A. T. Schofield
Plain Papers for Young Believers
Before closing this chapter, we would bring before you a few thoughts on the important subject of marriage. To young men marriage seldom comes as a beginning in life; for, generally, they have been out in the world some years before. But to girls, and especially to those who are not compelled to labor for a livelihood, marriage is often the portal through which they are introduced from the quiet seclusion of home into the vast world without. Many children of God have from time to time borne witness as to the vast importance for good or evil of this momentous step. It has been shown by instances drawn from real life, and by the direct Word of God, how this union, to be blest, must be in the Lord (that is, both husband and wife children of God), and of the Lord (that is, both naturally and spiritually suited to each other, and His guidance sought in the matter). We do not now allude further to this, save again to point out that more young Christians are wrecked, and the fair promise of their young lives blighted, by hasty and ill-assorted marriages, than by anything else. To those who read these lines who are yet unmarried, we would earnestly say, above all things honor God in this step. Let no inclination, no apparent worldly advantage, lead you to overlook the fact that as surely as you are God's child, and as surely as He is your Father, so surely as you sow you shall reap; and if you, with your eyes open, disobey Him to please yourself, you must inevitably suffer deeply for it, whereas if you seek in this truly to glorify Him, He will uphold you.
How to Act in Married Life
We will suppose, however, that you have taken the step, and that no objection is to be made to your marriage, there still remains the question, How are you to act in your new relationship?
In the first place, never let the new scenes and occupations interfere with the old duties—daily private reading and prayer. This is the anchor of your soul, and if you have already experienced the blessing of it in your youth, it is worse than folly to neglect it now.
Next, as in business, so here — it is the first step which is all-important. Let it be plainly understood at the outset by your new connections and friends that you are a believer.
Finally, have a definite object before you for attainment, and that is to glorify God in the new sphere in which He has placed you. Let nothing obscure this object, but let it quietly underlie all your actions, and you will be blessed in all your relations. Not that such a steady course is easy. You will have to strive through many crosscurrents, especially when your interests, or those of your children, seem to point one way, and God's glory another. But if it is the constant habit of your life to know and feel that this is your object, you will be greatly helped at such times, and — by God's grace — ever gain the victory.
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