Dear brothers and sisters of Grow in:
I’m old enough now to look for a partner in life. My parents are anxious about my marriage prospects, and my relatives and friends also often ask me about this, which makes me feel I’m under much pressure. When it comes to looking for a spouse, my unbelieving friends all want to choose those who are “tall, rich and handsome” or “fair-skinned, rich and beautiful,” yet I have no idea what kind of people we Christians should choose. Looking forward to your reply.
August 13, 2018
Marriage is an important matter in life, so it’s good that you are thinking about it carefully. As Christians, we should seek the truth to understandin this matter, and then act in accordance with the related principles. This way we will find a suitable spouse and thus gain God’s blessings. I’d like to share my own experience with you.
In the past, I also wanted to find a husband who was handsome and had an excellent family background. Therefore, when I eventually met a young man who conformed to these standards, I started to date him. But things happened that I never thought would. He, an unbeliever, was unrestrained and very dissolute. In particular, he had unclear boundaries with other girls, so I didn’t feel the least bit secure being with him. Besides, when he needed my help in his career he always came over to flatter me, yet after he gained a firm foothold in our company he no longer paid attention to me. Especially when I was sad and disappointed and needed comfort, he not only didn’t care about me but complained that I was too troublesome. So while dating him, what I felt most was his indifference instead of care and consideration. Afterward, on his Qzone, I found out that he was already dating another girl, and after that he dumped me heartlessly. That was a very painful blow to me.
At a gathering, I told one of the sisters about my experience. She fellowshiped this with me, “As Christians, regardless of what we deal with, including marriage, we should seek God’s will rather than rely on our own preferences. Thus, when we are choosing our own marriage partner, we should entrust this matter to God’s hands. We should ask God whether the one we want to choose is suitable for us, because only God looks within the depths of people’s hearts and sees right through people, and so the partner that He arranges for us will surely be the most suitable one. Another point we should consider is whether our partners are like-minded with us. If there is no common language on both sides, how can such people be happy together? Just as the Bible says, ‘Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.’ (2 Corinthians 6:14) And a passage of sermons says, ‘It’s normal to get married after growing up, but one should choose a suitable partner. At the very least, it should be someone who is beneficial for someone’s faith and life—this is very important. People’s choices determine their path and their final destination. What is key is whether someone can select their own path based on God’s requirements.’ These words clearly show us the way of practice: While looking for our own partner, we shouldn’t solely stress looks or family circumstances. The most important thing is to choose someone who shares a common language with us, has good humanity and is beneficial for our faith. This way, both sides can understand, forbear and forgive each other, and it’s advantageous to our pursuit of truth and life growth. However, if a woman chooses a husband based on her own preferences, even if he is tall and handsome and his family is well off, he is also probably a gluttonous and lazy playboy with bad humanity who will neglect his family. She will have no common language with such a person, and living with him will bring nothing but harm and pain. What’s worse, if he prevents her from believing in God, it’ll even ruin her life and she’ll lose the chance to.” Through the fellowshiping, I understood that as a Christian, when looking for a partner the most important thing I should look for was whether he had good humanity and was beneficial for my faith. I also needed to consider whether we were like-minded and shared the same goal in our pursuit.
Before long, my aunt introduced to me a man who was a doctor, and said his family was well off and that his parents were both teachers. Then she showed me a photo, which revealed his handsome looks. At first glance, I knew he was my type. Soon after, Sister Zhang introduced to me her nephew Zhang Xun, with whom I was actually already acquainted. He was a repairman with average looks, and his parents were both ordinary workers—none of this could be compared with what the doctor had to offer. But Zhang Xun was a devout Christian. He truly believed in God and so we were like-minded. By contrast, the doctor was an unbeliever, and if I married him he might oppose my belief in God. Sharing no common language with each other might directly affect our feelings, to the point that we might part ways, just like my former boyfriend and I. However, if I were to only take my fleshly interests into consideration, I’d choose the doctor. And so I was at a loss how to choose.
At that time, I could only pray to God. After praying, I saw the following passage of fellowshiping, “When looking for a partner, some people completely rely on their fleshly preferences rather than the truth. They only choose someone who conforms to their desires. Are such people obedient to God? No, because God requires us not to be unequally yoked to unbelievers. Could you choose a believer as your partner? When dating a believer, some people say, ‘This person does not have good looks or status, and so isn’t my ideal partner. I don’t want them. I’d rather choose a devil who has good looks and status but has no faith.’ If you were to do so, would you be obedient to God?”
After reading this fellowshiping, I quieted my heart to seek God’s intentions. I thought: “There are two men for me to choose from. Simply judging by their outward appearances and family backgrounds, I definitely prefer the doctor. But that way is following the unbelievers’ way and is based on my fleshly preferences. In addition, he doesn’t, and this indeed is disadvantageous to my belief and pursuit of truth. As for Zhang Xun, although his family background is not so good, he believes in God, pursues the truth, and moreover he has good humanity and love for his family and the brothers and sisters. Also, he actively performs his duty at church. If I choose him, we could walk the same path and serve the Lord together in the future, and that is good. And my own family background isn’t that great. I was born into an ordinary family, my parents are both ordinary workers, and I don’t have a degree. All these features are far worse than those of the doctor. So, if I married him, our marriage would be not of equal rank. I would feel inferior and distressed, and he might even abandon me.” Thinking of all this, I told my thoughts to God and prayed for Him to make me willing to forsake my fleshly preferences and act in accordance with His requirements. After my , I felt peaceful and steady.
Afterward, I resolutely decided not to date the doctor and started to date Zhang Xun. In our interactions, I found that his view of things was completely different from that of unbelievers and he didn’t focus on pursuing life’s pleasures. In his opinion, pursuing those things was meaningless; he thought believers should pursue the truth and strive to understand God’s will and to please God. Every time we met, he would lead me to read God’s words and sing hymns in praise of God together. He especially emphasized that our feelings for each other should be established on the foundation of God’s words. We should love each other according to God’s words. As long as what one of us said was correct and accorded with the truth, the other should obey and accept it, thus the truth could be our master. Moreover, when I revealed arrogance and self-conceit, he would fellowship with me and ask me to emulate Christ’s humility; when I was passive and weak, he would use God’s words to comfort and encourage me. After interacting with him for a period time, I found that he was of great help to me. In the past, I didn’t pay attention to seeking God’s words. Yet, now when encountering problems, I would focus on seeking God’s will and thirst for God’s words, thus becoming more confident to pursue the truth. Gradually, we two became confidants. When things happened to us, we would seek the truth to resolve them. I was really able to feel the truth that only by finding a partner according to God’s requirements could a believer gain true happiness.
Subsequently, while visiting home one time my aunt said to me, “It’s lucky that you didn’t choose the doctor. He has been spoilt by his parents. Now, he spends all day drinking, whoring and gambling, and has even abandoned his job, which makes his parents very angry.” Hearing all this, I thanked God in my heart. In the matter of finding a partner, if I had given in to vanity instead of having acted in accordance with God’s requirements, I would be living in suffering now. After these experiences, I truly realized that when looking for a partner, we shouldn’t stress appearance or family background. The most important thing is to choose someone who shares a common language and the same goal of pursuit with us. Only in this way can our married life be happy.
Sister Xiangzhi, all the above is my own experience and knowledge. I hope it’ll be beneficial to you. As long as we act in accordance with God’s demands, we’ll gain God’s protection and blessings. May God bless you!
Pingfan of Grow in Christ
August 20, 2018