I always say that after choosing Christ as your personal savior, who you choose to marry is the second most important decision of your life. I’m not alone in my sentiment. Take Warren Buffet, for example, one of the most financially successful men on the planet who credits his partnership with his wife for where he is today. On a panel, at Columbia University he stated, “You want to associate with people who are the kind of person you’d like to be. You’ll move in that direction. And, the most important person by far in that respect is your spouse.”
What he is highlighting is the Michelangelo Effect – the people closest to us shape and sculpt our lives. Michelangelo believed that he didn’t create beauty, but he revealed beauty by chiseling away the excess stone to reveal the finished sculpture. Your spouse is the person who gets close enough to you to chisel away the excess stone to reveal your beauty. The question you must ask yourself is, “who will I give the chisel to?” A person with a chisel can reveal beauty or cause destruction. Will this person handle me delicately while also helping me with the pruning process involved with growth? This is a critical question to ask, my friend!
This is why your marital partner so important. The reality is that the people closest to you shape you the most, and your marriage will be your closest human relationship of all time. I ask again – who will you give the chisel to? No one gets closer than your spouse, not even your children. Marriage will be the most significant partnership and agreement of your life, and how can two people walk together in marriage if they are not in agreement?
If you are a single Christian, I want to help you before you make one of the most important spiritual decisions of your life. If you aren’t a Christian, feel free to eat the meat of this blog, because eight of the ten commandments apply to everyone, regardless of your religious affiliation. I always say that it is easier to prevent a fire rather than fight a fire.
You may ask why I entitled this blog the 10 Commandments of Choosing the Right Spouse. The reason is that these questions/commandments are critical. You don’t want to get married without asking yourself these questions, first. You can be the nicest, most saved person in the world, but if you bind yourself in marriage with an incompatible partner, married life will be hard for you, my friend. Even when you find a suitable partner, marriage can have its challenges. Let’s just make sure that marrying the wrong person isn’t your challenge.
Without any further ado, the following are questions you most definitely want to consider before choosing a person to fulfill one of the most important roles in your life, the role of being your spouse. Will they be used to reveal the beauty in you, or will they be used to bring out the worst in you. My hope is that you have the tools and knowledge to make the wisest decision possible. Take a look below at the 10 Commandments and their corresponding questions.
Potential Partner Has a Personal Relationship With Jesus Christ
1. Does this person have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Do they consistently exercise spiritual disciplines such as prayer, reading the bible, and serving at a local church?
You Share Core Values
2. Research has indicated that having similar core values is critical for marriage. Do you and your prospect have similar core values? You may have personality differences, and that is completely fine, but do you agree on beliefs that are vital for your life?
Potential Partner Supports Your Life’s Purpose
3. Does this person support your purpose in life? We all have a mandate from God to fulfill a particular purpose in life. We are each here for a reason, and when you fulfill your purpose, you will get a sense of fulfillment that nothing else in life can provide. Are they your biggest cheerleader? Do they have a compatible life’s purpose?
Healthy Family Background
4. What is the person’s family background? Yes, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. However, no one has a perfect family background. Sometimes, it’s important to have an understanding of a person’s childhood wounds, so you can have a greater level of compassion and empathy for those vulnerable areas of their life. However, there may be some red flags that are potential dealbreakers for you. It’s up to you to decide.
Healthy and Realistic Expectations for Marriage
5. What is this person’s expectations for marriage? The roles of being a husband and wife? Are your expectations similar?
You Can See Yourself Growing With This Person
6. Do you see yourself growing with this person? Life has seasons. Do you see yourself growing with this person during the various different seasons of life? Could you build a life and family with this person?
Potential Partner Handles Conflict Well
7. How does this person handle conflict? Do they manage their emotions well? Do they bottle up their emotions? Do they regularly display Dr. John Gottman’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling?
Potential Partner Would Make a Good Parent
8. If you want to be a parent, do you believe your prospect would make a good parent?
This Person Wants to Serve in Marriage
9. Why does this person want to get married? Do they want to serve in marriage, or are they only focused on what they can get out of marriage? Marriage will be one of the most self-sacrificing relationships of your life, and you want to ensure that a potential prospect has a service-oriented mindset toward marriage.
The Lord Approves of Your Union
10. Have you consulted the Lord about your prospect? What do your spiritual leaders have to say about your prospect? What is the Holy Spirit saying regarding timing? Have you submitted the relationship to the Lord to receive his guidance on how you should move forward? God truly cares about your relationships, and He is especially concerned about who you marry. He understands the power of associations and partnerships. If you have consulted the Lord, feel a sense of peace moving forward, and seriously considered the questions above, you may have found the one, my friend!
If you would like to dig deeper into this important topic of choosing the right spouse and preparing yourself for marriage, I literally wrote a whole book on the topic, Preparing Your Heart for Marriage: Doing the Emotional and Spiritual Work to Love Unconditionally. I would be beyond honored if you invested in your marital future by purchasing this book at https://www.amazon.com/Preparing-Your-Heart-Marriage-Unconditionally/dp/0578500051. I’m rooting for you! Our world needs you to succeed at marriage!