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How Do I Know If I Married the Right Person?

How Do I Know If I Married the Right Person?

There are a few major questions we all ask ourselves at some point in life, and all are worth thinking about: “What career path should I choose?” “Where do I want to settle down roots?” “How should I invest my money?” “How will I know if I married the right person?” All of these are important questions to put some thought into, but the last one is one that we can spend years obsessing over, when we really shouldn’t.

“Can someone marry the wrong person?” is just one of those questions that, while yes, is important to ask, can also unfortunately lead to an unproductive and unhelpful wormhole. Having said that, I’d like to go down that wormhole a bit while also offering an alternative question that’s worth diving into.

First, the wormhole.

In any thinking Christ-follower, there is always an internal debate. That is, the debate between what we know (hope, think) to be true in Scripture, and how we reconcile that conviction when faced with it in real life. For example, someone may have strong feelings on what the Bible says about homosexuality. But, when that same person is sitting across the table from a 19-year-old who is desperately trying to make sense of his attractions AND love for Jesus, suddenly those beliefs, which may have been airtight, are a little more malleable (or at least graceful).

If both of the people in a relationship earnestly pray for and seek God’s wisdom on this marriage (and interpret some measure of confirmation) is it possible they’ve married the wrong person? Well no, not in theory. Because that would be making the assumption that God is wrong, which in itself is wrong.

However, I’ve sat with countless individuals who’ve prayed like crazy, felt some measure of assurance, got married, shouldered down for 15 years, and are now living in marriage hell with someone who is not the same person they were when they stood on the altar. In that case, did they marry the wrong person? Well, to be it plainly, no … and yes. And now we’re falling down the wormhole…

But there’s more:

If one person is a believer and the other isn’t, does that mean they’re marrying the wrong person? Well, the pastor in me wants to say, “Don’t even think about going down that road.”

But then, I know countless couples who have God-honoring, inspiring, marriages and have been walking this tightrope for years. Additionally, I know even more couples where God used the relationship to bring the unbeliever into a deeper understanding of who Jesus is. Is it advisable? Probably not. Is it possible those people were ordained to be married? The evidence would point to yes.

And there’s even more.

Many Christians may assume that non-believers are more likely to marry the wrong person because they lack God’s guidance in finding their one true love. But not so fast.

To discount this union as simply two people blindly stumbling to the altar, without God as a part of the equation, negates God’s loving work in all human life. Might God be working in the lives of two unbelievers, even before they realize it? Thankfully, yes. Can two unbelievers marry the wrong person? Perhaps, but certainly not necessarily. Wormhole engaged.

Here’s the thing: there’s just too much mystery to how God works to be able to definitively answer the question, “Can someone marry the wrong person?” Because for every situation that points to “Absolutely yes, you can marry the wrong person,” there is an equal, opposite, and convicting example of “Absolutely not, that’s God’s choice for you.” There’s just no rule.

So maybe the question you should start thinking about isn’t “Can someone marry the wrong person?” but rather “How can someone marry the right person?” God isn’t silent on that. (Quick summary: pray like crazy, get to know each other intentionally, ask for tons of advice, community, community, community, pray some more, repeat)

Additionally, if someone is married and asking this question, I would say that entertaining this conversation gives more credence to regret and living in the past—which is not helpful. What is helpful, however, is resolve and taking steps to fix what is broken.

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