Before I dive into the 5 areas to strongly consider in your future spouse, I want to talk about the primary reasons for marriage, what to expect in marriage and the wrong reasons for marrying.
What marriage is for
Marriage is for the Lord’s purposes.
We already seen in the book of Genesis why God created woman, and man’s need for her to help fulfill his purposes for God. By taking a bride, you’re acknowledging God’s best arrangement for you. This doesn’t exclude men who’ve been called to be single (as we’ll touch on briefly later one). Single-hood is God’s best for men who’ve be called to be so.
Marriage is for companionship.
Solomon says it well, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he have not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecc 4:9-12 NLT).
Marriage is for procreation.
God wants an eternal family. After God brought Adam and Eve together, he commanded them to be fruitful and multiply. In Malachi, it’s God’s desire that married couples bare godly children (Gen 1:28, Malachi 2:15).
Marriage mirrors Christ & Church.
Husbands are commanded to love their wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25). “Gave himself” is speaking about selflessness towards your wife. As we read how Jesus loved those whom God gave him, you must show that same love for your wife. It should be one of your main goals that you will learn how to love your wife as Christ loved the church. In the old testament we see the same thing with Israel and God, Israel cheated on God many times, but God still loved her.
Marriage grows you.
Expect to see each other’s faults as you live together day-to-day. This is a good thing because you can work on each other and grow together. Any man expecting not to see the sinful nature of himself and his wife is in for a rude awakening. But if you go into marriage with the understanding that their flaws will be revealed, you’ll be able to grow. The bible says, “Iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Prov 27:17). Christ sees the faults of his bride and is patient with her as she grows. This means you will need to be equipped with a ton of patience with your wife as well.
Wrong reasons to get married:
Marriage does bring about happiness, but happiness is always temporary. Happiness happens. It comes and goes. If happiness is your main goal for getting married, you will be disappointed. Circumstances change and people change. Be aware of what happiness really is and you won’t be disappointed.
What you really should pursue is joy. Joy in not based on circumstances, or your spouse’s attitude. Joy is an internal light that fills you up no matter what’s going on. The best way to describe joy is being content, at peace, and upbeat no matter the situation. Joy is something that only comes from God (Galatians 5:22-23).
Joy is truly from God. How many people can you say can keep their heads up when their “money is funny”, when there’s a disagreement with the spouse, when all hell’s breaking loose in their lives? Not many, because most people live on happiness and not on joy. Joy is what you should have and what you should be pursuing even before your marriage begins.
You should look forward to sexual pleasure because this is God’s gift to men and women under his institution of marriage. Paul said, “for the sake of sexual desire, you should marry” (1 Cor 7:9). But I would say, if you have a spirit of lust, your wife won’t fulfill your needs. If you view pornography, and (God forbid) are currently in and out of fornication, you will be extremely disappointed when you marry; and you could end up committing adultery.
Marriage will not solve sexual dysfunction. You know if you have a problem with sex or not. If you do, your disorders should be resolved before you get married. Porn perverts your sexual desires and views on sex. Your wife won’t perform like the stars you see in pornography. What if your sexual requests make your wife want to vomit? Or what if your wife is going through her monthly menstruation period, will you be able to deny yourself during that time? If these questions upset you, (being the reality in a real marriage) you need to get to God and be healed, delivered and transformed in the area of sex.
Humans often mistake a spiritual need for a physical need. If you’re looking to your spouse to satisfy your spiritual needs, you’ll be disappointed because your spouse is not the source of spiritual satisfaction.
There are men who seem to have everything in the world: wealth, material things, a beautiful wife, a healthy family and social acceptance. Then the man is exposed in an adulterous affair.
What’s wrong with him? Why did he do this? Was it because he wasn’t getting enough sex from his wife? He might say something like that, but that’s not the root. It was because the man had a void in his soul which only God could fulfill. But the man thought his wife was the problem and the extra-marital relationship was the solution.
Spiritual satisfaction only comes from Jesus Christ. Drink from the spiritual fountains of Jesus and you’ll never be thirsty or feel as if your wife is insufficient (John 4:14). When you’re connected to Christ, you’re more apt to overflow with love and generosity rather than be unfulfilled. Stay connected to Christ, keep receiving from him and you’ll be content in your marriage.
Ponder all these things before you get married and it’ll save you from a whole lot of frustration, headaches and arguments.