I have been dating in the church for a while and I think she is the one.
What is the biblical way to find a wife? How should I approach this?


This is a very interesting question to come to a Christian apologetics web
site. Normally, apologists are not the first place to go for dating and
marriage advice!

Nevertheless, you asked, so I will try to answer.

First of all, I believe that the American culture has extremely little to
offer us on how to get married or how to stay married. I just got back
from India. In the churches there, the leaders of the church arrange the
marriages. The disciples do not date. They listen to the advice of the
leaders on who will make for a good match for a marriage between two
Christians. It is my experience that an otherwise perfectly sane and wise
person completely loses all wisdom and common sense when the hormones take
over and they fall in love. After a potential mate is chosen, the two
spend some time together. Within three or four “dates” (which are nothing
like our dates!), they must decide if they will be married. I found that
the marriages in the churches in India work at least as well as they do
here. The couples I spent time with seemed very happy. Not one expressed
any disappointment with arranged marriages.

The point is that romantic love is a pretty poor way to choose a mate, if
you ask me. With that beginning, you can see that I am a bit skeptical of
our Western idea of romance and physical attraction as the basis for
finding a spouse. I do not believe that you will find a single passage or
even a few passages which can be described as the “biblical way to find a
wife.” Let me offer a couple of thoughts, and suggest you get advice from
someone who is a much greater authority than I.

First of all, you should look for a Christian for a wife. 1 Cor 7 makes
it clear that marriage to a non-disciple of Jesus leads to many potential
problems. I hesitate to use 2 Cor 6:14-15, as this has been taken out of
context too often. Nevertheless, the general advice to not become too
strongly yoked to non-believers seems appropriate.

Second, I believe you should seek someone who is in love with God. Please
do not be trapped by the standard Western idea that physical attraction is
the key. In general, it is a good idea to find a mate with whom you have
much in common, but who complements your strengths, rather than having the
same strengths. This advice seems to be self-contradictory. I am saying
you need to find someone who is like you, but someone who is not like
you. What I mean is that similar interests are good, but similar
personality is not necessarily good. Perfectionists do well with those
who are not. Highly emotional people should seek a person who is more
stable, etc….

Bottom line, I would suggest you keep at the forefront the need to find a
wife who will help you to be faithful to God for the rest of your life.
Look for spiritual qualities first and foremost. If you are in accord
spiritually, you will be able to work through the differences that you
will be completely oblivious to as long as you are caught up in the whole
love/romance thing which is so prevalant in our society that I assume you
are in that situation. I will have to say that it was romance and
attraction that was a big part of what I used to decide on a wife.

John Oakes

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