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The Pilgrims Progress discuss Pursuit of a Woman in the The Christian Walk forums; Yesterday I was thinking about what a lot of Christians, including some of the Reformed, say about finding a wife. "God will bring her into ...

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    AThornquist's Avatar
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    Pursuit of a Woman

    Yesterday I was thinking about what a lot of Christians, including some of the Reformed, say about finding a wife. "God will bring her into your life when His timing is right." Or "Just focus on God and He'll bring your wife when He chooses." My difficulty at the moment is that I don't see that pattern in Scripture. Particularly in the Old Testament I see several accounts of a search for a wife. The people at that time didn't seem as fatalistic in terms of finding a wife. Would you agree with my conclusion thus far, or am I really off base?

    Secondly, if a "search" is a biblical precedent (and I'm not talking about rallying the troops and going door to door to find a biblical woman but rather being active in finding an equally yolked woman in just day to day experience), how far would this extend? I mean, if a good wife is a crown to her husband, it seems like she would be worth deliberately seeking. In asking, "how far would this extend," I am thus asking if moving to another state, even for a short time, is a proper endeavor if a young man knows of a godly woman that is very like-minded and a very potential match. The move would be somewhat of a quest for this wonderful crown. Is that not fatalistic enough?

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    AustinW is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
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    Given the lack of a Biblical prohibition of searching for a wife, or any detailed explanation of how to find a wife, there is room for wisdom (guided by Biblical principles) in this matter, I think.

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    Are you in a place where there are no godly women?
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    Also, in Proverbs we see "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD." -Proverbs 18:22

    It seems to me that a marriageable man ought to be "searching and pursuing" to some extent. I've known several people that have moved out of state in hopes of meeting someone more in line theologically...and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. In fact, several of my friends did meet their spouses by moving. Marriage is a godly desire and pursuit and I believe well worth it in the proper context!
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    AThornquist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripel View Post
    Are you in a place where there are no godly women?
    There are literally two that I know of in my county, ages 18 and 17. Even then, they aren't super like-minded in terms of family and passions.

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    I think alot of the "just wait on God" speech is given to hormonally driven young people who have all the right intentions, but could be rushing into things. It is also give to older people who have been in the dating game for a long time and might be contemplating on lowering their standards in order to simply have a mate.

    I think there is wisdom in this line of thinking, but I don't think "just wait on God" is a command not to date or not to actively look. More along the lines of "don't try to force something on your own power."
    B

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    I completely agree with you, Andrew.

    However, a word of caution, you can easily end up like the man whose only tool is a hammer. In his mind, just about everything starts to look like a nail, as the saying goes.

    If you are called to pursue marriage, then go pursue it with vigor! Find a good lady and love her with all your strength and tenderness. But, be aware that when you are looking for something so "non-descript" (as in, you don't have a perfect picture of who she will be), your heart will tend to get far ahead of your brain, and potentially latch on to a woman who meets most of the Biblical requirements of a wife....especially if she happens to be attractive.

    When looking, stick to your guns and your non-negotiables (whatever they may be) regarding character, doctrine, etc....and don't let yourself go buy a whole field just to end up with fool's gold buried in it.

    There's a lot of metaphors in there, but I'm hoping some kind of sense made it through

    Good hunting!
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    Andrew,

    You are right in saying that finding a wife is not a passive endeavor even though you may be trusting and waiting on God for one. I do believe it is generally the call of a man ready to marry to pursue a wife, just as Christ pursued his bride (the church) and redeemed her. If marriage is the picture of Christ and his church, then it needs to mimic that pattern even in the beginning stages.

    As to your question about how far to extend your pursuit. I would say moving to another state may be a little too brash at the offset. I think the beauty of technology is that it allows for long distance communication and allows you to make calculations as to the wisdom of a decision to relocate. I say this because you could very well relocate to date/court a girl and it ends up not working out. Then you are stuck in a new locale heart broken. The difficult thing about moving and relocating is that for young people this is quite often hard to do (given most young people's financial status), but it's also easier to move around frequently for young adults because they haven't really established roots in any location yet. But I would say, if there is clear communication from both sides of an eye towards marriage then perhaps prayerfully considering moving wouldn't be such a bad idea to pursue her. But perhaps making a couple of trips to see her in her environment first would be better or having her come to see you in yours.

    There are a few good articles from boundless about this:

    Pursuer or Stalker?

    Long, Long, Long Distance Relationships

    Pursue Her

    I'm sure you can find more on the site

    Quote Originally Posted by AThornquist View Post
    Yesterday I was thinking about what a lot of Christians, including some of the Reformed, say about finding a wife. "God will bring her into your life when His timing is right." Or "Just focus on God and He'll bring your wife when He chooses." My difficulty at the moment is that I don't see that pattern in Scripture. Particularly in the Old Testament I see several accounts of a search for a wife. The people at that time didn't seem as fatalistic in terms of finding a wife. Would you agree with my conclusion thus far, or am I really off base?

    Secondly, if a "search" is a biblical precedent (and I'm not talking about rallying the troops and going door to door to find a biblical woman but rather being active in finding an equally yolked woman in just day to day experience), how far would this extend? I mean, if a good wife is a crown to her husband, it seems like she would be worth deliberately seeking. In asking, "how far would this extend," I am thus asking if moving to another state, even for a short time, is a proper endeavor if a young man knows of a godly woman that is very like-minded and a very potential match. The move would be somewhat of a quest for this wonderful crown. Is that not fatalistic enough?
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    As to your primary question, definitely, I think your search for a wife should be active. Heed Jeremy's advice to avoid being a "hammer", but be bold enough to pursue that which you want.

    When I was 21, I figured out what exactly I wanted in a spouse, and I saw that in a certain young lady. She was dating another guy at the time, so it took a good deal of pursuit on my part to win her.

    I'm a pretty practical guy, so if you want to find a wife I think it serves you best to be in a place where you have numerous options. In other words, you need to come on down to the Bible belt!
    Daniel
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    smhbbag is offline. Puritanboard Senior
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    As to your question about how far to extend your pursuit. I would say moving to another state may be a little too brash at the offset. I think the beauty of technology is that it allows for long distance communication and allows you to make calculations as to the wisdom of a decision to relocate. I say this because you could very well relocate to date/court a girl and it ends up not working out. Then you are stuck in a new locale heart broken. The difficult thing about moving and relocating is that for young people this is quite often hard to do (given most young people's financial status), but it's also easier to move around frequently for young adults because they haven't really established roots in any location yet. But I would say, if there is clear communication from both sides of an eye towards marriage then perhaps prayerfully considering moving wouldn't be such a bad idea to pursue her. But perhaps making a couple of trips to see her in her environment first would be better or having her come to see you in yours.
    I can personally attest to the power of technology.

    I met my wife through a Xanga blogring during college, while I was in NC and she was in Iowa. Neither of us intended anything of it, and we debated paedobaptism and discussed other theology through the blogring for a few months....and then in God's providence we met in person while I was traveling to a wedding. After about 5 minutes of conversation, we pretty much agreed to get married

    I know your feeling quite well. I was at a huge state university of tens of thousands, and attended a relatively large, solid church, and I still thought the pickings were terribly slim.
    Jeremy
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    Go to A Reformed Conference and choose.
    "I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness".-Valley of Vision ( collection of Purtan prayers)

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    I always favored sending a servant out to hang around the well in a neighboring village.
    Worked for me.

    That's not helpful, is it? Seriously, I assume you are not in school (college, university, seminary). Such places are often the settings where the Lord works to bring the right people together. Otherwise look for God's providence in placing you in the right places at the right time. As with so much else, rest in the fact that He knows your need of a godly wife, and is even now preparing you both for a marriage that will honor Him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by smhbbag View Post
    I can personally attest to the power of technology.
    This is a good point. The internet has been a successful meetingplace for couples. There are many nice, young, single women out in cyber world, even in our very own PB.

    Therefore, Andrew, I suggest you make a post in the Let's Do Business forum to get the ball rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by awretchsavedbygrace View Post
    Go to A Reformed Conference and choose.
    Determine the exact geographical center of concentration of Reformed theology and Presbyterianism in the USA and move there.

    Sovereign Grace Singles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by awretchsavedbygrace View Post
    Go to A Reformed Conference and choose.
    Determine the exact geographical center of concentration of Reformed theology and Presbyterianism in the USA and move there.

    Sovereign Grace Singles
    O man!!!!!!!!!!!

    I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU POSTED THIS! REMOVE AT ONCE! LOL
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    Or you could just hang around any local RUF chapters if you're so inclined... I know of two in California (Berkeley and Santa Barbara).
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    I don't see any problem in pursuing a godly woman. I would also second the recommendation for meeting online. I think as little as a few years ago it still had kind of a creepy stigma to it (meeting online) but it seems to be more acceptable now as long as you do it right. (By do it right, I mean continue to maintain Godly, chivalrous standards). The online pool of prospective Godly women would be much, much higher than the two who live near you, plus you would save money by not having to move!

    I met my wife online. She had a profile at ChristianMingle.com that caught my eye. Of course, I was too cheap to pay the sign up fee to communicate with her on that site, so I found her on myspace (18 months ago before it became super lame) and contacted her for free. We chatted online at first a few times, then over the phone, and eventually we met in person. I guess the rest is history because after meeting her for the first time on August 4th, 2008, I proposed on Dec 19th, 2008 and we married on May 23, 2009.
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    Of course you should pursue. But the idea that God will bring her into your life in his good time is also right. The active work of God's people and his providence are not mutually exclusive, as that account of Abraham's servant at the well so nicely points out.

    So strive for what is good, but at the same time trust that whatever the outcome God is being good to you. You desire a good thing. I wish you all the best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripel View Post
    I suggest you make a post in the Let's Do Business forum to get the ball rolling
    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne
    I always favored sending a servant out to hang around the well in a neighboring village.
    You guys crack me up. ROFL
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    ANDREW! I know several godly ladies wanting to get married that are waiting for the guy to come..... annnd you don't have to leave the state.
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenEsther View Post
    ANDREW! I know several godly ladies wanting to get married that are waiting for the guy to come..... annnd you don't have to leave the state.
    There ya go, Andrew! Now you don't need my Reformed population center suggestion nor my Sovereign Grace Singles club.
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    Heh, Andrew, I understand pretty much what you say... divine sovereignty does NOT remove personal responsibility, and this works for finding a wife as well.

    I'm in a different situation. Although I'm in a public college, it's very hard to find even professing Christians as well, given that they compromise only about 15% of the population. It's good if I can find someone before I graduate since working life will be tough and very busy. Found a few girls that I kind of like but I do not know how to start. Any helpers?

    Wow, some of you guys meet your other half online? I'm not that inclined into that thing... doesn't that sound creepy, talk to a girl that you don't know suddenly?
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    Ha, ha, if you're heading towards the mission field, I know several single women who are waiting on the Lord for a missions-minded male to cross their paths.
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    Andrew,

    I know exactly what you're going through. I live in an area that has 0 Reformed churches within 90 miles. There are two churches that teach the doctrines of grace; and a total of one young adult female between the two churches. I've despaired much over the past two years.

    Im currently 26 and very desirous of a godly wife. Ive wrestled with the balance of waiting and searching; trusting and acting. The most difficult thing for me is that when I am in "seek mode", I tend to be a bit too preoccupied with marriage. But it seems that the months I go in between, when I am less concerned with it, nothing gets accomplished. Im currently seeking, while simultaneously fighting to trust God and keep focused on Him. Like all good things, my flesh and the evil one wish to pervert this pursuit. The saint is always engaged in war; that in all we do and pursue, the worth of Jesus be magnified.

    Personal Story: A year ago I came to really like a girl in AL, and the feelings were mutual. After talking online for several weeks, I grew very fond of her. Her Dad told her to not let our relationship go any further online. She was 19, and I was 24. I began organizing my life and planning to move there. Her Dad is a Pastor at a solid church there; so I thought moving there and plugging into that body would be a wonderful thing. Well, I decided to move and for a couple weeks planned everything. The day came to go, but I was so overwhelmed with anxiety and sickness in my stomach, I felt overcome. I have no explanation but that God seemed to stop me dead in my tracks. I should note that I wrestled with whether or not it was wise for me to do move from the beginning, seeing as how I have a lot of family here who really benefit, at this point in time, from my being here. Within 5 months, this girl began dating someone else. I was, and am still to a small degree, heart broken. She's a beautiful person in Christ, but that doesnt mean she's to be mine. Another thing to be careful of is how you allow yourself to feel for, think about, and relate personally to, someone who may not be yours.

    So, all that to say, please be sure it's wise for you to move. If you sincerely believe it is most beneficial to the glory of God, and youve given yourself to prayer and fasting for wisdom's sake, then surely you should move.

    My prayers are with you brother. In due time God will bless you with a wife.
    Last edited by TKarrer; 12-12-2009 at 12:11 AM.
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    Haha. The girl I mentioned above- I found out 30 minutes ago that she is now engaged. Wow. I was disturbed, but God is my refuge. I may not understand, but He is my Treasure and in Him I will be glad!
    Thomas Karrer
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    Quote Originally Posted by buggy View Post
    Wow, some of you guys meet your other half online? I'm not that inclined into that thing... doesn't that sound creepy, talk to a girl that you don't know suddenly?
    Not if you're as smooth as me...

    In all seriousness, as I mentioned before I think meeting online used to have a stigma that it was reserved for stalkers or people too socially awkward to have a real life. However, now that social interaction online has become much more prevalent, I think the majority of people online are well-adjusted, normal individuals (PB members the exception of course).

    For me, meeting a girl online I didn't know was very similar to meeting a girl in person I didn't know. You go through the same basic steps - introducing yourself, getting to know more about them, progressing in the relationship, etc. It might even be considered advantageous to meet someone online because then you can usually get a preview of what they are all about before you even contact them initially!
    For my wife and I, we literally talked for hours on the phone before we were going out on dates (she was in another town for summer break from college). I knew I was very attracted to her and that she had potential for marriage before we ever started spending physical time together. I liked this because then the temptation for physical attraction only is severly limited and I actually got to know her for who she was. As corny/weird as it may sound, I was falling for her before we ever really started seeing each other in person.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AThornquist View Post
    Yesterday I was thinking about what a lot of Christians, including some of the Reformed, say about finding a wife. "God will bring her into your life when His timing is right." Or "Just focus on God and He'll bring your wife when He chooses." My difficulty at the moment is that I don't see that pattern in Scripture. Particularly in the Old Testament I see several accounts of a search for a wife. The people at that time didn't seem as fatalistic in terms of finding a wife. Would you agree with my conclusion thus far, or am I really off base?

    Secondly, if a "search" is a biblical precedent (and I'm not talking about rallying the troops and going door to door to find a biblical woman but rather being active in finding an equally yolked woman in just day to day experience), how far would this extend? I mean, if a good wife is a crown to her husband, it seems like she would be worth deliberately seeking. In asking, "how far would this extend," I am thus asking if moving to another state, even for a short time, is a proper endeavor if a young man knows of a godly woman that is very like-minded and a very potential match. The move would be somewhat of a quest for this wonderful crown. Is that not fatalistic enough?
    Forgive me, Andrew, for I'm about to go to bed and have not read the responses to this thread as I am a tired dude. If I'm repeating someone else's comments then so be it.

    Your presupposition is erroneous. In the biblical model, particularly in the OT, the search for a wife from the familial perspective was undertaken by the FATHER of the groom and not the prospective groom. I know of no instance, beyond Samson, of a man demanding or selecting his own wife without earnest being given. Note that Samson's selection was not ultimately in his personal best interest.

    Ask yourself- who is worthy to give you a crown? Did David demand a crown when Samuel anointed him or did David, once anointed, wait for the crown to come to him on God's terms?

    Dude, I did not get married until I was 30, and yes, I was a virgin when that day began. Did I want a wife ten years prior to that? Yes. Was I convinced that God hated my sexuality and desires and tortured me for almost ten years? Unfortunately, yes. The Lord did not PUT in front of me the woman He chose for me until after I really and prayerfully trusted that He would do so- And when I say after I mean after I figured that God wanted me single and being miserable and frustrated was my lot. You do not have the gift of singleness, but the Lord knows not only what you need, but also what your future wife needs. Had I married at your age, I would have crumbled- I was not mature enough to manage a godly household. I thought I was, though- but the Lord felt otherwise; and He was right, of course. God showed me a deeper level of trust that had to be accepted, and a acquiescence to His will that I did not want to submit to.

    ...And when I was ready (though I did not know I was) the Lord gave me the perfect wife- without any flaws or blemishes: She is the most important person on this earth to me, and every day I realize my futile finitude is insufficient to provide her with the amount of love that she rightly deserves.

    But before the Lord ever gave me this gift, I first had to submit my desires to Him. I had to, in honesty and truth, resign my desires and gifts to His will and desire... and even after that it was years before He placed the most incredible woman ever wrought by His hands in my path.

    My final advice- Let God be God, and Andrew be a young man waiting upon Him.

    Theognome
    Bill Cunningham
    Covenant Reformed Church, URC
    Kansas City
    There are three kinds of people- those who can count, and those who can't.

  31. #31
    buggy's Avatar
    buggy is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    My humble opposition... but what if the father of the son is not a believer? This is a severe problem in non-Christian families with 1st generation believers. Or, if they are uninterested?
    LTL
    LCMS
    Singapore

  32. #32
    ubermadchen's Avatar
    ubermadchen is offline. Puritanboard Outlaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theognome View Post

    ...And when I was ready (though I did not know I was) the Lord gave me the perfect wife- without any flaws or blemishes: She is the most important person on this earth to me, and every day I realize my futile finitude is insufficient to provide her with the amount of love that she rightly deserves.
    Your wife has no flaws or blemishes? Then I don't think I'll ever be ready for marriage.
    Patricia
    Communicant Member
    Zion United Reformed Church
    Ripon, CA

    Give yourself to prayer, to reading and meditation on divine truths: strive to penetrate to the bottom of them and never be content with a superficial knowledge.
    David Brainerd

  33. #33
    Knoxienne's Avatar
    Knoxienne is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubermadchen View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Theognome View Post

    ...And when I was ready (though I did not know I was) the Lord gave me the perfect wife- without any flaws or blemishes: She is the most important person on this earth to me, and every day I realize my futile finitude is insufficient to provide her with the amount of love that she rightly deserves.
    Your wife has no flaws or blemishes? Then I don't think I'll ever be ready for marriage.
    Oh, I've got 'em - too numerous to count. But I have a very forgiving husband and an even more forgiving God. So take heart, you're ready for marriage if you're a godly woman who wants to please the Lord by being married to a godly man.
    Toni Cunningham, Wife of Bill (Theognome)
    Parkwoods OPC, Overland Park KS


    "Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As, to be hated, needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace." ~ Alexander Pope

  34. #34
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    Hebrew Student is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Hey Everyone!

    I have studied this issue, and my concern is that there is no balance on this. I usually hear that is either God's providence, or it is us pursuing.

    What I see Biblically is something far more complex. I do think God gives us natural desires to be married. No question about it. In such a situation, pursuit is something that is, indeed, spoken of in the Bible [Proverbs 18:22]. I would put this in the category of means. Yes, it is God who brings people together, but he uses means such as human pursuit.

    Now, I think we must also quickly add that God is not *obligated* to use those means to bring people together. He can say "yes" to your request for a spouse, or he can say "no." If he says no, whether for a season, or for the entirety of your life, it is imperative that we trust him in those situations, since he knows what is best for us, and his own glory.

    However, I think this is also not to say that God cannot bring someone into someone else's life simply because they are honoring God in the way they are living. The story of Ruth and Boaz is a classic example. Boaz was just simply showing the kindness and faithfulness that was part of his personality towards the poor and the less fortunate, and God brought Ruth and Boaz together.

    I think what we have to say is that, since God uses means, there is no problem with pursuit. However, we have to trust in God that he is going to do what is best for his own glory. Also, even those who are planning to serve God as a single can get a surprise from God, since, ultimately he knows what is best, and that is what I think it all boils down to. Are you willing to trust God if he says "no" to your pursuit or your desire to serve him as a single person? Are you willing to allow *him* to be Lord of your life? That is where I think the heart of the issue lies.

    God Bless,
    Adam
    Adam
    Faith Presbyterian Church
    Akron, Ohio
    Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Student

  35. #35
    Theognome's Avatar
    Theognome is offline. Burrito Bill
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knoxienne View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ubermadchen View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Theognome View Post

    ...And when I was ready (though I did not know I was) the Lord gave me the perfect wife- without any flaws or blemishes: She is the most important person on this earth to me, and every day I realize my futile finitude is insufficient to provide her with the amount of love that she rightly deserves.
    Your wife has no flaws or blemishes? Then I don't think I'll ever be ready for marriage.
    Oh, I've got 'em - too numerous to count. But I have a very forgiving husband and an even more forgiving God. So take heart, you're ready for marriage if you're a godly woman who wants to please the Lord by being married to a godly man.
    What flaws and blemishes? You have infinite purdiestness and I don't see any flaws and such- only perfect purdiestness girl. So there.

    Theognome
    Bill Cunningham
    Covenant Reformed Church, URC
    Kansas City
    There are three kinds of people- those who can count, and those who can't.

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