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Nowhere among the offspring of the beasts of the field or in the insect world will you find a creature as helpless as the human babe.

The young of the beasts of the field shift for themselves very shortly after birth. While the child of one year remains a helpless babe that cannot defend itself and still depends upon its parents for food, shelter and clothing, the beasts of the field and of the wood at that age may be a direct menace and peril to full grown men. While the year old child is still “all thumbs,” the little spider of only a few weeks can already spin its geometrically perfect web without ruler or compass. The offspring of birds are able to find their own food and fly with grace through the air before the child, born the day they hatched from their eggs, is able to take its first clumsy step.

But let that offspring of man come to years of discretion—and indeed, you sometimes wonder where the discretion is—and it will suddenly assume a know-it-all attitude and sneer at all the other creatures over which God had placed man at creation. Youth does not even have time to give thought to the saying in German dialect that declares that we get old too soon and smart too late. Youth will not even hear of such a thing. He soon forgets his very slow development. And although he glories in that lofty position wherein the Creator has placed him over all the creatures of the earth, he quickly forgets and ignores that the Creator has done this. He does not remember his Creator even when he deals with the creatures which this Creator has placed at his disposal and over which He had made him to be a steward.

Likewise will youth relegate to the museum those older than his generation and scorn their advice, ridicule their knowledge gained by experience and choose his own way. King Rehoboam was a classical example of this foolhardiness. And though covenant youth have been told that story time and again together with the miserable results and tragic fruit of that immature judgment, youth finds a reason for believing that it does not apply to his generation and his situation. Youth feels that it has outgrown the fifth commandment and sees all kinds of reasons for not honoring father and mother. Youth challenges the work of the Church fathers and puts on trial the teachings of the Church. Covenant youth does that, for by nature that flesh of the covenant youth is a part of the wicked world in which they and we live. Indeed, Solomon had his reason for counseling youth to remember its Creator in the days of its youth.

And, if you please, it is in this age that youth must make many momentous decisions that will bear their fruit through the remainder of their earthly life. In the immature age of youth they begin to decide their careers, what vocation, profession, what field of labor shall be theirs. Admittedly there are fields of work wherein covenant youth cannot serve God anymore in this day and age. There are fields where he must needs practice evil in order to conduct his business or experience failure. In the highly competitive age wherein he must vie with unscrupulous, unregenerated men, he cannot make a go of it without practicing the same deception. Inexperienced as he is, too proud to ask an older generation, considering his parents old-fashioned and antiquated in their thinking, youth will plan its own future and choose its own vocation and profession or field of labor with a misplaced confidence in what the future holds. Rarely will he admit his inability to make a good decision for himself. Granted that one does better work in a field where he enjoys what he is doing, this is by no means the only or even the first consideration. A work that takes one away from the Church, necessarily requires unequal yoking with unbelievers or depends upon evil practices is a work covenant youth may not choose. And to choose it is to declare that one does enjoy sin. We all are at our best in the work of sin, because it always is a work we enjoy. Youth, remember your Creator in the choice of a vocation, profession, field of labor. Choose only that field where you can serve Him as your Creator.

And it is in youth that one makes another tremendously important decision. Youth begins to look forward to marriage. They begin in the days of youth to pick out their companions and mates for life. At a very early age already they begin to tease each other about this or that boyfriend or girlfriend. Even small children are conscious of this choice which in their teens already youth is beginning to make. Gradually it begins to dawn on him what he intends to seek in such a companion. And who dares to deny that the world takes a large part in holding up before covenant youth what ought to be looked for and considered when seeking a life’s mate? Hollywood, radio, TV and magazines all seek to poison the minds of covenant youth and play up to them what makes a congenial and to-be-preferred mate. And because he does not find Hollywood “stars” in his church, a young man will seek places of worldly entertainment or the like to find what has been drummed into his ears and held before his eyes as the ideal “playmate” for life.

Marriage is a serious business, and God made Eve as an help meet for Adam, not an helpmate. But youth so often has no time for such old fashioned ideas and kill-joy sermons. Youth is life, and life must be fun. A pretty face, eyes that sparkle with inner laughter, hair of the right hue and cut, a readiness for sport and fun, or perhaps a certain natural shyness, clinging vine type to accentuate the male superiority, or even a possessor of a flashy car, a padded billfold that opens easily, a certain stature and athletic achievements are the things to look for and guide in the choice of a life’s mate. And then covenant youth soothes its conscience a wee bit if it can find along with these a little spirituality, a little interest in the things of God’s kingdom and a willingness to join his or her church for the sake of convenience. There is, after all these other things are sought, a little remembering of that Creator. And were it not for the fact that the Creator remembers His covenant youth, we would all follow Hollywood’s lead and drop all consideration of the spiritual characteristics of that future husband or wife. He is merciful and in His mercy also recreates us in Christ and gives His covenant youth spiritual wisdom and discretion. He is our Recreator as our Creator. Otherwise the matter would be utterly hopeless.

But that does not mean that our youth today should not be warned and be given good counsel. That there are our covenant youth who do take this matter seriously and prayerfully does not mean that even they cannot receive further guidance. And this merciful Creator guides them and keeps them from such covenant foolishness exactly through His Word as it is taught unto His covenant youth. Therefore lines such as these are not only beneficial but also necessary; especially in the evil age in which we live.

The Word of God has something very definite to say on this subject. Scripture pays very little attention to that pretty face, the attractive smile, the gentle nature, that poise and fun-loving nature. Abraham sought a wife for Isaac, and God prospered him in the way. God did not accuse him of being overbearing and cruel to his son. Abraham’s consideration was first and last a believing wife. Nothing else entered into the picture at all. He gave no further qualification to his eldest servant, and he sent him where he believed that such a wife could be found. And Isaac married her with a veil over her face!

Even farther removed from our present day freedom and practice was God’s ordinance in regard to the covenant inheritance. Just turn to Deuteronomy 25:5, 6where, we read, “If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her. And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.” Now, of course, we are not advocating anything like today when the land of Canaan had ceased to be a type of the promise. Nor do we recommend the procedure of Abraham in regard to a wife for Isaac to our covenant parents. But what we do want to stress in the light of these instances is that covenant considerations comefirst and not last. All other things being equal our youth indeed may have their preference to the one young man or young woman. But the primary consideration must be the spiritual qualifications. It is not a case of “going around” for a while with one whose faith or doctrinal position is either known to be contrary to one’s own or of doubtful content and then try to pattern it after one’s own. The very first consideration must be to find that companion in the sphere of the Church. And we simply have no business “picking them up” in any other sphere.

Youth will come in contact with “promising candidates” at work or in connection with daily work; but then again before anything else is considered and anything is done along that line, covenant interest, spiritual depth and sincere faith must first be determined. In fact these must be ascertained before the first date. If there is anything questionable about it, if there is any doubt about it, we have no business in the company of such lest Paul shout the Word of God to us, “What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols, for ye are the temple of the living God. . . . Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord,” II Corinthians 6:14-17.

The world places its stress on physical beauty and what it calls fleshly compatibility. God’s Word places the emphasis upon spiritual compatibility. If two do not stand on the same spiritual ground with the same faith they cannot be physically and psychically compatible unless they have not the life of the kingdom in them. Light cannot have fellowship with darkness, but two kinds of darkness can get along.

Youth, remember that the future husband and wife must be one who will help you and your covenant seed to remember their Creator. Another life’s companion you may not have. Only such is an help meet (that is spiritually fit and suitable) to you. In His fear seek such only.

—J.A.H.