Sunday, February 1, 2015

10 Men Christian Women Should NOT Marry

by Stephen Kim (with one minor edit for biblical accuracy — original erroneous text retained in footnote)

1. The Unbeliever. Seems quite simple, but I’ve met too many who’ve married unbelievers thinking that they’ll change them. Rarely happens. “Missionary Dating” is unbiblical and will only rob you of true marital bliss. Remember that God forbids it: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” (2 Cor 6:14)

What then, is a believer?  A Christian essentially is someone who believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  What then, is the gospel?  The gospel is: 1. God is holy, loving, and just.  He therefore, must condemn all sinners to punishment in the flames of eternal hell;  2. You and I are all sinners who deserve nothing but God’s wrath in hell after our deaths; 3. God loved humanity so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus (who was fully God and fully man), to die on the cross for your sins.  Jesus paid the debt for your sins and absorbed God’s wrath on your behalf; 4. If you repent (turn from) all your sins and personally put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord, God and Savior, then you will have eternal life.

2. The Younger Man. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily call this one a sin, but I would certainly say that it is not God’s ideal. (And why would you want anything less than God’s ideal for marriage?)  We all know that wives are called to submit to their husbands, as to the Lord (Eph 5:22). God explicitly calls men to be the spiritual leaders of their families. En route to making the first marriage, God created Adam first, and then Eve. Did God have a wise reason for creating Adam first or was the first marriage randomly constructed by God?  According to the apostle Paul, it was not done arbitrarily. Instead, this was done for the sake of authority. As Paul informs us, authority flows from chronology: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:13-14). In other words, age matters – generally within society but especially within marriage (hence, Paul’s use of “Adam and Eve”). Evidently, within the First Marriage, God intended chronology (age) to be a reason for authority.

I would definitely call for wives who are already married in this situation to still submit to their younger husbands as the Bible commands (divorce is not an option), but they’ll need an extra measure of God’s grace as the natural fallen tendency of all daughters of Eve is to usurp their husbands’ authority (Gen 3:16). To those who are not yet wed, I would plead with you to marry an older Christian man. It is God’s ideal and your marriage will be happier for it.

Don’t want to believe that God knew what He was doing when He intentionally made the male older in the First Marriage?  Okay then, here’s a statistic from secular research:
  • “If you’re a woman two or more years older than your husband, your marriage is 53 percent more likely to end in divorce than if he was one year younger to three years older.” (Source: Rebecca Kippen, Bruce Chapman and Peng Yu, “What’s Love Got to Do With It? Homogamy and Dyadic Approaches to Understanding Marital Instability,” Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, 2009.)”Marriage generally improves life expectancy, but the age gap between a couple affects the life expectancy of men and women very differently.
  •  Marrying an older man shortens a woman’s lifespan, but having a younger husband reduces it even more, the study found.  The findings, drawn from the medical records of two million Danish couples, suggest that the best a woman can do is marry a man of about the same age. Health records have shown previously that men live longer if they have a younger wife, an effect researchers expected to see mirrored in women who married younger men. However, a woman who is between seven and nine years older than her husband has a 20% greater mortality rate than if she were with a man the same age.”
  • A new study shows that women who marry men seven to nine years younger than they are increase their mortality risk by 20 percent. This is the opposite of the finding for men who marry much younger wives – their life expectancy increases. The new study from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, changes assumptions about how marriage can extend life, owing in part to improved support systems spouses can provide for one another, and the supposed psychological benefit from having a younger spouse, who could become a caretaker should the older spouse become infirm.”

3. The Spiritually Younger Man. Though age is important, a man’s spiritual maturity is also important (and by the way, please don’t bamboozle yourself by saying, “Well, as long as he’s SPIRITUALLY older than me, his age doesn’t matter – as I’ve laid out in point two, it does matter!). Look for a man who will love you as Christ loved the Church (Eph 5:25), and if he doesn’t even know “how” Christ loved the Church, then it’s time for you to find another man. He must lead you as Christ led His Church. Too many women date spiritually immature men who only lead them to the murky waters of marital spiritual loneliness. Make sure he’s grounded in a local church. Speak to his pastor and his elders. Have devotionals together. Marriage is a serious decision. Take serious steps.

4. The Divorced Man. This one’s fairly straight-forward in Scripture: “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery” (Luke 16:18). Bottom line: Any 2nd marriage is adultery in the eyes of God, unless: [the 1st marriage ended due to death].*

What to do if you’re in a 2nd marriage that’s really viewed as adultery in the eyes of God?  Same thing I would advise a “married” gay couple in NY state if they came to faith in Christ – immediately break it up!  Of course, it won’t be emotionally easy, but the eternal destiny of your soul depends upon a correct response on this issue (1 Cor 6:9).

5. The Angry Man. Men who cannot control their emotions prior to marriage will, in all likelihood, be angry men after marriage. Try not to rationalize this one by saying, “Well, I deserved that…I made him angry.” Outbursts of anger are bouts of sin and there’s no excuse. Furthermore, those things usually turn into domestic abuse later on. Remember, marriage is about love. I know, it sounds easy to remember, but you’d be surprised.

“Fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:20-21 ESV)

6. The Self-Admirer. I know, I know, you want a good looking spouse. That desire is not a bad thing. But if a man is spending more time at the gym and in front of the mirror than at church and in God’s Word, then that man won’t love you as Christ loved the Church. In fact, he won’t love you – period. He loves himself and he probably just wants you for physical pleasure. If he’s changing profile pictures often, obsessing over his looks and photo angles, then be wary. “For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:16)

7. The Dishonest. I once had a man come to me and say, “Pastor, I have a confession to make. I’ve lied for years to my wife about __________, and the wife has now discovered my dishonesty.” We have since split ways and I no longer pastor him, but last I heard, she was no longer living with him and was processing a divorce. Marriage is built on trust. Without it, the entire enterprise quickly unravels. Women, if he’s lied to you before marriage, he’ll keep it up after. If he’s having sex before marriage, he’ll likely cheat on you after marriage. Look for an honest guy. Pray for one. Remember that the devil is the father of lies (John 8:44).

8. The Addict. Whether it’s porn or drugs, if you’ve discovered that your boyfriend is an addict, stop dating him and talk to his church leaders about it. At the moment, the man needs help – not a wife. Men who’ve covered up their sins while continuing to go to church are some of the worst deceivers. They’re also usually self-deluded. And no matter how much he pleads with you, let it go. The man needs Jesus – not a woman. Until the bondage is broken, release him to Christ (Exodus 20:3).

9. The Idle. If his idea of an ideal marriage is letting you work while he stays home sleeping and relaxing, then you should find another man. There is a deep theology to work and in fact, if the man is not providing for his family, the Bible calls him worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8).

10. The Un-Evangelist. Okay, maybe I made up the term, but the point is clear (Mark 16:15). If the man says that he believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ – meaning that there is 1. a literal hell awaiting unbelievers, 2. grace and pardon available to all who put their faith in Jesus – but he simultaneously does NOT evangelize…does he really believe? Does he really love God? Does he really love people? Will he ever love you the way Christ loved and died for His Church (when evidently, he’s too ashamed to even proclaim the death of Christ)?

Self-proclaimed atheist Penn Jillette once put it well:
“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me alone and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”

All that’s very true. How much do you have to hate somebody to not evangelize? “How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” Unless, of course, he really doesn’t believe…but then, we would discover ourselves back at warning point number 1 of this post.

Choose well, ladies. The church loves you and prays for you to have delightful, God-honoring marriages. May God bless and guide your way.

* Original Erroneous Words: 1. the 1st marriage terminated due to adultery, or 2. (this one is not as explicit) perhaps, if the 1st marriage ended because one spouse came to faith after marriage and the unbelieving spouse decided, “this isn’t what I signed up for” and initiated the divorce. (In the first case, Scripture explicitly allows for remarriage; in the second case, the wording seems to allow for it.)