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How to Meet a Potential Spouse at Church

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    Friendly advice from Stephen Clay McGehee of

    Meeting a potential spouse at church has become almost a cliche – yet for some, it is by far the best strategy. There are, however, certain “Rules of the Game” that must be observed. I say this as one who met his wife in church, and now has five grandchildren as a result.
    Lest you think that what I say no longer applies, I married a widow with two grown sons. We have been married not quite 12 years. We have since been involved in the weddings of a number of couples in our church, including another one coming up in September.

    Note that this applies to both men and women.

    1) Church is NOT a dating scene. If that is your primary reason for going to church, then you need to look elsewhere. You will be cheating both yourself AND your prospective spouse. Church is for real Christians – not predators looking for prey.

    2) It’s a trade-off: Large churches have (obviously) more prospects (and more competition), but large churches get that way by appealing to the masses. Traditional women are not cherished at large churches like they are at small, fundamental churches.

    3) The best churches are the ones with the highest standards. A good church will have a very informal but very thorough vetting process. Both the man and the woman will be “checked out” before getting the approval of others. Gaining the approval of others in the church should be at the top of your priority list.

    4) Especially if you are new to that church, expect to get a lot of questions if you begin to show an interest in some of the single ladies. Trad women are a very precious thing, church is a family, and a church is very protective its own. Trust me on this – it is for the benefit of both the man and the woman.

    5) Understand that a virtuous woman is virtuous at all times. She will be chaste and will not put herself in any compromising situation. You are NOT an exception.

    6) If you have plans for lots of time alone with her that includes significant physical contact (now, wasn’t that delicately phrased?), realize that that’s not going to happen. If it does, then you have both made a big mistake, and you’re both pretending to be what you aren’t. If you can’t demonstrate restraint now, then you won’t have it later when the normal frustrations of life come along. Life is a series of tests – don’t fail the test.

    7) Different churches have different courtship traditions. Follow those traditions. They were developed over time to make sure that the end result is a good marriage. There are no shortcuts.

    8) Expect that others in the church will try to make sure that the two of you are never completely alone together. There will be plenty of opportunity to talk privately, but without the opportunity for rumors to get started. Don’t resent it – respect it.

    9) Gain the trust of the highly respected people in the church before you approach the single ladies.

    10) Match-making is always going on. Your goal is to present yourself as being one who the matchmakers will be looking out for.

    VERY IMPORTANT: These “Rules of the Game” are absolutely for the benefit of both man and woman, and they exist to assure that any prospective marriage will be a good one. If you can’t get past resentment and see it as being a good thing, then church is not the place to meet a spouse – find someplace else.

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