Jesus’ marriage to His bride was planned by His Father. What is the next thing we can learn from the Gospel concerning the pursuit of marriage?
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.Luke 19:10
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.John 15:16
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.Romans 3:10-11
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:6-8
We love him, because he first loved us.1 John 4:19
The Scriptures portray us as not seeking God. The only reason that we have a relationship with God is that Jesus sought us out and loved us. Our salvation was initiated by Jesus.
And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.Genesis 2:22-24
And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.Genesis 4:19
That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.Genesis 6:2
And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.Genesis 24:1-4
And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother’s brother.Genesis 28:1-2
And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month. And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be? And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me. And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.Genesis 29:14-20
And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.Judges 14:1-3
And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.1 Samuel 25:39
In Scripture, the man is to be the initiator of the relationship. It is the man who should be pursuing a wife, not the other way around. (At a later date we will discuss what a single woman should do.) The man is the one who is to be active in this process. Just as Jesus sought out His bride, so a man is to seek out his bride and initiate the relationship.
Combining what we looked at so far in our study we can now draw this conclusion about the whole process: Once a boy becomes a man who is need of help in his task of dominion, he should consult with his parents and initiate the relationship with a woman that his parents approve of. This initiation of the relationship should be in full consultation with, submitted to, and approved by the young woman’s parents. This will look entirely different from case to case. We must be very careful that we do not try to cram all relationships into a “one size fits all” mold.