I am twenty-two years old, and I feel the need to have a serious girlfriend that I can marry and start a family with…. but I don’t know how to choose the right woman. I have seen stories on the Internet where some guys came up with supernatural signs for God to show them who was the right woman for them. I would like to know what your opinion is of this.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for taking the time to ask for our opinion. Yours is an important question for every single person who would like to have a good marriage in the future.

It is impossible to overlook the broken marriages of our families, friends, and acquaintances. What is it that makes some marriages work, and others fail? Is there a formula for a successful marriage? How can we find the “right” person to marry so that our marriage will succeed?

Your desire to know God’s will and His choice for your life is a good place to start. However, asking for a sign is not what we would suggest. When the religious leaders of the first century asked Jesus to show them a sign, He said that looking for a sign is an indication of evil intentions.(1) What Jesus probably meant was that looking for a sign is a shortcut that someone wants to take in order to skip straight through to the finish line in a race that has many stages. Those religious leaders wanted the supernatural power of Jesus without having to accept Him as their Savior.

Even today, many people want what Jesus Christ can do for them without having to acknowledge or serve Him. Those who don’t claim to believe in Christ still pray to Him when they are desperate. Others who disregard the teachings of the Bible and instead live according to their own rules may nevertheless claim that they believe in Christ and that they expect Him to give them what they want. They see Jesus as an invisible Santa Claus who only gives, but never expects anything in return.

So, if looking for a supernatural sign is not the best way to find a wife, what is a better option? Instead of looking for a wife, look for friends who happen to be girls. If you can’t find them in your school, church, or work, then expand your horizons. Volunteer at a hospital, a feeding program, or an animal shelter. Join a club that practices hobbies, or sports, or public speaking.

As you get to know new friends who are girls, instead of immediately rushing into a romantic relationship, determine to get to know the girl first. Is she a follower of Christ like you are? Does she spend her money foolishly or have debt? Is she a hard worker or a diligent student? Does she spend her time in worthwhile activities, or does she prefer to pass the time on social media and text messaging? Is she kind to her friends and family? Does she show care and concern for others, or is she always thinking of herself first?

When you get to know a girl who has the qualities that are important to you, then and only then should you begin dating and thinking about a more serious relationship. Do not let your sense of urgency cause you to settle for someone who is not the right one for you. Take each stage slowly and, along the way, Jesus will help you disregard those who are not right for you until finally you find the one who is the best choice.

We wish you the best,

1 Mt 12:38-39