Saturday, March 01, 2008

For Young Ladies: Are You Ready for Marriage? (The Harm of a Critical Spirit in Marriage)

More daughters are making commitments to stay home under the protection of their parents until they marry. Should all women marry? The Bible says very little about "singleness," yet there were single women at the time. Most unmarried women were either still too young and living with their families at home, or widowed. From the beginning, God intended for a man to have a "helper suitable for him." He gave Adam a wife, and said, "It is not good for man to be alone."

While it is encouraging that so many young women today desire to get married and have children and manage a home, there are some things that they need to be aware of first. Just because a girl wants to get married, does not mean she is qualified to be a wife. Wise parents will be able to discern whether or not their daughters are really ready for the responsibility of marriage.

Before you are qualified to be a wife, you may need to get rid of some unnecessary things. Losing these things will set you free of many troubling thoughts. These things, which are common amongst young girls are: a critical attitude, a self-centered life, a pushy personality (bossiness), and arrogance.

Girls who marry before ridding themselves of these unnecessary parts of their personalities, will make themselves and their husbands quite unhappy. No man likes to live with someone who criticises everything and every one. Some girls feel an obligation, in the name of honesty, to find fault with everything. This is seen daily on blog comments and message boards. Some girls are trained from youth to argue, so that it becomes a natural habit for them.

While a critic and a sour-puss can merely disturb ordinary people, she will destroy her own marriage. A husband likes to have a companion that is easy to be with, and not always harping and not always looking for something to be unhappy about. The Bible says, "A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands." Marriage is like a house that is being built. Goodness, kindness and deference will build up a marriage, but criticism, bossiness and arrogance tear down any relationship. It is even more devastating for a marriage.

I have tried in vain to forget a young couple we met when we were a young married couple. Like most couples, we looked forward to knowing other young couples and enjoying each other's company. However, it was impossible to have a flowing and edifying conversation with them. The husband described his life at work, while his wife corrected every little thing. If he said he went to work at 9 o'clock, she said "You mean a little before nine." When he said the color of his new jacket was "blue," she corrected him and said, "No it is more green than blue. Kind of a blue-green." When he said he really liked to watch basketball on t.v., she quickly reminded him that he spent more time actually watching football. Occasionally he would insist on his point, so it would take another 5 minutes for the couple to resume normal conversation, as they argued out every detail til one of them gave up. It was agony to visit with this couple. The wife was not a wicked person at all. She simply had no knowledge of the harm she was doing. She had not been taught a better way.

One of the purposes of growing up in a family, with a mother and a father, is to prepare you for marriage. You spend your young life learning how to communicate with your parents, who are your authorities and your protectors. They correct you and coach you until you are able to converse with other adults in a polite way. The way you talk to your father and mother will one day be the way you address your husband. If you have a habit of fighting and quarrelling with your siblings, you will bring that into your marriage. A critical spirit will drive people away from you. We all know of people who will turn anything into an argument. You can hardly ask them the time of day without them becoming accusing or critical. Such people leave so bitter a feeling in us that when we are around them, we begin to confine our remarks to the state of the weather.

It is not fair to a young man to bring him into a permanent relationship if you have the habit of being critical and pushy. It will distance him emotionally from you. Sometimes women do not know they are doing this. They are just being themselves; just being natural. The Bible speaks about this when it says that we should not be like "the natural" man. We have to rise above our natural instincts. For example, when we are tempted to blame someone or accuse someone, we need to put a seal on our lips, as the Psalmist wrote. Just being natural is the trend of our times, but it does much harm. The trick is to train your thoughts and your words to be on a higher plain than the petty criticisms that come natural to most people.

It is truly a trait of goodness and thoughtfulness in a woman if she can overlook a slight inaccuracy in conversation. The important thing is that she loves him and that she is paying attention to the main points and the whole conversation. When you visit an art gallery, you might be surprised to see a painting up close. The colors and the brush strokes do not seem perfect or accurate. From a distance, the paintings look perfect. When a wife converses with her husband, she ought to be listening for the main theme of his discussion, not correcting every little detail.

This is not to say, however, that anyone has an excuse to allow inaccuracies in other things. Women need to be able to discern right from wrong so that they can protect their families from false teachers and bad influences. Young women especially need to be aware of things like the dangers of false religious views such as socialism, Fabianism, mysticism, Deweyism, Darwinism, Humanism,

No comments: