Dating and Preparing for Marriage (Part 7) - Putting Theory Into PracticeSubmitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, August 21, 2016.
Image from: thechristiandatingadvice.com For a master copy of the outline, click here: Dating and Preparing For Marriage To listen to the previous sermon in the series, click here: Part 6 To watch a video of this sermon, click here: Dating and Preparing for Marriage (Part 7) Dating and Preparing for Marriage (Part 7) I. Addendum: Putting theory into practice - Date: August 21st, 2016 1. The purpose of this addendum is to: A. declare the goodness and faithfulness of God (Psa 96:1-4). B. encourage you to be patient, wait on the LORD, and do things God's way and see what God will do for you (Psa 27:14; Psa 37:4-5; Gal 6:9). C. show you that your pastor tries very hard to practice what he preaches to be an example to you (1Ti 4:12,16). 2. A review of some history A. This series on Dating and Preparing for Marriage was preached from December 28th, 2014 to February 1st, 2015. i. During that time I was single and had no prospect of being married. ii. I had been single for a long time, and for years had given up on ever being married. iii. Some of what I taught was based on personal experience and some of it was theory based on what I had learned from the scripture and in life. iv. The challenge for me would be: will I practice what I preach, or do I just expect you to? (Rom 2:21) B. Soon after preaching this series something interesting happened. i. Three weeks after I concluded this series, something very interesting happened to me which would serve to be a test of my faith and my character for the next six weeks. ii. I went to an orchestra where I met an attractive woman. iii. We had coffee afterwards with another guy that we met at the orchestra. iv. I then did what I taught in the series and asked her out on a date for dinner the next weekend, which she accepted. v. She was a Coptic "Christian" (Egyptian Orthodox). vi. We went on several dates over the next six weeks and we really liked each other. vii. From the very beginning, I did what I taught in this series and casually shared my faith with her with hopes of converting her. a. Consider what I taught concerning this in the series: b. "If a Christian's heart is right, his purpose in dating an unbeliever is to attempt to convert her." (Section IX,1,C, page 17) viii. Because I wanted to practice what I preached and not be a hypocrite, and also because it is wise to do so, I did not become physically involved (kissing, hugging, etc.) with this woman (though I certainly wanted to). a. Consider what I taught concerning this in the series: b. "I highly recommend not becoming physically involved with a person you are dating until after they are converted and baptized. (i) "As was shown above, becoming physically involved (kissing, etc.) with someone will introduce a heightened level of emotional connection into the relationship which can cloud judgment and make a break-up much more painful. (ii) "As much as possible, you want to make sure that the person is embracing the faith because they truly believe it, not because they are emotionally attached to you." (Section IX,1,D, page 17) ix. In the series, I warned that dating an unbeliever with hopes of converting them is risky and has the potential to cause one much pain. a. "There is a lot of risk involved in this approach." (Section IX,1,C,i, page 17) b. "If the person ends up not being converted and the relationship is broken off, there will be intense pain for you. I have seen this happen." (Section IX,1,C,iv, page 17) x. This is exactly what happened to me. a. After about six weeks of dating, it became apparent to me that she had no interest to being converted to the truth and that it was not going to work. b. We decided to break off our relationship, which was very difficult because we both liked each other very much. xi. I am certain that this was a test from God and I am thankful that by God's grace I maintained my integrity throughout it. C. Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet... i. During the time that I was preaching this series in January, 2015, there was a young lady in the Philippines (my virtuous and beautiful wife, Sette) who was seeking the truth and came across a YouTube video that I made called "Why Christians Shouldn't Celebrate Christmas." ii. After watching that video, her interest was piqued and she began watching some of my other videos and listening to my sermons on Sovereign Grace and other topics. iii. After a couple of months of listening and studying, she was convinced that she had found the truth and that she needed to join a true church. iv. She emailed me while I was dating the Egyptian woman, asking me if I knew of a church of like-faith in the Philippines. v. We corresponded for a couple of weeks while I tried to find her a church in the Philippines and advised her of what to do in her situation. vi. Toward the end of that time, I broke off the relationship with the Egyptian woman, which was very difficult. vii. Up to this point, my correspondence with Sette was strictly business. viii. Three days after the breakup with the Egyptian woman, Sette sent me an email giving me her Skype name and saying that we can correspond on Skype if I would like. ix. As they say, God works in mysterious ways. 3. The beginning of a relationship... A. God had put me through a test with an unbeliever to see if I would be faithful unto Him or not. B. Having passed that test (and having waited nearly a decade prior to that), God then brought me a wonderful and beautiful woman of like-faith. C. Now it was time to put into practice the other things that I had taught in this series and find out if Sette was a woman that I wanted to marry. i. "When dating someone, pay very close attention to the words, actions, personality, and character of the person." (Section VI,2,C,i, page 5) ii. "When you are dating, keep your eyes wide open; after you are married, keep them half shut." (Section VI,2,C,ii, page 5) iii. "If you do decide to pursue marriage, take it slow and keep your eyes wide open (Pro 19:2)." (Section VIII,6,B, page 16) D. Taking things slowly... i. I took things slowly as I got to know my future wife. ii. I wanted to make sure she was truly converted and not just interested in me. iii. I wanted to get to know her well before becoming romantically involved with her and attached to her. iv. I wanted to find out if she was a woman of good character, as I have taught. v. I focused on a few areas which are very important to me because they are important to God, such as: a. Submissiveness (i) I made sure that my future wife understood and would practice what the Bible says about a wife submitting to her husband. (ii) The following is from Section VII,3,C,i, page 11 of this outline. (iii) "A wife is to be submissive and subject to her husband (Eph 5:22,24; 1Pe 3:1). (iv) "A wife should be obedient to her husband (Tit 2:5; 1Pe 3:6). (v) "A wife should reverence her husband (Eph 5:33). (vi) "Therefore, when dating a woman, pay close attention to see if she has a submissive attitude toward a potential husband. (vii) "Do you find yourself asking for her permission when you want to do something. (viii) "Watch to see if she is respectful of men in general, or if she has a feminazi streak in her." (ix) A tip for you young men who are dating, or hope to, in the future: as much as is reasonable, be the head in your dating relationship from the beginning. 1. Get started on the right foot and get her used to submitting to you and you will have far less problems in that area when you are married. 2. Train up a young future wife in the way she should go and when she is old she will not depart from it. b. Homemaking (i) I made it very clear that if she were to be my wife, I would want her to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. (ii) The following is from Section VII,3,C,ii, page 11 of this outline. (iii) "A wife is supposed to bear children and be a keeper at home (1Ti 5:14; Tit 2:5). (iv) "If the woman you are dating currently has a career because she is single and needs to provide for herself, then find out if she intends to maintain a career when married and especially when children come. (v) "Find out if she wants children and wants to stay home to raise them. (vi) "Find out if she likes to cook and if she keeps a clean and neat house." (vii) Apparently most of you either 1) missed that point in the series, 2) didn't think I meant what I said, or 3) didn't think I would practice what I preach, because most of you asked me where my wife was going to work when she got here. (viii) Sette agreed that this is what she wanted to do, but it was hard for her because she had been working and taking care of herself for many years. c. A meek and quiet spirit (i) I made sure that my future wife was going to conduct herself as a Christian woman should. (ii) It is important for every woman to be of a meek and quiet spirit, but it is especially important for a pastor's wife to be so. (iii) The following is from Section VII,3,C,iii, pages 11-12 of this outline. (iv) "Women should be of a meek and quiet spirit (1Pe 3:4). (v) "Is the girl you are dating meek and quiet, or loud, stubborn, and clamorous (Pro 7:11; Pro 9:13). (vi) "Would she be a woman whose attitude would make you pleased, or ashamed (Pro 12:4)." d. Dressing modestly (i) Modest attire is a Biblical requirement for women (and men) and is something that is very important to me, which I stressed to my future wife. (ii) The following is from Section VII,3,C,iv, page 12 of this outline. (iii) "Women should dress modestly (1Ti 2:9). (iv) "On a date does she dress like a godly woman or a harlot? (Pro 7:10) 1. "Does she wear shirts that show her cleavage? 2. "Does she wear dresses, skirts, or shorts which show her thighs? 3. "Does she wear clothes that are generally seductive looking? (v) "Is she all about her outward appearance? (1Pe 3:3) (vi) "Does she wear a lot of makeup? (vii) "Does it take her two hours of preparation to leave the house?" vi. I also discussed things like: a. Child training and discipline b. Homeschooling c. Money and staying out of debt (Section IX,2,B, page 19). vii. Once I found that we were like-minded on these things (and others), then our relationship began to get more serious. E. Setting boundaries... i. I set boundaries for myself so that things wouldn't move too quickly. From the beginning, I decided: ii. If we made it to the two-month mark, I would tell the church about our relationship, which I did. iii. If we made it to the four-month mark, I would begin plans to travel to the Philippines to meet her around the six-month mark, which I did. iv. I would not tell her I loved her until after we met in person and she was baptized, which I did. v. I also limited the use of pet names (honey, sweetie, baby, etc) until we were closer to being engaged so that things didn't get moving too quickly. vi. Some of these decisions unintentionally gave my future wife the mistaken impression that I was not as interested in her as she was in me. F. No kissing before baptism... i. In keeping with what I taught, I decided that I would not kiss her until after she was baptized. ii. "I highly recommend not becoming physically involved with a person you are dating until after they are converted and baptized." (Section IX,1,D, page 17) iii. I waited until after I baptized her on the second day I was there to kiss her (and it was hard to wait, let me tell you). G. Meeting in person... i. Our meeting in person went very well and we both knew that we were in love. ii. By this time, I was convinced that Sette was the woman that I wanted to marry. iii. She had all the qualities that I was looking for in a wife, as I detailed in this series. iv. We also got to see each other's bad sides during my visit, which completed another one of the criteria that I taught in this series. v. "Make sure that you have seen the person's bad side before becoming engaged." (Section X,1,D, page 20) H. Engagement... i. According to what I had taught in this series, I waited until we had known each other for more than six months (it was over seven months) before I proposed to her. ii. "I recommend dating someone at least six months before becoming engaged, and a year or more would be wise in most cases." (Section X,1,G, page 21) iii. I also sought counsel throughout the dating process as I taught you to do. I. The long wait... i. We then began the process of getting Sette a fiancé visa that would enable her to move here to marry me. ii. After nine months of waiting after becoming engaged, my lovely bride-to-be made it over here and we married two weeks later on July 30th, 2016. iii. This story is a real-life example of what the scripture says and what I exhorted you all in the series: iv. "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." (Psa 37:4-5) (Section VII,2,B,vii, page 7)