Man or woman – who chooses whom in marriage?


A friend of mine went to the cathedral and asked a priest what prayers should she read and what to do to be lucky in marriage? The priest said: “We, men, believe that we choose the woman, but in fact, women choose us.” I disagree, as if he has excluded God from the union of two people in marriage. What does the Bible say about this choice?

I do not know the context when the priest said that phrase and I can not say anything not knowing the context, but I will give an answer from the Bible about who chooses whom. To understand better, let’s see …

How was in the beginning?

The Bible tells us the following:

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, ”This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of Man.” ( Genesis 2:18-23)(NASB)

The text shows that it was not good for man to be alone, that he needed a suitable helper, but not even he knew his need and what could fulfill this need. God looked at his need and fulfilled it. Neither man nor woman were looking for each other and not theirs was the idea of marriage. God brought each other and united them in marriage, and they were happy. Do you see how the man exclaimed, when God brought the woman to him? He said: “This is now!”. So speaks the one who is happy and fulfilled.

Then, Lord Jesus emphasized once more that it is God who unites man and woman in marriage, when He answered the Pharisees who came to tempt Him:

And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)(NASB)

God joins man and woman together in marriage, but …

God has left men and women the freedom of choosing whom to marry

When He approached the subject of marriage, the Apostle Paul wrote:

A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:39)(NASB)

So, if a widow has the freedom, so much the more an unmarried girl has the freedom and this is well seen when Eleazar, Abraham’s servant, came to take Rebekah as a wife for Isaac. When Rebekah’s family gave consent:

Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.” (Genesis 24:58)(NASB)

See, the choice belonged to her. Thus everyone, whether man or woman, has all the freedom from God to choose whom to marry.

Some people, especially girls, desperate for marriage, give consent to the first offer without having the heart full of love or belief that is a good choice. In this case, they can not blame anyone, because the choice belongs to them.

It is true that among some peoples and religions, parents decide the marriage of their children without asking them. In this case, parents lack them forthe right to choose.

But you said that your friend who went to cathedral wanted to know …

How to have good luck in marriage?

I strongly advise her to seek ”Marriage without regret” course by Kay Arthur and study it well, because it is a profound study of the Bible that covers most important topics and teachings of the family life, that will bring a happy marriage to the one who knows them and applies them.

Translated by Felicia Rotaru