I’ve been asked this question on multiple occasions, and understandably so. No one wants to marry with doubts the relationship will last “till death” like the vows clearly state. Divorce, especially in American culture, is at an all time high, and for multiple reasons, it’s not getting any better. This statistic has people often asking the question: is he or she, the one? This question can be answered multiple ways, but I believe, from a biblical standpoint, there are three main questions a person should ask themselves before he or she decides if their potential partner is the one.
#3. Is he or she a like-minded believer?
If the person you’re thinking about marrying doesn’t have the same beliefs, you’re already building your home on a broken foundation. Second Corinthians 6:14 says, do not be unequally joined together with unbelievers. Yes, I understand this passage can have multiple meanings, but marriage is most definitely one of them. A believer in Christ marrying an unbeliever is like two drivers pulling at the same steering wheel; you can expect violent swerving and eventually a devastating crash. Why? Because there’s no united control. Furthermore, just like in this scenario, it doesn’t just affect the drivers, it affects everyone on the road around them, i.e.. the offspring. The children will have issues choosing who to believe, widening the wedge between the family. Lastly, if one feels so strongly to marry a unbeliever because they have the potential to convert, I suggest a very long engagement. It’s better to wait for their conversion day outside of marriage than jumping into marriage and it never come.
#2. Do you believe God sent you this spouse? Or are you settling?
One of the worst things a person can do is search for a husband or wife, because when you search, you find. Meaning, you chose the spouse, not God. I always teach people never to search for a spouse. Humans are impatient, therefore, whatever spouses we find for ourselves will most likely not be from God, because we rushed his plan. Understand, if we choose any spouse outside of God’s assigned spouse, we’re settling. DO NOT SETTLE. But, how do I know if I’m settling, you ask? Here are the top three reasons people settle for spouses they’ve chosen:
I. They’re an unbeliever – God will most likely not send you a person to marry that doesn’t believe in him. The bible speaks of building a house on a firm foundation (God), but if only half the relationship believes in God, then the foundation is only half built.
II. Obligation – Never feel obligated to marriage simply because you’ve invested (or wasted) a lot of time inside a relationship. If you’re not 100% sure the marriage will last, then don’t get married. It’s better to cut ties and take your losses than waste even more time by separating later. This is especially hard when one is already comfortable with your partners family and friends. Still, don’t let familiarity determine your marriage. The family and friends aren’t getting married, you are.
III. Children – Never, ever, ever, ever get married just because you made a mistake and conceived outside of marriage. Marriage doesn’t fix the sin, it makes it worse, because it forces number II – Obligation into the mix, and obligation almost always ends in divorce. This is a desperate attempt to force commitment between spouses, when in reality, the commitment to the child is the most important. Marriage isn’t immediately necessary to raise the child. This often stems from judgment from others, pressure from family, and a feeling of ungodliness. Remember, forgiveness comes from God, not from the marriage or family. If later, the potential spouses in fact love each other enough to marry, then by all means, marry. It’s better to raise the child between two happy homes than one broken home.
#1. In all honesty, would you die for him or her at any instant?
Marriage is sacrifice. If you would truly, and I stress truly, die for this person, you will have no issues sacrificing everything that comes with a successful marriage. The bible details that God loved us so much that he sacrificed his son to die, and that we are the bride of Christ, therefore, if we truly love our potential spouse, then we would literally die for them without hesitation if the situation arose, just like Jesus died for his bride. If you hesitate to put their life before yours, then they’re not the one to marry.
Being a realist, I understand there are countless variables when it comes to marriage, but I believe these are the most important questions to ask oneself when dealing with the question of marriage. Marriage is a lifelong commitment, so make extra sure you’re committed to the right one, and to God.
– The Christian Realist