How will I know when I have found the perfect spouse for me?

Question: "How will I know when I have found the perfect spouse for me?"

The Bible doesn’t address how to find the “perfect spouse,” nor does it get as specific as we might like on the matter of finding the right marriage partner. It doesn’t even tell us that God has chosen a specific person for each of us to marry. God's Word does tell us to make sure that we are not unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-15), and this is especially true in marriage. First Corinthians 7:39 reminds us that when we are free to marry, we should only marry those who are acceptable to God—in other words, Christians. Beyond this, the Bible is silent about how to know we are marrying the "right" person.

So why doesn't God spell out for us what we should look for in a mate? Why do we not have more specifics about such an important issue? The truth is that the Bible is so clear on what a Christian is and how we are to act that specifics are not necessary. Christians are supposed to be likeminded about important issues, and if two Christians are committed to their marriage and to obeying Christ, they already possess the ingredients for success. However, because our society is now inundated with many different kinds of professing "Christianity," it would be wise to use discernment before a person devotes himself to the lifelong commitment of marriage. Once a prospective mate’s priorities are identified—if he or she is truly committed to Christlikeness—then the specifics are easier to identify and deal with.

First, before marrying, a person should make sure that he or she is ready to marry. He must have enough maturity to look beyond the here and now and be able to commit himself to joining together with this one person for the rest of his life. He must also recognize that marriage requires sacrifice and selflessness. Before marrying, the couple should study the roles and duties of a husband and wife that can be found in Ephesians 5:22-31, 1 Corinthians 7:1-16, Colossians 3:18-19, Titus 2:1-5, and 1 Peter 3:1-7.

A couple should make sure they know each other for a sufficient amount of time before discussing marriage. They should watch how the other person reacts to different situations, how they behave around their family and friends, and what kind of people they hang out with. A person's behavior is greatly influenced by who they keep company with (1 Corinthians 15:33). They should agree on issues such as morality, finances, values, children, church attendance and involvement, relationships with in-laws, and—for women—working outside the home. These are areas of potential conflict in marriage and should be carefully considered before marriage.

Finally, any couple considering marriage should first go to premarital counseling with their pastor or another trained Christian counselor. Here they will learn invaluable tools for building their marriage on a foundation of faith in Christ, and they will also learn how to deal with inevitable conflicts. After all this criteria has been met, the couple is ready to prayerfully decide if they desire to be joined together in marriage. If they are earnestly seeking the will of God, He will direct their paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Recommended Resources: The Ten Commandments of Dating by Young & Adams.

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Is there such a thing as soul mates? Does God have one specific person for you to marry?

What should I be looking for in a husband?

What does the Bible say about dating / courting?

What should I be looking for in a wife?

What is an appropriate level of intimacy before marriage?

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How will I know when I have found the perfect spouse for me?