God alone can lead you to the person best suited to be your life-partner. In fact He is eager to do so if you will listen to Him. The Bible teaches that God has a plan for the lives of each of His children (Eph. 2:10). If that is true, then you cannot but believe that God has already planned whether you should be married or not. If He has planned marriage, then He must undoubtedly have planned the person you are to marry too. But God does not force anyone to obey Him. So it is easily possible for a person either to reject or neglect God's plan, and enter instead into a marriage outside the will of God.
Next to the salvation of your soul, the most important decision that you have to make in life is that of choosing your life-partner. You cannot afford to make a mistake here - for this is one decision in life which once made can never be reversed. If you have chosen the wrong vocation, you may yet be able to correct your error; similarly you may correct many other decisions in life. But if you have married outside the will of God, you can never correct your error; you can only try and make the best of a wrong choice. It is a tragedy to miss God's will in marriage. Many who married in haste without awaiting God's time or seeking His will are now repenting at leisure! Surely their example is a warning to young people to tread cautiously in this realm.
It is far better to remain single than to be married outside of God's will. Even though God may in mercy bless those who miss His perfect will in marriage and who later repent, yet true happiness and blessedness can result only from being in the center of God's perfect will.
For the glory of God and for our greatest good, it is essential that we find the person God has chosen for us and that we be married to him/her. When God wanted to provide Adam with a partner, He did not make ten women and ask Adam to choose the one he liked best. God made only one and gave her to Adam. Adam had no choice in the matter. The same God has planned only one person for each of His obedient children. There may be difficulties in understanding all the implications of such teaching - even as there are difficulties in understanding the doctrine of the total sovereignty of God when placed alongside the doctrine of man's free will - but it is nevertheless the teaching of Scripture. If we accept His plan, we shall find that the person God has chosen is indeed the best - prepared by Him in every way to be our complement, even as Eve was for Adam.
Abraham's servant recognized this fact when looking for a bride for Isaac. He did not therefore pray, "Lord, lead me to some good girls here from among whom I can select a suitable match for Isaac". Instead, he prayed, "Lord, lead me to the girl whom you have already selected and appointed to be Isaac's wife" (Gen.24: 14,44). When God answered his prayer, he could truly say, "The Lord led me" (Gen. 24:27). That was not just a pious phrase glibly used as some use it these days. It was one hundred per cent true. Would that in all Christian marriages there were that same certainty of having been led together by the Lord - and by the Lord alone.
God may lead you to the person He has chosen for you, either directly or indirectly, through your parents and friends. In the Bible, we find only one clear instance of God's guidance in marriage - the case of Isaac and Rebekah, that we have just referred to. That marriage was not arranged simply by the parents - for Abraham did not even see Rebekah, and his servant also knew nothing about her. Neither was it arranged by the boy and girl themselves - for Isaac and Rebekah had never met each other before. It was arranged by God.
This teaches us that the important thing is not the method God uses to bring two of His children together, but this, that it is He Who has led them to each other. Whether we are led to a person through our parents, or through our friends, or by ourselves, the important thing is to be sure that the person is indeed the one God has chosen for us.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon