At the top of my list is this one: Your choice of whom to marry is more crucial than everything else combined that you will ever do to make your marriage succeed. If you choose wisely, your life will be significantly easier and infinitely more satisfying. But if you make a serious mistake, your marriage may fail, causing you and perhaps your children immeasurable pain. Most of the failed marriages I have encountered were in trouble the day they began. The two people involved simply chose the wrong person to marry.
Dr. Neil Clark Warren, Finding the Love of Your Life, p. 3
When there is so much riding on choosing the right person to marry it can be very easy to say, “It is better not to marry!” While I believe there are valid reasons for a person choosing not to marry, refusing to marry because of what might happen is not one of those reasons.
There are many things that you and I have very little control over in life. One of those things we have little to no control over are the actions of another person. It is possible to marry a loving and charming person, but because of unresolved sin, that person can evolve into a very different sort of person. We cannot guide another person’s life and therefore we cannot be guaranteed that everything will work out in the end.
This means that marriage is always a risk. You can do all the right things and the marriage can still fall apart. One of the questions that you need to consider is if the potential of a wonderful marriage is greater than the risks associated with getting married.
The greatest thing we can do to increase the possibility of having a wonderful marriage is to choose the right person. To do that you need to move past the romantic feelings you have and seriously evaluate your compatibility with the other person. Dr. Neil Clark Warren’s book, Finding the Love of You Life, is a good resource to help you accomplish that task.
I want to highlight two areas that I think are vitally important when it comes to making a wise choice for spouse.
- Having the same type of faith commitment. For many people their faith forms the foundation of their worldview. That means their faith plays a huge role in making decisions about child raising, how to use money, views about politics, and even career choices. If both people do not have the same foundation for understanding these things it makes it very difficult to reach any sort of decision on what to do. Having the same faith commitment also gives a couple a common bond that will help hold them together through thick and thin.
- Understanding that marriage is a partnership. I think this is so important, but it is often overlooked. In our individualistic culture we encourage people to make their goals and pursue them. What has happened is that both men and women have their own separate goals for life set before they even think about getting married. Many married couples are pursuing their own goals and their spouse plays little or no role in what they want to accomplish. If this is the reality for many couples is it any wonder so many married people seem to drift apart? Biblically marriage is a partnership. We need to recapture the idea that in marriage God has brought together a man and woman to partner together for His Kingdom. This means our goals and dreams cannot be centered on what we as individuals want to do, rather they need to be focused on what we as couple have been called to do.
It is important to remember that there is great risk in getting married. We have no control over the actions of the other person and therefore there is a great potential for us to get hurt. The thing to do is not to avoid marriage because of fear, but to do what you can to make a wise choice in a spouse. This requires prayerful discernment as you consider the person you desire to marry. Do they have the same type of faith commitment that you do? Are they willing to partner with you in ministry or do their own goals take precedent?
Finding a person with the same faith commitment as you have and who is willing to partner with you in ministry will go a long way in building a marriage that will last a lifetime.
Questions to Consider:
- Why is it so important to make a wise choice on who you will marry?
- Do think having the same level of faith commitment is important?
- In what ways do you want to partner with your spouse for the good of God’s Kingdom?