Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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An inquiry from a young man
I have two questions I would like to ask you.1. How do you know when you’re ready for marriage? and 2. How do you know that you have met the right person?
The reason I ask this is because I have been thinking about marriage. Could you please help me out on this one, if you can?
I will do the best I can.
It is of primary importance that you marry “only in the Lord”. Paul said that everyone in Christ is free to marry whomever he chooses, “but only in the Lord”. So, the first thing you must consider is this: Is the person born again whom you would like to marry?
One of the basic ways that you can know that you have made yourself ready for the responsibilities of marriage is, can you take care of a wife and family financially? Do you have a way of providing for yourself and any children that may follow?
Another basic issue is compatibility. The difference between male and female is so great that every other difference between you that is more than that compounds the problems that you will face. Paul warned the saints that if they married, they would certainly have “trouble in the flesh”. So, even under the best of circumstances, there are problems that the institution of marriage forces husbands and wives to deal with. They are not insurmountable problems, but they are real. If both partners in a marriage love Jesus and obey him, any potential problem can be overcome, and will be; still, the problems will arise. You can count on that. And you can count on Jesus, too, to help you overcome every problem and be happy together. So, ask yourself these questions: Are you and your potential spouse compatible in other ways, such as sharing the same level of commitment to Jesus, being of roughly the same age, being of the same race, having similar social backgrounds, and having similar educational levels, etc.? Every difference between you and your spouse that is beyond the male/female difference will add to the “troubles in the flesh” that you will have as married people. And just as with every earthly difference comes more problems, so with every similarity comes more harmony.
Still, don’t forget Jesus. He will help you overcome everything that stands in the way of your happiness if you trust and obey him.
Another important issue is emotional maturity. Are you mature enough to not be embarrassed by humbling yourself to be gentle and kind to your mate? Righteousness includes gentleness. The fruits of the Spirit are essential for a happy home. There has never been a happy home anywhere on earth without somebody living the way the Creator has told us to live. Even if they don’t even believe in the true God, the people with some peace in their homes have that peace because they have treated each other the way God wants people to treat each other.
It is impossible to supply in an email all the answers to your very good questions, but the things I have described above are some of the things that will help you to determine whether or not you are ready for the very weighty responsibilities of marriage.