Should I uphold high standards when searching for a life partner?
As a young man, I was committed to finding God’s best in marriage. I had learned about the principles of courtship and was eagerly anticipating what God would do in this area of my life.
At about the time I was ready for marriage, there was a young lady named Joann in the church I attended. I was very attracted to her, and I sought every opportunity to be with her. I even designed projects that would allow us to be together. However, God seemed to close the doors to this friendship, and I met complete disappointment. By the time my younger brother was married, I was still single.
A Season of Disappointment
As I waited on the Lord, I began to sense the affection of another young lady. I thought that perhaps she might be the one God had been saving me for, and I redirected all my affections toward her. Then I found out that our friendship did not have the full blessing of our parents. Having my parent’s blessing in marriage was one of several foundational principles I had committed to keeping, and since this was not the case, I forced myself to end the courtship. This was a very painful experience, and I went through great emotional ups and downs during that time.
My mother was a widow and was very concerned about me. She wanted to see me married with my own family. Close family friends from church also expressed their personal concern, and they arranged several dating opportunities for me. I had to cut each relationship short, because each one required some form of comprise to the Biblical principles I held. Soon I began to withdraw from the thought of meeting new young ladies.
Waiting on God in Faith
One morning as I was seeking the Lord, God used a verse in a devotional book to speak straight to my heart. It was Psalm 57:2: “God that performeth all things for me.” In my spirit, I knew that God was speaking to me about marriage, telling me to rest from my own methods of finding a wife and to trust His almighty hand. I grabbed the book and ran to my mother to show her the encouragement God had given me, and she was comforted. God kept speaking to me through this verse for a whole week.
I also realized that my experiences followed the pattern of several aspects of God’s ways. When leading us through life, God often works through the birth of a vision, the death of a vision, and the fulfillment of a vision. Recalling the gracious young lady I was first attracted to, I could clearly identify with the initial excitement of a birth of a vision. God took me through the death of the vision when I lost the opportunities for a closer friendship with Joann. As the years went by, I had similar experiences in relationships with other young ladies. It was painful to walk through these disappointments, but I now had hope. I could rest in the promises of what God had for me and trust Him to perform His perfect will in my life. In His timing, I believed that He would bring a fulfillment of my vision for having a home and family. I looked forward with excitement to what God was going to bring about!
The Fulfillment of a Dream
A few months later, my mother told me that we were going out to lunch on the following Saturday. Deep down in my spirit, I sensed that this time had something to do with courtship. So, obeying what God had taught me through Psalm 57:2, I purposely did not ask for any details about it.
Saturday came and as we stepped into the restaurant, there was Joann—the same young lady I had first been attracted to. She was sitting at a table with her parents, waiting for us. My heart leaped!
Unlike the other courtship experiences I had been through, this one started out with a series of spiritual projects that built us up in the Lord. Our love for one another grew, and in God’s timing we were married a year and a half later.
Finding Blessings in God’s Will
God is so good! He has blessed me with a wonderful wife. Because I had to wait on Him and become satisfied with Him alone, He has now fulfilled my heart’s desires. One of these desires was having a pastor’s daughter for a life partner. In His goodness and love, God brought just such a blessed individual into my life—Joann’s father is a pastor!
As the years have gone by, I have seen how perfect God’s plan has been. Looking back on the past, I can see that the wife God arranged for me is the only soul who delights in sharing the direction God has led me in. She has been a perfect companion, and has encouraged and strengthened me as we have sought God together.
Related Command of Christ
This testimony illustrates the command of Christ to Ask in Faith. (See Matthew 21:22–22.) Bill sought for God’s blessing in his life and on his desire to find a Godly wife. Through his years of singleness, he learned to have faith in the promises of God and trust Him to work on his behalf.