Next to your salvation, your choice of a wife or husband is the most important decision you will ever make in your life. Marriage can be one of life’s most wonderful blessings, but it can be an endless nightmare to those who have chosen carelessly.
(1) As in all other areas of our life, God will guide us to the right mate as we trust Him and submit to His will (Prov. 3:5). A believer should seek to marry another believer, not merely one who professes to be a Christian, but whose life also demonstrates long-term stable, Christian behavior.
(2) Do not be led by your emotions. Infatuation is often mistaken for love. Real love is not something you “fall” into. It’s something you commit yourself to, and sacrifice yourself for.
(3) Never marry anyone on the mere basis of their appearance, sexual appeal, or material things. Only shallow, foolish people do that. Choose a marriage companion on the basis of what’s inside their heart, not what’s on the outside.
(4) The Bible teaches us to count the cost of all our decisions before we make them. “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?” (Luke 14:28). Since marriage is supposed to last a lifetime (1 Cor. 7:39), we should carefully weigh the cost. Marriage is a sacred covenant between you, your spouse and with God. It will be a lifetime of give-and-take, sharing, and compromising. Are you willing to make these sacrifices for your mate? Remember, marriage is intended to endure, whether better or worse, “til death do you part.”
(5) A good marriage requires that Christ be the center. If He is not the center of your relationship with your companion prior to marriage, He’ll not likely be the center of your marriage later.
(6) Short-term engagements are not a good idea. Get to know a person over a period of time. A year of friendship should be a minimum before anyone even considers marriage.
(7) Never marry anyone on the basis that they’ll change after marriage. Bad habits often become worse, not better. People are usually “already” on their “best” behavior before marriage.
(8) Watch and observe how your prospective mate treats their parents. Generally, the way a son treats his mother, is how he’ll treat his wife — the way a daughter treats her father, is how she’ll treat her husband.
(9) Do not enter into marriage without the preparation of premarital counseling from a pastor or qualified marriage counselor.