The Greatest Example of Irony in the Bible

The Greatest Example of Irony in the Bible from Crossway on Vimeo. When Weakness Is Strength Retributive and restorative irony ultimately finds its zenith of expression at the cross. So for example, the devil is doing all he can to destroy Jesus and he thinks finally...

Boasting in the Cross

Galatians 6:13-14, “13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has...

Christopher Ash– Remaking a Broken World The Heart of the Bible Story

On today’s Equipping you in Grace show, Dave Jenkins and Christopher Ash talk about the theme of scattering and gathering in the Bible, and the importance of biblical theology to the Christian life and ministry, along with his book, Remaking a Broken World The Heart...

Paul’s ALL CAPS Declaration

Galatians 6:11-12, “See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.” The...

5 Myths about Hospitality

Myth #1: Only people with the “gift” of hospitality are expected to practice it. Hospitality is not a gift unto itself, but a means through which other spiritual gifts are displayed: mercy, serving, giving and evangelizing. The dynamic teaching on hospitality found in...

How the Spirit and the Word Prepare You for the Lord’s Supper

“Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of...

premarital counseling, So, You Want to Get Married, Servants of Grace
So, You Want to Get Married

Posted On November 24, 2017

“For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods…” 1 Kings 11:4

One of the great privileges of pastoral ministry and biblical counseling is the role of mentor and guide to couples who are engaged or considering marriage. In a culture that mocks and scoffs at the biblical vision for marriage, helping those who desire to honor the Lord and put the Gospel on display through their marital covenant is a joy (Eph. 5:32).

But, with the privilege of sending many couples down the aisle toward holy matrimony comes tremendous pastoral responsibility. There is more to biblical marriage; we are to be reminded, that one-man-one-woman composition, romantic feelings, sexual compatibility, and similar interests and hobbies.

Pre-marital counseling, therefore, is designed to vet an engaged couple’s readiness for marriage and to honestly assess and inform them of the same. For all that pre-marital counseling is designed to be, one thing it must not be is a rubber stamp.

Just Say No (or Not Yet)

To the extent that pastors and biblical counselors influence the decision of couples to marry, they must also be prepared to provide a prophetic voice of sorts by speaking the truth in love to those who are not (or who are not yet) good candidates for marriage (Eph. 4:15).

Pastors and biblical counselors then have a type of responsibility to both caution against marriage and to withhold their participation when and if necessary. Unwise decisions for marriage must be avoided before they are made. This can be an emotionally charged but necessary action to be taken with wisdom and discernment by the one providing pre-marital counseling and received with grace by the couple in question (Heb. 13:17).

It has been said that indifference rather than hate is the opposite of love, and when it comes to pre-marital counseling, the gravity of the decision at hand demands that pastors and biblical counselors be anything but indifferent. Sometimes, saying “no” or “not yet” is the most loving answer the pastor-counselor can give to the prospective couple.

Right Questions Yield Wise Answers

God’s Word provides for us an important question to be asked in the context of biblical pre-marital counseling. We extrapolate this question from a telling passage about the life of King Solomon in 1 Kings 11:1-8.

Solomon was perhaps, second only to his father, David, the most famous of all of Israel’s earthly kings. Blessed by God with immeasurable wisdom, his was a kingdom marked by unmatched wealth and influence (1 Kings 4:20-34). But, for all of Solomon’s great wisdom, he was not sinless. And, his sin would have a tremendous influence on the life of the nation he was charged by God to lead.

One of Solomon’s very public and well-documented sins was the practice of polygamy and sexual immorality. Solomon literally had hundreds of wives and hundreds of concubines. What made matters worse was Solomon’s proclivity to take for himself wives from other nations which God had previously commanded all of Israel to avoid (1 Kings 11:1-3).

Solomon’s own life would become the “poster-child” for God’s purpose in this loving prohibition which would be carried over by Paul in the New Testament for followers of Jesus to obey (Deut. 7:3-4; 2 Cor. 6:14).

For Solomon, the net result of not only polygamy but wedding himself to those who worshipped the world’s false gods was a life and legacy corrupted by idolatry and rebellion against the Lord (1 Kings 11:4-6).

Due in part to his very unwise attitude toward marriage, Solomon’s heart was turned away from the one true and living God. Tragically (and avoidably), Solomon became like those who worshipped the idols of nations made by human hands (Psalms 135:15-18).

What if, in his wisdom, Solomon had sought godly counsel to inform his martial decision-making and in so-doing had been forced to answer this critically important question:

How does this relationship and potential marriage turn your heart and the heart of your potential spouse away from the false gods of the world and toward the living God of Scripture?

Hopefully, you recognize this question as the inverse of what we are told became of Solomon in 1 Kings 11:4. It is a question that every engaged couple must answer and answer well if they are to live out Paul’s foundational statement about marriage as a beacon for the Gospel (Eph. 5:32).

Taking Solomon’s Advice

Among other things, Solomon is known for having been inspired by God to write much of the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs is, of course, full of wisdom sayings to help guide us in life. One of the more memorable proverbs written by Solomon teaches us that “Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed” (Prov. 15:22).

In light of what we learn about Solomon in 1 Kings 11:1-8 and about the plans we make in Proverbs 15:22, we applaud those who desire to honor the Lord in marriage by submitting themselves and their relationship to a season of pre-marital counseling.

While there is always some risk in exposing the desires of our hearts to God’s Word, we can always trust that He has His glory and our joy in view.

Whether in marriage or in singleness, His desire is always to turn our hearts toward Himself in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, to whom we as believers are already united and eternally wed. By seeking to live in faithfulness to His word as regards earthly marriage, we prove ourselves to be His faithful bride.

Related Posts

premarital counseling, So, You Want to Get Married, Servants of Grace

The Greatest Example of Irony in the Bible

The Greatest Example of Irony in the Bible from Crossway on Vimeo. When Weakness Is Strength Retributive and restorative irony ultimately finds its zenith of expression at the cross. So for example, the devil is doing all he can to destroy Jesus and he thinks finally...

premarital counseling, So, You Want to Get Married, Servants of Grace

Boasting in the Cross

Galatians 6:13-14, “13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has...

premarital counseling, So, You Want to Get Married, Servants of Grace

Paul’s ALL CAPS Declaration

Galatians 6:11-12, “See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.” The...

premarital counseling, So, You Want to Get Married, Servants of Grace

5 Myths about Hospitality

Myth #1: Only people with the “gift” of hospitality are expected to practice it. Hospitality is not a gift unto itself, but a means through which other spiritual gifts are displayed: mercy, serving, giving and evangelizing. The dynamic teaching on hospitality found in...

premarital counseling, So, You Want to Get Married, Servants of Grace

How the Spirit and the Word Prepare You for the Lord’s Supper

“Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of...

0 Comments

Tweet7
Share3
Share
Pin
Buffer