If you’re single and want to be married, you desire a good thing. Proverbs says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.” (Proverbs 18:22) And yes, that goes for she who finds a husband as well. But what are you supposed to do to find a good spouse?
The time to choose carefully is before you get married. Once you say “I do,” it’s a covenant for life. Sliding into marriage is terribly unwise, and is often a setup for heartache. Choosing a spouse carefully is no guarantee of marital happiness, but it makes it a lot more likely.
I know what it’s like to be single for, like, forever, and wonder if there’s anyone out there for YOU. I got married for the first time in my 40s. I had given up! In the meantime I had learned how to experience God as my husband. And then God brought Al into my life. Our years together were blessed and happy before He went home to be with the Lord.
Let me offer some suggestions on how to find a good spouse.
Become the Right Person
Too many people focus on finding the right person. But even when the right person comes along, you won’t be attracted to them and they won’t be attracted to you unless you are becoming the right person yourself.
That doesn’t mean you will be perfect or completely mature. But if you want to marry a princess, become a prince. If you want to marry a prince, become a princess.
I’m not talking about physical characteristics, although caring for yourself well, being healthy, and presenting yourself in an attractive way do matter. I’m talking more about character.
Deal with your stuff. If you’ve come from an unhappy family, do the work necessary to grow up emotionally and become the kind of person God needs you to be. Get real about getting past any addictions or hang-ups. Keep learning, voraciously, from books and people and everywhere you can. Become someone who is joyful, courageous, flexible, hard-working, and caring.
In short, work toward becoming the person your ideal spouse would be attracted to.
If you’re busy doing interesting and important things, you’re more likely to meet someone who is doing the same. Your vocation or job is certainly part of this, though not all. Be someone who is investing in life, growing, learning, working to make a difference. This can also show up in volunteer activities.
This step means you are involved in life rather than sitting back and waiting for a magical partner to get you involved. This will be harder for some than others, based on your personality. But whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, you can get involved in making the world a better place in some way, making some else’s life better.
Be unselfish. Find ways to give of yourself in meaningful ways. The potential spouse you meet while doing so will be much more likely to be someone who will also be giving of themselves to others.
Use Your Head, Not Your Emotions
When some people say “I love you” they really mean, “I love the way I feel when I’m with you.”
Remember that love is NOT a feeling. Feelings change. Regardless of how overwhelming your feelings may be when you meet someone, at some point your feelings WILL change. If you marry for warm fuzzy feelings, you will at some point become deeply disappointed. Sexual attraction is important, but your sexual feelings will change as well. As will your spouse’s.
Marriage is hard enough as it is. Don’t base your decision about who to marry on emotions. Observe your potential spouse carefully, as honestly as you can. Take the time to find out how they behave with others, with family, and in difficult circumstances. Don’t assume they will change once you marry them!
Emotions are important. Hugely important! But they make a very poor basis for a life-long decision such as who to marry. Embrace and acknowledge your feelings. And then use your head.
Married love is a covenant, based on the kind of eternal covenant love with which God loves us. You won’t mirror that perfectly, but keep coming back to that foundation.
Stay on Your Knees
Don’t get desperate or frantic, or try to manage things on your own without God’s input. And don’t find someone you are attracted to, and after the fact go to God and ask for permission to marry them.
Go to God first. Keep going to Him over and over and over again. Bring your own heart before Him, and let your heart be open to His ongoing changing of you. Bring your sexual desires, your habits, your wounds, your past, your future hopes, all of it before Him.
And when you connect with someone who is attracted to you, take it to Him. As much as you humanly can, put your own emotions to the side and seek to hear His voice. After all, if it’s not His doing, you will only end up with much pain and disappointment. If it IS His doing, you and your spouse will be able to weather all the storms that will come.
May you find that good thing – a godly growing spouse who you can continue to grow with throughout life.
Your Turn: Are you desiring to find a good spouse? Which of these points do you think you need to pay most attention to? Leave a comment below.
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- To find a good spouse, focus most on BECOMING the right person rather than finding the right person. Be involved in life. Don’t base decisions on your feelings. And stay on your knees. Tweet that.
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Living the single life as a Christian is challenging. We want to help! Periodically (about once a month) we release a new article or similar resource specifically for you as a single Christian. We’ll talk about relationships, heart issues, and sometimes the possibility of marriage.
If you’d like to join us each month with these resources, let us know.