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Guidance to a Home Sanctuary | Lesson 10

Greetings MOL Family!

Aren’t you happy that God is Who He is? Praise His holy name that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, ever present and in control!!!

 

 


God’s Favor

A prudent wife is from the Lord. – Proverbs 19:14

If a prudent wife is from the Lord, the place to get her is… from the Lord.

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord. – Proverbs 18:22

It is a wonderful thing, dear young women, to be so completely in the hands of God that He can reserve you for the companion of His choice; preserve you from all others, and prepare you to be the helpmate that He has planned since before the world was made.

Young men, it is a wonderful thing to be so in touch with God that, at the right time and in the right way, He can lead you to the right person. He did it in the Garden of Eden; He brought Eve and Adam together. He did it in the case of Isaac; He brought Isaac and Rebecca together. He has a thousand ways of providing for us of which we know nothing. There is no one pattern. No two lives are precisely alike. It’s a wonderful thing to know that God is as interested in you as though you were the only one in all the world.

We are talking about ideals. Some people would think it was idealistic – rather fantastic. Well, dear friends, the best is none too good for the royal children. The sons and daughters of the King of the universe are planned for by Him, and His plan includes something more and different from the common herd. It’s a wonderful thing to belong to royalty and to know your privileges and your responsibility.

We have been studying the steps that lead to marriage. We have studied three so far, and there are three ahead of us. Today, we are studying the fourth step. It’s hard to say which of these seven steps is the most important, but I think that it is safe to say that this step is one of the most important to understand. Few people understand it. It relates to counsel over a particular matter – “who.”

 


Step 4… Who?

We have noted that the first step is faithfulness in the parental home. Learning the lessons of love and cooperation and obedience and service and responsibility, either in the home of the parents to whom we were born, or in some home, or with somebody, somewhere, learning to obey and cooperate in love.

Second, when we come to the time when we think that this may be God’s time to seek a companion, our question should be, Do I need a companion at this time? Is this God’s purpose for me at this particular time? And then the question, Am I ready? Am I prepared? Is there some chiseling or polishing that needs to be done before I enter into the question of courtship?

If it is in harmony with the principles we have studied, if every step is to be one of modesty and simplicity and sincerity, and an earnest purpose to please and honor God, I do not just go out here and seek the first person who happens to come along and then another and another. No. We have been stressing here the importance of counsel, and counsel at every step.

And let us review, with whom are we to counsel? First of all, with God, through His word and through prayer. Then, we counsel with God-fearing parents, or those who may stand in the place of parents to us. Third, with people of experience in the church, men and women of maturity who have passed over the problems that we are entering into and can, by their acquaintance with what the Lord says, and their acquaintance with life, point out to us guiding principles.

We are counseling with God and parents, and with our God-appointed counselors over the question, “Do you think this is the time for me to seek a companion?” Next, we are counseling with all those counselors on the question, “Do you think I am prepared, or do you think there are some things that need to be rounded out in my character or my experience?” But when those things are settled through prayer and counsel, then we come to the question, “Who?” And here is where very special counsel is needed of more than one kind.

We are approaching it first from the young man’s standpoint. Notice that in Proverbs it doesn’t say whoso findeth a husband. God has not appointed to girls and young women the burden, the responsibility, the duty of seeking a companion. If anybody finds a reference that contradicts that, please help me with it so I can add it to my collection. But there is a divine purpose in this. I call your attention to it.

The initiative is with the young man. This has both advantages and disadvantages. I should say, it has both privileges and responsibilities. This is a wonderful paragraph, and I don’t know of any paragraph in all the inspired writings that is less understood and appreciated and followed than this one. It has beautiful rays of light streaming from the Sanctuary. And notice that the light coming from this paragraph is a reflection of the light shining from the law of God.

’Should parents,’ you ask, ‘select a companion without regard to the mind or feelings of son or daughter?’ I put the question to you as it should be: Should a son or daughter select a companion without first consulting the parents, when such a step must materially affect the happiness of parents if they have any affection for their children? – Adventist Home, pg. 75

Notice that not only are the parents to be consulted, but they are to be consulted first. Don’t forget this principle. It is like everything else in inspiration – it’s just good common sense. After all, if their counsel is this important, the time to get it is before we get involved.

What a pity it is, and it happens so often, that two young people become acquainted with each other and become infatuated with each other, and they either make their final decision or they’re about to. Then one or the other happens to think that probably it would be a good thing to ask the parents. Lots of times today, that isn’t even done. But some people are still old-fashioned enough to think it would be a good thing to get the parents’ consent.

Nine times out of ten, the thing is already settled before the parents have any opportunity. And parents are put into the position of either graciously going along with something that they see is already settled, or else doing what young people think of as “interfering” – saying No. After all, what good is counsel if the answer must always be Yes? Unless the parents have not only the opportunity but the duty of saying No, in some cases; there is little point of going through some form.

I have thought about it – two young people stand at the altar and the wedding service proceeds and, at the appropriate time, the minister says, “Who giveth this young woman to be the wife of this man?” The father knows his cue. He is supposed to stand up and say, “I do.” If he was going to testify to reality, he might in some cases say, “Nobody is. This young fellow came in and stole her, and it is about to be ratified by something that is called legal. But nobody ever gave her to be the wife of this man. He never asked in the first place, and she never asked.”

Do you see what I mean? I wonder how that ever got into the marriage service anyway. I suppose it belongs to a time before the horse and buggy age, if there was such a time. But the principle comes down from Bible times, and this is what we are dealing with – the teaching of inspiration on the importance of counsel regarding “who” (and the time to get the counsel).

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean that the counsel is to be gotten regarding who only at this point, and that afterwards, as courtship starts and engagement comes, that the parents are to have nothing more to do with it once they have given the nod. Not at all. Counsel is needed at every step. And a Christian young person will want the counsel of Christian parents, or whoever is taking their place, at every step. The point is, that counsel needs to begin before the courtship begins. This is what I am stressing. Let’s go back to our reference:

Should a son or daughter select a companion without first consulting the parents, when such a step must materially affect the happiness of parents if they have any affection for their children? And should that child, notwithstanding the counsel and entreaties of his parents, persist in following his own course? I answer decidedly: No; not if he never marries. – Ibid

If I had been writing it, I don’t think I would have put it quite so strong. Of course, I didn’t write it. The Lord’s messenger wrote it, and we believe she was inspired. I believe one of the reasons that it is written so strongly is this (because I find it so from time to time): More than one young person, when he comes face to face with this principle, feels that to follow parental counsel would put him in the place where he never could get married.

This is covered by the reference. Don’t misunderstand me. You need never worry, my dear young friends. If God’s plan is for you to be married, all the parents in this world cannot prevent the working out of God’s plan. You don’t have to worry about that at all.

“Well,” you say, “how do you put it together?” I put it this way, “God is omnipotent.” That means He is all powerful. That means that He’s able to work all things after the counsel of His own will. And that means that nothing can stand in His way.

Jacob was afraid that he wouldn’t get the blessing that God promised, so he lied and cheated to get it. He stole to get it. Did he have to do that? Why no. How much better it would have been if he had said, “Well, if Esau is determined to have it, and my father is determined to give it to him, I don’t have to worry about it. God said I am to have it, and, in God’s time, I will have it. I don’t have to lie or steal or even lie awake nights worrying about it.”

I will tell you what our problem is. It lies in an insecurity partly born of a lack of confidence in God’s ability to overrule things, and partly born of a lack of full surrender to Godafraid that something might interfere with our desires, our choice, our plan. This is the problem. For it is written:

In perfect acquiescence, there is perfect rest. – Desires of Ages, pg. 331

This applies not only to this subject but to a thousand others. If I am fully willing for God’s will to be done, then I know it will be done. For it is written:

He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou? – Daniel 4:35

You say, “Do you mean that if God wants me to marry a certain girl that my father and mother can prevent that?” No, they cannot prevent it. You say, “What is this reference for?” This reference is not to keep you from marrying the one God wants you to marry. It’s to keep you from marrying the one God doesn’t want you to marry.

Along a super-highway and under it, there are miles and miles of steel barriers along the highway. Have you seen them? I suppose a fellow could feel fenced in by those barriers, couldn’t he? What are they for? To hinder us? No. They are to help us get where we are going. That’s what all these fences are for, my dear friends. And he who follows the road of God’s providence is thankful for every fence, every barrier.

Should parents select a companion without regard to the mind or feelings of son or daughter? Sister White puts the question,

Should a son or daughter select a companion without first consulting the parents, when such a step must materially affect the happiness of parents if they have any affection for their children? And should that child, notwithstanding the counsel and entreaties of his parents, persist in following his own course? I answer decidedly: No; not if he never marries. – Ibid

The fifth commandment does what? Forbids such a course. Then what we are dealing with isn’t just some Spirit of Prophecy statement, it is the law of God written on stone. The fifth commandment forbids such a course. “Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

I knew a young man who went to his father and talked with him about the possibility of courting a certain young woman. The father said, “No, I don’t think that’s the answer.” And the young man left it there.

He came back a number of months later and said to his father, “I have been thinking and praying some more about this, and I would like to bring it up again.” The father said, “No, I don’t think this is the time.” The young man left it there.

Finally, the father came to the young man and said, “Your mother and I have talked this thing over, and we both feel that this is the Lord’s will and the time has come.”

Do you think that was worth waiting for? It was. But let’s notice the responsibility of the young man to consider not only the counsel and the attitude of his own parents, but the counsel and attitude of the young woman’s parents. Here is another wonderful paragraph:

A young man who enjoys the society and wins the friendship of a young lady unbeknown to her parents does not act a noble Christian part toward her or toward her parents. Through secret communications and meetings he may gain an influence over her mind; but in so doing he fails to manifest that nobility and integrity of soul which every child of God will possess. In order to accomplish their ends, they act a part that is not frank and open and according to the Bible standard, and prove themselves untrue to those who love them and try to be faithful guardians over them. Marriages contracted under such influences are not according to the word of God. He who would lead a daughter away from duty, who would confuse her ideas of God’s plain and positive commands to obey and honor her parents, is not one who would be true to the marriage obligations.

 

The question is asked, ‘Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?’ and the answer is given, ‘By taking heed thereto according to Thy word.’… ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ was written by the finger of God upon the tables of stone; yet how much underhand stealing of affections is practiced and excused. – Messages to Young People, pgs. 445-446

How is the only way I can steal something from my friend? I would have to take something that belongs to him. And the only way a young man can steal a girl from her parents is for it to be a fact that she belongs to her parents. Do you all see that in the reference? Study it until you do, because that’s the whole point of what it’s talking about.

Have you ever seen a sign that read, “No trespassing”? What does that mean? Does that mean to go on in and roam around until you are stopped? No. It means get permission before you enter in

There is a no trespassing sign over every Christian girl. Before any relationship is entered into, there is to be counsel first of all with God. Then the young man is going to counsel with his own parents. But he is not going to stop there. He is going to get counsel to be sure that his attempt to enter into courtship with the young woman has the blessing of her parents and protectors.

This is so foreign to what’s going on today that we will need to go over and over these references. Study the chapters in which these gems are found, and let us be sure that we not only understand the principles but know where to find them in these books. As you try to explain these things to other youth, you will need to know not only what the principles are but where to find them…

This may seem a narrow road. It is narrow. It is written:

Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. – Matthew 7:14

 


Join us next week, as we continue along with our class rotation schedule. Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…

-Continue on to the next study-


 

Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?

Country Living -click here- 2019 Class Schedule: Posted on Fridays – Oct. 18 & 25, Nov. 29, Dec. 6 | “Again and again the Lord has instructed that our people are to take their families away from the cities, into the country, where they can raise their own provisions; for in the future the problem of buying and selling will be a very serious one.” {CL 9.5}
Courtship & Marriage -click here- “Only where Christ reigns can there be deep, true, unselfish love. Then soul will be knit with soul, and the two lives will blend in harmony.” {AH 94}
The Christian Home -click here- 2019 Class Schedule: Posted on Fridays – Sept. 27, Nov. 1 & 8, Dec. 13 & 20 | A class especially dedicated to the leaders of the home: “Society is composed of families, and is what the heads of families make it.” {AH 15}
Child Guidance -click here- 2019 Class Schedule: Posted on Fridays – Oct. 4 & 11, Nov. 15 & 22, Dec. 27 | “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ” (Prov. 22:6)
Army of Youth -click here- 2019 Class Schedule: Every Friday | “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come…” {Ed 271}
The School of Health -click here- 2019 Class Schedule: Every Wednesday | “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3 John 2)
Other Present Truth Studies -click here- 2019 Class Schedule: Every Tuesday | Join us, as we go through inspired and continuing series, like “The Advent Movement Survey” and “Beautiful Way”

 

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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.