Is it customary where you live for a person to choose his or her own marriage mate? If so, how should you proceed if you find someone of the opposite sex attractive? First, ask yourself, ‘Is marriage really my intention?’ It is cruel to play with another person’s emotions by raising false expectations. (Proverbs 13:12) Then, ask yourself, ‘Am I in a position to get married?’ If the answer to both questions is positive, the steps you take next will vary depending on local custom. In some lands, after observing for a while, you might approach the person and express a desireto get better acquainted. If the response is negative, do not persist to the point of being objectionable. Remember, the other person also has a right to make a decision in the matter. If, however, the response is positive, you may arrange to spend time together in wholesome activities. This will give you an opportunity to see whether marriage to this person would be wise. What should you look for at this stage?
To answer that question, imagine two musical instruments, perhaps a piano and a guitar. If they are correctly tuned, either one can produce beautiful solo music. Yet, what happens if these instruments are played together? Now they must be in tune with each other. It is similar with you and a prospective mate. Each of you may have worked hard to “tune” your personality traits as individuals. But the question now is: Are you in tune with each other? In other words, are you compatible?
Indeed, to a large degree, compatibility is determined by how adaptable both of you are rather than by how identical you are. Instead of asking, “Do we agree on everything?” some better questions might be: “What happens when we disagree? Can we discuss matters calmly, according each other respect and dignity? Or do discussions often deteriorate into heated arguments?” (Ephesians 4:29, 31) If you want to get married, be wary of anyone who is proud and opinionated, never willing to compromise, or who constantly demands and schemes to have his or her own way.
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