Do you need a sign from God before you are able to date or marry someone?

Question:

Hello,

I am seeking godly advice on dating, but primarily on marriage.

  • Advice about dating; and
  • Do you need a sign from God to be able to marry, or can you choose your spouse yourself based upon biblical guidelines alone?

To a 20 year old guy who has never been in a relationship and never asked anyone out, what advice could you give about dating? I've never talked to a girl or a woman with the intent of perusing a relationship, only as a friend.

My most pressing question is: Does one need a sign from God before he is able to date or marry a person? I have been taught that you should not make any decisions until you get an answer from God, whether that be a Bible verse, or some sort of sign, or just a yes. I have been reading "The Sacred Search" by Gary Thomas. He asserts that: "Some believers say they must wait for a "sign" from God before they feel "released" to marry. This entire book has challenged the claim that there is only one person to marry and that life is about finding that one person. We've demonstrated, scripturally, that the choice is up to you — both whether to get married and who you should marry (as long as they are a believer)" (p. 212). Is this teaching actually biblical?

I would appreciate any advice you could give.


Answer:

Regarding advice on dating and deciding who you will marry, see: What does the Bible teach about dating and choosing a life partner? It links to several articles and workbooks on the subject.

But regarding receiving direct communication from God regarding the decisions you make in your life, I would ask you where you find a passage in the Bible that indicates God does this for His followers? Probably the most common cited example is Gideon, but it is based on both a misunderstanding of the story and taking a unique circumstance and claiming it is really a part of everyday life and not unusual. See: