It would be nice if every person had a perfect match somewhere in the world. All we would have to do is download an app and it would tell us the right person to marry. Unfortunately, that app hasn’t been invented yet. The reality is that choosing a spouse is hard, but the Bible gives us a few principles to consider when choosing that special person in your life.
Marry someone who has your values
It is important to marry someone who has the same general views that you do on money, family, and faith. If your spouse has radically different values, then you are going to be inviting misery into your marriage. Don’t think that you can change your spouse’s values, You probably can’t. Instead, be wise and pick a spouse who believes in the things that you believe in.
Proverbs 21:19 (ESV) It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
In other words, this proverb is saying that it is better not to get married than to marry someone you will always be fighting with.
Don’t marry for love
At least, don’t marry just for romantic love. Our culture portrays love as some combination of physical attraction, intense feelings, and lust. This is far from the biblical picture of true love. The kind of love portrayed in movies and other media is something that comes and goes in marriage. Real love is much deeper.
1 Corinthians 13:4, 5, 7 (ESV) Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
This type of love is selfless and sacrificial. It is focused on the good of the other person and it can last through all the emotional ups and downs of marriage.
Marry someone you can trust
If you don’t have trust, then you can’ t have a good marriage. If your boyfriend or girlfriend has cheated on you or you can’t trust them with money, then you should rethink marrying them. Don’t get married until you find someone with integrity.
Proverbs 10:9 (ESV) Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
A person’s integrity will eventually be revealed. If you feel like your partner is untrustworthy, pay attention to those feelings.
Marry someone you want to be married to for life
Jesus made it clear that marriage is meant to last a lifetime. In the following passage, Jesus quoted the Old Testament, and then explained his view of marriage.
Matthew 19:5-6 (ESV) ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
When two people get married they mystically and spiritually become one person. This new union is meant to last until one person dies. This means that you shouldn’t jump into marriage unless you are ready to be married for the rest of your life to the same person.
Marry another Christian
As a Christian, one of the wisest things that you can do is marry another Christian. Otherwise, you are going to spend your life at odds with your spouse. As a Christian, your life is devoted to following Christ. Someone who isn’t a Christian obviously doesn’t have that commitment. This is why the Bible is so forceful on this point:
2 Corinthians 6:14-15 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
If you marry a person who is not a Christian you are signing up for heartache. This becomes particularly apparent for people when they start to have kids. Will your kids be raised as Christians or in the faith of your spouse? Or, are you just going to choose to have a religionless home? This would seem to be a non-option for Christians.
The Bible will never tell you who to marry, but if you listen to its wisdom you can learn a lot about the kind of person to marry.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- List the qualities that you looking for in a spouse? Is your list based on things that will last (character) or things that won’t (physical/emotional)? If you are dating someone, do they have lasting qualities?
- Read Proverbs 21:19. Why is it important to marry someone with your values? What are some of your values that you want to have in common with your spouse?
- Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Make a list of the qualities of love in this passage. How does this love compare and contrast with the kind of love portrayed in popular culture?
- Give practical examples of what 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 love looks like in a marriage.
- How does a lack of trust destroy the foundations of a marriage?
- Read Matthew 19:5-6. What is your reaction to Jesus’ teaching on marriage? How realistic are is this principle in the modern world?
- Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-15. What are some of the dangers of marrying someone who has a different faith commitment than you?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.