At the risk of sounding simplistic, a person should marry the one that is in God’s will and plan for his or her life. It’s crazy to think that God’s will and plan for an individual’s life wouldn’t make allowance for marriage. While it’s true that Adam didn’t have any other options but Eve, it’s also true that God “brought her” to him (Genesis 2:22). That’s the all-important idea.
Adam’s lust didn’t bring Eve to him (i.e., “I was in the heat of passion for her”). His loneliness didn’t bring her to him (i.e., “I was very lonely and she was there”). His need didn’t bring her to him (i.e. “I needed someone and she was convenient”). His circumstances didn’t bring her to him (i.e., “We were both living in the same area and just kind of came together”). His parents didn’t bring her to him (i.e. “Mom and dad thought we’d make a nice couple”). His friends didn’t bring her to him (i.e., “My friend hooked me up with her”). No, it was God who brought Eve to him.
I’m not saying that God won’t use loneliness, need, circumstances, parents, and friends to bring a man and a woman together in His will. For that matter, He can even use lust in that way (1st Corinthians 7:8-9). What I’m saying is that, ideally speaking, a spouse will be able to look at the other spouse and truthfully say, “I know that God brought you to me.” This means, “I know that you are the person that God willed for me to marry. I know it was Him who brought us together.”
Now, with this in mind, let me point out that there are a couple of major Biblical guidelines as to who a person should marry. Guideline #1 is: No man should marry another man, and no woman should marry another woman. The relevant Old Testament passages (Genesis 2:21-25; Genesis 19:1-29; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13) are crystal clear. So are the New Testament passages (Matthew 19:1-6; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:8-10). As I once heard a preacher say, “If the Bible doesn’t teach that homosexuality is a sin, it doesn’t teach that anything is a sin.”
Guideline #2 is: A Christian should never marry someone who isn’t a Christian. The passage is 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. Those verses describe such a union as an “unequal yoke.”
A yoke is wooden bar or frame that sits across the shoulders of two animals and binds them together for working. Typically, an ox sits in each of the yoke’s two harnasses. This pairing creates a yoke of oxen.
But what if a farmer put an ox in one harness and a horse in the other? In such a case, the yoke wouldn’t work properly because an ox and a horse are different. Their shoulders aren’t the same height. Their walks are different. Their mannerisms aren’t the same. The yoke is unequal. Likewise, a Christian and a non-Christian are two completely different types of people. They don’t think alike. Their priorities aren’t the same. They don’t approach life in the same way. That’s why God says they shouldn’t get married.
It goes without saying that who a person marries will go a long, long way in determining the quality of that person’s marriage. That’s why it’s so important to marry in God’s will. God knows who we are compatible with, who we can grow with, who we can reach our fullest potential with. He doesn’t just see the here and now; He sees the future. Adam and Eve lived together for centuries as husband and wife and produced descendants that, to a large extent, served the Lord (Genesis 5:1-32). But how did it all start for them? It started with God bringing them together. That’s always the place to start with marriage. It’s just sad that so many marriages start in other ways.