The Sacred Search -- What If It's Not About Who You Marry, But Why?
(by Gary Thomas)


1. How being "in love" is not a reliable criterion for marrying someone. That women are more likely to experience romantic love with dominant men, even though dominant men typically demonstrate less ability to express the kind of companionship, relational skills, and emotional attachment that women ultimately desire in a lifelong mate.

2. That the average life span of infatuation is two years. The author recommends a couple not get engaged less than one year before meeting because infatuation has to run its course in order to really get to know a person, including his or her weaknesses, before getting married. Discerning a person's true character, values, and suitability for marriage is hard work that takes time, counsel, and a healthy dose of skepticism.

3. How our culture embraces the mistaken notion that there is only one specific person who can complete us, and we will know who that person is by the intense feelings we have. Conversely, the Bible does not teach that there is only one right person for you. Instead, it teaches that there are wise and unwise choices, and that a man should search for a woman of godly character (Proverbs 31:10)

4. A single person should become involved in social situations where they are more likely to meet a qualified marriage partner, such as church, work, or introductions through family and friends.

5. Relationships are unstable when they are based upon romantic idealism, physical attraction, or domination of one by the other. Some single people will terrorize their dating partners for reasons related to past wounds. These couples fight, argue, make each other miserable and afraid. These couples need to heal before they get married.

6. A complementarian marriage is one in which the husband leads by serving.

7. Compatibility is about having the most important things in common. Prior to marriage, dating couples should respect and appreciate their partner's personality and character. Morally, the Bible prohibits sex outside marriage. Neurochemically, sex before marriage bonds two people through the outpouring of oxytocin before they can properly test and evaluate each other's character. They should design dates specifically to reveal each other's character.

8. Pornography is destructive because it teaches wrong information about women, that they like to do certain things and act in certain ways that they really do not. Porn trains men to bond with women's bodies in general, but not to bond with one woman in particular.

9. Never marry someone just because you have been having sex with him or her, or because you feel sorry for that person, or because you want your search for a marriage partner to be over.