Apart from questions of attraction and chemistry, which are not insignificant, the Bible articulates some roles for wives and husbands.
A husband ought to protect and provide for his wife (Ephesians –29).
In a day when people are marrying later and later, and more and more are resorting to online matchmaking, we probably need to be reminded that marriage really is less about compatibility than commitment.
After all, there has never been a less compatible relationship than a holy God and his sinful bride, and that’s the mold we’re aiming for in our marriages.
Sadly, my immature and unhealthy desires predictably did much more harm than good. Maybe dating has been hard for you too, for these reasons or others. It’s enough to leave you like an eight-year-old, asking, “Mom, where do weddings come from?
” The vision of marriage we see in God’s word — the beautiful, radical display of God’s infinite, persevering love for sinners — makes it worth it to date, and date well.
The qualifications are wonderfully clear and simple: (1) they must believe your God (2 Corinthians ) and (2) they must be of the opposite sex (Genesis –24; Matthew 19:4–6; Ephesians –32).
Now undeniably there will be more involved in your discernment while dating.
From far too young, I longed for the affection, safety, and intimacy I anticipated with a wife. I experimented too much with our hearts and allowed things to go too far. And now my singleness is a regular reminder that I messed up, missed opportunities, or did it wrong. Maybe all the suggestions and advice you’ve collected has become a confusing mess of good-intentioned contradictions and ambiguity.
Exclusivity and intentionality are ancient rituals, things of the past, and misplaced hopes. It’s not that this new line of thinking is necessarily untrue today, or that it’s not the current and corrupt trend of our culture. One of our most precious pursuits, that of a lifelong partner for all of life, is tragically being relegated to tweets, texts, and snaps, to ambiguous flirtation and fooling around. Therefore, only he can prescribe the purpose, parameters, and means of our marriages.
If fullness of life could be found in sexual stimulation, or if it was just a matter of making babies, the “forget formality and just have sex” approach might temporarily satisfy cravings and cause enough conception.
There is a reason the Bible doesn’t have a book devoted to how to choose a spouse.
It was not an oversight on the part of the God of all history, as if he couldn’t see into the twenty-first century.