desperate frustration, and into serious trouble. Very seldom, in such instances, do they confer with the Lord about it. It is a question of finding someone who is attractive and nice, someone with whom they think they should live. The first question in their lives is not the will of God, but rather that at all costs they must have someone rather than face life alone. When someone begins to seek along that line, you can be pretty sure their search is for that which is mentally in-line with their own personal ideas of life, and is physically appealing. But very seldom does such a person (who makes a search for their life-partner first and foremost) seek first for that which is spiritual. The only basis of happiness in a life-partnership is not the appeal of the mind or of the physical, but that which you see in another of the reality of Jesus Christ, of the consciousness of the presence of God, that in the presence of that person you are aware that you are in the presence of someone who knows the Lord.
When a man or a woman seek a partner, very seldom is that the principle. More often than not the search is simply based on a much lower level, and the result is disastrous.
What then must be the primary motive? Matthew 6:33 has, I think, the key to the whole question. Let us be quite clear about this: it does not necessarily mean that if I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then automatically God will provide me with a life-partner. But it does mean that if I seek Him first, then He has promised to add everything that is within His good, acceptable and perfect will for my life, and God knows best.
Therefore, the very simple basic answer to my questioner is in this verse where God says, “Put Me first.” How many times fellows and girls have put that into effect, and found how wonderfully God has dealt with them! Men called to the ministry at home or abroad have faced this question of a life-partner, and have recognized that their call to the ministry or to the mission field, indeed their whole service for the Lord, could be rendered totally ineffective unless their partner for life was equally called to the same service as they are. I have known many fellows (and girls too) who have faced this. They have been through school, seminary and college, and in every situation they have sought first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and, in spite of many fascinating possibilities, they have turned their back on every one of them, and have gone on alone to their sphere of service, and shown the Lord Jesus that they are seeking Him before everything else.
I can think of instances where there on the foreign field they have found the one of God’s choice. One time a man was actually on the way overseas, and on board ship God brought across his path the girl of His choice.
On the other hand, others face the same thing, the same cross, the same possibility of loneliness. They have gone out to the mission field alone, they are alone still, and they have gone through life single. But in it all one has seen in those cases men and women whom God has mightily used because they have put Him first in their lives.
The same principle is there: seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything within God’s good and perfect and acceptable will will be added to you. If it is God’s plan that you should have a life-partner, He will put the one of His choice into your path. If it is not His plan, you won’t have it.
Now, of course, this calls for faith, courage, sacrifice, and personal devotion to the Lord Jesus. It calls for a spirit of dedication to the things of God that alas is sadly lacking today. How many people go to school, seminary or college and their first priority is not the kingdom of God and His righteousness but a life-partner. That is what they are there for, and quite unashamedly they tell you they have been in school for a year or two, and so far nothing has happened and they ask “Why?” I cannot answer that question, except to say that if that is their primary motive for going to Bible school or college, then they don’t deserve to get the answer. God’s call is first of all to His service, to His kingdom, and to His glory.
Here, then, is the simple principle: put God’s will first, let Him direct you in the path of His will, and He will bring to you along your path the partner of His choice. If however, you put the seeking of a life-partner first of all, it will end in disaster.
Having said that, what does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?
1. Seek for cleansing from all sin, the forgiving grace of God, the knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. In other words, the first and supreme thing that matters in your life is that you should get right with God, and come to know Him personally in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord. You must no longer go through life an unbeliever, but you should become a Christian, a believer, and trust in Him Whom to know is life eternal. This is to be the first search in life: first in time, first in essence, first in concern, first in everything. To seek first the kingdom of God means that earnestly, with concern, with determination (not in a light-hearted, off-hand, superficial way) you seek after Him in the knowledge that He has said, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
The first priority is to seek God’s forgiving grace, His salvation.
2. Seek the grace of Christian character to be a man of God, the righteousness which God not merely imputes to you when you receive the Lord Jesus, but that which by His Spirit imparts to you every day. In your life there is to be something of the loveliness of the character of the Lord Jesus, Whose you are and Whom you serve.
The second priority is sanctification, that you may be as holy, as pure, as good, as clean, as right as a man saved by grace can be.
3. Seek the will of God for service. Getting to know the will of God is a very practical problem on this whole question of Christian marriage as well as on every other aspect of life. If you do not accept His will for your salvation and sanctification, you can never find His will for your service. First and foremost, if you seek first the kingdom of God for your own salvation, for integrity, purity, cleanness and righteousness of life, then you may confidently expect that He will guide and lead you into the place of service of His choice.
Now to sum up: “How can I get a Christian wife?” It is perfectly right to desire such a thing, and also to expect to be led to a Christianwife, because it is essential to be united in the love of the Lord Jesus. It would be utterly wrong to put the search for a life-partner before anything else. The basis for securing the desire of the heart is submission to the will of God. That is the whole principle of life and of our relationship to God and of the one to the other in married life. The man and the woman who have learned to submit to the will of God for salvation, sanctification and service will find no problem at all in submitting one to another in the fear of God in the relationship of Christian marriage. The marriage that lasts and is really happy is not where there is one dominant personality keeping the other in subjection. It is two people, a man and a woman, brought together in the will of God, who first of all are totally submitted to Him, and in whose lives the will of God is being worked out in their service, and who are practicing every day the glory of submission to the Lord. You discover when two people have learned that, and they are brought together in the will of God in the sacred bond of marriage, there is no problem about submission the one to the other.
Therefore, my dear questioner, seek ye firstthe kingdom of God and His righteousness, and allthese things—(don’t say that I said that means you will surely have a life-partner!)—shall be added to you.
Wife or no wife, Hallelujah anyway!