Choosing a Mate: What the Bible Says about Christian Marriage
By Betty Miller
We know that it is the Lord’s will for people to have a mate if they desire one. In the beginning when God created Adam, God Himself made this statement: “…It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).
The Lord wants to bring a mate to those who will ask Him and have the patience to wait for His choice.
There are some single people who are constantly out looking for a mate, and they are miserable because God has not sent them one yet. They have prayed and prayed, yet they still have no mate. Some settle for Satan’s provision instead of asking God for the patience to wait for the one whom He would send. If they would look to Jesus and seek to please Him, rather than being concerned about a mate, soon they would find the right one crossing their path. Looking for a man or woman to just keep them from being lonely or just to fill their needs or to be a father or mother to their children should not be the only reasons for desiring a mate. They also need to be concerned about what kind of husband or wife they would be for a mate. These single people are still much in the flesh if they just want their own needs met. They should ask the Lord to fill them with His love and peace.
Importance of Choosing the Right Mate
Being single is an important time to prepare us for marriage. It can also be a time to experience a closer communion with God. As we seek God to cleanse us of the world and help us become the kind of wife or husband that would bless someone, we will soon find that we are not lonely. First, the Lord would begin using us to bless others; then we will find we are content in Him. Eventually, in God’s plan and timing, He will bless us with a wonderful mate so that both lives can be a witness for Him. We believe if a marriage cannot glorify the Lord, then it would be better to remain alone. There are worse things than being alone. One of these is to be out of God’s will by compromising and marrying someone who does not feel the same way we do about the Lord.
Marriage is the second major choice we make in our lives, and we should never enter into it without much prayer. To rush into a marriage can be disastrous. The most important decision of our lives, of course, is our decision to follow the Lord. This decision is not a one-time declaration, but a daily determination to follow Jesus above all. If we allow the emotional or soulish realm to dominate our lives we become more susceptible to the enemy leading us astray through someone. This area of the flesh should be brought under the Lord’s subjection so that Satan does not get the advantage and consequently destroy our lives and ministries. So many have failed the Lord because they chose a man or woman over the Lord.
We find this true throughout the Bible, too. Solomon’s heathen wives led him into idolatry. Samson lost his eyes because of a woman, Delilah. David committed murder because of passion for Bathsheba.
Our emotions need to be cleansed as they are not the sign of love. The true definition of love is “God is love.” If God is not in a relationship it is not true love. What this world calls love is really lust since it is built on what the other person does for me, not what I can do for him or her. If the other person fails to keep up his end of the bargain, a divorce occurs because the offended mate is no longer pleased. This is the attitude of the world’s so-called “love.” God’s love loves without receiving back; God’s love is forgiving and patient. God’s love is gentle and kind. God’s love waits. God’s love sacrifices.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 gives us a beautiful definition of real love: (In this King James translation the word “charity” means “love.”)
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Man’s emotions are not a reliable gauge upon which to establish a marriage relationship. We must know in the Spirit that it is God’s will. It is much better to marry for character than for emotion. Emotions fluctuate; character doesn’t. Emotions are in the soulish realm, and unless the carnal mind has been renewed, Satan can give us emotions or feelings of love for someone of his choosing. (If he did not have this in his power, he could not split up marriages.) One of his favorite techniques is to suddenly take away the feelings one once had for his mate and give feelings for someone else. When he has successfully convinced a person that he no longer loves his or her mate, then he leads them to divorce, whispering, “You are living a lie.” After he has destroyed that marriage, he then leads one to marry again by stirring their emotions for another. Often after their next marriage something happens that they do not expect. Before too long, friction begins to develop with the new mate, then arguing. Finally, they find the same thing has happened again; they feel no emotion for their new mate and the next divorce is in the making. “Falling” in love is Satan’s way. The very expression of these words should tell us something. A Christian should not blindly “fall” into any trap. Love is bigger than simply falling for someone. Certainly, the Lord gives us a wonderful emotional feeling for the one we are to marry. However, this “feeling” without God’s direction can be disastrous as Satan can tamper with our emotions and feelings too.
Marriage, in a Christian’s life, should be based on a decision directed by the Holy Spirit. A Christian’s love for another is a commitment. Of course, the Lord will supply the emotions for the mate He sends, but that should not be the criterion for making the decision to marry. The Lord should be sought, and whatever He speaks to us we should do. He knows the future and what is best for us. If we trust Him He will not fail us in this or any other important area. Women or men who allow emotions to rule them will never be victorious Christians. Emotions should always follow, never lead.
During Old and New Testament times, fathers and mothers chose the mates for their children. God’s people were very careful to choose those who were “believers.” We find this practice still prevalent in India and other Eastern cultures. The parents, being older and more prudent, made wiser decisions than the children in this area. The divorce rate in India is only about 7%, whereas in the USA, at the present, it is nearing 50%. Marriages that are loveless can be saved and restored simply by asking God to restore the love that was once there. Sexual relationships can also be healed by praying for a desire for one’s mate. Prayer is a mighty weapon. God’s love can mend and heal, providing people are willing to lay down their lives for their mates. His love will not fade, as does the love of the world.
Those who are single and have never been married are cautioned in God’s Word to seek a mate who is a like believer. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Many precious people suffer because they are living with unsaved mates. Some did not have Christ when they made their marriage decision, but they have since found the Lord. Those will have God’s grace and love to win their mates for Jesus. The Lord always strives to bring the lost mate to Himself through the partner who knows Him. Mighty miracles of deliverance and salvation have occurred when people have endured suffering in order to bring their mates to the Lord. Those people who have the light, but choose to marry into darkness by yoking themselves to unsaved mates find that their flesh has led them away from God.
The Lord wants to bless marriage unions and see His plans fulfilled in both mates’ lives. What a glorious plan He had from the beginning for both male and female. We can trust Him in this important decision. If we will totally commit to do His will we will never be disappointed in the one He sends into our lives.
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Topic: What the Bible Says Christian Marriage – Choosing a Mate
Related Topics: What the Bible Says about Divorce; Scriptural Prayer for Marriages; Living Together Before Marriage/Sex Before Marriage; Submission in Marriage; Born Again; Healing