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Ask a Pastor: Should I Pray for A Marriage Partner?

Question

“Should I pray for a marriage partner in the future? What traits should I look for?”

Answer

Suggested Reading: Genesis 24:1–27


We should pray for God’s guidance in all aspects of our lives, especially for such important decisions as a marriage partner. While God calls some to single life, such as the Apostle Paul, His general plan is that we marry (Gen. 2:21–25). Marriage is the most intimate, influential, and important of all human friendships; therefore, it is one of the most important decisions we make in life. When praying and looking for a future spouse, look for a person of whom you could answer positively to the following questions, if a relationship developed.

  1. Religious convictions – Do you both love God? Agree on establishing the Bible as your guide for life? Do you talk about spiritual matters? Pray together? Agree on basic principles of how to raise children? In short, are you agreed to base your decision- making on a common set of biblical beliefs and practices?

  2. Love and esteem – Do you cherish each other? Are you both willing to sacrifice for the other? Do you value one anoth- er’s thoughts and feelings? Do you love and trust each other? Would this be the person that you would want to be the father or mother of your future children?

  3. Communication – Do you both enjoy talking about things together? Are you comfortable to talk about deep issues? Share spiritual needs? Do you freely discuss a wide range of subjects and practical issues together? Do you agree on most items you discuss? Do you really listen and try to understand each other, especially when you disagree on something?

  4. Biblical traits – Key traits for a future marriage partner include:

  5. a. For a husband: loves deeply (Gen. 2:24), spends time with you (Deut. 24:5), is content and happy (Prov. 5:18), is kindly affectionate (1 Cor. 7:3), treasures and honors (1 Pet. 3:7), lov- ingly leads (Eph. 5:23), self-sacrificial (Eph. 5:25), provides (1 Tim. 5:8), and prays for his wife (1 Pet. 3:7).

  6. b. For a wife: loves deeply and helps (Gen. 2:18), virtuous (Prov. 12:4), non-contentious (Prov. 19:13), trustworthy (Prov. 31:11–12), shows wisdom and kindness (Prov. 31:26), displays inward beauty (1 Pet. 3:3–4), self-sacrificial (1 Cor. 7:4), and lovingly submissive to leadership (Eph. 5:22–23).

How does the recommended Scripture reading (Genesis 24) illustrate the importance of praying and searching for a fitting marriage partner? Why is it important to know the biblical traits of a desirable marriage partner before entering into a relationship? How can the principles of God’s Word guide our thoughts and feelings in this important matter?

James W. Beeke

James Beeke, though not a pastor, has been a Christian school teacher and principal, and is the brother of Dr. Joel Beeke. He is a member of the Heritage Reformed Congregations (HRC). To see more content by him, click on his name in the tags below.

The article was originally published in the Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, July/August 2017. Posted here with permission.


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