1. Commit your way to the Lord, delight yourself in Him and His will and trust also in Him to lead you to the best person and He will bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:3-5) Only the Lord is able to direct two people into a God blessed union. He is able to work in ways that we cannot understand. His ways are perfect and all of His ways are filled with peaceful blessings, fruitfulness and success.
2. Seek the counsel of Godly leaders who really know you. They might have some excellent ideas on who might be a good partner for you. "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22) Skilled marriage counselors are a necessity for everyone considering marriage.
3. Observe the Mother or Father of the person you are thinking about marrying. You can tell a lot about a person from their parents' attitudes, actions and perspectives. (Luke 6:40,41)
4. Search the scripture to gain insights into the criteria for a Godly husband or wife. The Bible will give you guidance on the qualities that are most desirable in a marriage partner. Base your decision more on inner qualities of Godliness rather than outward traits of attractiveness. (I Peter 3:3,4)
5. Consult people who have experience in finances to guide you in money matters. Arguments over money are typically some of the root causes for most marital difficulties. (I Timothy 6:6-10)
6. Get help in evaluating both of your personalities, educational backgrounds, spiritual maturity levels, social orientations, cultural values, perspectives, emotional tendencies, communication patterns, work habits, interests, temperaments, and goals. This evaluation will help you to determine if the two of you are compatible. Only the Lord is able to blend people together in a harmonious union. However, the mind of a man is able to plan His ways, while the Lord will direct his steps. (Prov. 16:9)
7. Get help from your Pastor and spiritual leaders in assessing both of your motives, goals and expectations for marriage. Two people cannot walk together in agreement unless they have shared objectives.
8. Sit down and identify your future roles, responsibilities, and duties as husband and wife before the marriage. Many marital squabbles can be prevented with a healthy dose of preventative medicine.
9. Continue to seek first God's will in all that you do and He will direct your paths. Do not let yourself become infatuated with your future spouse or subjective emotions may cloud your objective judgment.
10. If you want to find a quality mate you will have to search diligently in Godly fellowships. Do not think that God will just lead your future spouse to your door while you sit and do nothing.
11. Discuss with your future in-laws the kinds of expectations they will have for your marriage. Remember that you are marrying into another's extended family network.
12. Do not let yourself be pushed into marrying someone you are not sure is God's choice. Parents, relatives and friends can be overly zealous in their attempts to get people together. Guard against this tendency.
13. Surrender your rights, desires and emotions to the Lord while asking Him to lead you in His perfect will. Jesus said, "If anyone is willing to do my will He will know whether my teaching is from God (Approved from Heaven) or if it is from myself (supposedly man inspired)." (John 7:17) As long as you are willing to do whatever God wants you to do through trust and obedience He will direct your path.
14. It is generally preferable to select a mate that has similar a background to your own. Marriage is difficult enough without having to constantly cross over cultural, social, and denominational differences.
15. Read pre-marital counseling books that sharpen your ability to make wise decisions in your dating, courtship and pre-marital decision-making period. Go to a theological library and research the areas where your knowledge may be deficient. Who you marry is the second most important decision you will make after choosing to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
16. Plan together with your future mate how you will plan to spend the rest of your years together. Genesis 2:24,25 says, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame." In these verses we see four stages of how marital commitments is enhanced. First, a man and woman have to be willing to leave the authority of their parents and develop their own household authority. Unless the husband and wife are ready to assume responsibility for their own family there will be trouble in their household. Second, they should continually commit themselves to the unity and sanctity of their love for one another. Accepting one another regardless of the flaws is a life long process of proving to one another that they exclusively belong to each other. Third, they become one flesh through intimate communications. Praying and sharing similar goals in the ministry can enhance a couple's ability to communicate verbally and non-verbally. Fourth, they should continue to support, serve and honor one another in way that is completely honest, forgiving one another just as Christ loves the church and gave Himself to her. (Ephesians 5)