A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
- Proverbs 31:10-12
“Let me here add a word of Christian counsel. To enter upon the marriage union is one of the most deeply important events of life. It cannot be too prayerfully treated. Our happiness, our usefulness, our living for God or ourselves afterwards, are often most intimately connected with our choice. Therefore, in the most prayerful manner, this choice should be made. Neither beauty, nor age, nor money, nor mental powers, should be that which prompt the decision; but 1st, much waiting upon God for guidance should be used; 2nd, a hearty purpose, to be willing to be guided by Him should be aimed after; 3rd, true godliness without a shadow of a doubt, should be the first and absolutely needful qualification, to a Christian, with regard to a companion for life. In addition to this, however; it ought to be, at the same time, calmly and patiently weighed, whether, in other respects, there is a suitableness.
”For instance, for an educated man to choose an uneducated woman, is unwise; for however much on his part love might be willing to cover the defect, it will work very unhappily with regard to the children.”
- George Müller, Answers to Prayer
When Rev. Müller starts his advice, I am in complete agreement with prayer and waiting on the Lord, but then as you read the rest, it seems that he is going to the local butcher shop and picking up a piece of roast for supper.
Note: The above Müller quote is sandwiched into the middle of his narrative for 1859 (thus, the tone of the advice) so that the discussion that follows in the book, about his daughter’s illness, could be logically connected, having been married for some time before then. His only child contracted typhus and nearly died, being on death’s door for nearly two months with both parents praying, as they did to keep the Orphan-House afloat, but somehow more fervently. He said that his daughter’s illness was the greatest of all tests of faith that he endured. Yet, first comes marriage, before the baby carriage. So, he spends a few pages looking back on his courtship of Mary Groves.
It is very odd that he mentions suitability, but the only mention of love is in his example, stating that love cannot overcome unsuitability. And thinking of that example, my wife may not have a college degree, but she has more college credits than many graduates, and her intelligence is extremely high.
I kind of ignored Müller’s advice, although only recently reading the book, but some of the elements were there anyway. My wife had that servant soul that seeks out those people who need her help. She resisted some of the guidance that I felt was coming from the Lord in the early years, and looking back, I was a bit full of myself – rather than solely seeking the Lord and waiting – and she had a strong head knowledge of God, only obtaining a heart knowledge near our 25th wedding anniversary, within days of it.
While we mesh perfectly in a loving relationship, she is an extrovert to my introversion. And my wife laments that neither of us was a money-minded person. We could both spend it. We could both use it to help others. But we never could seem to save any.
This post is scheduled for Valentine’s Day. I wish everyone a wonderful day devoted to love, but understand that there are different types of love. We may have a wonderful romantic relationship with our spouse, but we must, as Christians, weigh that love against our relationship with God to ensure that nothing interferes with our journey of faith. I think that is what needs to be the conclusion from Rev. Müller’s Christian counsel.
And, in a few short days, happy anniversary to my bride of 45 years.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.