By David J. Riggs

   A. That marriage is honorable in all is revealed in both the Old  
      and New Testaments.
      1. It is not demanded of all, but God said that it is not good 
         for man to be alone. Gen. 2:18
      2. It was Paul who said--1 Tim. 5:14.
      3. An elder, who serves in the highest office in the church,   
         must be a married man.
      4. Prov. 18:22
   B. If there ever was a time for sound minds and true ideas, it is 
      in choosing a mate for life.
      1. We list a few guide-lines; which, hopefully, will aid in a  
         wise selection.

   A. There is no such thing as love at first sight.
      1. There may be infatuation at first sight, but not true       
         love--the Bible kind--for it takes time to develop it.
      2. That stranger may be a worthy person, or he may be a
         hypocrite, just out of prison, and may already have a wife.
   B. Some have been deceived by the charming remarks of a stranger
      and have ruined their lives by a hasty marriage.
      1. In certain places there have been fads, with the young      
         people running off and getting married.
      2. There is no place for hasty decisions in choosing a life's
         a. The skilled banker will not trust his judgment to grant a
            loan based on first appearance. He will always check out
            the credit record.
         b. Likewise, neither should one enter the contract for life
            with one with whom you are not thoroughly acquainted.
      3. Be wise: take time to thoroughly know that person you are
         about to marry.

   A. A person who has been put away is not free to marry.
      1. If a person was divorced because he or she committed
         fornication, he or she is not free to marry. Matt. 5:32
      2. If one was divorced for some reason other than fornication,
         he or she is not free to marry. Matt. 19:9
      3. If one puts away his or her mate because of fornication, he 
         or she is free to remarry (Matt. 19:9), but one must be     
         perfectly sure of the situation.
   B. A widow or widower is free to remarry. Rom. 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:39
   C. One should never become emotionally involved with someone
      who has no right to marry.
      1. Some, after contracting sinful marriages, say, "I never gave
         it much thought before marriage."
      2. How can a daughter or son live with "Christian" parents for
         many years and then ignorantly and foolishly enter into a
         sinful marriage?
      3. For a successful and happy marriage, the laws of God must
         be understood and respected.
         a. Respect and obey God's laws yourself, and date
            someone who respects and obeys them.
   D. Marriage must be viewed as a lifetime commitment.
      1. Jesus said--Matt. 19:6
         a. It is a mistake to enter marriage with the idea of
            separating if it does not work out well.
            (1) A marriage does not just accidentally work out well, 
                but husband and wife must fashion it to work out     

   A. Examples are without number of those who were lead to
      destruction because of wicked companions. 1 Kings 11:4; 16:31;
      21:25; 2 Chron. 21:5-6
   B. Thus, the wicked should be avoided. For example, those with the
      drinking habit should be avoided.
      1. Both drunkenness and social drinking is condemned in the
         Word of God. 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Pet. 4:3
      2. If that one you are dating continues to drink in spite of   
         what others, his parents, the law of Christ, and you have   
         taught him, his promises are worthless.
      3. Use good judgment and spare yourself from much sorrow
         and heartache by avoiding the would-be alcoholic.
   C. Avoid the mistake of thinking you will change the wicked person
      after you are married.
      1. Although Christians are to help others, it is a mistake to
         marry in order to solve your mate's problems. This is not   
         the purpose of marriage.
   D. To find someone worthy, starts with me being worthy myself.
      1. Boaz said of Ruth--Ruth 3:11. Prov. 12:4; 31:10, 29-30
      2. It is important to find the right person, but it is more
         important to be the right person.
   E. A young person who is committed to God, and who earnestly
      prays to God, will be blessed. Prov. 3:3-10
      1. The righteous faithful Christian wins the worthy companion;
         the wicked and sinful win the other kind.

   A. There are fearful responsibilities that come with marriage.
      1. The young man must be willing to leave father and mother
         and cleave to his wife. Matt. 19:5-6
         a. He must shoulder the responsibility of providing for his
            own. 1 Tim. 5:8
         b. He must be the head of his house and bring his children
            up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Eph. 5:23;
      2. The young lady must be willing to cook, wash the clothes,
         care for the house, bear and rear up children. 1 Tim. 5:14;
         Titus 2:4-5
         a. Some young girls at ages 15 and 16 think that they have
            had an exceptionally hard home life, and if they could
            only get married, all of their problems would be solved
            and they would live happily ever-after.
         b. They are in for a sad awakening. There is a lot of hard
            work in being a good wife. Caring for one small infant is
            a full-time job, and with two, three, or four, the job
   B. The task of home-making is for adults; those who lack maturity
      are not ready for marriage.
      1. Start by being responsible yourself.
      2. Parents need to work hard at teaching and training their
         children to be responsible.

   A. The law of Christ does not command the young to marry only a
      Christian; nevertheless, it is extremely wise to do so.
      1. Those already married to non-believers are encouraged to
         remain with them (1 Cor. 7:13) and to set a good example
         before them (1 Pet. 3:1).
      2. An older preacher once said, "Though it seems like a
         contradiction, I do all I can to encourage the Christian not
         to marry a non-Christian, but if they do marry one, I do all
         I can to encourage them to stay together."
   B. There are many problems the Christian faces in the religiously-
      divided home.
      1. In attendance.
         a. Many non-Christians become belligerent about their
            mates attending every service.
         b. It is far better to have someone to encourage you and
            go with you to services.
      2. In giving.
         a. Often, a sister in Christ loves the Lord and His church
            and wants to see its work grow, but her unbelieving
            husband has other ideas about it.
         b. Non-Christian wives have been known to make life
            miserable over this matter.
      3. In doing the Lord's work.
         a. The non-Christian may become jealous over your time
            and interest in the Lord's work instead of them.
         b. Again, it is far better to have someone to encourage and
            work with you in the Lord's work.
      4. In teaching and training the children. 
         a. When the children come along, the sincere
            denominationalist will insist that the children go to
            services with him.
         b. Many problems and disagreements over discipline,
            teaching, and proper example to the children will arise.
      5. In facing the various problems of life.
         a. Marry someone you can pray with to overcome life's
         b. Sometimes life becomes rather hard to endure, even by
            those who are married to Christians. Mutual faith and
            love toward God helps along life's way.
         c. Then, too, there is the misery of death with no comfort
            in knowing your mate was not a Christian.
   C. Thus, avoid these difficulties and marry someone who will
      encourage you in the way of life rather than tear you down and
      destroy you.

   A. By no means will it be easy to find a person that is "Mr.      
      right" or "Miss right"; but, then, neither is anything which is
      worthwhile easy.
      1. Digging for precious stones is hard work, but when one is
         found the reward is great.
      2. When you find your "precious stone" among God's creation,
         you will have found a good thing and happiness will be yours
         in this life, and, more importantly, in the life to come.
   B. Simple advice I gave to my daughters on choosing a mate: (1)
      make sure you truly love that person and (2) make sure that
      persons truly loves you.
      1. Ill. of Gary Ogden's sister who walked away from the
         marriage altar twice and then finally found the right       

Chart #1
Whom Shall I Marry?
Not A Stranger
One Free To Marry
Not A Wicked Person
Someone Responsible
A Christian

Chart #2
Why Marry A Christian?
Doing The Lord's Work?
Teaching & Training Children?
Facing Various Problems of Life?