As a pastor, and woman who has been married 19 yrs this year, I am frequently asked the questions : “but how do I know who to marry? What does God say about who I should marry? Is there only one person out there for me?”

Your choice of husband or wife is undoubtably one of the biggest and most important decisions you will face. I believe seeing as you are the one who has to live with them- God largely lets you decide who you want to marry! We could happily marry and live with various people who may cross our path. But I do believe, with wisdom, prayer and often a large dose of patience, God will guide you to the one who will become your soul mate. And you will sense that peace from the Holy Spirit in the core of you. Proverbs 15:22 talks about using many advisors when making plans so it is a wise idea to let others that you trust speak into into your decision making process.

We all secretly have a checklist of Very Important Criteria that we hold next to a potential marriage partner. But here are a few of my pointers for all you beautiful single peeps:

1. Choose that Someone who demonstrates a true heart after God and is committed to building His House. Someone with whom can share your meaning and purpose of life, who identifies with what ultimately shapes your identity and transforms your heart.

2. Commit yourself to marry someone who holds integrity as a high value which inspires in you confidence and trust. Someone who, behind closed doors and in private, are really who they proclaim to me. Perfection is not possible…and there are some things about your partner you may not be aware of till you get married! But the dating journey can help you determine what their true values are.

3. Marry someone with whom you can communicate your heart and your dreams. Someone who can draw out of you the best in you. Who accepts and loves you for who you are- not what you could or should be. That means avoiding  marrying anyone expecting to change them or because you see ‘potential’ in them. They may never change. Love them and accept them for who they are when you are on the altar!

4. Be prepared to compromise. On the person preferences. But not on the values you hold. God will have formed His values and standards in you with how you live your life, what you hold precious. Find someone who appreciates and honours the God-values in your life that guide, shape and build godly character in you.

5. Lastly…work on being the best You that you can be. Allow God to bring healing into your world where you have faced brokenness- perhaps from past relationships. Live life to the full with confidence that God is in control and you can ultimately trust Him in your pathways toward marriage.