The Pursuit of a Love that Lasts

Do you match? Then start the fire the right way, and keep it burning!
Do you match? Then start the fire the right way, and keep it burning!

Identify and Select

If the will of God for a spouse is always pinpointed by Him for every Christian, then the Lord will be violating His own will of freedom and choice. What God does best is weave our life to that of the other, and He confirms it and blesses it. This is something that only God can do. It is not a usual setting in the Bible where God exacts the spouse of every servant of His. What we have are some patterns as to how the Lord directed His servants towards a spouse.[See Gen 24]

And if God would decree a specific spouse for a particular individual, then that person need not to worry. God Himself will inform in due time. He is not a tease; He will tell you, and you will certainly know about it.

But as a general rule, the Bible does not instruct us to wait for that specific someone; we are to exercise wisdom and caution. What we have are ‘specifications’ that meet the criteria of God’s perfect will.

Behold the truth: The perfect will of God for a spouse is likened to the contents of a popcorn bowl – that just as any of those ‘popped’ corn are fit for enjoyment, then any Christian in the sphere of God’s will is fit for a spouse. (This sphere only gets smaller and more defined in proportion to ministry or work.)

Do you fit? Then stay fit!
Do you fit? Then stay fit!

Additional Guidelines for Selection

A Suitable Partner

And the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him." So the LORD God formed from the soil every kind of animal and bird...But still there was no companion suitable for him. So the LORD God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. He took one of Adam's ribs and closed up the place from which he had taken it. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib and brought her to Adam. "At last!" Adam exclaimed. "She is part of my own flesh and bone! She will be called 'woman,' because she was taken out of a man." (Genesis 2:18-23 NLT)

The guide questions would be: Is s/he suitable for you? Are you suited for him/her? Are you adaptable to each other?

In what ways are the two of you able to help each other succeed in life? Do your dreams coincide? Will both of you grow and develop in the Lord being together? Are you compatible?

The feelings and acts of love are but a small part of the married life. You have got to talk, reason and brainstorm about progress and development in whatever aspect of life you are in. When the satisfaction of the marriage bed is fulfilled, and yet there is some ‘longing’ for another ‘companion’ for the other facets of your distinct humanity, then there will be problems.

It is interesting to note that God took something from Adam. So Adam has this form of emptiness in him, that something or someone is missing. And truthfully, when a man finds his wife, it is such favor from the Lord.[1] Only then are men made complete!

In the perspective of a lifetime, if it’s easy to ignore each other and go on your separate ways even while courting, then the marriage vows will seal that fate – a lifelong relationship of neglect.

Walk in love...
Walk in love...

Physical Attraction

This is such a wonderful bonus! Not only are we suppose to be drawn to personality and character, but even to as basic and instinctual as beauty and good-looks.

Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then the other Christian of your choice should ‘at least’ look wonderful to you. Remember, you’ll be looking at her/him for the rest of your life.

The Song of Songs talks about this beautiful romantic attraction, and so the Bible attests to it.[2]

Mutual Submission

Don’t marry someone you cannot submit to.[3] Respect should be given and received both ways – for the husband and for the wife.[4]

While the world looks at women to submit to their husbands, the Bible also says that men should also submit to their wives. For the men: Can you submit to her for life? A man should not marry a woman he will not listen to – out of reverence for Christ.

Faithfulness

Does s/he have a proven record of faithfulness? If that lover can’t be faithful now before you get married, then what guarantee do you have that it will change?

God is a witness to our marriage vows.[5] And God, in His faithfulness, will give hints of potential danger. But not to condemn the other, but to prevent bigger loss, damages and hurts.[Jude 1:23]

It is not our job to change the other person. Never ever assume the role of the Holy Spirit.[John 16:8-12] Let Him do His work. But as for us, we make a cautious decision, knowing that people do not change overnight.

Allow the Word to change you in the light of His love...
Allow the Word to change you in the light of His love...

So how do Christians fall in love?

Followers of Christ turn their heads on before turning their hearts on. They look objectively if a relationship will really work, if the other is pleasing to the eye, easy on the soul, and if the other believes in commitment as much as you do. When these qualities are all in, the pursuit is on!

Verses:

[1] He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD. (Proverbs 18:22 NIV)

[2] Young Man: "How beautiful you are, my beloved, how beautiful! Your eyes are soft like doves." Young Woman: "What a lovely, pleasant sight you are, my love, as we lie here on the grass, shaded by cedar trees and spreading firs." (Song of Songs 1:15-17 NLT)

[3] Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:21-22 NIV)

[4] Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (1 Peter 3:7 NIV)

[5] You ask, "Why?" It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. {15} Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. (Malachi 2:14-15 NIV)

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