BIBLICAL FULFILLMENT
Engagement (#1)
I am Jessie Mills, Ph.D.
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LESSON SIX

 

THE ENGAGEMENT (#1)

 

INTRODUCTION

Engagements are excellent ideas. They provide the opportunity to think, to consider and to investigate. Occasionally, in the first flush of love, the big question is "popped" and the suitor is accepted in record time. Why not? The girl is lovely with her deep dimples and starry eyes. She seems every inch a queen who will grace your home. Your heart will say, "better crown her without delay".

But there's the engagement period to help you. First of all, it will provide time to make arrangements for the forthcoming nuptials. In married life you need a "whale of a lot" of gadgets. In the bride's case, she must select her trousseau, fill her hope chest, and bake the wedding cake! The bridegroom ought to fix his mind upon providing the wherewithal for living.

The engagement period provides time to watch, to investigate, and, we hope, to confirm your decision. Naturally, you will be together a great deal. Likely you will be invited into your fiancé's home to meet her parents. You will see her in varied circumstances. Take advantage of these opportunities to learn to know her better.

Engagements provide time for talk. It is a splendid idea to discuss matters such as personal likes and dislikes, further education, the kind of home you desire, and the furnishings you must have to begin housekeeping. Today there is a broader latitude in the discussion of intimate matters. It is not a bad idea to talk about when to have children, and how many, etc.

Engagements can be broken. If the closer understanding raises a question about suitability of the marriage, it is far better to terminate the engagement than to proceed with plans than later when it might lead to a broken marriage. It is honorable and wise to break the relationship without bitterness or recrimination and to remain friends.

I. PURPOSE OF THE ENGAGEMENT

A. A more serious period of courtship.

1. Time during which the couple can make a careful check to see whether they have chosen someone with whom they can live for the rest of their lives.

2. Engagement may not mean marriage.

a. A broken engagement usually represents heartbreak. But this is better than two people married to each other who are not suited for each other.

II. WHO SHOULD GET MARRIED?

A. Two people who love each other.

B. Two people who are well, mentally and physically.

C. Two people whose faith, ideals and standards agree.

D. Two people who understand that the man is the head of the house.

E. Two people who fear God, and who will not try to run their own lives, but will allow God to do it. (Jer. 10:23).

F. Two people who know that marriage is for keeps. (Matt. 19:5-9).

G. Two people who have learned to understand each other on such matters as the following:

(won't be surprised after marriage).

1. Religion

2. Art

3. Literature

4. Music

5. Home

6. Family

7. Children

8. Money

9. Thrift

10. Giving

11. Spending

12. Recreation

13. Hospitality

14. Friends

15. Sharing

III. WHO SHOULD NOT MARRY?

A. God intends for the marriage union to be a lasting one, until death comes to part a couple. A party who  does not take the marriage vow with intentions in harmony with God's law must not marry.

B. Any person who has been divorced, guilty of fornication, cannot marry again lawfully.

1. Matthew 19:3-9; Matthew 5:32.

2. Thus, marriage is not for the person who has a living companion, "except it be for fornication" (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18).

C. Marriage was instituted - one man for one woman - polygamy is sinful. Gen. 2:7,8,18; 2:21-24; Matthew 19:3-6.

1. Note the singular use.

a. Lamech was the first recorded case of polygamy. Gen. 4:19, Compare God's law with the practice of polygamy ••• (I Cor. 7:39; Romans 7:1-3)

D. Marriage is not for the Christian widow to an unbeliever (I Cor. 7:39).

1. This is a good "rule" (Some controversy over).

E. A Christian to an unbeliever IF the MARRIAGE WOULD BE AN UNEQUAL YOKE for the Christian (II Cor. 6:14).

1. Again, this is a "principle". (Not saying it is a sin) causes many problems.

IV. WHAT IS THE IDEAL LENGTH FOR THE ENGAGEMENT?

A. No one can give this a "pat" binding answer. Because it must of necessity depend upon the individual and circumstances.

B. But every engagement period should be long enough to make the following evaluations:

1. It should be long enough to learn each other.

2. It should be long enough to learn as much as you can about the problems you will be facing together.

3. The engagement should be long enough so that you can learn the other's attitude toward sex matters.

4. The matter of both husband and wife's relationship to their parents should be considered soberly.

5. It should be long enough to allow time for either one to change his mind and terminate the engagement if it is found to be best.

V. INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS TO BE CULTIVATED.

A. During the engagement period both can learn to practice: (Won't come automatically after marriage)

1. Self-control

2. Ability to get along with people, including one's family (Proverbs 21:9, 19).

3. Courtesy - at home as well as elsewhere.

4. Wise handling of money.

5. Willingness to live and let live: others are not perfect; nor are you.

6. Love (I Cor. 13:4-8).

7. Sense of humor.

8. Discuss spiritual matters.

9. Praying together.

 10. Respect for other people.

REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. ______________________ are excellent _________________________.

2. They provide the _________________________ to _________________________.

3. The engagement period provides time to _______________ , to _______________, and, we hope to

_______________ your decision.

4. Is the engagement period a good time to talk and discuss important matters? _______Yes _______ No.

5. Can engagement be broken? ________ Yes  ________ No.

6. List three (3) reasons why one should break off an engagement:

1.

2.

3.

7. List seven (7) kinds of characteristics that should be present before one marries.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8. Is it important to understand each other about religion? ________ Yes   ________ No.

9. List four (4) characteristics that if present may disqualify a person as a marriage mate.

1.

2.

3.

4.

10. What is the ideal time for an engagement?

11. List five evaluations that should be made during the engagement period.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

12. List ten (10) characteristics that should be practiced on during engagement.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

13. Write out Matthew 19:9. 

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© Copyright 2015 by Jessie Mills. All Rights Reserved by the author, Jessie E. Mills, Jr. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior express written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or other publications. Such quotations must be used with proper reference to their context and give appropriate credit to their authorship.