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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Biblical Advice for Brothers Who Want to Find a Wife: Part 3 “Surfing the Internet for a Mate”

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An important question a man has to answer if he wants to find a wife is, “Where should I look?” Since the time that our Lord walked the earth, a believer found a wife or husband in one of three primary circles (from friends of family, church associations, or their network of friendships [work/neighborhood/school etc.]). Fast forward thousands of years to our new digital age, without borders, and a new circle for finding a spouse has arisen—the Internet. Last month, I had the privilege of officiating a wedding where a brother in our church was encouraged by a missionary friend to pursue a sister in the Lord who lived in Brazil. Not knowing a lick of Portuguese, he pursued her via the Internet using Google Translate to communicate. As they say, the rest is His-story. God, who is able to do all things, can certainly bring two believers together from opposite sides of the globe. That’s no problem for Him. But the question for us is, is it prudent to find an Internet spouse? What does the Bible say? Here are a couple of biblical principles that might help you answer this question and find a wife.

1st Is the Internet the most profitable way to look for a wife?
The Bible teaches that Christians can marry anyone they want (so long as they marry another believer “in the Lord” [1 Cor 7:39]). But with the gracious principle of liberty believers have in Christ, we are also commanded to “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,” Eph 5:15. Paul specifically applies this principle to the kinds of relationships believers can enter into. He writes, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable,” 1 Cor 6:12. It seems that in this verse, Paul is responding to the shallow reasoning some single Corinthians used to justify being in relationships that they had no business being in. They seemed to be parading their liberty of not being under the law and therefore considered themselves free to do whatever they wanted. Paul responded that believers do have liberties, but our liberties must be circumvented by the principle that we need to choose ways that are more beneficial and advantageous. So before you turn on your computer to find a wife, make sure you are accurately answering the question, “Is the Internet a more advantageous way for me to find a spouse than looking within the circles of my Christians relationships: church, family, or friendships?

2nd Is the Internet the wisest way to find a match made in heaven?
The miracle of marriage is that God takes two people and makes them into one flesh or one new person (Gen 2:24). The first marriage was paradigmatic in the sense that Adam and Eve were literally of the same bone and flesh. God made Eve from Adam, then rejoined them in marriage. Therefore, their marriage union was the reuniting of a separated single person back into one flesh. Genesis 2:24 applies the reality of the first one flesh union to what God does supernaturally to all monogamous husband and wife unions. A husband and wife by God’s design are to become one in every sense. So in finding a spouse, Christians are finding the person with whom God has so designed for them to become one person. This would suggest that by God’s providence there need to be points of deep compatibility because the husband and wife have to fit together as one new person. If they are different in everything, then they will be prone to having conflicts over everything.

On the surface, it appears that Internet dating services are uniquely designed to address this concern. Those who are looking for a spouse can narrow their search to individuals that meet all their lists of wants: ethnicity, physical appearance, hobbies, personality test similarities, politics, specific Christian convictions, etc. Some sites even guarantee that through their scientific process, their match will be a match made in heaven.