In the first instalment of this post (How to Find the Right Spouse Part 1) I introduced you to several people who had different reason for taking interest in the person who became their spouse.
The point is to look behind the process to see the essential elements involved. I want to draw out a key element from what I have already said, adding insights gained from the process of an arranged marriage.
Dawn chose to pursue her Mr Wright, because he had wealth and charm, and promised her a life above her current situation.
A Swedish woman determined who had won her heart by considering if she was prepared to darn the man’s socks for him, which is a process she detested.
An Indian couple suggested the Cheese Test, to find an economical bride for sons.
And Pastor Richard Holland chose to marry his wife, Garry, because she had great looking legs.
Now let’s look at what happens in an arranged marriage situation.
A Family Ordeal
My Greek neighbours were married through a family arrangement. The parents scouted around for eligible marriage partners, talked with the other family and then set up a big family get-together. This way the couple could meet and size each other up.
Both Don and Kaliope had been presented with several prospective spouses over a period of several years. Each time they advised their parents that they did not think they could marry the person in question. Or the other person did not wish to follow up with them. Then, when they were introduced to each other and found that they were open to the possibility of marriage they were escorted though the courtship process, on the journey to the altar.
They did not really get to know each other until after they were married.
Note that in each of these cases the end result was a decision about proceeding or not. Whether a couple married through personal choice or family selection the matter of the marriage was their willingness to go ahead.
So, whether you are attracted to someone because of their looks, their station in life, their personal qualities or your family’s recommendation, the final element will be your decision to marry that person.
The Bible suggests that it is not really possible to find a virtuous wife. And that could well be presented in the inverse, that it is not really possible to find a worthy husband.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10
The point of the question is not that virtuous women do not exist. Nor is it that you should give up hope and take whatever comes along. The point is that you should not rely on your own abilities in order to find an ideal spouse.
What you should do, to find the right spouse, is ask God to find that person for you.
Wild Card Selection
Everyone is a potential “wild card”. By that I mean that everyone has unknown qualities and can produce unexpected developments over time.
I recently heard a pastor’s wife, in tears, ask for prayer that her daughter would marry a man who proved to be good value in the long term.
Many a fine young man has proven to be less than fine. And many a lovely young lady has proven to be less than lovely. Some young wives have found themselves married to a drunkard, abuser or irresponsible husband. Some young men have found themselves married to an argumentative, controlling or emotionally unstable woman.
Then there’s the issue of the bumps along life’s journey. Some people who seemed to have it all together came unravelled when they faced a death in the family or similar traumatic event. Post natal depression, economic hardship, injury and loss can turn a person’s personality in an unexpected direction.
So, even if you take the greatest possible care in selecting a spouse, you cannot control the ‘wild card’ factor. Once again, you really should be trusting God.
God wants you to be blessed. And God knows far more about you and all the people around you than you could ever imagine. Trusting Him to lead, protect and bless you is the smartest thing you can do for any and all aspects of your life.
So, how do you find the right spouse? You get God involved in the process and you let Him lead you to the right person who will deliver into your life the blessings which God has for you.
But, remember, God won’t give you what you don’t deserve. If you are selfish, demanding, proud, arrogant, irresponsible, intolerant, jealous, greedy or the like, you can’t expect God to place a precious jewel into your hands, since you will only abuse that precious blessing.
God will probably match you up with someone whose own personal problems are a good match for yours. Then, as you humble yourself before God and find His grace, that grace will work in you both and you will rise out of your mess together.
You can trust God to rescue you. And which ever way you look at it, Trusting God is the smartest thing you can do.