There’s been a lot said to Christian singles who desire to find a spouse. “Just pray about it.” “Just serve Jesus and he’ll take care of it.” “Stop desiring to be married and then God will bless you with a Christian spouse.” “Just get on a Christian dating site already and stop talking to me about this all the time!”
When it comes down to it, there seems to be two camps in the “How to find a Christian spouse” advice market. One group says just serve Jesus and it will take care of itself. The other group says God only helps those who help themselves.
So which is it? What’s the best way to find a Christian spouse?
To Find a Christian Spouse, Seek God and Be Active
While finding a spouse is probably one of the most weighty desires a single person can have (unless they desire a life of singleness, which is a high calling from God), how a Christian should view the process of finding a Christian spouse is really no different than how all Christians should pursue fulfilling any good desire.
The Bible instructs us to seek God and be proactive in seeking what we desire and need. Matthew 6:31-33 explains:
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Often times when Christian singles desire to please God, they feel they must stop pursuing their search for a Christian spouse and solely serve God. And Bible passages like Matthew 6:31-33 seem to support this idea. At first glance, it seems that the way we get things we want from God is to stop seeking them and just seek him.
But that’s not what the Bible says. Matthew 6:33 states “seek first the kingdom of God.” It doesn’t say to stop seeking the things you want and need. In this context, Jesus is talking about material things like food and clothing. What Jesus is saying is that we should not let our desire for things overtake our desire for God. When God is first in our lives, God will bless our lives. But none of these statements mean we should be passive in our pursuit of what we want and desire. Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 10:
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. . . . If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
We can apply these same principles in answering “How do I find a Christian spouse?” It’s basically the same thing as asking, “How do I find the food, clothing, and things that I need.” Scripture teaches us that we must put God first. We must not be anxious about our needs. But we must not be passive either.
To find a Christian spouse, you first need to put God first in your life. If you are anxious and stressed about your marital future, a time of reflection and separation from dating will do your heart good.
But to kneel at your bedside every night and wake up the next day doing nothing active in your pursuit to find a Christian spouse is not the normal pattern in Scripture when it comes to receiving blessings from God.
Follow God, Not Your Natural Instincts
From my experience in coaching singles on how to find a Christian spouse, I’ve found people often do what comes most natural to them, but they do it under the guise of following God’s leading.
As we discussed, it’s crucial to seek God first in your search for a Christian spouse. But it’s also really important to be proactive as well. Christians often attach themselves to one of these roads, and usually their choice is a reflection of their personality.
Introverts and people who are a bit more shy tend to fall into the “If I just follow Jesus, I will find a Christian spouse” camp. Extroverts and people who have a great need to be liked by the other gender usually fall into the “God blesses those who help themselves, so I’ve got to date as many people as possible” camp.
God may lead you to take a season off from actively pursuing a Christian spouse. But if God is calling you to marriage, this season will need to end at some point soon. Most people don’t just find their spouse by dumb luck. Yes God is sovereign and ordains each of our days before we live them (Psalm 139:16), but this theological truth should never stall our practical living. God requires us to play our part, not to sit in prayer all our days. Prayer is essential, but prayer empowers us for living. Prayer should never replace living.
On the flipside, nothing (for most) is more seductive to an unmarried Christian than the opposite sex. Therefore it will be very easy to replace God with your desire for a Christian spouse. If you always have a boyfriend or girlfriend and yet you are still unmarried, a season of getting your heart right will do you good.
What’s essential is that we are walking with God in our search for a Christian spouse. Don’t just do what’s natural. Be honest with yourself. If you’re a bit shy and get nervous about dating, take the plunge and go to a single’s ministry or signup for a safe Christian online dating service. And if you’re always dating, take a step back so you can put God first.
Follow God, not your natural instincts.
To Find a Christian Spouse, Pursue Your Other Desires With People
This last piece of advice is the most practical and applicational. It just make sense that if you desire to find a Christian spouse, you need to put yourself around the type of people you would like to be with in marriage.
But this never works when you just put yourself around people because you are looking for a Christian spouse. It’s usually too unnatural. In C.S. Lewis’ book The Four Loves, he talks about the importance of having things in common with people:
We picture lovers face to face but friends side by side; their eyes look ahead. That is why those pathetic people who simply “want friends” can never make any. The very condition of having friends is that we should want something else besides friends. . . . There would be nothing for the friendship to be about; and friendship must be about something, even if it were only an enthusiasm for dominoes or white mice. Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow-travelers.
When the two people who thus discover that they are on the same secret road are of different sexes, the friendship which arises between them will very easily pass into erotic love. Indeed, unless they are physically repulsive to each other or unless the one or both already loves elsewhere, it is almost certain to do so sooner or later.”
In summary, if you want to find a Christian spouse, pursue your other desires too. If your main desire is to find a Christian spouse, odds are you will not be a very interesting person. Don’t be defined by your singleness. Become the person God has designed you to be, and then you will be the most attractive and desirable person possible.
So how can you find a Christian spouse? Pursue God first, be active in your search, and pursue your other desires too.