How can I know if the woman I'm currently dating is the right one for me? We've both been through terrible marriages and we don't want to make another mistake. But how can we know if God is in favor of our relationship? — D.J.
I have often said that a truly successful marriage needs to involve three persons: the husband, the wife -- and God. And the best time to make that a reality is before the marriage begins, not afterward.
You see, God gave marriage to us; He not only created it, but He also gave us the rules by which it should be governed. When we put God at the center of our marriage, we'll seek His will in everything, and not just our own selfish ways. Love and purity will guide our relationship, and our desire will be to respect and please each other, not just ourselves. We'll seek to follow God's command to "clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (Colossians 3:12).
Why do I stress this? The reason is because no matter what the future holds for the two of you, my prayer is that you both will turn your lives over to Jesus. You need His wisdom, and you need His guidance and power, no matter what the future holds for you as a couple. I often quote the promise God made centuries ago through the prophet Jeremiah: "I know the plans I have for you... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).
Then seek His will for your future. God loves you, and He knows what is best for you. Don't let fears from the past hold you in their grip, but ask God to make His will clear.