The Compatibility Factor

I often get asked questions about marriage. One question deals with compatibility or the ability to exist in a harmonious, agreeable, or congenial relationship with a life partner in marriage.

Is compatibility the most important component in choosing or finding a lifelong partner in a biblical marriage?

Although compatibility is a factor, my answer is no, it is not the most important consideration in selecting a partner in marriage.

The most important component is determining the will of God in this matter. Is it God’s will for you and your significant other to be joined together in marriage regardless of relative compatibility?

God had Hosea marry Gomer. Their marriage definitely did not appear to be a marriage made in heaven, but it was. It was God’s will for Hosea to take Gomer as his bride even though they did not appear very compatible at all.

The most important consideration in any decision is the will of God.

A second consideration in choosing a life partner in marriage is commitment. My favorite definition of love in marriage is that “love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person”. You love your wife or your husband because you are faithful to your vow of marriage, which is all about commitment and not compatibility. Commitment has to do with being a people of promise, that is, being a promise keeper as God is a promise keeper.

God uses marriage as a crucible where He takes two incompatible people and makes them one. You could say that water and ice are not compatible in the presence of one another. But if you place ice in water and leave it together long enough, they become one.

I understand why people and organizations try to bring people together base on compatibility. They are to be applauded for their efforts. The cautionary advice I would give, however, is to make sure that all of your eggs are not in the basket of compatibility. It is not the panacea for a harmonious marriage.

You may have twenty-nine points of compatibility with your potential soul mate, but it only takes one point of incompatibility to cause a breakdown in marriage.

Commitment to one another based on the will of God and the covenant of marriage is what will get you through the tough times.

Something to think about...