A vital Christian, radiating that hidden beauty of the heart, is more attractive to the right sort of Christian man (the only kind you want) than the raving beauty who is hollow within. A woman who is developing her domestic abilities, who is reasonably attractive, and who is a vital Christian in her own right is an irresistible person.
How, then, may one know how to choose a mate? There are only two absolutely essential requirements: first, that the other person is also a Christian; second, that the two of you not only desire to but growingly give evidence of an ability to face, talk over, and solve problems together from God’s Word in God’s way. While socio-economic, ethnic, chronological, and other factors may rightly enter the picture as minor matters of preference, they are in no sense essentials. Indeed, they are icing on the cake.
Discern commonality of spirits.
1. Is this person spiritually regenerated (John 3:1-6)?
2. Take time to observe their values and attitudes (Matt. 7:16).
3. Will they pray with you? Study Scripture? Attend church?
4. Seek counsel of pastor or spiritual leader.
Determine correlation of minds.
1. Are there common interests?
2. Do you share “the mind which is in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5)?
3. Is there common desire to “renew the mind” (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23)?
Discover concerns of emotions.
1. Don’t start with “feelings;” these should be by-product.
2. Are your affections directed toward the highest well-being of the other person?
3. Do you detect anger, fear, jealousy, pride, etc.?
Develop commitments of wills.
1. Are there common objectives and priorities?
2. Discuss short-range and long-range goals. Career choices.
3. Is there a mutual decision to follow God’s leading together?
Desire companionship of bodily presence.
1. Desire to share recreation, entertainment, social occasions in each other’s company.
2. Communication; communication; communication!
3. Premarital sexual relationships are contrary to God’s intent (1 Cor. 6:12-20).
Compatibility is not the key to marriage… It is our conviction, based on experience in ministry and God’s Word, that two Christians who share an attraction, who are committed in faith to God through Christ, and who are determined to obey the Bible’s teachings will be able to love each other in marriage (Richard and Sharon Phillips).
Instead of considering those women who are most physically attractive, and then trying to restrain your flesh so as to give at least some thought to Christian character, you ought first to focus on those women who give evidence of fearing the Lord. Feminine wiles are deceiving, says God’s Word, and men easily fall prey to this very thing. Therefore, a wise Christian man will protect himself from the entrapment of beauty and will desire above all else a godly, growing Christian woman (Richard and Sharon Phillips).
A Christian woman is to seek a man who is: 1. Regular at church… A believing man who often cannot make time to faithfully attend and to be a contributing member of a church is not a likely candidate for the obligations and challenges of marriage. 2. A man of the Word of God, a man of prayer, and a man who delights in worship. 3. A man after God’s own heart. 4. [A possessor of] specific character traits [such as] industry… integrity…self-control…[and] kindness (Richard and Sharon Phillips).
A redeemed woman is one who has entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through faith. Her sins are forgiven, and she knows God’s love. She fears the Lord realizing that blessing for her comes through obedience to His Word. His commands are not burdensome to her and her heart is not set on worldly treasures. She attends regular worship and approaches her life with prayer. She enjoys healthy fellowship with other believers and bears observable fruit in ministry to others. She answers God’s calling in her life while single, not waiting for marriage to give her happiness or purpose (Richard and Sharon Phillips).
Take a look, then, at what you are presenting to men and ask what kind of man you will attract. If you are relying on charm and outward beauty, setting them forth in your dress and flirtatious conduct, then realize that it is only the foolish man who will fall into your trap. Especially if you are loud or contentious, realize that the Bible specifically warns men against falling for you. The godly man, the man who will make a loving and faithful husband, sees you and turns away. How much better for you to trust the Lord and cultivate those spiritual beauties that are calculated to draw a man of godly character and real wisdom and, better still, that are certain to make you precious in the sight of our loving Lord and God (Richard and Sharon Phillips).
What matters most is not finding the one right person but becoming the person that God wants you to be. Before judging the man or woman you are with – scrutinizing and appraising every attribute and characteristic, as if you were buying a horse – you ought instead to scrutinize your own heart. Here are some questions to ask before an engagement to marriage:
1. What would it mean for me to love him or her in accordance with the Bible’s teaching?
2. Am I willing to commit myself to anyone “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health?”
3. Can I be steadfast in fidelity and servant-hearted in ministry?
4. Is God leading our lives in similar directions?
5. Do we have similar goals and ideas about children?
The issue is not whether you can find someone worthy of your love, but whether you are ready to give a love that is worthy of marriage (Richard and Sharon Phillips).
1. What do you believe about…everything?
2. [What is your view on] various biblical doctrines.
3. Discover how you form your views. What is the reasoning-believing process?
4. How do you handle the Bible?
Worship and Devotion:
1. How important is corporate worship? Other participation in church life?
2. How important is it to be part of a small accountability/support group?
3. What is the importance of music in life and worship?
4. What are your daily personal devotional practices? Prayer, reading, meditation, memorization.
5. What would our family devotions look like? Who leads out in this?
6. Are we doing this now in an appropriate way: praying together about our lives and future, reading the Bible together?
Husband and Wife:
1. What is the meaning of headship and submission in the Bible and in our marriage?
2. What are expectations about situations where one of you might be alone with someone of the opposite sex?
3. How are tasks shared in the home: cleaning, cooking, washing dishes, yard work, car upkeep, repairs, shopping for food, and household stuff?
4. What are the expectations for togetherness?
5. What is an ideal non-special evening?
6. How do you understand who and how often sex is initiated?
7. Who does the checkbook – or are there two?
1. If and when, should we have children? Why?
2. How many?
3. How far apart?
4. Would we consider adoption?
5. What are the standards of behavior?
6. What are the appropriate ways to discipline them? How many strikes before they’re…whatever?
7. What are the expectations of time spent with them and when they go to bed?
8. What signs of affection will you show them?
9. What about school? Home school? Christian school? Public school?
1. Own a home or not? Why?
2. What kind of neighborhood? Why?
3. How many cars? New? Used?
4. View of money in general. How much to the church?
5. How do you make money decisions?
6. Where will you buy clothes: Department store? Thrift store? In between? Why?
1. How much money should we spend on entertainment?
2. How often should we eat out? Where?
3. What kind of vacations are appropriate and helpful for us?
4. How many toys? Snowmobile, boat, cabin?
5. Should we have a television? Where? What is fitting to watch? How much?
6. What are the criteria for movies and theater? What will our guidelines be for the kids?
1. What makes you angry?
2. How do you handle your frustration or anger?
3. Who should bring up an issue that is bothersome?
4. What if we disagree both about what should be done, and whether it is serious?
5. Will we go to bed angry at each other?
6. What is our view of getting help from friends or counselors?
1. Who is the main breadwinner?
2. Should the wife work outside the home? Before kids? With kids at home? After kids?
3. What are your views of daycare for children?
4. What determines where you will locate? Job? Whose job? Church? Family?
1. Is it good to do things with friends but without spouse?
2. What will you do if one of you really likes to hang out with so and so and the other doesn’t?
Health and Sickness:
1. Do you have, or have you had any, sicknesses or physical problems that could affect our relationship? (Allergies, cancer, eating disorders, venereal disease, etc.)
2. Do you believe in divine healing and how would prayer relate to medical attention?
3. How do you think about exercise and healthy eating?
4. Do you have any habits that adversely affect health?
Single Christian women, I trust you want to be more like Christ. Therefore it only stands to reason that you will seek to marry a man that will assist and aid you in the process. Because after marriage, the greatest spiritual influence in your life will be your husband. Your sanctification is your responsibility, but it should also be his as well (see Eph. 5:25-27).
In Genesis 24:3, Abraham did not want his son to marry a woman who did not love the Lord, so he sent his servant 450 miles away to find one that did. Christians are free to marry, 1 Corinthians 7:39, “only in the Lord.” Second Corinthians 6 clearly teaches that we are “not [to] be bound together with unbelievers.” Paul goes on to say, “For what partnership have…light with darkness or…Christ with [Satan], or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?” (2 Cor. 6:14-16). Why date someone who hates your Savior? Why marry someone with whom you cannot prioritize Jesus? These sinful and unequally yoked relationships only lead to temptation and heartache either during the breakup or throughout a lifetime of marriage. Yet when both partners can find their ultimate needs met in Jesus Christ (and not human idols), they will be free to be companions and not consumers of each other and their lifetime together will be one of joy and harmony.
Before you marry make sure the Lord has guided you into that decision. Is it only an emotional choice or one out of desperation? Is it one that brings peace to both of your hearts because you know that the relationship is of the Lord? This is all the difference between having a happy marriage and making the worst mistake of your life. Look for red flags! Is the person truly and genuinely committed to Jesus Christ? Is the man working a job? Is the person without addictions? Is there harmony between the two of you? Is there a mutual commitment toward moral and spiritual purity? Is there the ability to discuss all subjects without hostility? Is the relationship not based on fear, control or disrespect? Is this a person you would consider spending the rest of your life with? Another good question is to ask is if the individual would be a good husband and father or wife and mother. Bathe the matter in prayer!
Once you have examined your own heart, here are some questions to ask the other person from the start:
1. How does Jesus Christ occupy first place in your life?
2. What are your views on various biblical doctrines?
3. What does your time in the Word and prayer look like?
4. What do you look for in a good church?
5. Do you regularly attend church and how are you serving?
6. Do you have any accountability in your life?
7. Are you presently able to support yourself financially?
8. How do you enjoy spending your free time?
9. What is your meaning of headship and submission?
10. How do you spend your money?
11. How do you handle conflict?
12. What is your criterion for entertainment (movies, television, etc.)?
13. Do you have any addictions?
14. Do you exercise?
15. Do you have any major health concerns?
Here are some questions to ask as the relationship advances and heads toward marriage:
16. Would you like to have children? When and how many?
17. How do you feel children should be educated and disciplined?
18. Would you like to rent or own a home?
19. How do you see yourself relating to your parents and in-laws?
20. How do you see yourself relating to people of the opposite gender?
21. When and how do you plan to do family devotions?
22. Who will be the primary breadwinner? Should the wife work outside the home?