The sermon today is about marriage and family, but I don’t want the unmarried men and women here to hit the mute button. The sermon text may not apply directly to you, but you should be preparing now for the roles that you are likely to assume in the future.
How? First, to the unmarried men: Don’t wait until you’re married to begin learning how to lead. Learn how to lead now. Find ways to serve now, because you are going to spend your life serving your wife. Learn responsibility now. Spend your time and energies now to prepare yourself for marriage. Consider your gifts, and seek advice about your calling. Begin taking financial responsibility. Don’t waste money, but instead begin saving for marriage. Spend your time on activities that will make you a better husband and father.
If you’re thinking about a specific young woman, don’t place your trust in the mechanics of courtship. Don’t think that getting Dad’s approval gets you home free. When you have Dad’s permission, you are in the first quarter, not the last. You need to win her, and that means recognizing that she is a human made in the image of God, with thoughts and insights and wisdom of her own; she is not a prize to be won or a trophy to display on the wall, or an accessory for the fashionable young man. Find out about her; don’t just dazzle her with your wit and experience.
To the unmarried women: Learn submission in your home. If you resist your parents’ authority, your rebellion will overflow into your marriage. If you develop habits of subterfuge and deception to avoid obeying your parents, those habits will continue into marriage, and make your marriage very unhappy. Look for opportunities to serve, because you are going to spend your life serving a husband.
The sum of all this is, cultivate Christlike character. Don’t wait until you’re married to begin thinking about how to love as Christ loves. Cultivate a habit of self-giving now, because self-giving is the secret of Christian marriage.
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Sunday, September 25, 2005 at 8:07 am
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