As Christians we are commissioned by Jesus to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Jesus warns us as we do, to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. Our purpose as Christians is to fulfil Jesus' commission above anything else, and that includes being married. Our desire to be married cannot become an idol.
Therefore as we go about our evangelism we need to keep this principal of being wise and gentle in mind, also in relation to a possible spouse...For if we are not wise and marry the wrong person, it will impact our ability to fulfil Jesus' commission, and if we are not gentle in our dealing with our brothers and sisters while looking for a wife or husband, we could hurt them and possibly their relationship with Jesus. While reading we can also reflect personally to help discern whether we ourselves are ready for a Christian marriage.
10 discerning questions for Christian singles to help us be wise and gentle, for Jesus IS coming soon. Here are the questions:
1. Why is this person single?
As quickly and gently as possible, before feelings could get hurt, you need to know why this person is single. Everyone is single for a reason, and it doesn't need to be negative. A person could simply have the gift of singleness, or have come to Christ after they were married and their non-believing spouse left them. However the other person could be single because they are emotionally not ready, or have immature, unrealistic, non-biblical ideas about relationships and marriage. That being said, do you know why you're single?
2. Are they single in line with biblical principals?
In my honest opinion, this is the biggest question for discerning whether this person is possibly a wolf in sheep's clothing. Did this person divorced their Christian spouse? Is their ex-spouse going on strong for The Lord without them? Did this person leave a perfectly nice Christian they were previously dating, are they going from one person to another?
3. How does their life compare to the 10 commandments?
- I am the LORD thy God, thou shalt have no other gods = Do they put Jesus first before anything else? Or do they have addictions, like the love of material wealth and belongings, drugs and alcohol, pornography etc?
- No graven images or likenesses = Are they open to multi-faith ideologies?
- Not take the LORD's name in vain = Does the current use of blasphemy not bother them, for example in movies?
- Remember the sabbath day = Do they intentionally make worship a priority?
- Honour thy father and thy mother = Do they do this? Or is speaking disrespectfully about their parents a common occurrence?
- Thou shalt not kill = Having love for others. Jesus said to hate brother or sister is the same as murder. Do you hear them speaking bitterly about others? Do they stir strife and breed malice?
- Thou shalt not commit adultery = Are they pushing sexual boundaries with you? This is the easiest way to gauge what they will be like in the future with possibly someone other than you.
- Thou shalt not steal = You aren't with them 100% of the time, but you can observe their willingness to give to the church plate.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness = Being able to give their opinion in an unbiased, non reactive way.
- Thou shalt not covet = Is their priority having the best of everything? Are they jealous of others, rather than happy for them?
Are they a person who encourages you in your own relationship with Jesus, or do they try to take His place? Do they put you down and call it, “trying to grow and challenge you”? Do you see Jesus shining through them by serving others?
5. What are their other significant relationships like?
Does this person have healthy relationships with their children, relatives and friends? Are they estranged, or a loner with no desire to work on their relationships with their current friends and family? Is their family and church family a priority?
6. Does their life have purpose?
Do they have a fulfilling life without you in it? Or are they laden with baggage they need to first work towards being freed from? Do they need to find their purpose in Jesus?
7. Would their lifestyle fit that of a disciple of Jesus?
Is this person making efforts to grow spiritually? What do they do with their spare time? Is it going to church, bible studies or the local pub?
8. What would be the foundation of your relationship?
Jesus needs to be the cornerstone of a Christian marriage. Other key ingredients like theology, dreams and hobbies add to the foundation. It is not good to marry someone who has no idea of who they are without you and vice-versa. Together you form the foundation of marriage in Jesus, one does not make the foundation alone. Do you know what the foundation of your possible marriage with this person would be? In joining with them would you both thrive and shine out Christ together, or would one of you dissolve into the other's shadow?
9. Have you seen true spiritual fruit?
Seeing true fruit over a period of time. Do you know what true spiritual fruit is? If not, find out now! Wolves only produce plastic fruit.
10. What is their capacity for others?
A person who will love you in sickness and health. Do they already do this for others? Has something major happened where they were there for you, or do they run hot and then cold, there for you only when it suits them?
I pray this post blesses you, as you continue in your own relationship with the Lord Jesus first and foremost! For Jesus IS coming soon and we must be found ready! Remember, it is not legalistic to expect to see a genuine fruitful Christian life in someone professing our faith, for this is the work of God in every true believer. The church is commanded in scripture to judge believers, for a little yeast works through the whole batch. This post is based upon scripture as for us to be truly wise, according to God's standards, we must have our knowledge based upon His Word - How well read are you in scripture? Don't reply upon someone else to give you their version of God's Word, read it for yourself prayerfully every day! Jesus IS coming soon...
Your sister, Melanie.