To anyone considering marriage:
I am writing a very important blog post just for you because it deals with picking the right partner for marriage. I believe the decision you make as to who you will marry is the second most important decision you will ever make. The first decision is the choice about your relationship with God. There is no more important decision than that because that decision will affect eternity.
Who you marry will greatly affect your sense of fulfillment and future. That's why you don't want to make a mistake in picking the right partner.
50% of all marriages end in divorce. No one marries to get divorced. They don't say, "Well I'd like to go through the awful experience of getting divorced, so I think I'll get married." Everyone thinks they have found the right one when they marry. Of course, there are a lot of reasons for divorce, but a big one is you married the wrong person, or you are the wrong person for the one you married. (By the way, I have some great advice for you to consider. Never date someone you know would not qualify as a potential marriage partner. You may end up thinking you are in love with the wrong person for you.)
Finding the right partner to marry is serious business. You need to be attracted to each other (beauty is in the eye of the beholder), but who you choose to marry goes far beyond looks. It has to do with character, who they are on the inside, qualities they will still have long after beauty has faded.
A Commitment to You and Your Marriage
I found out, in my own experience, marriage is at least five times harder than I thought it would be. A successful marriage takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. If you are not absolutely committed to making the marriage work, it doesn't stand a chance.
In marriage, feelings come and feelings go, but loving someone by an act of your will can save your marriage. It's so great when a guy knows his wife is committed to him and she knows her husband is committed to her. Every successful relationship has to have a strong foundation of trust and commitment. If the person you're considering marrying is not committed to you, get out of the relationship immediately.
Unconditional Love and Respect
There are people who stay in marriages out of a commitment to their vows, and yet their relationship can still be loveless. Unconditional love says, I accept you the way you are even though there are areas in your life you need to change. Never marry someone thinking once you're married you will automatically change them. Your husband or wife may change through God's love and the circumstances of life, but this change could take a long time to develop. So you must love each other right where you are.
You want someone who will encourage you to be all you can be, but who loves you without conditions or requiring you to change.
Marriage will bring out the good and bad side of you. You need the kind of partner who will not be a doormat, but will love you the way you need to be loved. You both will need God's love in order to love each other.
Potential to Be a Great Parent
In the end, there are very few things in life that are truly important. Those things that often have to do with relationships. That's why most people at one time or another dream of having a loving family. But raising children is a huge challenge. It is worth the work, but it can be hard. When a husband-and-wife team up together to help raise their children in a positive and loving way, a healthy, happy family can come about. Approaching parenting as a unified front makes a difference in children's lives.
You Get Along With Each Other's Families
One of the most surprising things I learned when I first got married was how important inner-family relationships were to my marriage. All of us come from different styles of families and our families have a huge impact on what we believe and the way we act.
It takes some adjustments to be able to relate to someone else's family in a loving and meaningful way. It's not nearly as easy as it looks. If your partner is a loving person and can somehow adjust to your family who may be far different than what they grew up with, you will save yourself from a lot of arguments and pain.
Take Your Time
A good marriage partner can be hard to find. There are plenty of pretenders, but few who are the real thing. Take your time, get good advice, and ask for God's help before getting married.
I want to end this blog where I began: Who you marry is the second most important decision you will ever make. Make that decision very wisely.
For more advice on finding the right partner, read this post on How To Find a Meaningful Relationship