People looking for a relationship often go to hangouts, social events, and even clubs trying to meet other people. Sadly, most of those frequenting these places are not looking for a long-term commitment, thwarting the efforts of those who are. Other people look closer to home: school, church, and work. But here again, a lot of people cannot seem to find the right person. This is especially true for believers who are looking to marry someone of “like precious faith.”
Years ago, a friend was desperate for a wife. He had dated a few women in the church but didn’t connect with any of them. I told him to stop looking for a spouse and start looking for God. If he could build a strong relationship with God, then he would be able to recognize others who had a strong spiritual relationship with God. Sort of a “it takes one to know one” approach.
We see this in Isaac’s quest for a wife in Genesis 24. When Abraham was old, he asked his servant to ensure Isaac would not marry a woman from the Canaanite people among whom they dwelled. Instead, he wanted the servant to find a wife in the land of Abraham’s family (24:1-9). The servant traveled to the city of Nahor and met Rebekah, the granddaughter of Abraham’s brother, and she was allowed to return and marry Isaac.
During that time, Isaac, the available bachelor continued doing his appointed work while grieving his mother’s passing. One night “Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward the evening” (24:63). He wasn’t trolling the maidens drawing water for the flock in the early evening. He wasn’t in town looking for women or entertaining them in his tent. He spent his spare time drawing closer to God. During this meditation God brought Rebekah to him to be his wife!
A relationship with God brings a deeper understanding love, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son” (1 John 4:10). By knowing God and his love, we are more prepared to share love with others. Human love is wholly a reflection of God’s love—otherwise it really isn’t love.
Further, a relationship with God helps breakdown selfishness. Often those pining for love spiral into an egocentric focus. “Why am I alone? Why can’t I find love? How come nobody loves me?” Those wrapped up in themselves are too immature to be in a good relationship. However, when we focus on our relationship with God first, it helps us move out of the center of our world and put Christ in that spot. It opens our eyes to other people’s needs and desires. Strong relationships require selflessness, not selfishness.
The world has made a mockery of dating and marriage. God, however, has a plan. First, build a relationship with him. Then look for a relationship with someone else connected to him. The stronger our connection to God, the better our prospects for stronger marriages will be!