One common question that I often get asked is, “How do I know if I am doing too much or not doing enough when it comes to searching for a Christian spouse?”
Some people struggle with the idea of online dating, for example, because they feel like they are taking matters into their own hands and not trusting God. Other people are trying to get married so badly that it is all they think about and it has become an idol in their hearts.
So how can you know if you are being too passive or too aggressive in your search for a Christian spouse? One way to know is by examining your motives for marriage.
The Motives Behind Your Actions or Lack of Actions Is What Will Determine If You Are Being Too Passive or Aggressive in Your Search for a Christian Spouse
I don’t think there is a way to look at someone’s outward actions and say, “You are being too aggressive in your search for a spouse” unless they are breaking some clear command in Scripture. But if they are going on dates every week, online dating, and doing everything they can to meet someone to marry, even though some of us might think this is too much I don’t believe we can definitely say this according to the Bible.
There is no Bible verse that says don’t ever doing anything but wait on the Lord. It is an extreme over application to quote a Bible verse like Psalm 27:14 and say you should do nothing but sit at home and wait for God to bring you a spouse. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” But Proverbs 13:4 says, “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”
There are Bible verses that instruct us to wait and trust and there are Bible verses that instruct us to act and work hard in faith. So what should you do when you want to be married? Well, I don’t think there is a definitive answer on what you should do. Rather, I think the definitive answer revolves around “why” you are doing what you do.
Whether you choose to wait for things to happen more naturally or you sign up for online dating, the motive of your heart will determine if you are being too passive or too aggressive.
There are many good reasons to want to be married, but these 4 are some of the most important and healthy.
- To Glorify God
If you want to glorify God in your relationships, this means you must reveal the character and image of God in your relationships. When you bear his image and reflect God through the way you treat and love the person you are in a relationship with, you are glorifying God in that relationship.
Not only does God want and command us to glorify him, God has actually designed us to glorify him. When we are living the way God designed us, this means that we will have a craving to bear his image and do what he does. Why do humans explore? Why do humans create? Why do humans love social activity? Why do humans know when right and wrong occurs? Because we bear the image of God.
This is why most men and women crave marriage. Certainly this desire gets out of whack and we sin with this desire. However, God designed most people to want to be married because marriage is one of the core ways God has allowed us to glorify him. God wants us to glorify him. God has allowed us to glorify him through marriage. Therefore God puts a desire for marriage on many of our hearts.
If you want to glorify God in your Christian relationship, you have to reveal the character of God in that relationship. The more you imitate Christ the more you will bear the image of God. We can never act like Christ without the Holy Spirit living in us and producing pure motives in us.
In summary, the most important and most biblical motive for marriage is to glorify God.
Perhaps one of the most profound verses in all the Bible regarding human relationships is Genesis 2:18 (NIV), “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’” The is such an amazing statement by God because he said this before sin occurred. God actually said Adam was missing something even though he and Adam had an undefiled connection.
So why was it not good for Adam to be alone even though Adam had a relationship with God? The Bible doesn’t clearly answer this question; however, it seems clear to me the answer is love. Without Eve, Adam would not have another person to serve and love. When we are isolated and do not have a way to give our love away, this is not good for us. So I believe it was not good for Adam to be alone because he would then never experience the mutual give and take of a love relationship.
1 Corinthians 7 says those who can better serve Christ as singles should remain single. It also says that if you can better serve Christ as married person, then you should seek to be married. The point is not singleness or marriage but what positions you to best serve Christ. Each individual is made different by God, thus singleness may be better for some and marriage may be better for some. Serving God, however, is the main point for us all.
Since we are made in God’s image, it should be no surprise that we are made for community. I believe this is another reason God said that is was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). An isolated human does not do well. When someone is locked in solitary confinement for too long, they will literally go crazy. When someone has been living alone in the woods for too long, we all know they get weird.
Put simply, humans crave companionship. We crave being connected to other humans. We crave sharing our good times and bad, our joys and pains, or dreams and fears. We do this because this is the way God made us. Marriage is certainly not the only relationship where this longing for human companionship will be satisfied. Family, friends, and most importantly the church all play a role in a healthy human community.
Marriage, however, is a special place when it comes to companionship. At the heart of a healthy, satisfying marriage is not romance, passion, economic stability, or the joys of parenting. Besides God himself, the core of a healthy marriage is companionship. When a man and a woman become a husband and wife, they are committing to being the best of companions until death do them part. If you want to be married because you want the joy of a companionship, this is a biblical motive for marriage.
God is the one we need most. No human will fill the desire for love and companionship like God. No humans can cause us to glorify God and empowers for ministry like the Holy Spirit. Marriage will not completely fill you with the love your heart needs. But if you desire to honor God through marriage, then your desire for marriage is good.