Looking at today’s divorce rate, it is safe to say that many divorcees feel like they married the wrong person. While, “He/She is a good, godly person!” isn’t enough to make what should be a lifelong covenant, there are ways to keep from becoming a statistic. Keep reading for five scripturally-based tips on how to avoid marrying the wrong person.
How to Avoid Marrying the Wrong Person
Avoid following your flesh.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” – Galatians 5:16
Fighting against the flesh is indeed an ongoing battle, especially when you are seeking out a spouse. It should not be ignored that the flesh is weak and can pose to be a serious enemy. You’ve probably felt yourself pulled to do something that you know you shouldn’t do, but the desire to do it becomes overwhelming. Say hello to your flesh.
The scripture above is a great reminder to always walk by the Spirit because, in those moments, you will not give in to the temptations of the flesh and end up saying “I do” to the wrong person.
Avoid leaning to your own understanding.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5
When it comes to understanding, the Bible is not suggesting that we use no intellect at all. Instead, it actually gives clear descriptions of the type of understanding that one should pursue. Take one glance at the beginning of Proverbs, such as the scripture above, to get the picture.
However, what tends to happen, is leaning on the understanding from our own perspectives, instead of the kind that is rooted in wisdom. This is what makes choosing a spouse such a big deal. Leaning on your own knowledge and understanding, without filtering a person through the Word of God, can often lead to some missed characteristics that would lead to marrying the wrong person.
How to Dodge Marrying the Wrong Person
Avoid focusing on chemistry versus character.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
Speaking of characteristics… you’ll want to avoid focusing on chemistry versus character. Yes, chemistry between two people is important; however, character is what will keep a relationship going. Consider a person’s character in the following ways:
- Does this person believe in doing the right thing (humility)?
- How does this person treat others (kindness)?
- Is this person dependable (responsibility)?
- Does this person like him/herself (emotional stability)?
- Is this a person worth modeling (leadership)?
These are the kind of questions that will reveal a person’s character, and can actually make the chemistry stronger (depending on the answers, of course). Galatians offers a great starting point to understanding the kind of character to look for in a person and to know if you are marrying the right person, or not.
More Tips to Avoid Marrying the Wrong Person
Avoid physical intimacy before commitment.
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18
This is one of the most tempting areas for both men and women. Some believe in “taking a test drive,” but for a Christian who wants to go about finding a spouse God’s way, they should avoid physical intimacy before commitment. This is where doing your homework to make sure you are emotionally and intellectually compatible comes into play.
True intimacy involves a much deeper exploration that happens over time, and never really stops. Getting involved physically can often cloud one’s mind, leading to blurred decision-making.
Avoid choosing someone you hope to change.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
God never asks us to change a person. While we can certainly influence those around us, it becomes something totally different when we begin to try and change a person. Scripture reminds us that not only is it up to each person to actively choose to make any necessary changes, but that it is also God’s work.
Sometimes a person’s need to feel like they can change a person can be rooted in some emotional luggage that should be dealt with before entering a relationship.
Marriage is intended to be a compatible union between two people who are willing to learn, grow, and develop together. These tips will not only help you avoid marrying the wrong person, but they can also serve as a self-check to ensure you are prepared to make a lifelong commitment as well.