Get Counsel From the Bible. --Instituted by God, marriage is a sacred
ordinance and should never be entered upon in a spirit of selfishness. Those who
contemplate this step should solemnly and prayerfully consider its importance
and seek divine counsel that they may know whether they are pursuing a course in
harmony with the will of God. The instruction given in God's word on this point
should be carefully considered. Heaven looks with pleasure upon a marriage
formed with an earnest desire to conform to the directions given in the
If there is any subject that should be considered with calm reason and
unimpassioned judgement, it is the subject of marriage. If ever the Bible is
needed as a counsellor, it is before taking a step that binds persons together
for life. But the prevailing sentiment is that in this matter the feelings are
to be the guide, and in too many cases lovesick sentimentalism takes the helm
and guides to certain ruin. It is here that the youth show less intelligence
than on any other subject; it is here that they refuse to be reasoned with. The
question of marriage seems to have a bewitching power over them. They do not
submit themselves to God. Their senses are enchained, and they move forward in
secretiveness, as if fearful that their plans would be interfered with by
Many are sailing in a dangerous harbor. They need a pilot; but they scorn to
accept the much-needed help, feeling that they are competent to guide their own
bark, and not realizing that it is about to strike a hidden rock that may cause them to make shipwreck of faith and happiness. . . . Unless
they are diligent students of that word [the Bible], they will make grave
mistakes which will mar their happiness and that of others, both for the present
and the future life.
Prayer Necessary to Right Decision. --If men and women are in the habit of
praying twice a day before they contemplate marriage, they should pray four
times a day when such a step is anticipated. Marriage is something that will
influence and affect your life, both in this world and in the world to come. . .
The majority of the marriages of our time and the way in which they are
conducted make them one of the signs of the last days. Men and women are so
persistent, so headstrong, that God is left out of the question. Religion is
laid aside, as if it had no part to act in this solemn and important matter.
When Infatuation Is Deaf to Counsel. --Two persons become acquainted; they
are infatuated with each other, and their whole attention is absorbed. Reason is
blinded, and judgement is overthrown. They will not submit to any advice or
control, but insist on having their own way, regardless of consequences. Like
some epidemic, or contagion, that must run its course is the infatuation that
possesses them; and there seems to be no such thing as putting a stop to it.
Perhaps there are those around them who realise that, should the parties
interested be united in marriage, it could only result in lifelong unhappiness.
But entreaties and exhortations are given in vain. Perhaps, by such a union, the
usefulness of one whom God would bless in His service will be crippled and
destroyed; but reasoning and persuasion are alike unheeded. All that can be said by men and women of
experience proves ineffectual; it is powerless to change the decision to which
their desires have led them. They lose interest in the prayer meeting and in
everything that pertains to religion. They are wholly infatuated with each
other, and the duties of life are neglected, as if they were matters of little
Youth Need the Wisdom of Age and Experience. -- When so much misery results
from marriage, why will not the youth be wise? Why will they continue to feel
that they do not need the counsel of older and more experienced persons? In
business, men and women manifest great caution. Before engaging in any important
enterprise, they prepare themselves for their work. Time, money, and much
careful study are devoted to the subject, lest they shall make a failure in
How much greater caution should be exercised in entering the marriage
relation--a relation which affects future generations and the future life?
Instead of this, it is often entered upon with jest and levity, impulse and
passion, blindness and lack of calm consideration. The only explanation of this
is that Satan loves to see misery and ruin in the world, and he weaves this net
to entangle souls. He rejoices to have these inconsiderate persons lose their
enjoyment of this world and their home in the world to come.
Matured Judgement of Parents Should Be Valued. -- Shall children consult only
their own desires and inclinations irrespective of the advice and judgement of
their parents? Some seem never to bestow a thought upon their parents' wishes or
preferences, nor to regard their matured judgement. Selfishness has closed the
door of their hearts to filial affection. The minds of the young need to be aroused
in regard to this matter. The fifth commandment is the only commandment to which
is annexed a promise, but it is held lightly and is even positively ignored by
the lover's claim. Slighting a mother's love, dishonouring a father's care are
sins that stand registered against many youth.
One of the greatest errors connected with this subject is that the young and
inexperienced must not have their affections disturbed, that there must be no
interference in their love experience. If there ever was a subject that needed
to be viewed from every standpoint, it is this. The aid of the experience of
others and a calm, careful weighing of the matter on both sides are positively
essential. It is a subject that is treated altogether too lightly by the great
majority of people. Take God and your God-fearing parents into your counsel,
young friends. Pray over the matter.
Confide in Godly Parents. --If you are blessed with God-fearing parents, seek
counsel of them. Open to them your hopes and plans; learn the lessons which
their life experiences have taught.
If children would be more familiar with their parents, if they would confide
in them and unburden to them their joys and sorrows, they would save themselves
many a future heartache. When perplexed to know what course is right, let them
lay the matter just as they view it before their parents, and ask advice of
them. Who are so well calculated to point out their dangers as godly parents?
Who can understand their peculiar temperaments so well as they? Children who are
Christians will esteem above every earthly blessing the love and approbation of
their God-fearing parents. The parents can sympathize with the children and pray for and with them that God will shield
and guide them. Above everything else they will point them to their
never-failing Friend and Counsellor.
Parents to Guide the Affections of Youth. --Fathers and mothers should feel
that a duty devolves upon them to guide the affections of the youth, that they
may be placed upon those who will be suitable companions. They should feel it a
duty, by their own teaching and example, with the assisting grace of God, to so
mould the character of the children from their earliest years that they will be
pure and noble and will be attracted to the good and true. Like attracts like;
like appreciates like. Let the love for truth and purity and goodness be early
implanted in the soul, and the youth will seek the society of those who possess
The Example Set by Isaac. --Parents should never lose sight of their own
responsibility for the future happiness of their children. Isaac's deference to
his father's judgement was the result of the training that had taught him to
love a life of obedience.
Isaac was highly honoured by God in being made inheritor of the promises
through which the world was to be blessed; yet when he was forty years of age,
he submitted to his father's judgement in appointing his experienced,
God-fearing servant to choose a wife for him. And the result of that marriage,
as presented in the Scriptures, is a tender and beautiful picture of domestic
happiness: "Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took
Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted
after his mother's death."
Wise Parents Will Be Considerate. --"Should parents," you ask,
"select a companion without regard to the mind or feelings of son or
daughter?" I put the question to you as it should be: Should a son or
daughter select a companion without first consulting the parents, when such a
step must materially affect the happiness of parents if they have any affection
for their children? And should that child, notwithstanding the counsel and
entreaties of his parents, persist in following his own course? I answer
decidedly: No; not if he never marries. The fifth commandment forbids such a
course. "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon
the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." Here is a commandment with a
promise which the Lord will surely fulfill to those who obey. Wise parents will
never select companions for their children without respect to their wishes.