Yesterday, night, we finished by determining what a young man must be in order to even begin to think about someone of the opposite sex and entering into a relationship with them. Again, it is something that you earn. It is not yours by some right of privilege. You have to earn this. When you’re awakened to the beauty of the opposite sex, you’re awakened to the desire to have a relationship, then you begin to prepare. You make yourself a man. And you do that primarily by studying the Scriptures, by imitating Jesus Christ, by growing in integrity.
And again, let me say this, one of the most terrifying things for a man is to take to himself a daughter of God, because God loves His daughter.
Now, before we go on, let me just say something that is very, very important. It may sound kind of, just too simple, but you need to hear it, and it’s this. You do not treat a girl like you do one of your friends who’s male. I don’t care if you think she’s your best friend in the world, you do not treat her like you would a boy, like you would a man.
And another thing, guys, what are you doing? I know a lot of guys that say, “Well, my best friend is this girl.” What on earth are you doing? That’s wrong. It’s just flat out wrong.
You say, “Why is it wrong?”
Here’s something you need to understand. A girl does not listen to what you say. She looks at what you do.
You can tell her all day long you are just friends, she is not going to believe you if you keep coming around. And even though you, probably, cannot see it, if she’s still around you and hanging around you as a friend, it’s because that’s the best that she can do right now and she’s hoping your sentiments toward her will change.
You are doing wrong. Okay?
When I talked about, you enter into a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, you enter into a relationship with a girl, that there is an emotional bond there that’s never going to be erased even if there’s no physical contact. Well, it’s even more so for her. It’s even more so for her. Okay.
When you are around girls, you treat them with the utmost dignity, even though, it might even be offensive to them. I mean, honestly.
I want to tell you something. We live in an age where, I discern many times when I’m in certain situations, in the street or whatever, going on a campus, being in a high school, walking through a mall, what has happened to the feminine gender is frightening. The horrible things that I’ve heard them say, the spirit that they carry.
Many times, it’s more dangerous, it’s more frightening than even what you see in young men. I’m telling you guys, our culture is just totally messed up. So that the ideas of purity, innocence, chasteness are just out the window, it’s mocked. Not just among guys, it’s mocked among girls.
But, you are to be different. You are to treat girls completely different. You do not wrestle with them, you do not play with them, you do not punch them, you do not grab them, you do not yell at them. You do not talk to them the way that you may rough house around another guy. God’s will is that you demonstrate the utmost respect and you afford them dignity, even if they do not even care.
You know, I was teaching in Europe last year, and a bunch of girls came into the auditorium, and kind of European techno punk type stuff, and pretty wild. And, I tell you, my heart went out for them because you could tell immediately they didn’t have a father. And it was a lot of them there.
So I asked them this question.
I said, “Girls, how many of you have seen a BBC’s version of Pride and Prejudice, or even Pride and Prejudice with Karen Knightly?”
And most of them raised their hand.
And I said, “After you saw the movie, or while you were viewing the movie, did it just make you feel sad in a way? A melancholy, maybe you couldn’t understand?”
Most of them said, “Yes.”
And I said, “Let me, you know, let me suggest to you what was the reason for the melancholy, is that you live in a culture that has killed beauty. It’s killed dignity, it’s killed innocents. It’s killed manners, and courtesy, and chivalry, and absolutely everything. And here you watch this movie where women dress a certain way, they’re refined in a certain way, they don’t participate in the brutish things of men. They’re concealed, they are, again, innocent.”
“It’s like this,” I said, “Young girls, can you imagine a movie where a girl is sitting there and all of the sudden a guy reaches for a book and while he reaches for the book, she reaches for the book and he happens just to touch her hand lightly, while he’s reaching for the book, and it literally takes her breath away.”
See, we can’t experience that any more can we? Because we’re so, just immoral, and gross, that the touching of a hand can’t cause your heart to beat faster. It can’t take your breath away, because of the culture in which you live. The death of beauty. It’s your job to restore that in your life and in the life of your wife, to restore that. That is your job.
Now, let me share with you something. My boys are, for the most part, always going to buy their clothes from Wal-Mart. And that’s choices we’ve made. They’re not going to look high fashion.
Let’s say that there’s a bunch of young guys, typical collage guys, and they’re all in this room, and a bunch of girls, in a room like this, let’s say. And they’re all just typical. You know, talking to the girls like you would a guy, and just kind of walking around slumped all over, just acting cool, and whatever. All right? You’ve got really nice cars, you’ve got really nice clothes, you look cool. You’ve got all the right stuff.
But then, my two boys walk in. They don’t have the right shoes on, they don’t have the right pants, maybe their hairs not even cut right. They don’t look cool, and they don’t even know your language.
But when they walk in, and you see two guys that stand up straight, two guys that have a seriousness to them, even though there’s a joy, they have a strength to them, in character and body and everything else. And they want over, and they know how to carry on a conversation, they look at the girls, treat them with absolute dignity.
And when they leave, no one’s going to be talking about their car or their clothes. How cool they were, how relevant, how contemporary, or anything else. They’re just going to say, “Man, who were those two guys?” The girls are going to go away going, “I never had anyone talk to me that way.”
See, it’s the idea of Christ-like character. I mean… but I want to tell you this. You act like a biblical man today, and I hate to tell you this. But you act like a biblical man today, don’t expect people to appreciate it. Some people will, some people will hate you. They’ll just hate you. Even though you don’t say anything to them to rebuke them.
Again guys, just to start off, being a Christian is more than just simply listening to Christian music, or reading your Bible. And it’s more than just getting a few doctrines right, and it’s more than witnessing. It’s literally, every aspect of your life being submitted to Scripture, so that you do stick out like a sore thumb.
See, you have been lead to believe that in order to be relevant in the world, you’ve got to be like the world. And that’s just the opposite of what the Bible actually teaches. To be relevant you want to not look like the world. You don’t want to know their stuff. You want to be innocent to their evil. You’re going to stick out like an alternative. You’re going to stick out like something completely different.
It’s unbelievable today how Christianity has totally flip-flopped from it’s biblical purpose. We’re relevant to the world because we’re completely different. But today we’re taught, even by ministers and everything else, that to be relevant you’ve got to look like them, act like them, talk like them, know their lingo, everything else. No! Paul said, “to be innocent to evil.” To be innocent to it. Not even know their game. You don’t care to know.
Now, we talked about what a young man must be in order to think about marriage. But now I want to talk about just the women for a moment.
We’re going to look at Proverbs 31. Why? Because, again, Proverbs 31 was not written to a young girl. Proverbs 31 was written to a young man. Because I want to tell you something guys, the choice you make in a wife is going to determine the blessing or the curse of your entire life. It really is.
Alright, I just want to look first at a few things. First of all, a young woman may pursue a relationship with the opposite sex only after she has embraced adulthood and it’s responsibilities. Okay.
You’re going to be looking for a woman that’s not just beautiful, because she might just have no character whatsoever, but someone who has embraced adulthood. Biblical adulthood, she doesn’t want to be a child. She doesn’t just want to play with her friends. She wants to follow Christ in the context of a family.
The first thing you’ve got to ask yourself, is she mature in the fear of the Lord? Does she fear the Lord? Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Now, I want you to think about that. I mean, you can look, and we can say the same thing about young men, but right now we’re talking about young women. Guys, after a while, a beautiful woman without discretion is like a golden ring is a pig’s snout. It will be the most disgusting, vile thing to you. Because literally, as you grow older, your intimacy in the relationship and everything will continue on, it should grow. But the thing about it is, what’s going to keep your marriage together is her character. To be able to talk to you, to be able to share the same things, to be able to invest in something eternal. Now, she is mature in the fear of the Lord. Also, she recognizes her role as her husband’s help mete to carry out his divine appointment. I know that sounds so wrong, but I’m sorry, that’s why God created Eve after he created Adam, that she would be a help mete. Now, I want you to look at something. You’ve all probably heard about biblical submission, how the husband is the head of the home. What you need to understand though, is authority is given to a man not to build his kingdom. Authority is given to a man to serve his wife and children. He seeks to lead his wife and his children biblically, for their greatest eternal good. Now, if a woman believes, a godly girl believes that she is to submit to her husband and she looks over there and all she sees is an immature boy, who does everything for himself, that is a great way of creating bitterness in her heart. But if she looks over there and sees a husband that his whole focus is this, “Hollowed be Your Name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done.” And he’s using everything he has, all his gifts, his talents, his authority, his place as a husband and father, he’s using it all to bless his wife and children and to bless the church and to bless the world, it’s easy for her to submit to a man like that. So, she needs to realize, in Genesis 2:18 it says, “Then the Lord said, the Lord God said, it is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Someone who comes along side him, and helps him do the work that God gave him. Not… she doesn’t help him become all he can be in this life. She doesn’t help him attain all his selfish goals. She helps him carry out the divine commandments that he’s been given to advance the kingdom of Christ in the world, whether it’s as a missionary or and orthodontist.
He finds his fulfillment in leading. She finds her fulfillment in helping.
Now, something very important that I want you to see. If that young lady does not submit to her father and does not honor her father, she will not submit to you, she will not honor you.
So, it’s one of the things you want to look for. What is her relationship with her father?
Now, she could be a very dignified young lady, but her father is a terrible sinner. So I mean, you need to be very careful here. But if you see a rebellious spirit, which is the boast of people today, run from it. I don’t care how beautiful you think she is, run from it.
Now, also, she must be willing to be a caregiver, teacher and disciplinarian of her children. This woman, she is going to be the mother of your children.
So, do you want a girl who dresses sensually and wants to party all the time? I mean, is that really what you want? Is that what you want for your children? I don’t think so.
A caregiver-Psalms 131:2 it says, “Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me.”
The idea of a child resting upon it’s mother. That she is someone upon whom the children can rest, someone in which they can find comfort and care, someone that you would want to entrust your children to.
She needs to be a teacher and a discipler. Proverbs 6:20 “My son, observe the commandments of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother;” You do not want to marry a fool, and if girls were sitting here right now, I’d be telling them, you do not want to marry a fool-because that fool is going to have to lead you and that fool is going to teach your children. In the same way, you do not want to marry a girl who is just this vain sensual creature without any sense in her head, who can absolutely do nothing except dress-up and party.
You need to marry someone who can manage the home. Now, here’s the thing that you need to be very careful about, and it’s this. Brother Voddie Bauchum and I were teaching one time on a platform together answering questions. And these three girls were kind of angry at some of the things… let’s just say some of the things Voddie said, they couldn’t have been angry at me. And Voddie picked up on it, so did I, you could tell. Well, these three girls were brilliant. I think two of them were studying to be doctors and one of them was studying to be a lawyer. They’re top of their class, everything else.
And the girl basically said, you know the girl said, “Look, we’re going to do this and be mothers.”
And Voddie and I both responded to that in this way.
“I’m sorry, you’re wrong.”
And they said, “What do you mean we’re wrong?”
“Okay, how much, young lady, does the average doctor work a week? The average doctor works some where between seventy-five and eighty-five hours a week, more than double what most men work at an office job. So now how, just mathematically, how do you plan on doing this? You’re either going to be a doctor for a while and you’re going to quit in order to take care of your family, or a few months after your child is born they’re going to be put in preschool, day care. And then kindergarten, then grade school, then middle school, then high school, then collage. And no, you are not going to have been a mother. You are going to be a doctor, who paid someone else to raise the children.”
You need to ask yourself a real strong question here. Listen, my wife is very intelligent, could do a lot of things, could be making money right now. We live on a lower income. My wife does not work. She manages our home. We home school our children. That’s a decision you’re going to have to make.
Everyone says, “No, my wife and I have to work. We both have to work in order to make ends meet.” That’s a lie, in most cases. In most cases, it’s a lie. Your wife and you have to work because you want two new cars, and you want to live in a house far too big and far too expensive and far too nice, you want to wear certain clothes and you want to go out to eat all the time. I mean, don’t kid yourself. You’re going to have to make these decisions. How are you going to live?
And really, some guys, and I’m not mad at them, but some guys should just say, “I’m not going to marry. I want to be selfish and I want to play with my friends.” Go ahead, do that until your eighty years old. But don’t bring a woman into it!
And some couples, they should just go out and remove every possibility from themselves of having children. Why? Because they think they can have their cake and eat it too. Well, I’m here to tell you, you cannot unless someone leaves you several million dollars. Forget it, you can’t! You’ve got to make some hard choices. And some couples should just make the choice that they’re never going to have children. And I don’t even know why some couples have children. Because immediately when the children are born they turn them over to somebody, for someone else to raise.
And so these are big important questions. You’re wife is going to have to be a caregiver, she’s going to have to be a teacher, discipler, and she’s going to have to be a disciplinarian.
If she herself is not disciplined, how is she going to discipline the children?
Proverbs 29:15, “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.”
Most children bring shame to their mother, because their mother does not discipline them. Their father does not discipline them. You live in an age of no discipline and that’s why they run wild. That’s why, in the end, parents end up almost hating their children by the time their children are six years old. Because they do not discipline them.
These are things that you’ve got to think about when you’re going to marry a girl. See most of you, probably if you’re like normal guys, you’re just thinking about “is she pretty, is she nice, do I like being around her?”
Look, you’re going to make an enterprise with her. If you’re the boss, a recruiter, or you’re hiring people for a company, you don’t go in and hire somebody because they have a nice personal appearance and you kind of like being around them. You don’t do that. Why? You’re building something that is going to require integrity, talent, ability, everything, on the part of that person. It’s the same way when you’re looking for a wife.
You’re not going to sit there and go, “she’s cute.” She may be a moron. She may be so vain, that you couldn’t even begin, you know, to even deal with her vanity. She doesn’t even know… she can’t cook, she doesn’t know how to run a house, she knows absolutely nothing.
But see, that’s what they’re taught today. Isn’t it? Most girls are taught, that if you want to be a homemaker, you are a loser. A total loser. If all you want to be is a wife and raise children, you are a loser.
I submit to you, our entire country is a loser because no one’s raising our children. And we’re going back to that same thing I talked about last night, with Russo and all those others, we’re just paying taxes so the government can raise our children. And that’s why, after our children are in that mess for a few years, we don’t even know who they are anymore.
You were taught things, and continue to be taught things, that to your grandfather would have be an unspeakable abomination. And you’re taught, and forced to believe every day, “it’s okay.” What do you think is going to happen to your children? The next generation, what will they be taught?
Sooner or later, you’ve got to stand up and say, “Look, the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket. I’m not turning my children over to them. I am going to raise up a family, a godly heritage to the Lord, no matter what it costs me with regard to career, or anything else. I am going to serve my God by serving my family and serving my church. And I am going to…”
Sooner or later, guys, you’re going to have to make this decision several times in your life. I’ve had to make it, not only in secular world, but also in the religious world. Sooner or later, you’ve got to say, “Stop the carousel. I’m getting off. I’m not playing this game any more. I’m going to follow Christ.” And these are hard decisions.
Now, another thing I want to look really quick, she is the manager of the household. Okay? She’s the manager of the household. She can do organization, financing, cooking, handling the home. Everything about the home, she can handle it.
If you ever want to read a neat book, it’s “Marriage to a Difficult Man”. It’s about Mrs. Edwards, the wife of Jonathan Edwards. I mean, all that guy did was study. You know he didn’t even know what was going on most of the time.
Well, I think their story is told that one time he said, “You know, honey, we’ve got to bring the crops in.”
She said, “Husband, we did that two weeks ago.”
She recognized, that he was given a tremendous gift, unlike very few men that ever lived on the planet. She molded her life around, not him, but what God was doing in him. She recognized that he was one of the greatest Christian scholars that ever walked the planet. And she said, he needs to be locked away in that office thirteen hours a day, or whatever, studying and writing. She took care of everything.
I am not the man Jonathan Edwards is, but praise God I have a wife who manages the home. She manages just almost everything about it.
That’s what you’re looking for guys. That’s what you’re looking for.
And so, now I want to look at just a few things from Proverbs really quick. And again, you can have these notes. I can give them to Doug.
Lessons from Proverbs. Proverbs 31:27, “She looks well to the ways of her household.” That’s one of the number one things you need to think about.
Here is a girl that looks to her household, she looks to her home.
Now, just a few things about her. We’re going to look at fourteen things. I’m just going to read them off. Her husband trust in her to manage the home and the family-verse 11. She does him good and not evil -verse 12. She is industrious -verse 16 and 24. She is the very opposite of a sluggard. One of the ways you can discover whether or not you need to marry a girl, when they have open house or whatever in the dorms, I guess now it’s always open house, you just go look at her dorm room. If it’s a pig sty, run away from her. And I would tell her the same thing about you too. Okay?
Guys, let me tell you something. It is biblical, it would be biblical for me, to pull off my belt and whip you. Okay? If I ever go to your home when you come home from school, and you go back to see your mom and dad, and she has to do your wash, pick up your underwear, and make your bed, you deserve to be horse whipped.
Your mother was not brought into this world to do your wash. As soon as a young man is able, he aught to be picking up his room, cleaning his room, making his bed, doing his wash, and everything else. Mom is not his servant.
You’re wife is not your servant. She will manage the home, and she will do wash and laundry and things like this, but she should not be picking up your underwear. Okay? So, she is going to be the very opposite of the sluggard. You need to be the very opposite of the sluggard too.
She delights in her work-verse 13. She arises while it is still night -verse 15. Her lamp does not go out at night-verse 18. She does not eat the bread of idleness-verse 27. She is a person who’s industrious. She is serious about serving God in the context of the family. She is knowledgeable in practical duties. I mean, and this is not the fault of the young ladies. This is the fault of our culture and parents.
But, I mean, there are girls right now that are, you know, they’re on campus right now, that could… they couldn’t boil water. They couldn’t sew. They couldn’t manage a home. They couldn’t do anything.
And be very careful about your Christian ministries. Because you’ll take a girl like that and try to get her involved in discipleship. What? She can’t even do the basic things of a human being and you want her disciplining someone else because she’s got some of your discipleship material?
We need to realize, this Christianity thing is supposed to make it’s way down, folks, into everything. Okay? Into the way we live. In teaching people how to do what’s necessary to sustain a family, to sustain a family.
Guys, family is God’s will. It is God’s will. There are only a few people in history that have the gift of celibacy. By and large, family is God’s will. God instituted the family before He did the church. Doesn’t mean the family’s more important than the church, but the church cannot function without the family. And the family cannot function without the church.
And this world hates marriage, it hates family, it hates the role of men and it hates the role of women. That’s why men are applauded for being feminine and women today are applauded for being masculine.
Now, she’s knowledgeable in practical duties. Her mother’s taught her something.
She has strength of character and body-verse 17 and verse 25.
She has prepared for the future. She has something of a “bring-it-on” mentality-verses 21, 25. She’s cared for her home. She’s prepared everything that needs to be done. And she kind of stands there and says, “Bring it on, I’m ready.”
She goes beyond what the world would call beauty. She is beautiful. And she may be physically beautiful. But her beauty is inward.
You’re going to discover something. That after a while, it’s not going to be the physical beauty of your wife that’s going to make or break you. It’s going to be her character. And even when she gets older, you’ll sit there and one day when she’s walking with Christ, unusually in the power of the Holy Spirit one day, you’re going to recognize her physical appearance hasn’t changed a bit, but her spiritual appearance is changed, and it’s caused you to love her like you’ve never loved her before.
In the end, guys, the beauty has to be inward.
Now, I want you to look at something, verse twenty-one and twenty-two. Her family is not just clothed, but her family is clothed with scarlet. Not just her family, but she herself. She’s not a person who just is this miserly person, that every thing’s poor in the home and she’s just pinching pennies.
No, she’s a person whose able to take what she has and even make beauty out of it.
Let me give you an example, guys. This is very important. Several, several years ago, might have been fifteen, twenty years ago, I don’t know, I was looking at a TV. I was looking at the news and they came on with this guy. He had a typical home in the suburbs, kind of just an average home, probably built in the 60’s or something. He had two cars. He had a boat. He wasn’t in debt. And at that time he made something like twenty-one thousand dollars a year, which people were saying, “This is impossible. The guy has a home. The guy has two cars. The guy has a boat. They’re all paid for and he makes twenty-one thousand dollars a year. This is impossible.” And then they started looking at his life and it wasn’t impossible.
A godly person, now listen to me, can take half the money of a wealthy person and do far more with it and prosper much, much more.
I’ll give you an example. You think you need something, so you go in debt. A godly person will wait upon the Lord and pray. And often times, God will provide what he needs without him ever havening to go in debt.
He won’t compete with other people with regards to homes and cars, and everything else. He saves his money. He can… you know, one of the things that I like to do is find ways to just… well, I’ll give you an example.
My wife lived in Peru with me, she’s lived in tents, you name it. She’s done every kind of sacrifice you can imagine. When we came to the states, I wanted to make her a kitchen, a really nice kitchen. Because she loves to cook. She just, she’s a great cook. And so I got her a stainless steel stove, stainless steel microwave, fridge. Put this big counter, everything.
People would say, “how’d you do it?” I did it over the period of a year. Two times, each week, I went to Lowe’s to Scratch and Dint, where they have things that have a scratch behind it, no one will see it , and they’re half what they would normally cost. It took an entire year to do it. But I build her entire kitchen with less money than it would have taken most people to buy just junk and put it in the kitchen. Praying and asking God, “open up the door, please provide something.”
You see? It’s the same way with clothing, it’s the same way … a godly woman. My wife is doing this study right now on coupons. Because she found this lady who goes, literally, and buys something like, you know, a couple hundred dollars worth of groceries every week, and pays something like forty-six cents. Because she’s got these huge books of coupons and everything.
That’s what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about people who live miserly and they always look bad and they have nothing. I’m talking about godly people, who God takes the little that they do have, because they’ve given away, because they’ve made hard choices not to make money because of their family, things like that. But God can prosper them above what He prospers the wealthy. He can! He most certainly can!
Now, she is charitable-verse 20.
She is marked by kindness and wisdom-verse 26.
She is fruitful-verse 14.
She delights in her gain and it encourages her. She sets about with a home business.
Her husband is honored by the most respected men of the city because of her-verse 23.
She fears the Lord-verse 30.
To end this, let me just say this. Do not marry a Cinderella. Do not marry some beauty queen. You may marry a girl that is gorgeous. You may marry a girl physically beautiful.
I can assure you this is one of the ways in which you know the girl is God’s girl for you, is you will be attracted to her. You will think she’s beautiful. She will be the girl you want to be with.
But realize his guys, you can be carried away by your sensuality and you can follow after a girl that is death. In the Scripture, there are sensual girls all through out the book of Proverbs, and the Bible describes them as the grave, as the pit, as death, as destruction. And they really can be.
Now, I want us to look at preparation prior to entering into a relationship with courtship.
First of all, every aspect of our life, in every aspect of our life, every season is God’s will and we must be content. Sometimes my little boys will say, “I wish I was sixteen, I wish I was this, I wish I was that…”, and I have to point out to them, that it wrong. That’s even sin. That we are to be content in every stage of our lives that God has given us. Every stage.
Right now in your singleness, you ought to be content. What ought you be doing? You shouldn’t be chasing girls, you shouldn’t be doing this and that and all these crazy things. With this free time in your singleness, you should be preparing for marriage, you should be serving the Lord in a way that you can as a single person, you should be studying hard. You should be putting back money, you should be preparing. This is a time to prepare.
Look what the world tells you, “You’re single, you’re free. Waste it!” Just think about this.
“You’re single, you’re free. Waste it!” Play ex-box until three in the morning, go out partying, run around with your friends, and in the end you’ve accomplished nothing! We’re a culture of fun. And in the end, there’s nothing to show for it.
Use this time, completely opposite of what the world tells you, use it to invest.
Now, I want us to look at areas of preparation. This is important.
First of all, spiritually. I like to say, “if you think John the Baptist wrote the gospel of John, than you are not spiritually prepared to be married.”
If you don’t know the Scriptures, you should not think at all about the opposite sex.
Intellectually-if you have books with only big pictures in them, you’re probably not ready to marry.
Now, guys, spiritually we need to be ready, intellectually we need to be ready to marry.
What do you want to hand down to your children? Do you literally want to be this person who knows nothing, so that then you have to hand your children off to some government institution, to fill them up with everything they believe?
You must be a person who desires to know. Most people, after they graduate from college, never read a book. You need to develop yourself intellectually. You need to read the classics. You need to think about using that mind of yours for a purpose and to grow in every area of your life. Spiritually, intellectually, emotionally.
Now, let me just say this. If you throw a temper tantrum, because you’re parents will not let you go to the mall, if you’re depressed because you do not have the latest version of ex-box, or you lock yourself in a room and cry because it looks like the barber used a weed eater to cut your hair and it doesn’t look nice, you’ve got some serious problems.
But I’ve… the reason I give these illustrations? I’ve seen this. I’ve seen this out of collage students. Guys, they’re emotionally just little girls and they’re always crying to one another and sharing feelings. That’s not who you are, you were taught to do that. You were taught to think this way. But you were not taught by Scripture to think this way.
Practically-you know, guys here’s the thing. Do you know how to use jumper cables? Can you fix something? I mean, did you know that I just, I don’t know where I saw this or if someone told it to me, but Fortune Five Hundred companies and things… now again, I need to research this better, but if it is true, it’s a good illustration. There’s a lot of companies that before, they wouldn’t look at somebody unless they had a college degree. Now, they’re not doing that anymore because they recognize the guys coming out of college know absolutely zero.
And even some of the bigger companies are hiring guys from technical schools, because at least they can do something. At least they know something. They didn’t go to school and just get a certain degree and party all the time, or just run around with their friend’s, or just learn nothing.
You see, guys, there needs to be… you need to be developed practically. I mean, what can you do? There’s kind of a fox hole mentality here. If there was a war, would I jump in a fox hole with you? Or would I run past and look for someone else?
Are you the type of person that someone would say, “Yah, he’ll figure it out. He’ll do it. He’ll accomplish it. If he doesn’t understand it, he’ll just figure it out. He’s got the wisdom to do it.”? You know.
And these are things that are no longer developed in manhood. I mean, our father’s aren’t teaching us how to hammer a nail, fix plumbing, work on a car, or anything else anymore. The practical aspects of life.
I mean, let’s think about it for a moment. If some kind of apocalyptic thing happened, and you were just out there on your own, whether it’s throw out in the woods or thrown out in an urban setting, which literally war was going on, what would you do? Hide in a closet and cry? Get together and weep to one another and have a group hug or sing kumbaya together? What would you do?
You know here’s the thing, someone’s got to get up and say, “look we’re going to die. We’re going to eat, we’ve got to go kill something. If we’re going to make it through this, we’re going to have to use our head.”
You see, we’ve lost so much of this. So much of this!
My dad was just an incredible mathematician and things like that. He worked with union carbine and did a lot of things with, did some things with even with his face program, and things like that. And I can remember my dad sitting down there when I was a kid with a slide ruler and just working out calculations like you could not believe.
Now, we can do all those in the blink of an eye because we have a computer, but could we actually do the calculations?
You know there’s a practical aspect in life guys. One of the things that I do with my boys, every Christmas, every birthday, I go to Sears and I get each of them a lifetime guarantee Craftsman tool. So that when they leave my home, they’re going to have all the tools they need to work on things.
See we don’t think about that anymore, do we? We go to some, you know, Toys ‘R Us and buy our boys all kinds of silly things, that tear up in about a day. You know? Buy them a wrench. Let them take the car apart. That type of thing. Let them learn something. You see?
And guys, I’m telling you this, because even though I was raised on a farm, raised on a horse ranch, cattle ranch. Honestly, everything I know how to do I know how to do simply because I watched men do it. No one taught me. They should’ve taught me. We should teach our sons.
And what’s great, you know what’s fantastic about having children? Is you get to educate yourself. You think to yourself, “Man, I’ve got to teach my kid how to do this. I don’t even know how to do this.” So you learn how to do it and you teach your kid.
But see, you’re not going to be able to do that if you’re a dislocated father, whose just abandoned the family, because all you do is bring home the money. A coach teaches your kid how to be tough, teachers teach your kid all about ethics, world view and everything…isn’t that scary? And then you take your son to Sunday School for thirty minutes so he can draw pictures of Noah’s ark.
And then you wonder, “Why can’t we combat culture?” This is why.
Now, the young man… here’s some of the things I want you to see.
First of all… we’re going to have to just skip this part because I want to get down to another part. I want to look at the principles of courtship before we close this.
First of all, in the principles of courtship, the relationship is initiated by the young man. It is not initiated by the girl.
Now, right now, if this was on film and Oprah got a hold of it, I’d probably be on the Oprah Winfrey show tomorrow and they’d all be laughing at me. I don’t care.
If it was on CNN right now, it’d be a cause of scandal throughout the nation because I said that, “a young man aught to initiate the relationship.”
But that’s what the Bible teaches. It says this is Genesis 2:24, “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother…” In the Scriptures, women who pursue men are considered immoral; Proverbs 7. Women who pursue men are considered immoral. And every situation when you see women pursuing men, it’s immoral. It’s looked down upon.
The Scripture… it doesn’t say the young girl shall leave her father and mother. It says, the young man shall leave his father and mother and pursue the girl.
You’ve probably all heard the statement, “Her hand in marriage”. There’s a reason for it. It actually comes from a biblical belief. That until that girl, for that girl’s life from the time she’s born, she’s under the authority, care and protection of her father, until the day her father takes her hand and puts her hand in the hand of her husband. And at that moment, she’s under his care and protection. She’s never to be wondering around in the world.
I want you to think about something for a moment. Am I going to take my little girl, who I’ve trained, who I’ve guarded in purity, who I’ve taught modesty, who I’ve poured my life into and my wife has poured her life into, would I actually throw her into a university like yours? Not on your life would I do that. I know what will happen to her on that campus. I know what young guys, your age, will say to her. I know the approaches they’ll make. I would never throw my daughter into such a disgusting situation.
Now, that sounds hard. I’m not talking about you, I don’t know you. But I know what goes on on college campuses. To throw my daughter in that cesspool, there’s no way, no way. A bunch of brutish animals, young men driven by lust, with no sense, no wisdom. There is no way my daughter will be put in that situation.
You say, “Well, is she going to go to college?” If the schooling is right at home, she’ll know more literature and things when she graduates at twelfth grade from our home than she will if she graduated from your college. I mean, how many classics are you guys reading?
And she will be under our care. And then one day God will bring a fine young man. That’s my desire. And she will never know of the evil that everyone tells me she’s supposed to know about. Because her husband will protect her innocents.
Do you see how wrong the world is? It’s wrong guys. Take our little daughters and throw them into the wolves. It’s terrible.
Now, next, the young man should prayerfully evaluate his own motives as to why he’s attracted to a certain young lady.
Lamentations 3:40 says, “Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord.”
Why are you attracted to this young lady? Are you attracted to biblical beauty or are you attracted to sensuality? Sensuality proceeds from a wicked heart.
Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, evil, slander, pride and foolishness. ”
You walk down the street and there is a girl dressed to kill. I mean, she is dressed to kill. To the point that if you actually are a Christian, the moment she passes your path, you’re going to have to put your head down and turn away from her. And if you don’t, you’re going to be snared. You know exactly what I’m talking about.
Alright, I can tell you she has a wicked heart. I don’t care if she loves puppies. I don’t care.
She has a wicked heart. Because out of that heart of hers is coming that sensuality, and when she’s literally parading her body in front of everyone she can, to capture somebody.
That’s not the kind of woman you want to marry, my friend. It’s not.
Now, sensuality is a deed of the flesh-Galatians 5:19, “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity and sensuality.”
It’s pitiful when you go to some churches and you literally have to pray. Me, as a preacher. I know when I go into some churches to preach, I have to prepare my heart. Because, I know when I look out over the congregation, I’m going to see people dressed sensuously. That’s pathetic.
But, you’ve probably never heard a sermon on clothing in any of the churches you attend. Because immediately, even some of you would probably jump up and say, “That’s legalism.” Because you’ve been trained, that if anybody talks about a command or the manifest will of God, you’re first declaration is to be, “That’s legalism.”
Do you know what you’re proving? You’re proving just what Jesus said, “Depart from me. I never knew you, those of you who claim to be my disciples but you lived as though I never gave you a law to obey.”
See how dangerous it is to be in contemporary Christianity? It’s extremely dangerous.
So, you need to ask yourself-are you attracted to biblical beauty or sensuality.
Also, are you attracted to virtue or are you attracted to personality?
Now, we’re not saying it’s bad to have a personality, but personality without virtue is extremely dangerous.
I know wicked preachers who can charm you to no end. Can take you in, grab a hold of you, pull you in, and you think they’re they greatest things since John the Baptist. When in fact, they’re wicked. They’ve just got a tremendous personality that can overpower people. Okay.
Proverbs 31:10 says, “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”
You’re not wanting just a flashy personality in a woman. You’re wanting virtue.
Now, when you think that you’re prepared, that you have the right motives, that this is the girl for you, what should you do? The young man should seek out godly counsel from the biblical authorities over him.
First of all, from his father. Even if you’re father is an unbeliever, you should honor your father and go to him, even if he laughs and don’t want to do it, at least make the attempt. Go to him and say, “Father, do you think that I am prepared to marry?”
Proverbs 4:1, “Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding.” You need to go to your father.
But secondly, and especially if your father drops the ball and just doesn’t care, you need to go to your elders.
1 Peter 5:5, “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
You need to go to godly, godly men, preferably elders in the church, and say, “Do you think I’m prepared?”
The problem is again, you go to these mega-churches and most elders won’t even know if you’re a member or not. Do you see how things just start declining?
Go to other godly Christians.
Proverbs 11:14, “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory.”
And if all the authorities in your life say, “Look, you’re too young, this, that.” Don’t follow country music that tells you to go ahead and marry. If all the authorities in your life tell you, “Look, you’re not ready.”, that should be some serious red flags for you and you should maybe put on the brakes. Or if they tell you she is not ready, you should maybe put on the brakes for awhile.
You say, “Well, what if I miss my opportunity?” If God’s sovereign, you won’t miss your opportunity.
Now, what I usually do is if I am, as a leader, if I tell a young man, “You’re not ready to marry.”, and his father has dropped the ball totally, he’s not a member of the church or anything, the father, then I don’t just have the right of telling the young man, “You’re not ready.” I have to tell him, “You’re not ready and let me try to work out something with the elders and see if we can make you ready.”
So, you always want to give somebody hope, don’t you? Because a lot of guys, they just need some help. They just need some help.
Now, the young man, if his father and the elders of the church say, “Yah, this is a great thing, you’re ready, she seems to be ready.”, then the young man should seek permission from the authorities in the young woman’s life. He should seek to honor her father and mother.
Now, I just want to throw some principles at you, that are principles.
First of all, the young woman’s father has the right to deny permission immediately. Exodus 22:16 and 17, Numbers 30:3-5. You could go to the father and say, “I want to, you know I’d like to, you know, I’ve been praying about your daughter and I would like to, you know, maybe court her.” The father has the right to say no. And if you go, “What did she say?”, you right there proved that you’re not ready to marry her.
When I wanted to marry my wife, I was thirty-one years old. Her father said no. So I honored him and after six months, he doesn’t know the Lord, after six months he told my wife’s grandparents, he said, “I’m going to go ahead and say yes, because I cannot believe that young man obeyed me. I mean, who would do that today? Who would obey me? He must be… I mean, I don’t understand his Christianity and everything, but I mean, he’s thirty-one years old and there in a completely different country, he didn’t have to submit to me. He did. He can marry her.”
Now, if the father approves of the young man, he should not communicate his approval unto him until he has his daughter’s approval.
For example, if you’re the greatest guy in the world and the father thinks, man you are, you know, you’re the apostle Paul made over. He just thinks you’re the greatest thing in the world. He does not tell you, as a father, “Yes, I would love to see you court my daughter.” He doesn’t say that. Why? It’s not about the dad. If he approves it, he should just look at you and say, “You know, let me pray about it for two weeks.” He doesn’t say, “Let me go talk to my daughter.” And I’m going to tell you why in a minute. He just says, “Hey, let me pray about it for a couple weeks and then I’ll call you up and we’ll set up another time to talk.”
Why? He goes back and he talks to his daughter. If he mentions your name to the daughter and she throws up, it’s probably, you don’t have a very good chance.
But if he says to the daughter, “Look, so-and-so came and wants to court you”, and she jumps up on her bed and starts doing flips and sings the hallelujah chorus, then you’re probably doing okay.
But if she says, if she says to her father, she says, “Dad, I don’t want to court that guy. I have no feelings for that guy”, then here’s what dad does. Dad goes back in two weeks and… if she says that, he may tell her, “Look, pray about it for a week. Okay? Just pray about it.” She prays about it, after week she says, “Dad, I just don’t want to court that guy.” So he goes back, calls up the boy and says, “Come visit me.” The boy comes and he says, “I’ve prayed about it for two weeks and I’ve made my decision, the answer’s no.”
Now, look what the father’s doing. He doesn’t say, “I went and talked to my daughter and she said no.” Because as the father, it’s his responsibility to protect her from any conflict with a man. So, the father takes the brunt of it. So if the young man’s angry, let him be angry at dad. Okay?
So he says, “Look, I’ve prayed about it, the answers no.” And if the young man, again, says, “What did your daughter say?”, say, “Son, you just proved why my answer’s no. Look at you. You can’t even respect me, you won’t respect my daughter.” See I’m protecting my daughter. I stand between my daughter and some young guy.
See, that doesn’t happen on your campus, does it? Girls are in conflict all the time with guys. No dad to protect them and the government’s sure not going to do it, school’s not going to do it, and the churches aren’t going to do it. So she’s there wandering all alone.
Now, but if my daughter says, “Yes Daddy, I mean Daddy, I’ve just been praying about this guy, this is absolutely, yes. Yes, Dad.” So I call up the young man and I say, “Come visit me.” He comes visit me and I sit down with him and I said, “I have approved of this. Now, here’s what we’re going to do. I would like to talk to your father.”
Now, this is a perfect case scenario, because some families would just laugh at this if I called them. But in a perfect case scenario, what I’d do… your father was a Christian and was dedicated to the things of God, I would call your father and I’d say, “We need to sit down and talk. You and I, your wife and my wife, we need to sit down and talk.”
And someone says, “What if they live across the country?” Dude, take a plane. This is important. I mean, you’ll spend money to go to Walt Disney World. I mean, this is important.
And why are we going to sit down together? We’re going to sit down together to find a way to bless our children, to line out a plan where they can get to know one another without falling, without falling. We’re going to build a relationship, because we may be in-laws, we’re going to be united in purpose. We’re going to pray together, we’re going to build parameters of protection and we’re going to provide accountability.
Now, I know this sounds so different than anything you’ve probably ever heard before. But look at the alternative.
Now, let me share with you, to bring to an end, some warnings against sexual immorality. The most dangerous aspect of any relationship between two people of the opposite sex is sexual immorality. That’s it.
Now, I want you to understand something… if you don’t agree with me, you’re wrong, and if you don’t agree with me, you are going to really hurt yourself. So, that’s just a… so that you know.
Here it is, it is impossible to be alone with someone of the opposite sex for any extended period of time, without falling into some form of sexual immorality.
I had a guy call me up one time, he was getting ready to go to seminary, and I knew him, he’s a godly guy. I knew his… the girl he was dating, I knew her a little bit, she’s a godly girl. And he calls me up one day and…I mean, this guy’s a man’s man, and he’s crying.
He’s like, “I can’t take it any more.”
I said, “Man, what is wrong.”
He said, “You know, I pray, I read the Word. She prays, reads the Word. But when we get together, sometimes we make these commitments that we’re not going to touch, we’re not going to hug, we’re not going to do this. And then one thing leads to another and in the end… You know, she’s confused. She feels shameful, I feel like an idiot who can’t lead a woman. And we do this, and we’ve fallen. We haven’t gone all the way, as they say. But we’ve done things that’s just caused such confusion to the relationship.”
And I said, “Well, what do your college counselors tell you to do?” Because he had a lot of guys counseling on campus.
And he said, “Well, they tell me that, you know, this is tough, I need to pray, I need to read the Word and I need to really, you know, it’s difficult.”
And I said, “You use my name and you go back and tell them, they need to stop counseling people. And you tell them to come talk to me, if they want to. But I’m telling them to stop counseling people.”
Look, God does not command you to pray to be strong enough to do something He told you not to do. It’s just a plain fact. If you’re with a girl long enough, that you’re attracted to, and you’re isolated enough, alone enough, you are going to fall.
Now, that’s just all that’s going to happen. I don’t… it’s not a question of, “Are you strong enough?” The Bible answers that. No, you’re not strong enough, so don’t do it. Do not be alone in dangerous places with that girl, because you are going to fall! And when you do, she’s going to feel ashamed because she’s not acted like a godly young lady. You’re going to feel ashamed and embarrassed because you’ve led her. It’s your fault.
It’s your fault. I don’t care what happens, it’s your fault. You did it. You’re the man, you’re the leader, it’s your fault. You led her in a way that hurt her. And so you’re the one that’s going to marry this girl. How are you going to lead her when you get married? You see, it is your fault young man.
But, here’s the thing that no one’s told you. No one can do it. No one can do it. No one, no one.
Let’s say a preacher comes to preach at your church and they’ve given him a hotel room with a kitchen in it and things like that, because he’s going to be there a week and a half preaching. Okay.
Well, let’s say that you’re on staff at the church and you and the pastors, the staff and the pastors, go pick him up one day at twelve o’clock to eat lunch. And you knock on the door of the hotel room, and one of the single mom’s, very attractive single mom in your church, opens the door. And you’re like…
And then all of the sudden the preacher comes to the door and goes, “Hey, how’s it going?”
You’re going…”What… what on earth is going on here?”
He says, “Well, come on in. We’re making cookies. We just finished a batch of cookies.”
“You’re doing what?”
“We’re making cookies.”
And you see the cookies on the tray, you see them on the table. You know, they both have got aprons on.
Do you realize, the meetings are over? You’re going to cancel the meetings. Why? You’re going to look at that preacher and say, “What on earth are you doing? You’re alone in your hotel room with a lady from our church, whose a single mom. The meetings are over. Furthermore, we’re going to have to go call up your board and we’re going to have to talk to your church. This is a scandal!”
But he says, “But, all I’m doing is being alone with her.”
“Can’t you see how dangerous that is! You have a wife, you have children. She has a testimony.”
Alright, the preacher, let’s say, is fifty-five years old. He’s got a wife and family, a whole lot more to loose than you do. He’s fifty-five years old, he’s a lot more tired than you are. But we think it’s absolutely insane, criminal, it would destroy his ministry, if we catch him alone with a woman, even if they’re making cookies. Because we realize how dangerous it is and how quickly their testimony can be destroyed. So, we see that is almost insane, but then you guys will do it everyday. You’ll date a girl and be alone with her all the time and not see that you’re in the same kind of danger. You can destroy her life and yours.
Now guys, this is very, very important. The fierce nature of sexual immorality is portrayed throughout Scripture.
We are told to wrestle with the devil-in Ephesians 6:12 and 13. To resist him and he will flee from us-James 4:7. But in the matter of youthful lust, we are commanded to flee.
Isn’t that amazing? We are commanded to do hand-to-hand combat with the devil. But when it comes to the youthful lust inside of you, in your flesh, you’re told to run from it. You’re told to run from it and if you don’t, you will be in a great deal of trouble.
Now, I want to close by saying this. When I teach on any form of courtship or something, it’s always scary and I’ll tell you why. There are people who have written a lot of books on courtship, and they get more stuff from just the Victorian Era than they get from Scripture. There aren’t a lot of principles, but there are some. Okay? And it’s going to take wisdom on your part, and godliness, to figure out exactly how those principles apply.
Let me give you an example. Exactly how you’re to address your father and hers, the Bible doesn’t tell us. The Bible does just tell us though that you should honor your father and you should honor hers. Okay?
The Bible tells us, that it is extremely dangerous for you to be alone with her. But, you know, that doesn’t mean that you’re never alone with her. One of the best things to do… and again, in the house of an elder, in the house of a mom, a dad, or if you’re far away from both your parents, and your church is really big and elders don’t have time, of just finding a very, very godly Christian couple, who can chaperone you. That you can go over to their house and they take it on themselves as a ministry. That they will allow you to sit there in their house, they’ll even make a dinner for you, things like that, and then they’ll leave the room. They’ll allow you to talk and be with the girl and get to know her.
You’ve just got to be creative, guys. You don’t want to be legalistic, and you don’t want to get into something so strict that it’s not biblical, it’s just suffocating. But you do… if you’ll just follow a few biblical, wise principles, you will save yourself from harm.
Honor her father and her mother. Honor your father and mother. Look for the counsel of godly men and women. Do not be driven by lust, or vanity, or outward beauty in selecting a mate. Look for someone with Christ likeness, who’ll be able to be a wife and raise your children. When you get to know this person, do it in a way that will protect you from falling, because if you do get alone with her, you will fall. You will.
And these are just some things that you need to work through.
Now, just talking to some of you, some of you are much farther along than I was when I was your age. Okay? I’m proud of that. I’m glad to see that.
And exactly the things I told you here, I don’t want you to swallow it hook, line and sinker.
I want you to take this and say, “Okay, I have really, kind of been shaken up a bit. I’ve heard things I’ve never heard before. I need to ask myself, I need to look at these Scriptures and say, ‘Is this true?’, and if it is, how does this apply to me?”
And when you come up with your answers, you need to go to other people and say, “Hey, am I just copping out here, or is this right? Am I being too radical here, or is this right? You know, what do you think about this?”
And guys, look, if you guys just go with the flow of western evangelicalism, you’re not going to amount to much. I’ll tell you that right now. If you just go with the flow of American Christianity, you’re just going to be, you know, do your little Sunday thing, be a little bit cleaner than everybody else at the office, and really never make an impact on the world. You turn your children over to be raised by other people, and all these different things. You’re really not going to make that big of an impact on the world.
To follow Jesus Christ, in the United States of America, may be more difficult than any other place on the planet, if you really do it. If you really do it.
Alright, let’s pray.
Father, thank you for this time. And I pray, dear God, that You would… Lord, we’ve had to hurry through so many things, but I pray that You would use this as a catalyst to get the young men in the Word, to seek out these things, and to be careful not to interpret the Word of God through the lens of their culture. Lord, help them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.