A young man requested that I write something about what is important for him when considering a perspective bride. I thought perhaps you might find it interesting as well.
Next to salvation, choosing your life partner is the biggest decision you will make this side of eternity. This choice is not like buying a car or bringing home a new puppy, but will have a direct influence on you every day for the rest of your life. Choose wisely.
Biblically speaking marriage is supposed to be a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman. In our day, divorce runs rampant, but that does not change the standard held out in Scripture. A man can trade in his car and give his puppy away, but his spouse is non-returnable in God’s eyes. Even with the exceptions given in Scripture, the preferred goal is one spouse for life. My often-used saying is, “It is far better to be happily married for forty years then to be miserably married for fifty!” If it takes ten years to find the right woman, it is better to wait.
There are many verses directly related to marriage and I would strongly encourage any young man to review them often as he enters the time of seeking his bride. I will not develop them here but a partial listing includes Malachi 2:13-16, 1Corinthians 7, Ephesians 5:22-33, 1 Peter 3:1-7, and of course, dozens scattered throughout the book of Proverbs. A life partner will have a direct impact on your ability to serve the Lord and therefore must be chosen carefully.
While most young men are attracted to the outside of the perspective bride, and that is good and normal, the inside is far more important. Beyond physical attractiveness, many traits should be considered. I am assuming that you are a strong believer and desire to please the Lord in your life. If you are not, then you have no business looking for a spouse at this time anyway!
I am not going to develop the timing issue for when to consider taking a spouse but I would strongly encourage you to work with your parents as to this critical decision. There are two primary questions regarding marriage; when and who. A few questions to discuss, and have good answers for, include: Am I able to take on the responsibility of a wife and family both spiritually and financially? Are my parents in agreement that this is the right time? Is my walk with God consistent enough? Am I attempting to get away from a problem via marriage? While no one is ever completely ready for marriage, when we get the release from the Lord and the authorities in our life regarding timing, we begin the exciting process of prayerfully seeking our prospective mate!
Here are three key points to consider when looking for a potential spouse:
1. Does the young lady love the Lord with a heart to serve Him? Marriage is hard work sometimes and our relationship with the Lord is our anchor to steady the ship during the storms. If her love for God is not strong, her love for you will also not be. There will be a direct correlation between her love for her Lord and her love for her husband. If the Lord is not first in her life she will not have the necessary foundation upon which to build.
2. Dose the young lady love the Word of God? Given the changeable nature of our society and our emotions, we must build upon something that does not shift like the sand. The Scripture must be a priority and our basis for our belief system. Considering a young lady that has little or no Scriptural understanding in not wise. God’s will and ways must be first and not human emotions and intellect.
3. How does the young lady get along with and treat her family? After you say, “I do,” you are family! If she is cold, angry, selfish and rebellious now, how do you think she will be shortly after you are married? If she has an attitude problem towards her authorities before marriage, do you think that will change when you step into the position of being her authority? If she is self-absorbed now will that change after marriage? From a more positive point of view, if the young lady is a servant now, that will most likely grow. If she is kind and generous now, those attributes will also continue. If she can lovingly submit to her parents today, that is usually a good indication that she will honor and respect you after you marry.
There is nothing magic that takes place during a wedding ceremony. What a person is before they say, “I do,” will simply be more clearly revealed after the wedding celebration takes place. Most people are on their best behavior during the courtship process and this can lead to some artificial representations. It is best to observe from a distance before jumping into a relationship. How a young lady treats her family, friends, and authorities can be observed and is usually a pretty good reflection of how she will soon treat you. Again, choose wisely.
The three points above are by no means the full picture, but if these three are not there, I would very quickly walk away! In addition to loving the Lord, the Word of God, and personal observation of her interaction with those around her, there are multiple other factors to prayerfully consider. For example, her maturity level, emotional stability or moodiness, common interests and dreams, vision for the future, family planning goals, the handling of money, and communication skills all should be considered regarding compatibility. A good rule of thumb is that if everyone around you is questioning the relationship, so should you! The old saying is that “love is blind.” I pray that you will not be.
Marriage is wonderful, a mystical picture of Christ and the Church, and God is the One that came up with the idea. Adam and Eve were the first married couple and all of history will end with a wedding feast! Jesus preformed His first miracle at a wedding and God has specific commands for those that will marry. A young man takes a bride and this decision will affect him for the rest of his days. It is an exciting time and marriage is a gift from God. I pray that each young man will seek the Lord regarding this choice and that many godly generations will come forth as a result.
For a detailed discussion on this topic please visit www.hopefamilyfellowship.org under the “Topics” section and listen to the Pre-Marriage Seminar.
Pastor Jeff Klick