Years ago, I wrote a letter to my children. Both, still unmarried at the time, I hoped and prayed they would choose their future mates wisely. I believed God answered those prayers, and our hearts burst with love for those added to our family.
I'm including the letter I wrote in 2017, and have added a few thoughts at the end. This world, and the escalation of things to come, makes these words, I believe, all the more relevant. I hope and pray it will be an encouragement, and exhortation, to anyone who reads it.
In a letter written by the apostle John, he addressed fellow believers in Christ as little children and beloved. His intent was to show his affection and concern along with the strong warnings he had to give. Similarly, my address to you comes in the form of the responsibility I feel for my parental role in your lives, as well as our fellowship in the faith. Both embolden me to caution you to live and choose wisely in the days ahead.
Like so many of your friends and peers, you have entered the season of life that you are most likely to marry. Do so with reverence. Life is riddled with trials of various kinds; emotional, physical, and circumstantial. And as the days dwindle in light of Christ’s return, the hardships you will encounter will likely increase in intensity. You have only to look around to see the fiery darts aimed at marriage by the media, entertainment, and political arena.
Recognizing the backdrop of your environment, look for someone who is Christ-like. Not just someone who claims to be a Christian, but filled with faith and pursuing the righteousness of God. We’ve talked about this many times, but don’t succumb to the belief that there aren’t such individuals around. Otherwise, the temptation to settle for someone of lukewarm commitment or even a non-believer will be that much stronger.
I Kings 19:14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”
Elijah was being pursued, and he felt completely alone.
I Kings 19:18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
Truth was Elijah wasn’t alone, God basically told him to stop hiding and do what He’d called Elijah to do in the face of adversity. You may feel alone in your beliefs, but you aren’t, so don’t hide behind a similar claim.
Choose a person who will persevere, who won’t balk at the first sign of trouble, having deep roots of faith with which to draw strength when you encounter difficulty.
Matthew 13:5-6 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had not root, they withered away. V 20-21 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
I understand the desire to share life with another person. We were created for community, for relationship, and the ability to share life’s burden and joys through the seasons of life can be a tremendous blessing. But you must choose a like-minded individual.
Amos 3:3 “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?”
How can you build a life with someone who doesn’t share your most intrinsic values? Division brings destruction.
Matthew 12:25 Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.
You have been blessed to be raised in a democracy, but if destruction comes, it will come from within, an implosion spurred by differences that once united us. Learn from this. When you commit to someone, I guarantee you will both make mistakes, and hurt one another. But don’t hang on to those grievances, because it would eventually divide you, and hinder the very home you are trying to build.
Isaiah 51:1 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.
Seek God before you seek another, and seek His guidance in all things, especially when choosing a mate.
To my new children,
You are an embodiment of the many prayers I spoke to God. As He is a God who sees, hears, and responds, I am not surprised by you, but I thank God for you both. The expression of your faith and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ are everything.
Always remember you are loved. You are chosen.
Now to all,
May you plant your feet on the true foundation of God's word so that you may stand firm for the glory of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ!