Three Blind Mice

I reflect with amusement the wedding of Jacob who tied the nuptial knot blindly in utter darkness only to regret it as the first drops of the golden sun fell on his bride’s face. He was so unsuspecting that his fatherin- law took him for a ride on his wedding day. In the marriage market, a little suspicion helps. We need to have our feet on the ground though our head may be floating in the clouds.

Jacob was too emotional. He didn’t even have a chat with his bride. Had he had, he would have  discovered his father-in-law’s clandestine plot. He was too careless. He could have asked for a lamp to look at his bride’s face... But he didn’t think it was important.

Jacob’s story reminds me of the three blind mice. In a sense all the three, Jacob, Leah and Rachel had their tails cut off. Jacob: because his loyalty was divided between two wives; Leah: because she was an unwanted wife; and Rachel: because she ended up asthe second wife. How not to make a mess of our marriage and life is the lesson we learn here. Believers, ministers and especially missionaries need to have their eyes and minds open as they look for the right person. Life is not a video cassette to rewind and undo things. Here are six traps to avoid.

Aiming for money

Rahul was a missionary facing two proposals. One was a girl from the same Mission, another from a denomination different from his. The offer from the second proposal was too lucrative for Rahul and his parents to resist. Sad to say, he is not in the mission field anymore. Is not money the root of all evil? In their greed they pierce themselves through with many sorrows (1 Tim 6:10).

Parents of both parties look for a ‘good deal.’ Never let money be a consideration. Parents may be avaricious. But boys must have the backbone to marry without dowry and then treat their wives decently for life. If you keep your eyes on money you may fail to notice certain important facts about the girl. Be open. Or else God may show you a gem on the dirt and you may miss her/him.

It is sad that even among the missionary community money dealings are prevalent. The girl’s parents bait a man offering a fat dowry. And there are girls who are stubborn to marry without dowry. Such convictions are good to root out social evils. But they should not forget that our society is not mature enough for that right now. Eventhough dowry is now officially banned, it is still a social fact.

In our culture usually the major chunk of property is given to the boys and the girls are married off with some jewels and dowry. Many girls are ignorant about their heritage. It is good for girls to ensure that they get their legal share of the property if they have any. In that case a missionary need not back-out due to fiscal reasons. Missionary daughters are worthy of double honour and parents should not cheat them out of their legal share (Gen 31:15).

Pressure from others

There are parents who are dead against missionary career for their children. One easy way for them to sidetrack is to get them life partners who are soaked in the world. Many prospective missionaries have fallen for this trap. There are pastors who are not for missionary work. When a member of their congregation decides to become a missionary the pastor fixes a partner who is ardent only in local church activities, may be his own daughter! That settles it and him. It is good to obey parents and elders but not to the extent of disregarding the vision God has given. Missionaries, obey your parents “in the Lord” (Eph 6:1). Firmness in conviction is very important. Young people should learn to be assertive for God. Never be forced into an undesirable marriage.

Don’t fall for prophecy either. If there is someone interested in your marriage let him sit with you and talk. Let him (or her) not terrorize you by, “Thus saith the Lord!” Anyone may propose. But the candidate must first of all develop a liking for that person. In modern language, it should ‘click’ in his heart. Missionaries are human beings with passion. The element of romance should not be missing in their marriage. They should be at “liberty” to be married to whom they “wish” (1 Cor 7:39). Don’t sacrifice that liberty.

Dictating to God

Being open to God’s will is very important. Sudhan was bent on marrying a girl from his own caste (andsub-caste) that he ended up with an uneducated girl.

Though she is a committed missionary they live with such intellectual incompatibility that is almost breaking up their life.  If someone wants to marry in the same caste, language and culture, I respect it. Marriage between two missionaries belonging to the same community itself has enough challenges to face. Difference in caste and culture may add to it. I only emphasize the fact that one should be open to the will of God. Differences in qualification, economic status, denominational background are all to be considered but the will of God should stand supreme.

Beauty and handsomeness

Every young man and woman desires a winsome personality and a missionary is no exception. But that should not be the deciding factor. For an infatuated person it is difficult to look for deeper qualities. “Love is blind—marriage is the eye-opener,” said Pauline Thompson. The negative qualities are overlooked or even appreciated at the height of ardour. “Romantic feelings, those seemingly trustworthy emotions offer almost nothing of substance when it comes to making a wise choice about a potential marriage partner. In fact they frequently get in the way. They literally anaesthetize you to the critical factors you desperately need to examine,” says Neil Warren.

After marriage, outward looks will take the back seat and the inward qualities will jump into the front seat which could be the driver’s seat as well. So beware! Ask your spiritual leaders’ opinion. Since there is no emotional element in their evaluation their judgment may be better. Consider what they say and use your commonsense. God doesn’t bypass our intellect. Let your God-given hunch guide you. Many have married on whim a golden ring on a snout and now being mauled by the pig (Prov 11:22)!

Ignorance of each other

Gone are the days when photographs were exchanged for an Yes or No verdict. At the close of this age when more marriages are breaking up than ever parents should take more pains to see that the girl and boy know enough about each other to be content to continue together for life.

One should never marry in a hurry. Seeing the would-be in a church with full make-up is not enough.

They should see each other in the workspot, sweating, in good mood and bad. They should have times of conversation to find out the goals and aspirations of each other. They should share their testimonies and discover each other’s nature, temperament and commitment to Christ and His cause. Youth have been cheated into marrying unbelievers or believers walking with one foot in the Kingdom and one foot in the world. Be shrewd. Cheating is very common in the marriage market. Verifying known facts through known sources is advisable.

If they want to disclose anything about their personal life or health, let them do so before the engagement. It is wise to downplay the past and not go into detail. Don’t probe into the other’s past. It is good to have 3-6 months between engagement and marriage when they can exchange letters and meet now and then.

Hoping to convert

Benson married his childhood sweetheart much to the chagrin of his leaders. He is a fruitful missionary but often gets into sticky situations because of his unconverted wife. His monumental miscalculation has left him decimated.

This hoping-to-convert business is nonsense. A mission-minded person must marry someone committed to missions. He/she must be an established soulwinner with a heart for missions. A missionary should not feel guilty to sunder links with the old love lest he damages himself, herself and the Kingdom of God. Anand and Rheena are a good couple. But Rheena, being a career-oriented girl, wants to take up a job and use her education. She feels she is not ‘called.’ There is always a tug of war at home. Anand’s hope of convincing her after marriage remains shattered.

Just conversion is not enough to make a missionary. He/she must be dead to the love of the world and money, thoroughly sacrificial and hardworking, a lover of the Word. It is better that missionaries and those committed to become missionaries choose partners who are already serving the Lord in some capacity.

Conclusion

People marry between twenty and thirty when they are still not mature Christians. So don’t look for an ideal person. Expect your partner to grow up as years go by. This is just a guideline to choose the raw material to make a missionary. Consider what I say and maythe Lord give you wisdom.

(All names are fictitious.)

  Address for Correspondence Contributions

Dr. Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
 +91 9843511943
  lilianstanley@gmail.com

Blessing Youth Mission

Blessing Youth Mission
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
 +91-416-2242943, +91-416-2248943
  hq@bymonline.org
  www.bymonline.org

For Donation & Contributions...

Home & NRE donors

Name: Blessing Youth Mission
Account Type: Current Account
A/c No.: 37268642054
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: Siruthozhil,Vellore - 632 006
IFSC No.: SBIN0007274

Overseas Donors

Name: Blessing Youth Mission
A/c No.: 1074703964
Bank: Central Bank of India
Branch: Vellore
IFSC No.: CBIN0280887
MICR Code: 000016000
SWIFT Code: CBININBBMDR

Gulf Donors

A/c Name: T.Dickson Daniel Moses
Account Type: Saving Account
A/c No.: 35374362080
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: Siruthozhil,Vellore - 632 006
IFSF: SBIN0007274

Click here for more options

  Blessing Literature Centre

To buy books written by Dr. Lilian Stanley, kindly reach to us in the follwing address

Blessing Literature Centre
21/11 West Coovam River Road,
Chintadripet,
Chennai 600 002, India.
 +91-44-28450411
  blc@bymonline.org

Three Blind Mice

I reflect with amusement the wedding of Jacob who tied the nuptial knot blindly in utter darkness only to regret it as the first drops of the golden sun fell on his bride’s face. He was so unsuspecting that his fatherin- law took him for a ride on his wedding day. In the marriage market, a little suspicion helps. We need to have our feet on the ground though our head may be floating in the clouds.

Jacob was too emotional. He didn’t even have a chat with his bride. Had he had, he would have  discovered his father-in-law’s clandestine plot. He was too careless. He could have asked for a lamp to look at his bride’s face... But he didn’t think it was important.

Jacob’s story reminds me of the three blind mice. In a sense all the three, Jacob, Leah and Rachel had their tails cut off. Jacob: because his loyalty was divided between two wives; Leah: because she was an unwanted wife; and Rachel: because she ended up asthe second wife. How not to make a mess of our marriage and life is the lesson we learn here. Believers, ministers and especially missionaries need to have their eyes and minds open as they look for the right person. Life is not a video cassette to rewind and undo things. Here are six traps to avoid.

Aiming for money

Rahul was a missionary facing two proposals. One was a girl from the same Mission, another from a denomination different from his. The offer from the second proposal was too lucrative for Rahul and his parents to resist. Sad to say, he is not in the mission field anymore. Is not money the root of all evil? In their greed they pierce themselves through with many sorrows (1 Tim 6:10).

Parents of both parties look for a ‘good deal.’ Never let money be a consideration. Parents may be avaricious. But boys must have the backbone to marry without dowry and then treat their wives decently for life. If you keep your eyes on money you may fail to notice certain important facts about the girl. Be open. Or else God may show you a gem on the dirt and you may miss her/him.

It is sad that even among the missionary community money dealings are prevalent. The girl’s parents bait a man offering a fat dowry. And there are girls who are stubborn to marry without dowry. Such convictions are good to root out social evils. But they should not forget that our society is not mature enough for that right now. Eventhough dowry is now officially banned, it is still a social fact.

In our culture usually the major chunk of property is given to the boys and the girls are married off with some jewels and dowry. Many girls are ignorant about their heritage. It is good for girls to ensure that they get their legal share of the property if they have any. In that case a missionary need not back-out due to fiscal reasons. Missionary daughters are worthy of double honour and parents should not cheat them out of their legal share (Gen 31:15).

Pressure from others

There are parents who are dead against missionary career for their children. One easy way for them to sidetrack is to get them life partners who are soaked in the world. Many prospective missionaries have fallen for this trap. There are pastors who are not for missionary work. When a member of their congregation decides to become a missionary the pastor fixes a partner who is ardent only in local church activities, may be his own daughter! That settles it and him. It is good to obey parents and elders but not to the extent of disregarding the vision God has given. Missionaries, obey your parents “in the Lord” (Eph 6:1). Firmness in conviction is very important. Young people should learn to be assertive for God. Never be forced into an undesirable marriage.

Don’t fall for prophecy either. If there is someone interested in your marriage let him sit with you and talk. Let him (or her) not terrorize you by, “Thus saith the Lord!” Anyone may propose. But the candidate must first of all develop a liking for that person. In modern language, it should ‘click’ in his heart. Missionaries are human beings with passion. The element of romance should not be missing in their marriage. They should be at “liberty” to be married to whom they “wish” (1 Cor 7:39). Don’t sacrifice that liberty.

Dictating to God

Being open to God’s will is very important. Sudhan was bent on marrying a girl from his own caste (andsub-caste) that he ended up with an uneducated girl.

Though she is a committed missionary they live with such intellectual incompatibility that is almost breaking up their life.  If someone wants to marry in the same caste, language and culture, I respect it. Marriage between two missionaries belonging to the same community itself has enough challenges to face. Difference in caste and culture may add to it. I only emphasize the fact that one should be open to the will of God. Differences in qualification, economic status, denominational background are all to be considered but the will of God should stand supreme.

Beauty and handsomeness

Every young man and woman desires a winsome personality and a missionary is no exception. But that should not be the deciding factor. For an infatuated person it is difficult to look for deeper qualities. “Love is blind—marriage is the eye-opener,” said Pauline Thompson. The negative qualities are overlooked or even appreciated at the height of ardour. “Romantic feelings, those seemingly trustworthy emotions offer almost nothing of substance when it comes to making a wise choice about a potential marriage partner. In fact they frequently get in the way. They literally anaesthetize you to the critical factors you desperately need to examine,” says Neil Warren.

After marriage, outward looks will take the back seat and the inward qualities will jump into the front seat which could be the driver’s seat as well. So beware! Ask your spiritual leaders’ opinion. Since there is no emotional element in their evaluation their judgment may be better. Consider what they say and use your commonsense. God doesn’t bypass our intellect. Let your God-given hunch guide you. Many have married on whim a golden ring on a snout and now being mauled by the pig (Prov 11:22)!

Ignorance of each other

Gone are the days when photographs were exchanged for an Yes or No verdict. At the close of this age when more marriages are breaking up than ever parents should take more pains to see that the girl and boy know enough about each other to be content to continue together for life.

One should never marry in a hurry. Seeing the would-be in a church with full make-up is not enough.

They should see each other in the workspot, sweating, in good mood and bad. They should have times of conversation to find out the goals and aspirations of each other. They should share their testimonies and discover each other’s nature, temperament and commitment to Christ and His cause. Youth have been cheated into marrying unbelievers or believers walking with one foot in the Kingdom and one foot in the world. Be shrewd. Cheating is very common in the marriage market. Verifying known facts through known sources is advisable.

If they want to disclose anything about their personal life or health, let them do so before the engagement. It is wise to downplay the past and not go into detail. Don’t probe into the other’s past. It is good to have 3-6 months between engagement and marriage when they can exchange letters and meet now and then.

Hoping to convert

Benson married his childhood sweetheart much to the chagrin of his leaders. He is a fruitful missionary but often gets into sticky situations because of his unconverted wife. His monumental miscalculation has left him decimated.

This hoping-to-convert business is nonsense. A mission-minded person must marry someone committed to missions. He/she must be an established soulwinner with a heart for missions. A missionary should not feel guilty to sunder links with the old love lest he damages himself, herself and the Kingdom of God. Anand and Rheena are a good couple. But Rheena, being a career-oriented girl, wants to take up a job and use her education. She feels she is not ‘called.’ There is always a tug of war at home. Anand’s hope of convincing her after marriage remains shattered.

Just conversion is not enough to make a missionary. He/she must be dead to the love of the world and money, thoroughly sacrificial and hardworking, a lover of the Word. It is better that missionaries and those committed to become missionaries choose partners who are already serving the Lord in some capacity.

Conclusion

People marry between twenty and thirty when they are still not mature Christians. So don’t look for an ideal person. Expect your partner to grow up as years go by. This is just a guideline to choose the raw material to make a missionary. Consider what I say and maythe Lord give you wisdom.

(All names are fictitious.)

  Address for Correspondence Contributions

Dr. Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
 +91 9843511943
  lilianstanley@gmail.com

Blessing Youth Mission

Blessing Youth Mission
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
 +91-416-2242943, +91-416-2248943
  hq@bymonline.org
  www.bymonline.org

For Donation & Contributions...

Home & NRE donors

Name: Blessing Youth Mission
Account Type: Current Account
A/c No.: 37268642054
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: Siruthozhil,Vellore - 632 006
IFSC No.: SBIN0007274

Overseas Donors

Name: Blessing Youth Mission
A/c No.: 1074703964
Bank: Central Bank of India
Branch: Vellore
IFSC No.: CBIN0280887
MICR Code: 000016000
SWIFT Code: CBININBBMDR

Gulf Donors

A/c Name: T.Dickson Daniel Moses
Account Type: Saving Account
A/c No.: 35374362080
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: Siruthozhil,Vellore - 632 006
IFSF: SBIN0007274

Click here for more options

  Blessing Literature Centre

To buy books written by Dr. Lilian Stanley, kindly reach to us in the follwing address

Blessing Literature Centre
21/11 West Coovam River Road,
Chintadripet,
Chennai 600 002, India.
 +91-44-28450411
  blc@bymonline.org