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Six Steps in Discerning God's Will for the Right Marital Partner


            When seeking a marriage relationship, it is very important that a couple learn how to discern Godís will regarding a life partner.  God has established six steps to help a couple in this situation, and when they are followed completely, it will result in a properly pursued marriage relationship.  If one of these steps is violated, both parties can be assured that it is not Godís will for them to marry at that time.

The first step is to commit to only dating and marrying a Christian individual.  2 Corinthians 6:14 says, ďBe ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?Ē  Therefore, it is very important to be certain that the prospective marriage partner is a Christian.  When one of the individuals is not a Christian, it will not allow for true spiritual intimacy within marriage, which is the basis for Godís design for marriage.

The second step in discerning Godís will for marriage is to relate the possible marriage to Godís purpose for oneís life.  If the individuals will be unable to fulfill their given purpose in life by being married, it will not be Godís will for them to pursue a marriage relationship.  However, if both individuals have common goals that they feel the Lord leading them to accomplish, then a marriage relationship may be the Lordís will for the couple.

The third step is to be sure that there is no defrauding within the courtship or dating relationship.  1 Thessalonians 4:6 states,

            That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned                you and testified.

            One who defrauds another person ultimately stirs up sensual desires that cannot be justly fulfilled.  This involves both physical and emotional defrauding from both individuals.  When there is a desire to ďproveĒ love for each other by defrauding one another, the relationship is not based upon the genuine love that God desires for each individual to have within their spirit.

            The fourth step in discerning a marriage partner is to determine whether or not there is harmony within the home of the marriage prospect.  If there is not harmony in the homes of both parties involved, there will be a transfer of this disunity into the marriage relationship when it is fulfilled.  Thus, it becomes very important to discern the unity of the individual and how harmoniously he or she lives in their home environment.

            The next step is to wait for Godís timing in marriage.  If the previous steps have been properly evaluated and passed, then it may be Godís desire for the couple to be marriage.  However, this must be done in the proper timing.  To be aware of the proper time, the couple must understand that Godís plan for marriage will be carried out only when there is full parental consent, firm financial preparation, and when both individuals know that being married will further their purpose in life.  When these three aspects are fulfilled, the couple will have more assurance in discerning the timing for their marriage.

            The final step in discerning Godís will regarding a life partner is to yield your own personal right to marry to God.  When this is done, both individuals will be able to have an undistracted concentration on Christ and His work.  In doing so, they will be fully dedicating themselves to Christian service under the power and authority of the Lord.  This will strengthen the coupleís spiritual maturity, and will allow the Lord to show them if they are to be married.

            When these steps are properly followed, it will allow both individuals involved to truly know the other individual, and will establish a firm foundation for a proper marital relationship.  It will also allow both individualsí deepest needs to be fulfilled within the marriage because they allowed God to show them the exact person, time, and purpose for their relationship.  The result will be a strong marriage relationship that is focused on glorifying the Lord.