a 31 relationship

In my last post, a job 31 man, I wrote about the guys’ equivalent of the Proverbs 31 woman. These two chapters in the Bible put forth some of the highest ideals to which a man or woman can be held: integrity, character, strength, a God-honoring lifestyle.

If a man strives for the Job 31 ideal and a woman strives for the Proverbs 31 ideal…

When boy meets girl, think of what they could accomplish for God together!

They could be Aquila and Priscilla.

They could be Keith and Melody Green.

They could be Jim and Elisabeth Elliot.

They could be you and your (future) spouse.

[Side note: if you feel you’re called to be single, I’m not hating. Don’t worry, the “1st Corinthians 7 man/woman” will show up in a blog post here pretty soon.]

Attraction is important and pda is fun, but Christian marriage at its core is a sort of alliance that should only be entered into if two people can work more effectively as a team to accomplish more for God’s kingdom than each of them could alone (a principle backed up by Gary Chapman).  Our life goals include going to college, building a career, and getting married, but too often it ends there — past that, there is no objective.  Marriage, however, is not an end in itself but the means to an end, a valuable tool that enables you to serve God in a more efficient and productive way. (Again, don’t assume from my robotic language that I don’t believe in romantic love. I’m trying to be concise here.)

I’ll share with you two examples of such vision (and I can only pray for a relationship as focused as these!)

The first is some lyrics penned by my idol Keith Green, referenced above: “I pledge my wife to heaven for the gospel, though our love each passing day just seems to grow.  As I told her when we wed, I’d surely rather be found dead, than to love her more than the one who saved my soul.  I pledge my son to heaven for the gospel, though he’s kicked and beaten, ridiculed and scorned.  I will teach him to rejoice and lift a thankful, praising voice, to be like Him who bore the nails and crown of thorns.  I pledge my son, I pledge my wife, I pledge my head to heaven for the gospel.” WOW. Well, what does that look like in action?

That brings me to example #2: When communists in Romania urged pastors to declare their allegiance to the government, Richard Wurmbrand’s wife Sabina whispered to him, “Are you going to stand up and wipe the spit from Jesus’ face?”  Wurmbrand explained, “If I do, you will no longer have a husband.”  Sabina replied, “I would rather have a dead husband than a cowardly one.”  Again, all I can say is WOW.  Sound harsh? Well, look at these two couples, Keith & Melody Green and Richard & Sabina Wurmbrand, and I think you’ll find that they were just as much in love, just as devoted to each other, as the inwardly-focused couples you see all around you. . . and they accomplished far more.

The Job 31 man and the Proverbs 31 woman are an ideal couple because, if you’ll notice, they are both self-sufficient. Their character is stable and they know their worth. So first, be proactive and make yourself a 31 man or woman suitable for your 31 counterpart. Don’t chase after temporary relationships when your own character isn’t fully developed.

Second, don’t look for someone who completes you, because then you’ll never be able to stand on your own. Sometimes, for couples like Richard and Sabina, surrendering your partner to God is necessary to fulfill your ultimate purpose as a couple. Instead, look for someone who complements you. Someone you can work with. Strive for a relationship that accomplishes something. One that makes a difference. One that leaves an impact.

A relationship that, ultimately, honors God.

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Published in: on February 9, 2012 at 1:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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