~ Especially for Young People
Waiting on the Lord
Looseness in courtship and lying in each other's arms and kissing and kissing is not good. Many a precious young person's downfall has started in being too free with a friend. Keep yourself in your place, and if you get married, you have a lifetime to love each other. If you do not get married, you are better off not to have played around. Young people need to know how to control their affections.
I want to say to the young and the old—it pays to wait on God. Do not get in a hurry. When you get in a hurry, it is often lust instead of love, and that will not stand the storms of life, but love will. If you are a Christian, you may say, "Oh, there are so few Christians." The question should be, "Is God in it?" If not, wait on the Lord. If you are a Christian, you are not your own and should be willing to submit your life into the hands of One who sees and knows the future.
Some say, "I do not want to be an old maid." You had better be an old maid if God does not have it otherwise than to marry some unsaved man who may one day desert you for another woman. In that case you would be left alone anyway, and you may backslide and lose your soul.
When you choose your way on any line, you cannot have the favor of God on your life as you would have if you let Him choose. You are better to live twenty years together and be happy than to be together fifty years with the wrong companion and be unhappy.
Let me quote Brother C. E. Orr in The Instruction of Youth in the Christian Life: "When two are in love, it is difficult to determine the will of God. There needs to be a perfect yielding to the will of God. It is one of the most difficult periods in the history of man for him to yield his will to God. Many have thought they had but were mistaken. A young man once said, 'I thought I had my will entirely surrendered to God, but when I prayed and my lips said, "Lord, Thy will be done," my heart said, "but give me Mary."'
Watch your heart, young Christian. Do not give too much heed to what the lips say. Listen to the heart beats. Does it beat in perfect unison with the will of God? God wants you to be guided, not by your feelings, but by His providence, by the counsels of true friends, and by the good, sound mind He is willing to give you."
I want to relate an incident that happened much later in my life for the encouragement of others. After I became pastor, a girl in our congregation grew to the age of desiring a companion. She was a good Christian girl, and we all loved her. There were very few young people in California at that time who were saved, and if one got saved he or she almost had to stand alone as far as young people were concerned.
One day she came and talked to me about her burden. She wanted to live for God, and if she did, it looked as though she could not have a home of her own, for there were not any Christian boys locally.
After talking with her I said, "Sister, put God first." She said that was what she wanted to do. I said, "God knows the future, and when He saw Adam needed a companion, He created one for him. He can save one just for you if you keep all submitted to Him." She said that was just what she meant to do, and she did. We had prayer and asked God to help her and provide for her future life for her good and to His glory.
Time went on and she continued to live for God. One day her brother came to town to visit them. He had with him a young man who was practicing to be a prize fighter and had come to town to take lessons for fighting. Prayer meeting night came, and her mother asked them to come to the meeting. They did, but the young man had never been in a meeting like it. Her mother, being a great hand to invite folks to the services, asked him to attend the Sunday night services. He enjoyed attending the services and began to attend regularly. When we held a revival meeting a short time after that, he got saved, gave up his training, and really lived for God. Later his affections were turned to this young sister, and in time they got married.
As he grew spiritually and learned of the doctrine of the church, the Lord called him to the ministry. Later she came to me and said, "You said God could give me a companion if He had to save one just for me, and it seems that He did just that."
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