We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Art of Choosing Your Love

In 1995, at a home-school conference, I acquired a 46-page booklet by Pastor Jim West titled, The Art of Choosing Your Love. Although there are some legalistic ideas in it due to being part of the “courtship” movement, overall he had some very good advice. For provoking thought, below I am sharing some quotations from this booklet. 

What women should look for in a husband.
Your first criteria is to marry a man who can love you as Christ loved the church.

Is the man you will marry willing to forgo his own pleasures, his own hobbies, in order to may you happy with his love and to love you the way you wish to be loved? Is he willing to stop his television watching, put down the newspaper to listen to you and to talk with you? Although he is to be a hard worker, he is not to be married to his Job either. He must love you sacrificially. This means that you are to marry a Christ-centered man instead of a self-centered man.

In the home, the man is the king and the woman is his queen. The wife is a mistress who rules, but she does not rule over the husband. To her husband, she is royalty, but that royalty consists in her submission.

The man you desire should be a Christ-centered ruler. … A Christ-centered husband is a husband who is under the easy yoke of Christ. Your husband should rule over himself too. A man who loses his temper easily is a man who cannot rule. If he cannot rule his own passions, if he cannot put a cap on the nuclear reactor, then he cannot rule. The reason is that a man without self-control is a weak man, not a strong man.

Your husband should rule over you in a managerial sense. Three times in the Bible the husband is called a “manager,” that is, the manager of his household (1 Timothy 3:4). … The meaning that the husband is the head, which means that the head does not do the work of the arms or the work of the legs. The head does not do the work of the body. A manager does not say, “I can do it all myself.” Your husband must recognize your gifts and not squash them.

[Marry] a man who will cherish you.

[Marry] a man who respects you.

You must…submit to your husband’s economic decisions. … Although your input is important and crucial, and you husband is a fool if he does not consider your opinion, the final decision is made by your husband. As his helpmeet you must submit to his champagne appetite even if you have a beer budget. Will you marry a man who will listen to your advice? Or will he be like Nabal who was such a fool that “on one would speak to him” (1 Samuel 25:17).

You are to submit to your husband sexually. The culmination of marriage is the marriage bed. Any married woman who withholds her body out of blackmail or personal resentment is a wretch. … (1 Corinthians 7:4) The husband’s body is the wife’s and the wife’s the husband’s.

What men should look for in a wife.
(Referencing Proverbs 30, A man must find a “virtuous woman,” i.e. a “Proverbial Wife.”)

The Proverbial Wife works for God.

The Virtuous Wife fears God. … the more a woman knows about the Bible the more she will acknowledge the sovereignty of God. This is why it is good that a godly wife strive to know the Bible from Genesis to the book of maps!

A man who marries primarily on the basis of what he sees marries on the basis of lust. … There is no such thing as love at first sight. Why not? Because true love is not based upon appearance. True love is based upon the inward character of the heart.

You should be looking for a wife who is husband centered.

You are to trust the moral integrity of your wife.

You are to trust your wife’s fiscal competence.

You will also trust in your wife’s goodness.

You should be searching for a wife who will assist you in your work.

A woman who dresses to draw attention to her legs, breasts, etc., is lusting to be lusted after.

[Choose]  A woman who is wise. … You should be searching for a woman of the Word.

[Choose] A woman with a good testimony.

The man who has chosen his love must love his choice.

The Bible never presents sex as mating; sex is portrayed as communicating. The Song of Solomon is about speaking lovers.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. It was of great encouragement to me. At 21 years old, debt-free, wrapping up a master's degree very soon, and with stable employment, God has blessed me so much already. Recently, I have been praying that God would provide me a wife in His due time. There's a particular young woman I have been praying about, for wisdom on starting a courtship with her. I have known her for almost 12 years, and our families are very close. Only recently have I started considering the possibility of marriage now that school is almost complete and I'm more financially prepared. She is a very godly woman and loves the Lord and His Word. I admire her character and "gentle and quiet spirit" (from 1 Peter 3). This post has confirmed that I've been looking for the right qualities in a potential wife (love for God, wise in the Scriptures, moral integrity, etc.). It has also given me some good pointers on how to prepare for being a good husband (specifically, being Christ-centered rather than self-centered, practicing godly managing, and learning to respect and cherish women).

You talked about how men should be Christ-centered rulers, ruling in their homes like a king. This is something I've thought a lot about because of Romans 5:17, one of my favorite verses. I think this verse is crucial to how we live our lives as believers. "Much more those who receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ."

We all want to reign in life, don't we? We all want to reign over sin (not giving in to temptation, lust, or pride). We want to reign in other areas of life too (financially, in our jobs, at home). But all too often we resort to doing it our way. We reign in the flesh rather than by God's Holy Spirit. This verse contains the keys to reigning in life! We must 1) Receive the abundance of God's grace, and 2) Receive the gift of righteousness. It truly is that simple. If we want to reign in life, God's word says we must receive abundance of grace, meaning we must yield to God's strength and power rather than our own (see Prov. 21:1), and we must accept His grace as sufficient for us. His word says to reign in life we must receive the gift of righteousness, meaning that we believe in Christ's sacrifice on the cross as being sufficient for our sins, and as granting us His full righteousness. This is simply the meaning of justification--Christ took our sin and in its place gave us His full righteousness! We don't need to prove anything about our worth or ability to reign. To reign well, we simply live by God's grace and accept His righteousness by faith.

If you read this comment, I humbly ask you to pray for me and my potential marriage to this young woman. They say who you marry is the second most important decision you'll ever make in your life, after choosing Christ as your Savior. I want to choose well, and more than that, I want to choose a wife according to God's will. I know Christ is faithful and He will lead me!

God bless,

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Well I'll pray for your wisdom!

You might also take a look at a post from August; it critiques another blogger's "qualifications" for marriage while demonstrating the "qualifications" my wife and I had.

And, yes, outside of the decision for Christ, the decision for choosing a spouse is the most important one you'll ever make.