If you are single, there is a 9 out of 10 chance that you will get married. No matter how hopeless you think your situation may be, the odds are definitively in your favor. I am not too worried about you finding a spouse. I am more concerned about this generation of young people staying with their spouse. Ultimately, you do not get married to become a better spouse. You become a better spouse by being married. With the main stream media portraying marriage as an antiquated institution – it is more important than ever before to realize the following:
The meaning of marriage is for the glorious gospel to be put on full display to the watching world.
If God created it, then I am all for perfecting it. But what do you do before you are married? What do you do if you are already married? I believe the following four incredibly important things will prepare you and your future spouse well, for the wedding day – and for the last day, covenantally together, glorifying Jesus and impacting the world together.
Here are four incredibly important things to consider when searching for your future spouse:
1. Pray About Your Future Spouse. Long before I got married to my wife, I was praying for my wife. It has been really encouraging to share with my wife the fact that before we were ever together, I was praying for us to be together. Pray for your future spouse and pray about your future spouse. I have met a lot of guys who think a lot about their future spouse. When I ask them if they have been intentionally praying about their future spouse — they look at me like a deer looks into xenon headlights. Prayer is a crucial component in the preparation for your marriage. This season of prayer will change you and your character. It will prepare you for what is up ahead. Pray intentionally and strategically about your future spouse. Long before you even set your eyes on him/her. You will be glad you did. So will your future spouse.
2. Pursue Your Future Spouse With The Intent That He/She Will Become Your Husband Or Wife.
If you are a follower of Jesus, the only reason you should be involved in a serious relationship with the opposite gender – is for the exclusive purpose of getting married, and staying married.
This is the way in which God designed it and the way He wanted it. If you are a believer, you should limit yourself to pursuing a spouse that is also a believer. The Bible is very clear about this. Being unequally yoked is unbiblical. Is it impossible? Probably not. Is it Biblical? No. Ultimately, it is not about what you want to do, but what God wills for you to do. You do not have a free will to do anything you want. You have a freed will to do what God wants. Contrary to cultural opinion, wives are not happiest when they are married to the best looking, the most wealthy or the most successful man. Wives are happiest when they feel security and dependability from their husband. Wives are happiest when their husband shares their vision regarding their marriage, when they are both committed to the marriage and when they are integrated into the life of a local church. The marriage works best when both spouses are emotionally invested in making their marriage work.
3. Figure Out Where You Will Worship. Couples who regularly attend church together are far less likely to separate or divorce, which is the most common eventual result of separation. Couples who “frequently attend religious services are only about half as likely to separate.” Also, the “rate of marital dissolution [divorce] is 2.4 times higher among couples where neither spouse attends than among couples where each spouse attends religious services every week.” One study found that couples who attend church together regularly were approximately 35 percent less likely to divorce, compared to their married peers who rarely or never attended religious services. (h/t)
This is why you need to decide with your spouse where you will worship, before you get married.
- What is your background?
- What is your denomination?
- What are your theological convictions?
- Are you both believers?
- Is one of you not a believer?
- Will you go to this church or that church?
- Does your spouse love Jesus but not the church?
The place where you will go to worship Jesus and do community during your marriage has to be decided before the actual marriage.
Can you decide this after getting married? Yes. Will it be more difficult? Yes. Do I know spouses that have split up because they had two different views on where they should worship – but only realized this upon getting married? Yes. A marriage relationship is already complex enough as it is. Why would you want to add another difficult element into the mix? Jesus is still good and His grace can still get you through anything. If God got you in it, He will get you through it. So as you begin your marriage, instead of fighting about where you will worship, you will fight for each other, defeating sin by the power of the Spirit and displaying the gospel together.
You and your future spouse will be an incredible team together and will have significant advantage over the majority of other couples when not only will you go to the same church and sit under the same teaching but you also share completely the same theological convictions.
4. Finish All Your Education Prior To Getting Married. I know this may be impossible for some. But I do recommend this for all. I started seminary six months after I got married. It was not an easy assignment, but it was not insurmountable. Jesus was super good to my wife and I. This is why I love the “front-load principle.” Begin as early as you can. Take as many classes as you can. Have laser focus as much as you can. Before you get married. This is possible. This can be done. What about if you are already married but are still in school? Stay in school. Finish what you started. Pray for extra grace. Pray for your spouse. Do not take long breaks between quarters or semesters. Get it done. If possible, before you get married.
A couple who is united holistically, theologically and methodologically is a force that can create movements and shake continents.
I truly believe that many movements that God will allow us to see happen in our midst will be because of an anointed marriage in which both couples submit to Jesus and are committed to one another.
The reason we enjoy weddings so much is because we were wired for relationships. The weddings we will attend this year and the marriages we will see and work on this year are just shadows of what we will experience – when we will see Jesus. We then will perpetually be a part of the best wedding party and the perfect marriage, forever.
Question: What other things would you add to the list of consideration when searching for your future spouse? How can you specifically address these things, even after you are married?