Preparing Young People for Christian Marriage -- By: Howard G. Hendricks

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 128:511 (Jul 1971)
Article: Preparing Young People for Christian Marriage
Author: Howard G. Hendricks

Preparing Young People for Christian Marriage

Howard G. Hendricks

Jeanne Hendricks

[Howard G. and Jeanne Hendricks, Professor of Christian Education, Dallas Theological Seminary; Wife of Dr. Hendricks, Free-Lance Writer.]

[Editor’s note: This article is from Adult Education in the Church, ed. by Roy B. Zuck and Gene A. Getz (Chicago, 1970). Permission to reprint it has been given by Leslie H. Stobbe, editor of Moody Press.]

Don and Sue were “madly in love.” A crescendo of feeling began between them a year ago when Don’s family first visited Central Church. They liked each other’s looks, and they soon discovered they had common interests. Don declared that Sue was “what I’ve always been looking for.” Both were professing Christians. Now at the party honoring Don’s upcoming college graduation, they wanted to announce their engagement, and be married next Labor Day weekend.

“It just all seems so right,” Sue said to her mother. “I can transfer and finish college while Don is in grad school. We can easily find a student apartment. Everybody does.”

“Pastor, I’ve just flipped over this girl,” Don confided to his minister. “I think I need a wife, and Sue’s the one. She’s gotta be. I’ve never felt this way about anybody else. I want to be with her all the time. I think about her constantly. She fills a real need in my life; and besides, she’s in love with me. What else do you need?”

Thousands of Dons and Sues step up to the starting line of matrimony constantly. On their shoulders we have placed the privilege—and the responsibility—of choosing their own life mates. Most of them sincerely want to do what is right; they seek the approval of parents and pastors, and in America the choice is almost entirely their own. If marriage were exclusively an individual matter, affecting only two lives, conceivably the choice of a life partner could

reasonably be committed to personal whim or family preference. Marriage, however, is also a public matter, a legal concern, an influential agreement affecting the lives of the entire society. One must reject the idea that the selection of a wife or a husband is anything less than paramount in importance.

How, then, can young people be prepared to make a wise and lasting choice? Clearly, if they themselves are to make the selection, they must be given a supply of tools and know-how for that unannounced instant of decision when yes or no is required.

A successful marriage is not one in which two people, beautifully matched, find each other and get along happily ever after because of thi...

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