Wisdom largely consists in knowing the right questions to ask. At no stage in life is this more important than when young and single. At that point, the question that seems to loom large in the minds of many is "Who should I marry?" It's a good question, but not the first question. The key question concerns when to marry rather than who to marry.

The "Who?" question begins to appear very early in the minds of young people who really want to know God's will for their life. And sometimes it seems to have a deceptively simple answer. Falling in love is something that happens to us rather than something we do, and with it often come overwhelming feelings. Young people with a heart for God are vulnerable to the temptation to interpret those feelings as being indicative of God's will. However, we should be cautious: such feelings are not necessarily an infallible guide to the answer to the "Who?" question.

A young man may respond, "But if these feelings are not living proof that she's the one for me, why would God let them happen to me? After all, I only want his will!". The answer may be that God wants you to have those feelings so that you know that the hormones are all in place. In which case, the best question to ask is "When?".

Timing is everything. God made it relatively easy for Adam in an arranged marriage (and He has been arranging marriages ever since). For Adam, there was no "Who?" to consider until after the "When?" was settled. We don't know how long it lasted, but Adam was single for long enough to become established in his calling and aware of his need of a helpmeet. Note the word: not a play mate, but a help meet - literally the kind of help that was meet for (entirely suited to) his particular needs. He needed serious help to be able to do what God had called him to do. In his case, to rule the world as God's vice-regent! You don't know what kind of help you will need until you know what kind of calling you have, so you're not in a position to ask the "Who?" question in a meaningful way. You will likely be looking for a play mate rather than a help meet. And she may not be the help you need when you really need it.

But when Adam knew when - like now! because I know what I'm called to do and I know that I need help - he started to ask who. As the various other creatures passed before his eyes he knew they would be of no help to him: what he needed was a wife! And at the right time, God gave him his wife. As soon as he saw her he knew he needed to look no further, no more asking "Who?" No need to pray for God to reveal his will. No more "Who?", just "Wow!". Because he knew the answer to "When?" was "Now!"

For more on how to think about finding a marriage partner, check out this audio resource on our web site