One of the biggest decisions you will ever make in this lifetime, next to baptism (signifying your commitment to God), is marriage. This decision is so important that it will impact the rest of your life. God, in His infinite love and concern towards us, wants you to have a fulfilling and blessed marriage. Thus, He made many guidelines and principles that you should take to heart before ever committing to someone.
One of the principles that God wants you to remember is to find your future spouse within the faith or Church. However, some unmarried people will see this advice to be impractical and even irrelevant to their life. After all, if you really “love” someone, isn’t that enough?
Finding a mate OUTSIDE the Church
While it may look harmless having a romantic relationship outside the faith, it is very important NOT TO LEAN to your own understanding and to trust your unstable emotion. You might be fooled by your own thinking and you get too short-sighted that you don’t see the danger of getting into a relationship with someone not in the Church. The Bible tells us:
“Do not try to work together as equals with unbelievers, for it cannot be done. How can right and wrong be partners? How can light and darkness live together? How can Christ and the Devil agree? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” (II Corinthians 6:14-15, GNB).
There is a reason behind every commandment God gave us. God loves us that He gave us a guide when finding a mate. In this verse, God is telling us, through the apostle Paul, that there are many things that a believer and unbeliever differ in. While you may agree with many things, there is no doubt that future problems may arise when you are already married in terms of beliefs.
Have the wisdom and foresight
Proverb 22:3 tells us; “When you see trouble coming, don’t be stupid and walk right into it– be smart and hide.”
The same idea can be found in Proverbs 27:12. If something is repeated in the Bible, it warrants your attention!
When you would find a mate outside the Church, you are INVITING potential problems into your marriage. For example, the Church teach about tithing, observing God’s Holy Days (Leviticus 23), avoiding pagan holidays, Food Laws, Sabbath and many other biblical teachings. You already know that your future partner eats pork, observes Christmas, and doesn’t tithe, there will come a time that you will either stop following God’s commandments or have a constant quarrel with your spouse.
If you see the future and potential problems and STILL choose to proceed, then you just picked a big rock and pound it in your head, so to speak. The Bible tells us that if you see something bad is going to happen, then you need to do the necessary precaution to avoid it and to continue going towards that problem.
A Partner who doesn’t know God’s plan of Salvation
God revealed to the Church of God the truth about His word. There is a problem when your spouse doesn’t know what God’s truth is.
Are you willing to have a wife or husband who doesn’t even know the meaning of Sabbath, Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles and The Last Great Day?
Yes, you might be able to teach your children about the truth found in the Bible. But it will be difficult if it will only be you doing it. Raising godly children is a responsible of both father and mother. You don’t want to teach your children something while your partner teaches otherwise.
Will it be your will or God’s WILL?
God wants you to find a partner inside the Church. It is His will that you and your partner will be able to raise godly children according to His will and purpose.
However, if you will be stubborn and still look for a partner outside the Church, then you are doing YOUR will and not God’s will.
Simply put, if you want to follow God’s will in your life, find a partner within the Church.
The dire consequences of marrying outside the Church
I have seen the negative effects of marrying outside the Church. Some are not with us today while others suffer the consequences of their action for the rest of their lives.
It is sad to hear of brethren who are not able to bring their children to the Church because their spouse is against it.
It is sad to hear of brethren who cannot go to the Feast because their spouse won’t let them.
It is sad to hear of brethren who just gave up attending Church because they do not want to lose their family.
Yes, there is no doubt that marrying inside the Church doesn’t give us the GUARANTEE that we will be always happy, but I believe, we are always BLESSED.
I Peter 2:19-20 tells us:
“God will bless you for this, if you endure the pain of undeserved suffering because you are conscious of his will. For what credit is there if you endure the beatings you deserve for having done wrong? But if you endure suffering even when you have done right, God will bless you for it.”
If you follow God’s will and find a spouse within the Church, though you may have difficulties, God is with you. You will be happy knowing that you are suffering for Christ and not because of your own doing.
Pray to God for the right person for you
“A man’s greatest treasure is his wife– she is a gift from the LORD” (Pro 18:22).
A wife or husband is a gift from God. It is something that God gives you. You need to ask Him for it and earnestly preparing yourself for the right one.
For God to give you the right one, you need to be the right one as well. Make sure that you prepare yourself first physically, mentally, socially, financially and most importantly, SPIRITUALLY.
God will reward you according to your work. There’s no doubt that it is difficult to find someone in the Church especially if you are attending a congregation where there’re only a few members. However, God is faithful and in His infinite wisdom, He will give the best for you.
The question now is, will you have faith in God and wait for Him? Or will you be impatient and find someone outside the Church. It is my sincerest hope that you will make the right choice.