What is the Will of God in Marriage?

What is the Will of God in Marriage?

Christians differ in their views when it comes to the will of God in selecting a spouse. Many Christians believe that God has selected only one specific person for each of us and it’s up to each of us to find that person. They say that Christians who marry based on desire are not in God’s will and could end up miserable or might get divorced because they have married the wrong person. It is believed that couples get divorced because they have married outside the will of God.

Meanwhile, some Christians believe that the key to finding God’s will and marital happiness is finding the “right one.” But how do we know that person is the “right one” to marry? There are also Christians who hold to the belief that when the right person comes along, they would know because the Holy Spirit will point them to that person.

You may have heard or read the story of a pastor who was attracted to one of his church members but was hesitant to tell her how he feels for fear that the girl might not reciprocate his feelings. So he came up with a plan to tell the girl how the Holy Spirit revealed to him that she’s the one chosen by God to be his wife.

He told the girl that it is God’s will for her to become his wife. The girl was shocked upon hearing what the pastor had to say but she managed to politely say: Pastor, that’s impossible! It’s impossible because I’m already married to someone else.” 

The Will of God in Marriage

What is the will of God in marriageSo what is the will of God in marriage? We read in Genesis 1:31 how God called everything He created “good.” But seeing the man without a suitable mate, God said it is not good for him to be alone (Genesis 2:18) so he let the man fall into a deep sleep and created woman out of the man’s ribs (Genesis 2:21-22).

From this account of Adam and Eve we can establish that it is God’s will for a man to have a partner and helpmate (or help-meet in the old KJV). The will of God in marriage has never changed, it’s still the same today and remains to be the same until He comes to rule and reign on the earth.

However, choosing whom you’ll marry is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make, because it will extensively affect the rest of your life. It’s only natural to want reassurance that you’re doing the right thing, given its magnitude.

But how do you know God’s will for a marriage partner? Does God tell us who we’re supposed to marry? To answer these questions, let us go to what the word of God says, the Bible, because the word of God is the will of God.

Guidelines in Selecting a Wife or Husband

Finding the right kind of spouse is God’s will for every believer. Although the Bible does not teach anywhere that believers need to find a specific person whom the Lord has chosen or tell us directly who we should marry, it does give us clear guidelines on finding the right kind of husband or wife.

When seeking a partner in marriage, it is essential for Christians to seek the mind and will of God, for there can be no better counsel than what is found in the word of God.

1. A Christian must marry a Christian.

How do I know the will of God in marriage2 Corinthians 6:14-15 gives a clear instruction from the apostle Paul that Christians are not to be bound together with non-Christians. When we enter into a covenant relationship with God, we are declared righteous in Christ and are brought into the light of God’s truth.

So we should not have intimate fellowship with those who are still in spiritual darkness. A believer should marry a believer so that they can continually encourage each other in the Lord. It is never the will of God for Christians to be marrying non-Christians.

In the Old Testament, interracial marriages were not acceptable. Genesis 24, the longest chapter in the book of Genesis, contains one of the greatest love stories known to man, that of Isaac and Rebekah. When Abraham was very old, he made his senior servant swear by the Lord not to take a wife for his son Isaac from the Canaanites, but to go to his very own family to get a wife for him (Genesis 24:1-4).

Abraham understood very well the negative implication of having an unbelieving wife and mother. So Abraham insisted that Isaac marries a woman who is a believer.

We also read how Aaron and Miriam talked against their brother Moses because of his Cushite wife (Numbers 12:1) and Esau grieving his parents Isaac and Rebekah for marrying two Canaanite women (Genesis 26:34-35). So when it was time for Jacob to marry, Rebekah insisted that Jacob go back to her own people to find a wife (Genesis 27:46). Isaac agreed with Rebekah and sent Jacob away charging him not to take a wife from the daughters of Canaan (Genesis 28:1).

The Israelites were commanded not to engage in interracial marriages not because of skin color or ethnicity but because they would be led astray from God and will turn to idol worship (Deuteronomy 7:3-4). Just as the people of God, the Israelites, were commanded not to marry idolaters, Christians are commanded not to marry non-Christians (unbelievers).

Does this mean that Christians can’t be friends with non-Christians? No! On the contrary, we should develop friendship with them so that we will have the opportunity to share the gospel to them. Former Muslims who turned to Christ testify that one major factor for their conversion was the love and genuine concern they received from Christians. Friendship unlike marriage is not a bond for life.

2. A Christian must marry a Christian who has a godly character.

How do I know the will of God in marriageBeing a Christian does not guarantee that he or she has the qualities necessary to make the marriage successful. Proverbs 12:4 and Proverbs 31:10 exhort men to find a wife of noble character and to avoid a quarrelsome wife (Proverbs 19:13). Women, likewise, are to find men with these godly characteristics.

Find someone who is a person of character (Psalm 119:1) because men and women of character are trustworthy in all they do and they are sure to keep their words no matter what the cost. Also, look for someone who faithfully obeys God in everything and is growing every day in his faith in Jesus.

3. Don’t worry about finding the right person, become the right person yourself.

Biblical guidelines in selecting a partner in lifeIn finding the right kind of husband or wife, the Christian must first begin with his or her own faith in and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of asking, Is he or she the right one for me?” a Christian must focus on being the right person.

You’ve got to be the kind of person that you exactly want for the person you want to marry. In other words, if you want a kind, loving and godly person to marry then you’ve got to become a kind, loving and godly person.

To be godly is to have a daily quiet time when you pray, read the Bible, meditate on it and apply it in your life (Joshua 1:8). Attend church regularly, get involved in the ministry and just focus on God and His kingdom as you grow in your spiritual walk with the Lord.

4. Marry someone who loves God more than he or she loves you.

How do I know the will of God in marriageThe first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30).

You must observe how is your partner’s love for God because in time the way he or she loves and serves Him will be reflected in the way he or she loves and serves you.

The only way he or she can love you is if he or she loves God above anything or anybody else.

5. Marry someone you can pray with.

What is the will of God in marriage

Every Christian needs a prayer partner, one who will lift you up and encourage you when you’re down and in times of trials and difficulties.

The Bible encourages believers to have someone to agree with you in prayer (Matthew 18:19) and the best prayer partner would be your spouse because more than anybody else, he or she knows what you’re going through.

It is also a proven fact that couples who pray together stay together because prayer builds deep intimacy into a marriage.

* These are just five of the guidelines that God gives to us in selecting a future partner in life. No one will ever fit into the “perfect partner” category but finding someone who has the personal qualities that can develop and sustain a lifetime relationship in the Lord could be a sign that you are in the will of God in finding a mate. And as you follow the Lord’s guidelines, you need to trust the Lord for the blessings.

Conclusion

The Lord gives every believer the free choice to marry or not to marry. God has given marriage to be a free choice for every believer. Proverbs 18:22 says that finding a wife is finding what is good and receives a favor from the Lord. So if you choose to get married, that is good.

If you do not have a desire to marry so you can focus on serving God, that is good as well. Jesus said in Matthew 19:12 that some of us have chosen not to marry for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The apostle Paul also encourages Christians to stay single (like himself) in 1 Corinthians 7:7 but continues on to say that each one has his own gift from God.

Should you choose to get married, you may marry whoever you wish as long as he or she has the qualities listed above. God wants to bless your union but it has to be acceptable to God to begin with. And remember, you should marry that person because you love him with all your heart, not only because you think it is good for you. You should marry because you are ready to enter into a lifetime commitment with that person.

Wanting to get married is normal and a natural desire but you need to pray about it and then leave it in God’s hands. You need to trust God with all your heart (Proverbs 3:5-6), especially when it concerns the person whom you will be spending the rest of your life with.

Recommended Resource:

God Is a Matchmaker: Seven Biblical Principles for Finding Your Mate / Revised – eBook 

By Derek & Ruth Prince

In God Is a Matchmaker, Derek and Ruth Prince share seven biblical principles for finding your mate. Sharing their own real life love story and full of inspiring testimonies from others who followed these principles and found their perfect match, this book reveals God’s pattern for marriage. The book also offers special counsel for parents, youth leaders, pastors, and counselors.

14 Replies to “What is the Will of God in Marriage?”

  1. These is great advice on choosing a spouse. I particularly like your advice about becoming the right person. The way we react to the world has a great deal to do with our character.

    We need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world, but as what needs to be changed in us and our attitudes.

    1. Hello Ernest, I’m glad you stopped by and thanks for commenting. 

      In choosing the one to spend the rest of our lives with, it’s important that we have to become the right person first. Often times we spend so much of our energy trying to change someone into the person we think we deserve without first making sure we are the right person for them. 

      I agree with what you said that if we want change to take place around us, it needs to start from within ourselves. But real change can only take place in our lives if we have Christ living in us and we let Him take over our lives completely because only God can transform us. 

      Shalom!

  2. I enjoyed reading your article. Full disclosure I am married now but I have been married and divorced. I do believe that God plays an important role in a marriage. I have always believed in God but I can’t say that He has always played a major role in my life in the past. As of the last few years God has become an important part of our lives. Thanks for the great read and great information.

    1. Hi Monica,
      God instituted marriage and that is why it is but proper to get Him involved not only in regards to the person we want to marry but even during the entire course of the marriage relationship.

      Many Christians often make the mistake of marrying outside the will of God, thus, finding themselves miserable and unhappy. I’m not saying that all marriages outside the will of God are bound for failure but it’s still ideal to marry someone in line with God’s word.

      I’m glad to know that you’re now happily married and enjoying God’s blessings in your life. We all made mistakes somewhere along the way but what matters is that we have acknowledged it before the Lord, repented of it and made a decision to do things His way, not our way.

      Shalom!

  3. Hey I was wondering if you have more real word studies to back up the marrying a christian thing because showing divorce rates and the reason being religious ones would make your site more credible. I love the site though very well written. The ring picture looks very random maybe if the were purity rings it would make more sense.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, I truly appreciate your feedback on this post.

      Here are some of the numbers that resulted from certain studies conducted on the divorce rates among Christians. Accordingly, couples who are active in their faith are much less likely to divorce. Catholic couples were 31% less likely to divorce; Protestant couples 35% less likely; and Jewish couples 97% less likely, which in itself is quite impressive.

      It’s also interesting to note that 53% of very happy couples agree with the statement, “God is at the center of our marriage” while 30% of struggling couples disagree with the statement, “God is at the center of our marriage.” What does this imply? That Christian couples who put God in control of their marriage are happy and less likely to divorce.

      As for the ring, yes, it may look random and I could have picked a better image but please note that it is just a representation of the lifetime commitment between the couple and God.

      Shalom!

  4. Great write up!!

    I grew up being taught christianity in a pastor’s home, it was a pretty brutal lifestyle.

    When I got married it was to a non-christian out of rebellion to my parents, and they ended up manipulating her to become a christian, so I decided we needed to be divorced.

    Next I married a man, because you know how christians feel about homosexuality heheh, and then against my will they had the nerve to convert him too!! Se we divorced.

    Now I’m just waiting for them to die so I can marry someone I really love without anyone coming in and telling them the tricks of the christians.

    Thanks for the awesome flashbacks!

    God Bless

    1. Hello Gabe, I’m so sorry for your bad experience with Christianity. I completely understand why you feel that way but I hope your realize that your parents just want what’s best for you because they love you so much. I believe that every parent, especially Christian parents, want their kids to be good kids.

      You know, I envy you for having a parent who is not only a believer in Christ but also a pastor. I have high regard for pastors and I admire them for the works they are doing in the ministry.

      I am not in your shoes and I have no idea how your parents raised you. But please know that whatever flaws your parents might have, those flaws and imperfections do not represent Christianity. As a matter of fact, we need Christ because we’re fallen, we’re sinners and we can’t save ourselves. We trust in Christ for salvation because we’re not good enough and will never be good enough.

      Marriage is a partnership and I believe it has to be shared by people who have the same values. Such as in the case of Christians who are supposed to be married to Christians. With regards to your first marriage, I admire your parents for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to her and thank God that she responded to the invitation.

      It’s just sad that you made that the reason for divorcing her. But based on what you said, I think it’s your relationship with your parents that need to be fixed. It’s not their faith in Christ that’s getting in the way of your happiness.

      I encourage you Gabe to give Christ a place in your life not because He needs you but because you need Him. Christianity is about following Christ, it’s not a religion; it’s a relationship with God that is restored through Jesus Christ His son.

      May God bless you!

  5. Hi!

    I find this topic rather confusing.

    I am a christian and am in love with a Muslim who is also a devout in her religion.

    I can tell that because of her good personality and compassion for all folks.

    Do you think it is wrong to get her as my wife as she is not a Christian, even if she believes in the Almighty creator of heaven and earth?

    1. Hello Dave, thanks for dropping by. 

      Trust me, I understand very well where you’re coming from. But before I’ll answer your question, I believe that we first have to define our terms clearly. I said in my article that a Christian must marry a Christian. 

      Now, who is a Christian? A Christian is one who is saved by grace through faith alone in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9); he is saved by confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life and he believes in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9). In simpler terms, a Christian is one who has a redemptive covenant with God through Jesus Christ. So having answered that, we will go to the second important question: Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? 

      Reading carefully the Bible and the Quran side by side, it’s not really that difficult to come to a conclusion that the God of the Bible is not the same as the Allah of the Quran. I cannot go into more details but I will just tackle the major difference.The Quran specifically said that Jesus was not crucified and so it follows also that He did not rise from the dead, it denies the core belief and foundation of Christianity. And it is for this reason that I say it is not right for a Christian to marry a Muslim.

      So the girl you’re in love with says she believes in the God who created heaven and earth, but the God who created heaven and earth is not Allah but Yahweh, the One true God, the Triune God worshiped by Christians. As a Christian you will seek to obey Christ but as a Muslim she will adhere to the teachings of the Quran. 

      And you said that she’s also devout in her religion, so how can two people with different views live together? Will you go to worship separately? You go to church on Sundays and she goes to the mosque on Fridays? What about your kids, will they be Christians or Muslims?

      Being in a Muslim country for many years and having studied a little bit about Islam, I can tell you that she won’t be allowed by her folks to marry a non-Muslim, not unless you will convert to her religion. Are you willing to do that? But if you could get her to come to Christ in faith then praise God!

      I hope I have answered your question and I am praying that God will guide you in your decision on the person you’re going to marry. God bless!!!

  6. I think that God’s will in marriage is that we accept His will, not ours.
    When I met my amazing wife, we both knew that we wanted God to be the most important Person in our marriage. We have been married for 13 years now. We have gone through many hardships, serious illnesses of our son and of my wife being the most difficult ones. However, we have always felt that God’s will is more important than ours. And God has kept all His promises He had made to us, even though we didn’t trust Him all the time.
    Thank you for the article.
    Many blessings!

    1. You’re absolutely right, it is God’s will that we submit to His will and not our will, not only in marriage but in all our plans and every aspect of our lives. But often times it’s easier said than done especially when it comes to the matters of the heart. 

      I’m so blessed with your testimony. That before you exchanged “I do’s” you both made a commitment to put God at the center of your marriage. Although your family have experienced some hardships, God has been faithful, still is and will always be. That’s the great thing about having God as the foundation of your marriage because in times of joys or sorrows you know that God will  never leave you nor forsake you; He shares not only in your joys but in your sorrows too. 

      Thanks you for sharing your testimony, may the Lord continually bless and sustain your family!

  7. I enjoyed reading your article very much, many people do give God the credit no matter if their marriage is a good one or ends up in divorce.

    I always thought God was against divorce, what is your thoughts on divorce?

    I believe if a person devotes his life to following Gods word they will be a good partner and their marriage will be a godly one. It does take two people working together to experience a good marriage, it is sad how many marriages are not lasting today and many of the couples truly loved one another at one time.

    1. Hey Jeffrey, thanks for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed reading my article. 

      I believe that divorce should be the last option for Christian couples no matter what. I mean, it should not even be an option. Instead of asking on what grounds could they file for divorce, couples must think of forgiveness and reconciliation. No matter how ugly things might go, couples should seek to save their marriage not just for the sake of their children but because of the covenant they made with each other and with God. A marriage is not just a covenant between the husband and wife but it’s the couple’s covenant with God. 

      The Bible clearly says that God hates divorce, He regards marriage so highly because it’s He who “made them one” (Malachi 2:15-16 NASB). In Matthew 19:8, Jesus tells the Pharisees how Moses did not permit divorce in the beginning but because of the hardness of their hearts, he permitted it. The only grounds for divorce mentioned in the NT are marital infidelity (Matthew 19:9) and having an unbelieving spouse who does not want anymore to live with the believing one (1 Corinthians 7:12-15). Sadly, many Christian couples today have ended in divorce including known Church leaders. 

      I totally agree with you, both husband and wife should work hand in hand to make their marriage work. The key to a successful and victorious marriage is having God as its foundation. That’s why it’s very important that we follow God’s guidelines in choosing a spouse. A marriage that is not in the will of God could very well end up in divorce while a marriage ordained and favored by God is more likely to succeed. God’s will in marriage is to bless the couple and use them for His purpose and glory.

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