Volume 13, Number 1, May-June 2009

An Important Message to Parents

By Norman Edwards


Nearly every parent works hard to encourage and help their older children get a good education and a good job. That is good. But should their selection of a spouse be left to someone whom they happen to “fall in love with” when they were lonely or bored? No. The selection of a spouse should be thought out and prepared for just like a job.

A lot can be learned by comparing a young person’s need to find a job with their need to find a spouse. There are many similarities along with major differences. Certainly love and emotion play a major part in marriage. But if both parents and their adult children will begin thinking of finding a spouse as an important task, comparable to finding a job, it will be better for both of them.

The table below various characteristics of find a job with finding a spouse. Studying it can cast a new light on how parents can help their young adults.

“Help” does not mean doing the job for them. A parent who does a child’s homework is not helping them be ready to work. Similarly, a parent who wants to tell a young person how to dress, what to say, where to go and who to like is not preparing that person for marriage. Parents much respect their children’s life decisions, even though they do not agree with all of them.

Adults need to lift up good marriages as a Biblical ideal and encourage young people to prepare themselves, and passionately pursue it. When the young people are ready to talk, be ready to listen!





Personal preference

Neither parents nor anyone else can make a young person like a specific job. They have to decide that they like it and want to do it.

Neither parents nor anyone else can make a person want to marry someone else. They have to want to do it of their own accord.


A parent can research and introduce a young person to certain types of work—for them to make up their own mind.

A parent can consider and introduce their young person to other young people they think might be good for them. The young people will have to take it from there and make up their own mind.


People need to find a job for which they have the right aptitudes—the necessary physical and mental abilities. There is rarely a “perfect match for a job”, but some jobs are far better suited for one individual than they are for another.

People need to marry someone whose characteristics are a good match for theirs. While there are rarely perfect matches, a person who hopes to spend their life living outside on a ranch or mission field should not marry someone who feels they must live in a normal house.

Paying their Way

Many parents save money to help their children get a job-related education or to help them start a business.

Parents save money for their children's weddings, but few spend money to help them find a Christian spouse. Sponsoring youth programs is all that many do. Should not parents consider funding good relationships that might lead to marriage—just like the fund education that might lead to a job.


Some people acquire good jobs by being alert and diligent, “working their way up” as they go. Others  require certain education before one is able to begin them.

Some people seem to naturally do well in relationships—figuring them out as they go along. Others are not gifted in this area at all and they need a lot of teaching and help from others to learn to relate to a spouse.

One or Many?

Some people start in a job they like and keep it most of their life. Others try several jobs before they find one that they like and that will support them. While bosses don’t like to lose a good worker, a peaceful transition can be made when the person changing jobs gives proper notice and  takes care of loose ends.

Some people marry the first person with whom they have had a serious relationship. Others, including this writer, have a succession of serious relationships where marriage is considered, ending with the one they marry. The secret to this is to follow the Bible teaching against physical intimacy before marriage. When this is followed, nobody carries the emotional scars that are usually present when a sexual relationship breaks up.   — NSE




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