Prayer’s role in finding the perfect spouse

Wilco – “Lookin’ For A Love” (Neil Young cover)

Zach Posting:

I am a Christian who attempts to allow God to influence, guide or even control all of my major life decisions. The hardest of these to give over to him has been family. Especially when it comes to dating, and the hope of someday getting married and starting my own family. I will leave children, and how to let God lead me as a father for another day, and a wiser author.

Far too many books have been written on Christian dating, courtship, marriage, sex, and all the combinations of the above. So far, none of them seem like a real answer on finding the balance between trusting God, listening for his guidance, and feeling free to follow your own heart. The entire topic is too broad, so today, I focus only on the concept of prayer. What role should prayer play in my decision of who to date, who to marry?

Some say that God is love, and all that matters is whether you love the person. IE if you get that tingly feeling than go for it. This theory leaves the definition of love to poets, movies, and occasionally, scholars.

Others advocate the one simple iron-clad rule: they just have to be a Christian. The only catch, you have to figure out what it means to be a Christian.

Takes us to theory three. Only rule: God must be their number one priority.

Finally, a couple must both love God, and have the same purpose/mission for life.

Now come the prayer theories:

Unromantic Approach: Pray about the qualities/characteristics you should look for in a spouse. Make a checklist. Grade them. What? She scored an 87/100!!! Let’s go ring shopping.

Romantic Approach: Pray for God to point out a single person. God gives you the target? Go in barrels blazing.

Person by Person: Trust the judgment of your friends, mentors, or online dating service. Once you have that gold-star recommendation. Pray to see if that person is a good fit, and go for it.

Smack on the back of the head: Don’t worry about figuring out the right person through prayer. Rely on the instincts God has given you, and trust that he will smack you upside the back of your head if you are going for the wrong person.

All of these theories have benefits. All of them, of course, come with some amazing story that led to a 50 year marriage filled with love, blessings, and adventure. All of them also have crazy stories of heartbreak and destruction. So I leave it to the audience of Via Chicago…What is the answer?

Lovebirds… Send us your winning strategy.

Heartbroken… Tell us which strategies to ban for all eternity

Single and looking? – Give us some market research on what is working now.


7 responses to “Prayer’s role in finding the perfect spouse

  • Bobby

    Is it possible that I just got lumped in with dating services under the PERSON BY PERSON category? Come on now…really? I’ve gotta be more reliable than or eharmony. Right?!

    Let’s just say…I’m gonna continue my own specific prayer.

  • ViaChicago

    Kristin came through with a 93/100 and that was that…


  • ViaChicago

    Since it is Valentine’s Day, I guess I also have to be a little serious. Zach, I don’t think there is one specific way for God to reveal your wife. That’s why it can be scary for some people, but isn’t that what also makes the process fun and mysterious? If you knew there was a specific way to find out from God, wouldn’t that make it less special for the right girl when you did pursue her affection? And for us married folk, we wouldn’t all have these beautiful and unique stories about how God took two separate lives and turned them into one. It’s always surprising and always miraculous how God brings a man and a woman together. I can’t wait to see your story unfold someday.


  • Jen

    I’m with you, Zach. My latest story is difficult because my best friend from college planted the seeds in my ex-boyfriend and I. As well as she knows me and thought we would be a good fit for each other, she never would have expected it would have turned out the way it did. Nor I, for that matter. I don’t think there are rules or ideal strategies either. I’ve heard of stories of good friends suggesting someone and it working out just wonderfully. That just wasn’t meant to be my story.

    I agree with Adam that there’s a fun mystery to this. …though it’s not very fun at the moment, post a difficult break-up. As far as prayer, I remain convinced that God wants us to talk to him about it and express to God that we’d love to do life with someone. And of course, not just someone, but someone who is uniquely made to do life well with you, someone who is on the same page on major life values and who shares some interests would be nice…and someone who you’d love to make out with;) I’m currently trying to hold on to hope that God cares about this for me. Part of cultivating that hope and not growing cynical or other unhelpful routes is allowing myself to feel how deeply I desire this and express this to God, hoping that it will build hope and trust that God does care and will one day bless me in this way.

    Zach, I believe this for you. I look forward to hearing the story and meeting this special lady.

  • Taido

    Whew… just got caught up on my Via reading. Looks like things have been heating up over here.

    Wish I had the typical sort of wisdom that you guys are used to from me, but I don’t. Other than to say, I really think just about any of the outlined approaches will work. Arranged marriages seem to work for plenty of cultures.

    The bottom line is… it really doesn’t matter what approach you take. Even if people fall magically in love that have all the right qualities, love Jesus and so on… marriage is work. And maybe in some ways what makes marriages flourish isn’t that the “right person” was found, but that two people are willing to do the hard work.

    In fact, maybe that is a good tactic. Just wear a sign saying something like, “Willing to work hard on marriage? Apply here.”

  • Bobby

    Am I the only one here who fully appreciates my music choice for this post? Come on now. It was a brilliant find on my part! Forget the issue at hand, right?! Just give me some props.

  • zdillon

    Few responses:
    Bobby- The music choice is absolutely perfect. If I ever make a movie of my life (snooze fest!) then I expect you to do the soundtrack.
    Taido- If I am still single by next halloween I might try your “Willing to work hard on Marriage? Apply here” strategy. Who knows? It might work, and what a story it would make.
    Adam & Jen: Amen to the beauty of the mystery. I gave up looking for solid answers or strategies years ago. Now God just needs to bring some mystery my way!!


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