When you find yourself dating for marriage, there are a few things that you should know. If you are looking for the perfect match that will blossom into a lifelong relationship, you need to choose your partner Biblically. Why does it matter if we follow what the Bible say about marriage? Can't people change their life after they are married if you just work on them enough?
Let me start by pointing you to a verse in the Bible that was beneficial to me.
2 Corinthians 6:14 NASB Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
The Bible tells us that as a follower of Jesus, we should only marry a follower of Jesus. Other translations of this same verse use the term equally yoked. The term refers to that of oxen that were bound together equally, side by side. If the oxen were not working equally together, they would not be able to pull the cart. The same logic applies to a marriage. If both individuals are not believers and equally yoked in their faith, then the marriage is set up for failure.
1 Corinthians 7:15 NASB Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.
When dating for marriage, you should always seek out a follower of Christ. I believe that this is the biggest reason for failures in marriage today. You can blame finances and a mountain of other issues on a failed marriage. When the bottom line is, if both partners seek to be Christ-like, something different will happen in their marriage. When the times get tough, they will turn to the Bible and seek guidance from God instead of walking away. Their trials, though involved will bring them together and make their marriage stronger.
Dating for marriage, marriage for life.
My best piece of advice is not to pursue a relationship with an unbeliever. If you think this person will change and become a follower of Christ, the change should be made before courting or marriage. The change in this person's life needs to be done to please God. The change cannot be half-hearted as to please the other person in the relationship.
Settling for anything less than a Christ-follower will most likely cause your marriage turmoil or even divorce. Marriage is not something to rush into or take lightly. Ultimately you will know when the time and the person are right for you. If you still have lingering doubts about the person, I would suggest careful prayer and scripture reading. You should see a desire in your future spouse to serve the Lord. If you cannot see a humble servant heart, you should start looking elsewhere.