Dating & Marriage 101: A Proverbs 7 Woman – Is She Marriage Worthy?

Proverbs 7Have you ever thought about the girl you would want your son or nephew to marry? Marriage is a lifelong covenant and the choice of one’s spouse is a decision one cannot take lightly. So you want to know if the young lady your son or nephew is interested in dating or marrying is in God’s Will. Or maybe you are a young lady who wants to know if you are dating or marriage worthy by God’s standards. Though it is not possible to know God’s decretive will or the hidden things of God that will come to pass, we do know God’s preceptive will or revealed commands in His published Word the Bible.

Question: Is the young lady my son or nephew dating in God’s Will for marriage?

God paints two pictures of women: the Proverbs 31 Woman and the Proverbs 7 Woman. One is a Woman to Pursue and the other is a Woman to Avoid. Let’s examine God’s Truths about these women.

The Woman to Pursue:

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:10-31

Characteristics of a Proverbs 31 Woman:

• Trustworthy – Proverbs 31:11-12
• Diligent – Proverbs 31:13-14, 18-19, 27
• Worker – Proverbs 31: 15-16
• Physically active – Proverbs 31:17
• Cares for the underserved – Proverbs 31:20, 2 Corinthians 9:6
• Fearless – Proverbs 31:21
• Crafty (domestic) – Proverbs 31:22, 24
• Strong, dignified, and optimistic – Proverbs 31: 25
• Wise with her tongue – Proverbs 31:26, Ephesians 4:20
• Kind with her tongue – Proverbs 31:26
• Praiseworthy – Proverbs 31:28
• Fears the Lord – Proverbs 31:30, John 14:15
• Observes the Sabbath – Deuteronomy 5:12
• Tithes – Malachi 3
• Honors her parents – Ephesians 6:2, Exodus 20:12
• Avoids sexual sin – 1 Corinthians 6:13
• Keeps her eyes from sin – Psalm 101:3
• Humble – Romans 12:16
• Forgiving – Romans 12:17-20
• Fruitful (Fruits of the Spirit) – Galatians 5:22-23
• Godly in love – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

The Woman to Avoid:

My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and to insight, “You are my relative.” They will keep you from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words. For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice, And I saw among the naive, And discerned among the youths a young man lacking sense, Passing through the street near her corner; And he takes the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, In the middle of the night and in the darkness. And behold, a woman comes to meet him, Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. She is boisterous and rebellious, her feet do not remain at home; She is now in the streets, now in the squares, And lurks by every corner. So she seizes him and kisses him and with a brazen face she says to him: I was due to offer peace offerings; Today I have paid my vows. “Therefore I have come out to meet you, to seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you. “I have spread my couch with coverings, with colored linens of Egypt. “I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. “Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with caresses. “For my husband is not at home, He has gone on a long journey; He has taken a bag of money with him, At the full moon he will come home.” With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, Until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life. Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths. For many are the victims she has cast down, and numerous are all her slain. Her house is the way to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death. Proverbs 7:1-27

Characteristics of a Proverbs 7 Woman:

• Sexual (adulteress, wayward, seductive in words) – Proverbs 7:5, Proverbs 5:3, 1 Corinthians 6:13
• Provocative and seductive (in dress) – Proverbs 7:10, 21, Psalm 101:3
• Cunning – Proverbs 7:10
• Boisterous or loud – Proverbs 7:11
• Rebellious – Proverbs 7:11
• Busy body – Proverbs 7:11-12
• Predator (pursuing him) – Proverbs 7:12-13, 26
• Enticing – Proverbs 7:21
• Haughty eyes – Proverbs 6:17
• Lengthy history – Proverbs 7:26
• Argumentative, contentious, nagging – Proverbs 21:9, 21:19, Proverbs 25:24
• Unstable and unaware – Proverbs 5:6
• Not in fellowship with Believers – Hebrews 10:25
• Deadly (eternal) – Proverbs 7:27, Proverbs 5:5

Though God’s hidden or decretive will has not been revealed as to whom your son or nephew will marry, God has made it very clear in his preceptive will the characteristics the man of God should pursue in a woman of God. If the young lady your son or nephew is dating authentically loves the Lord and exhibits the character of God, CONGRATULATIONS! You have a fantastic Kingdom opportunity and possible new daughter (or niece) in law in the near future.

However, if the characteristics of the young lady your son or nephew is dating or considering dating lean towards the woman he should avoid, prayerfully ask God and your husband or other Godly men for an appropriate time to have an open discussion with your son or nephew about choosing healthy, Godly relationships in Christ Jesus. God is not the author of confusion and wants the absolute best for His children. Any relationship filled with strife, sexual sin, or confusion is not of Him and should be avoided. If you are a young woman who finds herself in the category of The Woman to Avoid, prayerfully ask God through Christ Jesus to come into your heart and change you into the woman He has purposed you to be. Then seek Godly accountability to help ensure that the changes you desire in your heart are realized.

Abba, thank you for showing us your revelations and for helping us to live in obedience to your Word. – Amen

Related Posts: Is He Marriage Worthy?
Resources: Finding Your Spouse in God’s Will ; Taking the Mystery Out of Knowing God’s Will
Photo Credit: Bing

Dating & Marriage 101: What is God’s Will for Me?

relationship101If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
John 14:15

RC Sproul, Pastor and founder of Ligonier Ministries, superbly parses apart God’s preceptive and decretive will in order to help Believers determine God’s plan for their lives. God’s preceptive will is “revealed commandments of God’s published law/Bible” (i.e. not murder, not divorce, not covet, not steal, not commit sexual sin). God’s decretive will are the things that which are the sovereign, hidden things of God that will be revealed with time. These are things that will come to pass regardless of circumstances or human efforts. Pastor Sproul states that as Believers we can become preoccupied with knowing the hidden will (i.e. Is s/he the one?) that we neglect to honor and perform God’s revealed or preceptive will.

So YOU want to be married but are unsure if it is God’s Will for you to be married? Let’s examine what God has revealed on this topic in His Word.

1. Ladies, did your suitor find/pursue you (or was it the other way around)?

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.
Proverbs 18:22

2. Does your suitor authentically love God?

• Observe Sabbath – Deuteronomy 5:12
• Honor his parents – Ephesians 6:2, Exodus 20:12
• Avoid sexual sin – 1 Corinthians 6:13
• Tithe – Malachi 3
• Gives generously – 2 Corinthians 9:6
• Fellowships with other believers – Hebrews 10:25
• Keeps wholesome talk – Ephesians 4:20
• Keeps his eyes from sin – Psalm 101:3
• Humble – Romans 12:16
• Forgiving – Romans 12:17-20
• Fruitful (Fruits of the Spirit) – Galatians 5:22-23
• Godly love – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
• Keeps all God’s commands – John 14:15

God is not the creator of confusion; He gives us a sound mind and the Spirit of peace. If a suitor has found you and demonstrates authentic love of the Lord, then congratulations you have a fantastic Kingdom opportunity for a Godly marriage. If you are still unsure if this match is God’s divine plan for you, rest and wait on the Lord. If it is God’s secret or hidden will that you marry this suitor, it will be.

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.
Proverbs 21:30

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.
Proverbs 16:9

What about the married women of God who in hindsight have come to understand that it was God’s desire she have not married the unbeliever or baby Believer? Should she divorce or annul the marriage and start over with a Godly man who meets the above criteria?

To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
1 Corinthians 7:10-11

Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Luke 16:18

A sizeable portion of the Faith struggles with the concept of divorcing and starting over. God’s preceptive will is that the married not divorce, even in instances of spiritual immaturity. God forgives us for violating His preceptive will in marrying someone who did not meet His mark or for ourselves not meeting the mark in being a Spiritually mature mate. Yet in that forgiveness, He still holds us accountable to the covenant made in the marriage vows and divorce is not His plan. His plan is that the married individual who has received the revelation of their past errors in wisdom, learn from it and use it to show God’s love to their unbelieving or Spiritually immature spouse. And in turn convert the spouse to the Kingdom of God.

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
1 Peter 3:1-2

Abba, we thank you for your revelation of truth. Help us to grow towards your perfect will for our lives. – Amen

Related Posts: Is He Marriage Worthy? ; Is She Marriage Worthy? ; Coincidence, Fate, Providence, & Signs: Is this Relationship Meant to Be? ; God Hasn’t Answered My Prayers on This Relationship
Resources: Finding Your Spouse in God’s Will; Divorce & Starting Over
Photo Credit: Bing

Dating & Marriage 101: Coincidence, Fate, Providence, & Signs – How to Know if its Meant to Be

fateFor a few years, I wrestled with the question “How do I know if its meant to be?” I wondered if everything happens for a reason or are just a series of coincidences. Many of us are in the middle of or on the verge of some pretty major life altering decisions (marriage, divorce, new job). We want to know if “it” is meant to be or “God’s plan”. So I set out to answer the question that dangles around most of us at one stage of life or another.

“How do I know if its meant to be?”

Though popular culture romanticizes every “coincidental” happening as a green light from above for “it” being meant to be (i.e. school, job) or “he” being the one (i.e. date, marry), these “coincidental” happenings as appealing as they may seem may in fact be clever life traps meant to send those earnestly seeking the “right path” down a dead end road. A popular “Religious” writer on this topic shared a story of a woman who was away from home and visiting a “Big City”. She came across a quaint apartment that in many ways stole her heart. She returned home to her husband with whom she was having some marital difficulties with the idea that they should move into this apartment. Her husband did not agree and after some time they divorced. The woman found a realtor who helped her search for her new home and would you believe it, the first home that they came across was the apartment the woman found when she was visiting the “Big City” before. The author and individual suggested that her coming across the apartment initially then after her divorce was a confirmation sign that she was on the right track.

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, SIGNS and wonders, and every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. 2 Thessalonians 2:9

The first step in determining if “It is meant to be” or “God’s plan” is to ask oneself if the current coincidence or “sign” agrees with what God has already given us in scripture. In the “Big City” story, we have a woman who was met with some pretty compelling coincidences or “signs”. She was conveniently away from home, having difficulties in her marriage, and came across an apartment that gave her a new hope and sense of freedom. She assumed like many of us that these series of circumstances were a sure sign that she was on the “right path” and okay to do the opposite of what is consistent with God’s counsel on marriage. Ultimately, she and the author blindly saw the circumstances as a green light and went on to promote a counterfeit signs driven theology or false teaching that encourages Believers to assume circumstances alone or “signs” are green lights from God to pursue something or someone.

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, SIGNS and wonders, and every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. 2 Thessalonians 2:9

In the book of Job, God sees Satan roaming the earth and God suggests to Satan his servant Job. Note that God initated the series of difficult circumstances that Job would face, not Satan. Yes, God granted Satan permission to arrange these purposeful happenings to test his faithfulness to God. Was the intention of these tests a sign from God that His will was for Job to suffer all the days of his life or that God hates Him (false thinking that many of us assume when difficulties arise)? No. God’s desire was to prove to Satan the faithfulness of Job to God. Despite Job losing his children, his servants, and his wealth in a very short period of time, Job gave an encouraging response.

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. Job 1:20-22

In the book of Exodus (Chapters Seven to Eight) we have the story of Moses, the Pharaoh, and the Plagues. The Lord commissioned Moses to tell the Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. Knowing the Pharaoh would not willingly release the Israelites, the Lord God gave Moses specific miracles to perform in order to demonstrate the Lord’s power and message.

‘”When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake.’ Exodus 7:9-10

Pharaoh being the worldly man of power he was, was not moved by the miracle performed by God’s prophet. In fact, Pharaoh summoned his own miracle workers called “wise men”, “sorcerers, and “magicians” with “secret arts” to perform the same miracle.

‘Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. For each one threw down his staff and they turned into serpents…’
Exodus 7:11

Two more times Pharaoh and his counterfeit wise men reproduced miracles previously performed by God’s prophet Moses.

‘So Moses and Aaron did even as the LORD had commanded. And he lifted up the staff and struck the water that was in the Nile, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, and all the water that was in the Nile was turned to blood. The fish that were in the Nile died, and the Nile became foul, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. And the blood was through all the land of Egypt. But the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts; and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.’ Exodus 7:20-22

‘So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. The magicians did the same with their secret arts, making frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’ Exodus 8:6-7

After the plague of the frogs, the counterfeit miracle workers were not able to keep up with the authentic miracle worker, prophet of God, Moses.

‘They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats through all the land of Egypt. The magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth gnats, but they could not; so there were gnats on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.’ Exodus 8:17-19

Prophetically, God the Father issues this warning to his children that just as in the days of his beloved prophet Moses there would be false “miracle workers” or “signs and wonders” today. Jesus Christ of Nazareth reissues this warning that there are many lawless ones or workers of Satan who in this life time would do “miracle work”, “signs and wonders” or “prophesy” in His name but WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. There are many unsuspecting individuals being led astray by false “signs” or coincidences set up by the prince of darkness to destroy lives. These false signs look like a Cinderella story but end up being a real life nightmare (HINT: Ask your girlfriends who were married and divorced in under 3 years).

‘The coming of THE LAWLESS ONE will be in ACCORDANCE WITH THE WORK OF SATAN DISPLAYED IN ALL KINDS OF COUNTERFEIT MIRACLES, SIGNS, AND WONDERS, and every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.’ 2 Thessalonians 2:9

Application:
Our culture encourages us to look for signs of “The One”. Not the King of Kings but of our “Prince Charming” or “Mr. Right”. And many believe that because our path crosses the path of another individual once or maybe even five times, that that alone is a green light from God of this being our future life long mate. WRONG! That handsome or charming individual in our lives might be a “sign” not of God’s plan but of great difficulty ahead. One that will test our faithfulness to God.

Do “signs and wonders”, “miracles”, or coincidences mean it’s from God or mean it’s meant to be?
Answer: No

Related Posts: Dating 101 Series
Resources: Discerning God’s Will ; Finding Your Spouse in God’s Will