I’m often asked what is the biblical method to become married. Is it through dating, courting, or something else.
Honestly, it’s arranged marriages. I’m actually in favor of those.
If that concept frightens you, then depend on God to arrange your marriage. Let him set the rules, the boundaries, and the timing.
If you have determined that you think you can serve Jesus better through being married than being single (1 Cor. 7:35), some practical tips do exist.
- Don’t Neglect Jesus. First, grow in your relationship with Christ. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and everything else will fall into place (Matt. 6:33). I hear all the time about people making lists of what they want their future spouse to be. That’s a great idea (and one we will talk about in a second), but how about this one: start making a list of who your spouse is going to need and start working with Jesus to get there. The closer you get to Jesus, the more your future spouse will benefit.
- Don’t Waste the Present. Second, do not see this period as a waiting room for a better stage in life. Do not wait to serve Christ once you get married. Because you are single, you currently have more time to devote to the Kingdom than any other time in your life. Go serve in a country you can’t spell this summer. Invest your life every week with students who need a positive role model. Serve at your church relentlessly. Don’t listen to this culture say that you are devalued because you are single. Get to work – this time has endless possibilities. In fact, many stories I hear of people finding “the one” was because they got busy in good stuff and bumped into someone doing the same thing.
- Don’t Settle. Third, don’t settle. If you want to avoid getting stuck with a dud instead of a stud (sorry, I couldn’t resist), then do this activity for me. Write down on a piece of paper or even in this book a specific list. Ask this question: if my Heavenly Father were selecting a spouse for me, what traits would he require him to have? Start listing them out. You can come up with a pretty intense list, and once you do, resolve not to waver from it. He has your best interest in mind; you need to trust him. The biggest area I see in Christian dating is when someone can’t find someone meeting his or her standard, they simply lower the standard. Don’t do this! Be patient and trust in God’s timing.
- Don’t Over-Spiritualize the Process. Fourth, don’t over-spiritualize the process (but also don’t leave God out of the equation either). Too many people are awaiting a divine revelation to explode through the clouds. Oftentimes, God simply wants you to find someone who obeys his Word, and then he allows you to use godly wisdom to discern if this is the right person or not.
- Don’t Make Your Relationship Your Idol. If you are dating someone currently, or when and if you begin to date someone, go forward with caution. Don’t make your relationship your idol. Remember the “Love Triangle.” God sits at the top of the triangle. A fellow on one side, a lady on the other side, and we have a complete triangle. If the fellow decides to grow close to the lady, he neglects his relationship with God, but if he chooses to grow close to God, and she chooses the same thing, they grow closer together as well.
If you think that concept is too simplistic or too spiritual of an answer, let me ask you something: Have you ever seen a person’s life spiritually deteriorate because he or she focused more on a relationship with a boyfriend or a girlfriend than he or she did on God? We all have. It happens all the time.
If your mission does not define your relationship, then the your relationship will determine your mission.