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Summary: How do you know who you should marry? Parents, how do you know who’s right for your son or daughter? What is it that you should look for in a mate? I want to say right up front that there are a number of significant aspects that need to be considered b

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What to Look For in a Mate

2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 7:1

Rev. Brian Bill

11/6/05

I love how kids respond to questions about marriage. When asked about the right age to get married, a six-year-old named Freddie said, “No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married.” When asked how you know who to marry, ten-year-old Kirsten said, “No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.”

Does God decide it all beforehand? If so, how do we know who it is we’re supposed to marry? A young man was in love with two women and could not decide which one to marry. Finally he went to Pastor Dick who asked him to describe the two women. The man noted that one was a prolific poet and the other made mouth-watering pancakes. Pastor Dick responded with keen insight and said, “I see what the problem is. You can’t decide whether to marry for batter…or for verse.”

Last week we celebrated singleness from 1 Corinthians 7, by stating that to be single is good, it is a gift, and it can be used to bring glory to God. This morning, recognizing that not everyone has this gift, we’re going to camp in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians in order to gain some insight into what to look for in a marriage mate. Please turn in your copy of the Scriptures to 2 Corinthians 6. If you’re following along in the Bible we’ve provided, this text is found on page 819.

One married woman last week told me that I was fifty years too late with the sermon on singleness! Perhaps you feel the same about today’s topic because you’re already married. I still would ask you to pay close attention because you may have the opportunity to pass along some principles to those around you.

How do you know who you should marry? Parents, how do you know who’s right for your son or daughter? What is it that you should look for in a mate? I want to say right up front that there are a number of significant aspects that need to be considered but I believe that there is one that is far and away the most important. This one element is more essential than compatible background or age or education or emotional temperament or energy or interests or personality or intelligence or adaptability or ambition or autonomy or altruism or appearance or musical preferences or humor or how you squeeze a tube of toothpaste or whether you root for the Bears or the Packers (well, maybe not more important than that). Far and away the most important dimension is spiritual suitability. If you’re searching for a mate make sure there’s a spiritual match.

There’s certainly a mystery about all this, isn’t there? Proverbs 30:18-19 says: “There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.” Science helps us with the first three but the intrigue of attraction and romance and compatibility still perplexes us. We might not know how all this works, but God certainly does. That’s why we need to take seriously what He says.


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