Will God Let You Marry the Wrong Person?

Marriage is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. As a Christian, you want to follow God’s will and marry the person He has chosen for you. However, it’s easy to worry – what if I miss God’s best and marry the wrong person?


This is a question that weighs heavily on the minds and hearts of many Christian singles. We all long for marriage and to find our God-ordained spouse. However, we live in an imperfect world and sometimes things don’t work out as we hope and plan. Christians can and do end up marrying the wrong person. Does this mean God allowed you to make a mistake that will negatively impact your life? Or could it be part of His sovereign plan to grow and refine you?

In this blog post, we’ll explore what the Bible says about God’s will, discernment, and making mistakes in marriage from a biblical perspective. We’ll look at how to approach finding a spouse and examine reasons why Christians still marry the wrong person despite seeking God’s will. My goal is to provide wisdom, hope, and encouragement for your pursuit of marriage according to God’s will.

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Key Takeaways:

  • God has a sovereign and perfect individual will for your life, including who you marry. However, His “permissive” will also allows human free will.
  • Christians can still miss God’s best spouse for them due to immaturity, lack of discernment, not waiting on God’s timing, or not seeking godly counsel.
  • Even if you marry the wrong person, God can still redeem the situation for your good and growth in Christ.
  • With wisdom, patience, faith, and guidance of the Holy Spirit, you can marry the person God has prepared for you.

Let’s explore this topic in-depth…

Will God Let You Marry the Wrong Person?

God’s Sovereign Will and Human Free Will

The first key to understanding this question is recognizing the difference between God’s sovereign will and His permissive will. God’s sovereign will cannot be thwarted and always comes to pass:

“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Daniel 4:35).

However, within His sovereign will, God has also given humans free will to make our own choices – even ones He doesn’t prefer:

“God, determining to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory” (Romans 9:22-23).

In His sovereign will, God works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). But that doesn’t mean we always make the right choices. We can still go against His perfect will for our lives by poor decisions and sin. This extends to who we marry. God has a specific spouse that is best for you who He foreknew when knitting you together in the womb. But He typically gives humans the free will to accept or reject His best.

Why Would a Christian Marry the Wrong Person?

If God’s will is for Christians to marry a specific person of His choice, why do believers end up with the wrong spouse? There are a few common reasons this happens:

1. Immaturity and Naiveté

Many Christians enter marriage too quickly without taking the time to grow in godly wisdom and discernment. Marriage should be approached with prayer, counsel, and an honest evaluation of your spiritual maturity. Are you prepared for the rigors of married life – to lovingly serve a spouse with sacrificial love like Christ (Ephesians 5:25)? If you rush into marriage lacking spiritual maturity, you increase chances of missing God’s best.

2. Lack of Discernment and Impatience

Discerning the will of God takes humility, wisdom, patience, and persistence. Sometimes believers can mistake infatuation, chemistry, or warm feelings for God’s will. Marrying the right person may take years of prayer, developing your relationship, and patiently waiting on God’s timing. However, out of impatience or lack of discernment, Christians can settle for less than God’s best.

The Bible exhorts us:

“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14).

Without applying such discernment to a relationship, you could follow your own feelings instead of God’s will.

3. Not Waiting on God’s Timing

We live in a microwave culture of immediate gratification. Yet God’s timing is rarely our timing. Sometimes what we think is “late” or “delayed” is God mercifully withholding His best for our maturity or preparations.

Ruth patiently waited, trusted God’s goodness, and eventually married Boaz – a kinsmen-redeemer picturing our ultimate Redeemer, Jesus. However, if Ruth manipulated circumstances and married another man during the waiting years, she would have missed God’s beautiful plan.

Marriage to the wrong person typically involves grabbing what’s quickly available rather than patiently waiting on the Lord.

4. Not Seeking or Ignoring Godly Counsel

Who you marry is too important for isolated decision making. Godly counselors can help you see blindspots, discern God’s will, and remind you to wait on the Lord’s timing. They also provide protection and accountability.

Sadly, many rush into unhealthy relationships despite godly friends and parents warning them to slow down. Following your own foolish heart rather than seeking counsel is a recipe for marital disaster and missing God’s will. As Proverbs teaches:

“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).

Is All Marital Mistakes Outside of God’s Will?

Does making the mistake of marrying an unsuitable spouse mean you’re completely outside of God’s will for your life? Not necessarily.

We have to consider God’s permissive will too. The Lord allows humans to use their free will even when it leads to less than ideal outcomes. Yet God in His providence still works it for our growth in Christlikeness and good (Romans 8:28-29).

Genesis 50:20 illustrates this powerful truth:

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today”.

Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery out of evil jealousy. A grave sin! Yet God worked through it to bring Joseph to Egypt where he would save multitudes from famine, including his brothers.

In His permissive will, the Lord allows us to follow our foolish hearts that can lead to negative consequences. Yet He remains sovereign working it for eventual good for those who love Him.

So while marrying the wrong person is never God’s perfect will, it’s not necessarily completely outside His will either. In His mercy, He can use your mistakes and failures on the path to His best, if you submit to Him.

How Can I Marry the Right Person?

How can you know you’re marrying the person God has prepared for you? Here are some biblical principles that will help:

  • Pray daily for God to lead you clearly, be your source of truth/discernment, and guide you to His choice in His perfect timing.
  • Seek godly counsel from mature believers who know your relationship and will speak truth in love. God often uses counselors to protect us from poor decisions.
  • Guard your heart & wait on the Lord’s timing. Don’t emotionally attach too quickly. Let patience have her perfect work (James 1:4) to reveal God’s best.
  • Prioritize spiritual maturity & discernment. Grow in Christlikeness and wisdom before considering marriage. Then you’ll have clearer discernment.
  • Develop Christian community. Have faithful friends speaking into your relationship that know you & your significant other well.
  • Don’t rely on feelings alone. Feelings change but God’s word stands forever. Test impressions against Scripture. Let the Holy Spirit guide you.
  • Take your time dating. Don’t rush into a quick engagement. Give your relationship time under the wise watch of community. Get extensive premarital counseling.
  • Consider dealbreakers ahead of time. Know what qualities are non-negotiable for a godly marriage beforehand. Don’t compromise under pressure.
  • Submit your timeline to the Lord. If convinced this relationship is from God but the timing feels rushed, slow down. It’s better to wait on God than run ahead of Him.

The Proverbs 31 woman considered “the will of the Lord” when accepting her husband (Proverbs 31:10-12). When we submit our relationships to Christ in humility and wise counsel, He will lead us clearly just as He did for her.

What If I Married the Wrong Person – Now What?

If you’re already married and realize you may have made a mistake, don’t lose heart. Your situation is not beyond God’s redemptive grace.

First, humbly acknowledge your error to the Lord. Don’t make excuses – own where you compromised standards, ignored counsel, or acted impatiently instead of waiting on God’s best. Repent and receive His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

Next, commit to making the most of your marriage. Just as God is a covenant keeping God, resolve to keep your marital vows with His help. Determine to love your spouse unconditionally as Jesus modeled sacrificial love for us.

Finally, trust God’s purpose and sovereignty. Believe that just as God worked all things for Joseph’s good, He will work in your marriage too for good and growth if you submit to Him. He will infuse your life with grace, wisdom and holy purpose.

While marrying the wrong person painful, the good news is your mistake is not fatal for your Christian walk. God is in the business of redemption. He delights to take our failures and, through His almighty power, transform them into something beautiful. Submit your marriage to Him. Watch expectantly to see what He will do.


Finding the right spouse matters deeply because marriage profoundly influences your service to Christ. Marriage also models the Gospel through the love of the bridegroom for His bride, the Church.

Because of its great importance, Christian marriage should be approached with wisdom, discernment, community, and most importantly, surrender to God’s will. When you submit your hopes and plans to the Lord, He will direct you to His best, in His perfect timing.

Yes, believers can still miss God’s ideal spouse for them, often through immaturity and impatience. But God is merciful. If you find yourself married to someone lesser than His perfect will, He is more than able to redeem your situation for good.

Above all else, pursue close fellowship with Jesus. Seek His heart and will daily through prayer and Scripture. Wait patiently on His timing. Let faith and spiritual maturity guard your heart until the Lord forms and reveals His chosen spouse for you. With Christ at the center of your marriage journey, you can trust He will lead you to His best bride or groom for you.

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