A podcast listener named Nathan writes in to ask: A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband dies she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
So a Christian is not free to marry outside the Lord. Or 2 Corinthians 6: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. So biblically the bottom line for the follower of Christ is: Will you marry only a believer. And what saddens me, Tony, is how many believers get so entangled emotionally with unbelievers that they either throw away their convictions or they stand on their head to see the other person as a believer when he is not. So let me make it a little more precise. A mature believer will want his or her spouse not just to profess some kind of creed or be willing to go to church.
What they will want is not just a marriage that is minimally Christian, but a Christian marriage. And a Christian marriage is described in Ephesians five like this. Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church. And husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her. Love as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her. Both husband and wife are engaged in constant self denial as they live out the beauty of the Christian marriage.
Jesus said no one can be his disciple unless they take up their cross and follow him. The Christian man or woman who wants to marry a follower of Jesus must look for a spouse who has learned what it is to die to self in allegiance to Jesus. Now back to the Internet. You are circling around. If you know what you are looking for the way I have tried to describe it, I would think you could rule out a lot of losers by using the Internet.
Then, if contact happens there are great questions to ask. And I wrote 50 of them down. I think it is at the Desiring God website, 50 questions that couples should ask. And they can be asked, you know, on the internet before you even meet the kind of things that really reveal what people are committed to. I am fine with meeting someone online and learning as much as possible about them. I have met numerous couples recently who said they met online and they are happily married.
They are both mature Christians. I have got zero problem with that. The great question is: Are you mature enough to discern a worthy spouse? Put your energies into becoming that kind of person. John Piper JohnPiper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.
He is author of more than 50 books , including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist , and most recently Expository Exultation: Christian Preaching as Worship.