Q. Does God make or prepare one perfect person for everyone? Or does He give us free will to make or own choices for a mate? And if so, how are we to know when “the one” is really the right one?
A. God doesnt really tell us in the Bible if He picks the specific person were going to marry or not. Heres what we do know for sure: God gives us several lists in the Bible that we can use to find a good husband even though He never says He picks the exact person for us.
So, instead of asking God to give you the name of the person youre going to marry, it is much more helpful to study the qualities that make a good husband, which God has revealed to us in Scripture. Then, when you meet someone that you think might be the one, you can check him against Gods standards to see if he would make a good husband for you.
It is dangerous to marry someone just because you have fallen in love. The emotions of love dont last for very long. Thats one of the reasons why so many people get divorced! What lasts is a commitment to each other and to God. Here are some biblical standards that can help you evaluate a guy in an objective way, without being misled by your emotions:
1. Attraction. This is the easy one, right? Its also probably the first thing that happens in a relationship. You definitely want to be attracted to the guy youre going to marry, and you want him to be attracted to you. For some idea of what attraction looks like in a marriage, just read the Song of Solomon.
2. Parental approval. Both sets of parents should approve of your relationship. God provided your parents as protective authority figures in your life and commanded you to obey, respect, and honor them (Ephesians 6:1-2). You should do your best to obey and honor them when youre choosing a husband. There are some exceptions to this general rule depending on your individual circumstances, but such situations should be rare. If necessary, find someone to replace your parents in overseeing the relationship like a godly older couple or your pastor.
3. Godly qualities. This is probably the most important category when youre trying to decide whom to marry. Your future husband definitely needs to be a born-again Christian, but he also needs to display the qualities of a godly man, husband, and father. Some guys may be saved and going to heaven, but you want to marry a guy who is also on-fire for God, living like Jesus every day. Rather than bore you with a huge list of godly qualities, let me encourage you to look up the following passages and list the qualities on your own: 1 Corinthians 13 (qualities of true love), Galatians 5 (fruits of the Spirit), Ephesians 5 (qualities of a Christ-like husband), 1 Timothy 3 & Titus 1 (qualities of a spiritual leader).
4. Compatibility. This doesnt mean you have to like all the same foods, have the same hobbies, and share a favorite color. Compatibility is important on a deeper, more spiritual level. God commands wives to respect their husbands and submit to them in everything (Ephesians 5:22-24; 33). How are you going to do that with a guy you cant respect? If you disagree about serious things like children, money, or spiritual issues, you ought to carefully consider whether or not to get married. Do you agree about important issues so that you can cheerfully submit to his leadership in every area of life? Do you trust him enough to make important decisions that will affect your life and the life of your children? Do you trust him to spend your money wisely? Do you trust him to be a good dad? This is an area where some premarital counseling with a godly pastor can be a big help.
Remember this: It is better to stay single than to marry the wrong guy. Marriage can either be the most wonderful or the most miserable experience of your life. Rely upon Gods wisdom and the wisdom of godly people and not solely upon your own emotional feelings. Feelings have led more people astray in the area of romance than anything else. So be careful!
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure (Jeremiah 17:9), but the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1:7)