Finding the Right Mate
This study is only for those who are single and are anticipating marriage. For those who are already married, divorced, or remarried, the Bible gives different instructions for you. God's Word clearly gives us different guidance for different situations.
Many single people who are anticipating marriage ask, "How can I be sure that I will marry the right person God has for me?" The people who ask this with an honest heart, willing to accept God's choice, and willing to do His will, usually receive guidance from God. But the person who wants God's stamp of approval on his or her own choice may be headed for trouble. The reason is because you will always want the person whom God has for you, but the person that you may want may not be whom the Lord has chosen. Billy Graham's wife said she would have married the wrong man four times if God had given her the person she thought was right for her. She found the right person because she wanted God's best, and He kept her from making the wrong choice.
God has made somebody just for you.
The biblical pattern for marriage is Adam and Eve (Gen. 2:18-25). Jesus declared this pattern in Matt 19:4-6, that is, there is one woman for one man. The woman was created for the man, not the man for the woman (1 Cor 11:7-9). This doesn't mean that woman is a lesser person than man, but speaks concerning the wife's role in marriage. The Adam and Eve pattern is a certain woman was created as a help meet for the man, and God said it was very good (Gen. 1:31).
Out of this world of five billion people, how can you possibly find the right mate? Genesis 24 tells an interesting story about how God gave Rebecca to Isaac, although we do not suggest that any girl who waters your camels is the right one for you. What we do know is this--God is the one who made your spouse-to-be and He is the only one who knows who it is. If a person is going to find the right mate, then God must be involved in bringing the two together.
We can't search out the entire world, trying to find the right one completely on our own. You would have better luck looking for a needle in a haystack that is 20 miles high. Instead, you need to learn to trust God and let Him bring you together as Adam rested and God brought Eve to him (Gen. 2:21-22). When I was single, I learned I had to trust God to bring my future wife to me, but I always wondered where I would meet her. I finally met her 1,000 miles away from my home, and she was 600 miles from her home. We couldn't have planned getting together, but God sovereignly brought us together in His timing.
If you are seeking God first in your life, then it will be impossible for you to miss the person whom God has for you (Matt 6:32-33, Psalm 34:10, 37:3-5, Prov. 3:5-6). Psalms 84:11 says, "No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Proverbs 18:22 adds," He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord." Of course, God can and does bring the two right people together many times even when neither are seeking God. But many people miss what God has for them when they turn to their own way.
God has a right timing.
It's possible to find the right person, but marry at the wrong time. If you rush into marriage too quickly, it could bring trouble into the marriage that you would have avoided if you had waited. We want our cake and we want it now. Never mind the fact that it hasn't been cooked yet. Psalm 37:7 tells us to "rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him."
Marry a Christian.
When two people marry, it is not just two bodies that come together--but two bodies, two minds, and two spirits (1 Thess. 5:23). If your spirits are not in harmony, then you will likely be out of harmony mentally, physically, and socially as well. If you marry someone who is not a Christian, you will have two different perspectives on life, which will affect nearly every decision that you will make. A Christian should only marry another believer because this is God's command (1 Cor 7:39, 2 Cor 6:14-16).
Both man and woman should be in agreement.
Sometimes one person tries to push the other person into marriage. Warning! Warning! If this is happening, the best thing to do is back off. Either the person is not the right person, the timing is wrong, or somebody's mind is not convinced. Marriage is a decision where both parties freely commit themselves to each other. If two people can't be in agreement about whether or not to marry, then how will they ever be in agreement concerning the thousands of decisions they will make after they are married? Amos 3:3--"Can two walk together except they be in agreement?" Obviously, the answer is no.
When in doubt, don't!
If you don't know for sure whether to marry a person, then don't do it. Romans 14:23 says whatever is not from faith is sin. Marriage should always bring a happy anticipation and an assurance, not a fearful questioning of whether or not the marriage will make it. A friend of mine once cancelled her wedding, even though the wedding invitations had been sent out. She had felt pressured to get married by her boyfriend and her heart wasn't in it. Although she cancelled the wedding, it was the right decision.
Make sure you are right for the other person.
While you are waiting for God to bring your future spouse to you, make sure you are preparing yourself to be the kind of spouse you want your mate to be. I have known of many men who want to marry virgins, but those same men don't want to wait until marriage to have sex. Some people want their spouses to be trim and in good physical shape, but they won't keep in shape themselves. Are you ready to honorably present yourself to your future spouse, or are you only thinking about how he or she will look? Preparing yourself is an act of faith that God will bring the right person to you.