Have you ever noticed how married people begin to resemble each other? They
laugh at the same corny jokes, wear identical sweat suits, and share similar
points of viewit's no wonder they appear alike. Aside from physical
appearance, have you also noticed how some people change spiritually after
There are examples of notoriously rebellious individuals in the church who,
after settling down, turn over a new leaf and become model Christians. There are
also believers who serve the Lord with great fervor while they are single, but
sadly, after marriage they gradually withdraw themselves from church activity to
lead a private and exclusive family life.
The Bible tells us, "He who finds a wife [husband] finds a good thing, and
obtains favor from the Lord" (Prov 18:22). The latter scenario is probably not
the "good thing" favored by God.
Married couples spend so much time together that in many aspects they start
to think, talk, and act alike. Our spouse will undoubtedly be the most
influential person in our life, and our commitment should be made with careful
"Why should I marry a believer?"
We pursue marriage because of love. To willingly give up our desires, habits,
and viewpoints in order to make someone else happy is a selfless and honorable
expression of that love. However, we should be clear on one thing that should never
be given upeven for our belovedand that is our relationship with God.
...There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman
cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and
spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the worldhow she
may please her husband (1 Cor 7:32-36)
Is it possible for us to be married and still serve the Lord without
distraction? A significant factor is whether we marry someone in the same faith
and if our spouse understands and loves God above all else.
If we consider God as first priority and our spouse does not, there will
be a conflict of interest. On one hand, we want to please God and build an
intimate relationship with Him, but on the other hand, we want to please the
person who we feel we cannot live without.
Marriage would not be such a struggle if our spouse had the same faith and
love for God, for pleasing our spouse would mean pleasing God. There is less
conflict and need for compromise when both put Christ first.
We won't have to coax our spouse into attending church services or bicker
about financial decisions, because we both know that our lives and possessions
are in the Lord's hands. We understand that Jesus is the foundation of our lives
and share the goal of living a godly lifestyle and teaching our children
Because our spouse also loves God above all else, they support our desire to
serve Christ and His church. In turn, our Father will bless us and be pleased
with a union that glorifies His name.
Priscilla and Aquila is a model couple that lived a simple life as tentmakers
but served God faithfully even with their humble lifestyle. They grew together
in the knowledge of God's grace and truth, opened their hearts and homes to God's
people, and refreshed fellow workers in Christ (Acts 18).
God gave each of us a helper, not so that we should rely on Him less and
depart from His body, but that we may support one another, growing in faith, and
forming a threefold cord that is not easily broken: God, husband, and wife.
"Maybe this is God's special will for me?"
Despite all the encouragement to marry in Christ, many of us are still
tempted to look outside the flock. Some of us are struggling at the start of a
relationship with an unbeliever and others are already deeply involved. With our
hearts already bound to them, we pray that they too can come to believe in
We once may have been established in the Lord and determined to wait
patiently on Him, to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14), and
to keep our minds and bodies pure.
But now, torn between the desire to please God and the desire to keep company
with an unbeliever, a shadow of doubt is cast upon those biblical principles
that were once so firmly rooted in our hearts and minds. Emotions overshadow our
understanding of the truth, and biblically defined marital boundaries now become
Finally, we pose the question, "Maybe this is God's special will for me?
Perhaps it is my particular commission to marry and convert this person?"
Scouring the church for examples to justify our resolution, we disregard all
the unsuccessful marriages with Gentiles but cling with all hope to the few with
happy endingsdiscounting their long and painful beginnings.
The statistics count against us, the truth of the Bible cuts our heart, the
Holy Spirit prompts our conscience, fellow brothers and sisters lament for us,
and our parents plead and fast and pray for usall to no avail.
The level of our biblical conviction and spiritual confusion is relative to
our proximity to Christ. The closer we draw to God, the closer He will draw to
us (Jas 4:8), and the more we will be able to discern the truth. Conversely, the
further we are from God, the more vulnerable we are to Satan, who is the author
of doubt and confusion.
Our relationship with God is established on the covenant that we shall love
Him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind (Mt 22:37). How
can someone understand the mystery of love without first understanding God, the
source of love? In addition, how can someone practice true love if Christ does
not live in them? (1 Jn 4:8)
A person who does not know Jesus cannot make Him the highest priority. A
person who does not know what it means to utter "Hallelujah" cannot pray with us
in the Spirit. A person who does not fear God will not place equal importance in
keeping His commandments.
We can plead with them to have faith in Jesus, but if they do not believe,
where will the faith come from? It is hard enough for us to stand firm in Christ
on our ownimagine how difficult it would be if our spouse were draining our
"But I can't find anyone in church"
Search from the book of the Lord, and read:
Not one of these shall fail; not one shall lack her mate.
For My mouth has commanded it,
and His Spirit has gathered them. (Is 34:16)
In this passage, the prophet Isaiah describes how God willed for the land of
Edom to be populated and taken over by wild beasts. God spoke and His Spirit
assembled the animals together. According to His good will, none of them would
lack a mate; they would produce offspring and overcome the land He purposed for
It is also God's will for this earth to be populated by His children, that we
should multiply and produce godly offspring, to spread the gospel to the ends of
the earth, and eventually inherit His heavenly kingdom.
God does not will for any of His children to falter, neither does He expect
anyone to endure alone. Our Almighty Father has someone especially prepared for
each of us, a perfect rib to be molded into each body, balanced and
complementary so that one's lack will be supplied by the other's abundance.
The promised Holy Spirit will be granted to each one of us, and it is this
same Spirit that will work to gather us to our mate. So it is not in vain that
we are encouraged to pray for this matter with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Our eyes can only see what is external and our senses fool us, but God's Spirit
searches all things to the inner depths of the heart ( Cor 2:10).
We cannot find our spiritual partner by relying on our sight. We need to
humbly ask God to close our fleshly eyes and open our spiritual eyes, so that
His will and not our own may be done.
Finally, we have to wait. Many of us have an earnest desire to marry within
the Lord but grow impatient and anxious with time, taking matters into our own
hands. Waiting is not merely the passing of time but also a true test of
patience, trust, and belief in Christ.
"What do I do while I'm waiting?"
The Bible warns us, "The time is short, so that from now on even those who
have wives should be as though they had none" (1 Cor 8:29). We do not know
whether we will live or die tomorrow, so let us focus on living today and doing
good work worthy of the Lord's calling.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no
work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
We should take advantage of this limited time we have to "be without care" (1
Cor 7:32) and "serve the Lord without distraction" (1 Cor 7:35).
Responsibilities change with age. Working professionals can no longer
dedicate summer vacations to holy work and attending spiritual seminars. The
married can't simply leave their spouses to assist in seminars or missionary
trips. Parents cannot easily leave their children and assist in church work.
Now is the time to equip ourselves in Christ and to offer our best sacrifice
to Him. Before bringing a third party into the picture, let's make sure our
relationship with God is fully established.
As we wait patiently on the Lord, we should be careful not to take this
matter into our own hands. In an attempt to find "the right one," many young
people are now dating and becoming involved in relationships. Whether or not
they are Christians, this is a dangerous "chemistry" experiment as young people
are getting too involved too soon.
There is an old adage that says, "You can't continue to walk along the
shoreline without getting your feet wet." You may start out wanting only to "test
the waters," but soon you become submerged in the tide. Are we stronger than
Samson, greater than King David, or wiser than King Solomon? These great men
were brought down in the time of temptation. The best bet is to walk a safe
distance away from the coastline.
In a discussion forum, someone raised the question, "How do I know if this
person is truly the one God wills for me to marry?" Someone wisely responded, "It
is more important for us to be God's will than to know God's will."
Each day we should focus on being who God wants us to be, doing what is right
in His eyes, and keeping ourselves holy. We must remain obedient to His
commandments and pursue love, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit.
As we continue to grow in the understanding of His knowledge and truth, the
mystery of His will shall be made known to us, in His time.
The Most Important Relationship
Marriage, like our biological family, is only a worldly relationship.
Marriage does not exist in heaven (Mt 22:30), nor is it a pre-requisite to enter
God's kingdom. Our relationship with God is the most crucial relationship in
lifemore important than our relationship with our spouse, our friends, or our
No one denies that loneliness is a kind of suffering, and those who have yet
to find their soul mate will feel this at times. Some people bear the suffering
gracefully by taking refuge in God's love, while others grow desperate and
forsake His commandments. Some feel it is better to marry an unbeliever than to
burn with passion, but others believe that it is better to draw close to God and
wait for His time than to be burnt by passion.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved,
he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who
love Him. (Jas 1:12)
Let us pray that our love for God will be greater than any fear of loneliness
or suffering and that our faith in Him will not turn cold with the passing of
time. The temporary feeling of loneliness cannot be compared to eternal
separation from God. Nothing in this world, including marriage, is worth
jeopardizing our relationship with Christ.