CHARLES G. FINNEY'S
XVII. PREMATURE MARRIAGES.
It is premature to marry:
1. Before he really needs a wife -- to gratify himself.
2. Before his calling is settled.
3. Till then he cannot tell but God intends that he shall not marry.
4. Also, he does not know what qualifications he needs in a wife.
5. If he pleases himself first in suiting his fancy, he may not be able to fill the place to which he should have been called.
6. If he will first please himself, he may never please God.
7. He has no right to chose a wife until called to take this step.
8. Also, to shut God up to the necessity of calling him to a field suited to his wife.
9. He has no right to dictate his calling by first taking a wife.
10. He should chose a wife adapted to his calling and field, not vice versa.
11. Otherwise, he first ties his own hands, and then applies to God for employment.
12. Until his calling is known, the woman cannot tell whether she can heartily engage in it.
13. Love of her husband cannot make her sympathize with him in whatever he may be called to do.
14. Parties may be and often are deceived in this respect.
15. A missionary needs a missionary wife.
16. A pastor need a woman of peculiar qualifications.
17. So does an evangelist.
18. So do farmers.
19. Also, all classes.
20. Marriage is generally a mere matter of self-pleasing.
21. Premature marriage has often proved the ruin of the place and usefulness of the parties.
22. Union in taste and sympathy essential to happiness and usefulness.
23. If the husband's calling or field does not suit his wife, she will not help but hinder.
24. Also, if not suited to his constitution.
25. Or, to his education and qualifications.
26. The woman should be equally responsible for a premature marriage, or engagement.
27. Until she knows the calling of one who proposes marriage, how can she conscientiously consent?
28. Premature engagements should be abandoned if found to interfere with a divine call.
29. Cases may arise where duty would call a man to leave a wife who could not go with him.
30. Also, to send home a wife who could not remain in the field with him.
31. Or, who would not.
32. Also, he might be called to preach after marriage and his wife refuse to consent.
33. If the call is clear, he should go without her.
34. This holds true if she refuses to go to the field to which he is called.
35. It should not be assumed that such a call cannot be from God.
36. We must not expect God to be shut up to gratify us when we have chosen and acted without his consent.
37. Premature engagements are a great mistake.
38. The parties often outgrow each other.
39. If the mistake is discovered in time, be frank and let it be mutually abandoned.
40. But a capricious change of feeling not a good reason.
41. Providential developments may call for it.
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