50. Who should I MARRY?

Question and answer: “How do I know who I should marry?”

Well no one can tell you that but God. He will show you when it is His time, and whom you should marry. God’s timing may not be our timing, never go rushing into a commitment with a relationship. At the heart of marriage is companionship and intimacy, which both husband and wife must promote. Do not mistake lust for love.

Genesis 2:18 ‘God said, "It is not good that man should be alone."'

Wisdom: Spend some quality time seeking the Lord and talking with godly leaders before you make any decision – they could save you a lifetime of misery; and help you find God’s choice.

Remember these three principles...
  • 1. Be obedient to God and choose a believer.
  • 2. Trust God to lead you to the right person.
  • 3. Look out for good and godly characteristics.

    2 Corinthians 6:14 ‘Do not be yoked together with unbelievers, for what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?’

    A husband and wife team should complement each other. Do you have similar interests when it comes to spiritual matters? Do you pray and read the Bible together? Do you have common interests and values? Can you work and relax together? Do you help meet each other's emotional needs? Can you work problems through together? When you fight: can you sort it out, forgive and move on? Do you agree on the foundational doctrines?

    Do either of you have unresolved relationships in your past? Have you talked about each area of your future life? Do you want children? What are your callings? If one of you wants to be a missionary and the other does not, then you are not compatible. Will there be cultural differences? Western and Eastern culture are very different, with different responsibilities.

    Characteristics to look for in a future husband / wife

  • 1. Are they devoted to Christ? Are they right with God and do they walk close with Him? 2 Corinthians 5:15. Will they draw you nearer to or away from the Lord’s will for your life? Isaiah 5:20, 2 Corinthians 13:5. Do you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who may one day hate your love for God? 2 Corinthians 6:14.

  • 2. Look for the correct priorities. Do they want to fulfil the plan that God has for you both, or are they committed to money, position in society and pleasure? Will they put their work life before you and maybe one day the kids? Proverbs 23:4, Matthew 6:33.

  • 3. Do they walk in the love of God? We all have our bad days – but do they treat you with respect? Can you see the peace of God flowing from them? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. Are they vindictive towards other people – one day they may be that way towards you, Proverbs 27:5-6. Do they totally lose their temper? Ephesians 4:26-27. Do you feel safe with him / her? Proverbs warns us not to get involved with someone who is constantly irritable and contentious Proverbs 21:9, 19. Do they moan all of the time? Do you see the fruit of the Spirit in them now? Galatians 5:22-23.

  • 4. Are they an honest person? Can you trust him / her? Are they a person of their word? Imagine spending the rest of your life with someone whom you cannot trust; they promise – but rarely fulfil. They lie to get out of difficult situations Numbers 30:2, Psalm 15:1-4b and Proverbs 24:1. Do you think you would be happy with that person?

  • 5. Are they responsible? Do you want to spend your life working hard, when your husband / wife is a selfish, lazy person who ignores their responsibilities? Proverbs 14:23, Proverbs 21:25, Proverbs 22:13, Proverbs 26:13 and 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15.

  • 6. Do they exercise self control? Luke 9:23. Does he or she binge drink? Ephesians 5:18. Are they addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, work etc? If they have not valued sexual purity before marriage – will they remain pure throughout the whole marriage – even during the long difficult times? Proverbs 5:15-20 and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

  • 7. What is their attitude towards money? Will they waste the grocery money on expensive brand name shoes, because they are an impulsive shopper? Luke 9:23. Could they send you spiralling into debt by buying a big car or expensive dress without consulting you? Do they gamble? Will they bring a big debt into the marriage? Proverbs 22:7 and Luke 14:28-30. Do they tithe and give offerings to God? Could they put their ‘wants’ above your future families needs? 1 Timothy 5:8.

  • 8. Are they committed to fellowship in church? Are they humble and willing to serve others? 1 Peter 5:5-6. You really don’t want to find out that they are a backslider after six months of marriage! Hebrews 10:25.

  • 9. Do they honour their / your parents? We all know the joke about the mother-in-law; but the Scripture does promise that all will go well with us if we honour our parents Ephesians 6:2-3.

  • 10. Do you love them for their inner beauty? Physical attraction is important, but age does catch up with us all! The Lord looks at the heart and we need wisdom to see past their outward appearance to the heart 1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Peter 3:2-4.

    Proverbs 31:30 ‘Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.’

  • 11. Has love blinded you? Sometimes everyone else can see that the person you are with is unsuitable – but our feelings can completely blind us! If your friends, family, pastor and church all tell you not to get married – you will need to consider their advice carefully! Seek God very urgently! Proverbs 11:14 and 20:18a.

    On the other hand, many leaders told John Wesley not to marry a great Christian girl because it was not good for the Methodist movement. See Job 12:12, Job 32:9. He was so heart-broken that later he married without consulting anyone – unfortunately for him – he married a bad apple. People testified to seeing his wife pull him around by the hair!!

  • 12. Beware of unrealistic expectations! The list above is good: but remember there is no perfect prince charming or princess out there! We are all real people, with real problems and faults. Are you ready to deal with their and your problems? Proverbs 19:11, John 12:24, Romans 12:9-12, Galatians 2:20, 2 Timothy 2:24-26.

    Some think that marriage will solve all of their problems, whilst others marry for all the wrong reasons: such as being caught up in the excitement of a proposal, fear of being left on the shelf, an excuse to escape a bad family atmosphere or to give up work forever under the pretence of starting a family. Others look to marriage as a way to step up the social, economical or political ladder, or for the security in knowing of a future inheritance.

    Remember it is better to be single and lonely, than to be married, wishing you were single! One woman who married poorly said, "I never really knew what it was to be alone, until I got married."

    Fact: Christian marriage is a lifetime commitment through all of life’s ups and downs.

    Do you understand what the responsibilities of a husband and wife are? Study 1 Corinthians 7:1-11, Ephesians 5:22-33, 1 Peter 3:1-7, Proverbs chapter 31.

    If you take care of the things that are dear to God, then He will take care of the things that are dear to you Matthew 6:33, Psalm 37:4, 23, 145:19. Being single is an important time to prepare you for marriage. It can also be a time to experience a closer relationship with Him. Sometimes people do not marry for a variety of reasons and there is nothing wrong in remaining single. God’s will be done.

    Think: What do you expect to get from marriage and what are you prepared to give? Are you ready for a lifetime commitment?

    More Info: Genesis 2:18-25, Ruth, Ecclesiastes 9:9, Song of Songs, Matthew 12:25, Galatians 5:15, Ephesians 6:4, 1 Timothy 3:4. Malachi 2:13-16.

  • Visit the interactive version of this course online. www.byfaith.co.uk © 2003 ByFaith Media.