By Reinhard Ncube
The first step in the process of moving toward marriage through the initiation of or participation in a godly relationship is to evaluate yourself spiritually. Remember, one of our guiding principles here is that we are trying to be (or prepare to be) a godly spouse even as we try to find a godly spouse. All singles who profess Christ and aspire to marriage — even as a possibility — have this responsibility (even outside this area of life, we should all be trying to grow in Christ). Are you a Christian? If you’re already sure of that basic answer, are you a growing and mature Christian? Are you generally humble and teachable, and do you respect authority? As a practical matter, are you responsible and holy in the way you possess your own spirit, mind and body?
As you move into the stage of life in which you begin to seriously consider marriage generally or a particular relationship, your first step should be to soberly reflect, before God, on your own spiritual walk and maturity in Christ. If you aspire to be a godly husband or wife someday, what have you done and what are you doing to prepare for that ministry?
Second, are you at a place in your life at which you are ready and able to marry? As I’ve written on this site before, “practice” and “recreation” are not good reasons to date. Dating is for the purpose of finding a marriage partner. In my view, if you can’t happily picture yourself married within a year, you’re not in a position to date.
Third, once you decide that you are ready to date, look to God’s Word to decide the kind of person to date, and evaluate potential dating partners on those criteria, rather than relying primarily on the world’s treatment of ideas like “attraction” and “chemistry.” I wrote at some length on this in my article.
For you busy singles with time for only one mildly irritating column per day, the summary is this: Pick a potential dating partner with an eye toward godly manhood and womanhood — with an eye toward who would make a good husband or wife, defined by those characteristics God esteems in His Word, not the ones Hollywood likes.