How to Find a Spouse

Christians place a whole lot of importance on marriage, whether right or wrong. Not only do they elevate marriage, but they also tend to over-analyze and over-spiritualize the process of finding a spouse.

They take spouse-hunting as just that–a sport or game of some kind complete with playbooks, rules, regulations and penalties. Or they treat the process of finding a spouse as a purely spiritual, holy, righteous, and sanctified event–complete with God coming down from heaven and lightning in the sky.

So who’s right? Is finding a spouse as complex as drafting your fantasy football team or just as holy as the transfiguration?

Here are some thoughts on finding a spouse and what God has to say about it:

Turns out, God doesn’t have too much to say on the topic. I mean, we know that dating isn’t mentioned in the Bible. There is, however, some awesome examples of courting and unmarried romance (and I don’t mean unmarried sex, but romance).

The Song of Solomon, for example, is two yet-to-be-lovers completely enamored of one another. Jacob and Rachel is another one of my favorite examples. But what are some practical things you can do to break past the “what ifs”  in order to get to the “I do’s”? Well, lots. For starters:

Pray. Have you stopped to actually pray about your love life? And not only that, have you prayed a selfless prayer, one in which you don’t just ask for the perfect husband or wife and now? I mean, have you prayed for your future spouse–for their walk, their faith, their hearts? If not, start. If you have, keep doing it.

Date. I know for some believers, dating is a touchy subject. I get it, but it is also a super-fun way to, get this..find a spouse. Go figure. Gentleman, if you haven’t asked a girl out, please do. Be confident. Be bold. Just ask. Ladies, if no one has asked you out on a date yet, keep reading…

Be there. Where? Where the other potential spouses are, whether that’s at a college group, 20 something group, singles group, salsa class,  dance party, bar mitzvah, or Carnival Cruise (although that may be dipping into the bottom of the barrel). Be around. Hang out with other single, seeking people. Sitting at home, on your rump, watching Family Guy re-runs does not count, nor will it bring Mr. or Mrs. Right to your front door.

Flirt. Yes, while you’re around other single people, show some interest in the person you are, well, interested in. Flirting is an art, so be sure to learn how.

Ask your friends. Okay, I admit this might sound a bit lame or embarrassing, but there is no shame, none whatsoever, in asking a friend if they have someone they could introduce you to. Not necessarily a blind date, just an introduction is all you need sometimes to see if there are sparks a flyin’.

Don’t settle. Don’t say “yes” to just anyone who asks you out or shows interest. Take pride in yourself. Don’t feel like any date is better than no date. God has not only what is good in mind for you, but what is best. That being said, however, remember to throw away your list because God often has something (meaning someone) else in mind.

Have fun. I know sometimes this is easier said than done. I remember wanting to be married, but I also know now that once your singleness is gone, it’s gone. Sayonara. Enjoy the time the Lord has given you. Be content in all things. Trust His timing, not your own. Finding a spouse can be a fun process. It doesn’t need to be complex or overly-spiritual. When you realize this, you won’t only feel fulfilled, you’ll be outrageously attractive and that is desirable, no matter what.

What have you done, or not done, to find a spouse? Are you actively seeking or passively waiting? If you’re married, what did you do to make it to “I do?” Comment away.


21 thoughts on “How to Find a Spouse”

  1. It turns out my wife and I did many of your suggestions without trying to. After 20 years of marriage my spouse hunting game is rusty, thank God. However as the father of two girls It is an important topic.

    This may seem a bit archaic to some but we have taught our girls from baby-hood that dating is reserved for the potential buyers market. Meaning that they will not date until they are of an age that marriage is an option. That is not to say they can’t “hang out” in a group setting. Also that doesn’t mean, that when the time comes, they have to date exclusively to find a spouse. They may choose to date for fun and not be shopping so to speak.

    We came to this conclusion after watching adolescents for several years as youth pastors. The repeated gifting of self (not sexually) to others at a young age only to have the fickle whims of teen life destroy a small bit of the persons involved. This also puts the dater in circumstances they are not developed enough to deal with (again not exclusively sexual).

    The end result was many broken teens with significant baggage to carry into a married life.

    Or maybe I’m just wrong but I can’t help but think they will be better suited fro this tough prospect with a little more life experience.

    BTW-One is almost 15 and the other is nearly 13.

  2. Awesome list Nicole!

    My wife always tells me she use to pray for her husband since she was 6 and like you said, not simply the “Give me a perfect hubby plz plzplzplzplz!!”. It was more like, “keep my future husband safe, help him become the man You want him to be, prepare my heart and mind to love and be loved by him, prepare me to be an amazing wife which I think were very powerful things to pray for. She amazes me, cause I won’t lie, I never use to do that.

    I agree with you on dating, Christians should date, there’s no better alternative (I really despise “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” I could rant on that for hours) in finding out whether you want to marry that person or not.

    The “be there” I would rather say, “Be aware and be confident.” Going out to places singles hang out is a great way to meet singles, however if you really think about it, singles are everywhere. At church, at Starbucks, in the grocery store, you’re not in the house 24/7 (if you are, you got a problem), so actually walking up to a girl (or guy) and saying hi will only increase your odds. I first met my wife doing a job interview. Neither of us expected to actually find someone worth dating, let alone marrying there.

    1. Chris,
      I like that “be aware and be confident”! I think that is great and practical advice. Tunnel vision, among other things, can keep us from seeing who God might have right in front of us.

  3. There is a great passage in Ezekiel 16:7-14 where God describes the process of how he married Jerusalem. It’s interesting to see the word pictures that God uses in this first-person account to illustrate how he thought of Jerusalem as a beautiful (naked) young woman – how he was attracted to her beauty, covered her with his own clothes, spoke promises to her, bathed her, moisturized her skin with oil, put fancy clothes and jewels on her, gave her a nice meal, and then showed her off to the heathen nations. I think it’s one of the most touching love stories ever. It’s interesting to note, however, that (while he had taken an interest in her ever since she was a baby – see verses 3 – 6,) many of the elements we consider crucial to a successful marriage were absent from the list. There was no dating period, no proposal, no engagement, no parental blessing, no premarital counseling, no marriage license, no minister, no church, and no witnesses. He apparently just takes her home on day one and they are therefore married. I’m not sure that this passage necessarily sets a standard for us to follow, but it is an interesting insight into how God thinks about marriage – especially when he portrays himself as the groom.

    1. Thanks a lot for this Ed! My friend actually came to me with a question several weeks ago asking, “If there is only a guy and girl together, with no one else to marry them, can they get married? If so, can two people be ‘married’ in God’s eyes without ever having a ‘ceremony’?”

      I’ll definitely share this passage with him, I think it relates a lot to his question. We like to discuss theories for fun, this will definitely add more to the discussion!

      Thanks again for sharing this Ed!

    2. Ed,
      I just read that passage and wow, somehow I have missed that one or read over it numerous times. At any rate, it is beautiful. i think you raise a good point in that, what is actually necessary to find a spouse? Much of the hoops we jump through are man-made, not God enforced.

      At the same time, however, I think many believers fall prey to thinking God will just plop a spouse on their laps and that isn’t really the case. We have to do something. We have to participate in what He is doing.

  4. I agree with your ideas but… I guess I’m more on the passively waiting side. Not because I’m sitting at home in front of the tv, but because I’m so busy that I don’t have time to just be where other singles are. Plus I’m in a small town where most people aren’t single at 30. So because of this I haven’t been dating at all. The single mom thing scares men away too. I guess if I’m going to meet someone, it will have to be a God thing. Otherwise I guess I’ll continue with my busy single life.

    1. Oh, I completely understand! I’m a single mom too and it definitely seems to put a halt on any potential dates. I am so busy chauffeuring my son around and staying on top of laundry, bills, groceries, cleaning, and church related stuff that I just don’t have the time to go meet people – unless they are at church, the grocery store, or the laundromat.

      My mom keeps telling me someone will come into my life at some point – I believe her, but I’m not going to sit around and wait. I have a life to live :-}

    2. Jenn,
      I agree with you. I think it always has to be a God thing. When we try and make it happen, we usually mess it up. You’re a busy mom, who isn’t sitting at home. That comment was directed at those who think that God will magically bring them a spouse, even if they do nothing. We still have to pursue God and His will for us in the area of marriage and finding the one.

  5. More on topic, I think your list is good, Nicole. Having recently started dating again, after taking a long break, I found myself doing many of the things you suggest. I might add one item to the list – between Pray and Date – I would suggest a step called Determine You Are Ready. Some folks aren’t ready to date, and they don’t do themselves or their dates any favors by being out there before they are really ready to be involved. Sometimes getting to a point of being ready might include doing an extensive evaluation of your level of emotional health. That might include reading books on that topic, or asking friends who are gifted with insight and honesty their opinion of your readiness.

    As I began sensing that I was ready, I started networking, seeing who had friends they thought might be a good match, becoming more involved in small group activities at church, etc. It does help the process to make yourself available in some way.

    Your point about not settling is good as well. It’s important to be willing to determine that someone isn’t right for you, and to politely walk away as soon as you make that determination. In the past I have been too willing to settle. When someone really special did come across my path, I was shocked to realize that I didn’t have to settle.

    Thanks for the advice, Nicole!

  6. Great list, Nicole. I’m thankful I don’t have to do these things right now, but I have many young adults I would like to direct to your site. Probably, the thing I had the hardest time with on the list was “have fun.” I was so busy trying to be in control that I couldn’t enjoy myself. We have small children (10, 8 and 5), and we sometimes pray for their future spouses. They think it so weird, but I know there will come a time when they don’t see that as such a strange thing to do.

    1. Suzanne,
      Thanks for the kind words. I think the having fun part is difficult for many young people. They are so focused or not focused that they miss out on the enjoyment there is to be had.

      And keep praying for your kid’s future spouses. My in-laws prayed for me and I have no doubt it made a huge difference in my life.

  7. OOH… I like that part about praying selflessly about my love life…
    I’ve never done that before! I was always taught to just… pray for a husband and then do the other suggestion on your list. I’ll definitely add that.
    Being 24… getting married isn’t my top priority, but still… it would be wonderful to have a team mate to spend the rest of my life with.
    The guys in my age group just seem too new school for my old school ways.
    I’ve grown tired of getting called “grandma” by guys older than me.
    But I can’t give up Jesus, the #1 love of my life who has saved me in every way possible!
    There will be someone… (look off into the sunset) someday…

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