Preparing for a God-Honoring Marriage

As a teenager becomes an adult, he or she eventually faces the question of whether to marry and whom to marry. Perhaps you are facing this question right now, or perhaps your child, a friend, or someone you know is doing so. Whatever the case, a believer should approach this significant decision in a distinctly biblical way. Here are four biblical principles that prepare a person for this crucial decision.

The Principle of Compatibility

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (2 Cor 6:14)

It is better to remain single than to marry a person with whom you are not spiritually aligned. Paul teaches this principle by repeating an Old Testament proverb (Amos 3:3). On this scriptural basis, a born-again Christian should never pursue or enter into a marriage with an unbeliever. This does not mean that a believer should divorce an unbelieving spouse (1 Cor 7:12-14). Nevertheless, a believer should not knowingly enter into marriage with an unbeliever.

The Principle of Spiritual Maturity

Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. (Psa 127:1)

This psalm underscores the importance building a family on the foundation of God as Lord. This means that a husband and wife should agree to pursue biblical ideals, embrace biblical roles, and follow biblical guidance. So, before a believer marries another believer, he or she should discuss one another’s views on important biblical values and teaching in matters of marriage and family. Enrolling in a series of premarital counseling sessions with your pastor can help you to do this.

The Principle of Preparedness

Prepare your outside work, make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house. (Prov 24:27)

He who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. (1 Cor 7:33-34)

If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Tim 5:8)

Before you begin a serious search for a marriage partner, you need to honestly assess your preparation for marriage from a financial and material standpoint. A prospective husband should evaluate whether he is able to provide adequately for housing, food, and other necessary living expenses. If he is not, then he should refrain from entering into a marriage until he can demonstrate that he is financially prepared to meet the daily needs of himself, his wife, and any children who may follow. It is not advisable to rely upon the income of your prospective wife to make ends meet. Though her income may be helpful or supplemental, it is wise to refrain from factoring that in to the necessary budget. A prospective wife should carefully evaluate whether her prospective husband is able to provide adequately for the daily need of life and family.

Principle of Parental Involvement

“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Eph 6:2-3)

The Bible does not prescribe an arranged marriage paradigm, in which parents choose a spouse for their child, though it does not forbid this practice either. Nevertheless, those who disregard parental involvement altogether will regret doing so. Your parents, even those who are unbelievers, understand you better than you may realize. Furthermore, they generally desire for you to experience a good marriage, offer a wealth of wisdom from experience, and are God’s intended channel for crucial guidance in your life. Therefore, any single should honor his or her parents by sharing initial thoughts and asking thoughtful questions as they seek God’s will for a prospective marriage partner. This should be a dynamic process, marked by regular prayer and heartfelt conversation. Be sure that your parents are offering biblical wisdom, and give their subjective perspective serious consideration. If parents are unable to provide biblical guidance, it is wise to consult with a pastor who cares for your spiritual well-being.

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