Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
"She is free to be married to whom she wants, only in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 7:39)
The Christian apostle Paul gave inspired direction to widows that if they chose to remarry, they should do so “only in the Lord.” This was not a new thought for Christians who had a Jewish background. God’s Law to Israel clearly directed that they were to “form no marriage alliance” with anyone from the surrounding pagan nations. Jehovah added an explanation that highlights the danger of disregarding this divine standard. “For [a non-Israelite] will turn your son from following me, and they will certainly serve other gods; and Jehovah’s anger will indeed blaze against you, and he will certainly annihilate you in a hurry.” (Deuteronomy 7:3, 4) What stand does Jehovah expect his modern-day servants to take in this regard? Plainly, a servant of God should choose as a marriage mate one who is “in the Lord,” a dedicated, baptized fellow worshipper.
(Watchtower issue: 03/15/08, 2:4)
*I've had conversations with people who've mentioned being offended by the counsel in this particular scripture, because they weren't looking at the long-term consequences and difficulties that result when a person chooses to ignore this advice. There's no shortage of examples to prove the bad outcomes either! The Old Testament is filled with them. But from a modern-day perspective, here's how I like to think of it...
Imagine if a divorced or widowed parent has a child who they love and care about more than anything in the world. And later on they decide to get married again. Would it make sense to get involved in a relationship (with a view towards marriage), with person who had absolutely no interest or concern for their child? Who openly disliked their child and wanted nothing to do with them? Or even worse, spoke abusively about that child and demonstrated a strong dislike or aversion towards them? It doesn't take a genius to see what's gonna happen down the road. =)
And maybe some 'hopeful' parents are willing to 'risk it' by reasoning that this person just hasn't spent enough time around their child or gotton to know them enough. So they might try to justify their 'future' marriage mate's behavior by saying to themselves, "oh, they'll learn to love my child as much as I do after we're married" ... but in reality, does it ever work out that way? At least in the majority of cases? No. A person who acts like that *prior* to getting married is most likely not going to change, and in fact, will probably start acting even worse. -Monopolizing their mate's time and treating their new step-child in a neglectful or abusive manner, etc.
So if you apply the logic from that scenario to the above mentioned example in regards to marriage, you really start to get the point. If a person doesn't love and respect what you cherish the most in life, how is that going to make for a happy or successful marriage? A person would only be setting themselves up for problems right from the start.