With millions of people on planet earth, finding the perfect mate is a challenge. How do you know when your "soul mate" and companion for life will pass your way?
How will you know when you have discovered the right person to marry? The truth is that relationships are developed, not discovered. For two people to have a happy, successful marriage, it takes lots of work and some understanding of the purpose for life.
Tragically, almost half of all marriages in the Western world end in divorce. And more and more people are giving up on marriage altogether, choosing instead to live together until one or the other moves on to another relationship.
God's intentions for intimacy
This is not what God intended from the beginning when He created Adam, the first man, in the Garden of Eden. From the man He took a rib and created a woman. Of all body parts, something close to the heart was chosen to become an integral part of the human race!
Shortly after man was created from the dust of the ground, "the LORD God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him'" (Genesis 2:18).
When Eve was presented to Adam, he said: "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man (verse 23). The account continues, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (verse 24).
Notice that Eve was a part of Adam's body to begin with, and after God formed her into a woman, she and Adam were to "become one flesh." While this is rich in symbolism, the choice of mate for Adam was easy. Today there are many more human males and females on the planet. So making the right choice of who is to become a couple for life takes faith and some planning.
American author H. Jackson Brown Jr. said, "Choose your life's mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 percent of all your happiness or misery."
From years of counseling, I have noted that one of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is the example of a good marriage that models teamwork, proper use of authority and godly leadership. After all, marriage has a deep spiritual connection to God's plan for humanity. As Paul wrote, "This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church" (Ephesians 5:32).
The same apostle goes on to explain: "For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her" (Ephesians 5:23-25). Loving service and loving submission are keys to making this most intimate relationship work.
Sharing godly goals
The challenge for young people today is finding someone who shares the goals of a godly marriage. Let me offer a few suggestions:
• Spend your time with those of like mind who have some understanding of the challenges and goals of marriage. Begin with the end in mind. To do this, you need to spend time learning about a potential partner, and that means dating others who are in God's Church, asking God to help find a mate for you.
• Date people with a variety of personalities to get to know who you can work together with best.
• Dating should not begin until you are old enough to begin a lifelong relationship. Sex was created for marriage and is part of two becoming one for life. Having sex prior to marriage harms your ability to later give of yourself in the way God intended within marriage. Sex with someone other than your marriage partner is a sin. When you break God's law, you are "broken." If you have made mistakes, repent and decide to follow the Creator God's instruction manual. You'll be glad you did.
• Seek counsel from those who have a good marriage and those who understand God's Word. This could save you lots of grief in the future.
Marriage is a great blessing and opportunity for human beings. It's no wonder that Satan works to undermine this building block of civilization. If you seek God's way and seek to find a mate with the same intentions, God can give you a gift similar to the one He gave Adam—a perfect complement to your life. After you find someone you are attracted to, realize it will take a lifetime of working together to develop as a team. I hope you accept the challenge and find a friend forever who will help you throughout life! VT