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Does God tell us Who we’re Supposed to Marry?

I'm Stephanie May Wilson!

I'm an author and podcaster and my specialty is helping women navigate big decisions, life transitions — creating lives they love.

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Who am I going to marry?

Does God have someone for me?

Is it possible to dream about who you will marry?

All my friends told me I’m going to marry him…

The question I’m asked more than any other is this: Does God tell us who we’re supposed to marry?

And it’s become my favorite question to work through. I have been to more weddings recently than I can count, and it seems like everyone (myself included) is in a spot of making huge, forever kinds of decisions. We’re choosing the person who we’ll be with for life. We want to make sure we’re doing it well. I get that.

So lets unpack some of the questions that have been brewing.

First, is God capable of telling us who we’ll marry?

I believe that God can do anything. He’s spoken through donkeys, and angels, and out of burning bushes. He could write a name in the sky without paying a dollar for a cheesy skywriter. It is possible.

And in some cases, yes, he does tell us their name.

And I know why we’re asking for one. We want to do this right. We want God’s will over our own. We want a Godly relationship. And we think that by praying for a name—asking about God’s will for our future relationships—we’re acting out of faith.

But I think we need to take another look at faith.

Faith is walking forward when you don’t know what the destination looks like. It’s stepping into the river not knowing if it’s going to stop or wash you away.

In insisting on an answer, we’re not stepping out in faith. We’re stepping out only when we know we have a Godly insurance policy that our greatest dreams will come true.

– Yes, Stephanie, I know that you want to get married, and I promise you that you will.

– Perfect. Now I’ll take the next step.

But even if we get it, I don’t think that reassurance feels quite as good as we’re expecting it to.

I have several friends who have known beforehand who they were going to marry, and it was just as painful as it would have been had they had no clue.

Imagine sitting in a room with someone, knowing that they’re going to be the closest person to you in the world, and they don’t even know your name. Imagine that person dating someone else. Can you imagine how painful that would be?

And no matter how many times you think you hear the name, or how many people confirm what you heard, you still wonder if what you heard was correct.

We don’t want to live in the uncertainty of a first date. We want to know the ending before the first date ever begins—praying, God is this my husband?—before ever agreeing to coffee.

We want an answer, a name, that moment of reassurance, and we want it right now.

I met the Lord and, I kid you not, weeks later I was already looking up at him expectantly—“God, I’m ready, where is my husband?” God was kind not to audibly laugh from heaven, because not for a second was I ready to get married.

In all of this, the question is not “can God tell you who you’re going to marry,” or even “will he?”

I think the question is something more like this: What are you focusing on?

Are you listening for who God is telling you to love that day—the person on the street, the guy in your class, your mom—or are you listening for the name of someone who you may be YEARS away from being good for?

Are you spending your time listening for this insurance that you will not be alone? Or are you diving into friendships, family, and your relationship with the Lord and finding out that you never were alone in the first place?

Knowing a name will not be the answer to your loneliness, or to your insecurity. It can be just as hard as not knowing, and sometimes even harder. Because with that knowledge comes a lot of waiting, and a lot of uncertainty—it just wears a different costume.

And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t think about it. You don’t get spiritual brownie points for hiding or even stifling that desire. Pray about it, tell the Lord your desire, and pray for that person.

Then hand that piece of your heart back to the Lord and focus on today.

God has things for you to learn today. He has a place for you in the kingdom today. You are his Plan A for fighting for justice, digging wells, and speaking truth to people who are dying to hear it.

So today, do that.

Your desire to be married isn’t sinful, it’s holy. It’s in the book—he designed it that way.

But I promise you that fixating on the future, on who it might be and when they will come, will not bring them any faster. It will just leave you less of the person you hoped you’d be when you meet them—because you focused on that moment and not the millions in between.

There is too much to do and too much to delight in to miss it praying for a name.

Pray for other names—there are so many of us that need it.

Take the next step of faith—not demanding to know the destination—but listening to the soothing voice of the one who walks right before you.

Trust him with your heart, trust him with your loneliness, trust him to take care of you—and then go out and live this adventure with him. You won’t want to miss it.

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  1. Elly says:

    Wow, this is really wonderful! I know I have told you this any posts before but I really really do feel God use your posts to confirm what his voice in my heart. It’s always that extra bit of ” Yes, Elly. You DID hear me right. You ARE on the right track. ” And somehow, in your style of writing, he is there, filling me up with expectancy to experience more with Him and in the most beautiful ways. 🙂 Thanks! God bless you. 🙂

    • Stephanie says:

      Oh Elly, thank you so much for telling me that. What beautiful encouragement. All my love!

      • Jeanine Craig says:

        Thank you for this!

        I’ve been on that journey 3 times before… I was so certain it was God saying, “Yes this is your husband,” only to be devastated when they chose someone else or simply rejected me.

        I’ve come to understand on this journey over 13 years of seeking, that God had indeed said, “Yes, this is good,” but I just expected Him to convince the other person that I was “the one” since God had spoken. As I’ve matured, God’s shown me what I assumed was His perfect will was an opportunity. A chance for two people to choose each other, not a forced union on either side. (I’ve also been on the other side of this thing, where the guy’s convinced “it’s you” and I was like, “No!” ????
        My point is that God won’t force us into the most important decision of our lives (salvation) so it’s against His nature to force anyone into a marriage they don’t completely choose.
        Do I believe He offers us relationships? Absolutely! But they look far different than a simple “yes” or “no” answer.

  2. Sheila says:

    Yes and amen. Been through a lot of wondering on this subject myself and have come to the same conclusions.

  3. Lynnsey says:

    Shoot dang, this is fantastic!!

  4. Kelly says:

    Wow, yes, I needed this desperately! “But I promise you that fixating on the future, on who it might be and when they will come, will not bring them any faster. It will just leave you less of the person you hoped you’d be when you meet them—because you focused on that moment and not the millions in between.” I love how direct you are! God is speaking to my heart through you today.

  5. I really liked this, “And no matter how many times you think you hear the name, or how many people confirm what you heard, you still wonder if what you heard was correct.”

    Earlier this year, I was so fixated on the future; I was graduating, in a serious relationship and I wanted my future to be planned. My boyfriend and I had talked about marriage and now that graduation was so close, I wanted to know, was he the one? We ended up getting into a huge fight because it seemed lie his motives had changed. I was so upset and I wondered, is he still the one for me? I continue to pray for my boyfriend and I, that I see him as he is now, to love him no matter what and God has given me more than enough ways to test both of our patience in this relationship. But he has given me even more of a reason to calm down and wait. He has showed me that I clearly am not ready to get married even though all of my friends are. And I don’t mind, because what if my boyfriend isn’t the one for me? I just focus on today and the relationship we are in now and if it happens, it happens, If not, then it’s just another disguised grace. I know that i’ll be okay 🙂

    Thank you Stephanie for another great post!

    xo Jessika

    • Stephanie says:

      I hear you Jessika. “it’s just another disguised grace.” Keep focusing on today. There are beautiful things hidden in plain sight just waiting to be discovered.

  6. Lisa Pray says:

    Such a great post, Stephanie!

    I have been married for almost three years, and when I first met my husband, I knew right away that God created us to be together. Unfortunately, at the time I was dating his friend, and my husband had no idea of my feelings (drama, right?!).

    I prayerfully considered for many months how and when to approach my soon-to-be husband. After over six months of prayer and no contact (talk about painstaking patience and restraint…), I finally reached out to my soon-to-be husband, and we began to build a relationship (keep in mind we did not even know each other more than a hello, or two!). After only four months of dating, we were engaged, and after an eighteen month engagement, we were married.

    For us, this confidence in God’s plan for our future TOGETHER is everything. When our relationship isn’t easy, we know that beyond everything, God designed us for each other, and never doubt the strength of our marriage with God in the center.



  7. Caitlin Roberson says:

    I love this! Thank you, I really need to hear this sometimes. Feel better!

  8. Teresa Williamson says:

    Love this wisdom Stephanie! Capture the moment. That is where we find God’s grace. In the here and now of life. Being present for His presence. Aloha, Teresa

  9. Bridget Sabbath says:

    Very good thoughts, girl! I remember wanting to know before Robert and I dated if he was “the one.” It’s hard to not have the assurance that everything is exactly as it should be…but that’s where our faith comes in. If we trust the Lord and He has led us right in the past then why would he not be leading us now?

  10. Jennifer says:

    While marraige was God’s intention to create initmacy and companionship, it was never intended to fulfil us or make us happy. Marraige in my view is a training ground for learning to die to self over and over and over again!!. It is not a place where we are supposed to find ‘fulfilment and happiness’ we should be fulfilled and happy on her journey into marraige. While we wait to meet our future spouse, we must live our lives to the full and enjoy the season we find our selves. I believe our greatest ‘spiritual compas’ of knowing who we should date or marry is the continued presence of God’s peace. We may never hear the ‘voice’ but his peace is also an indicator that we are on the right track. Also we need to take the pressure of expecting every guy or girl we meet to be the ‘one’. we also need to be open to make new friends with the opposite sex and if it develops to something more it should be mutual

  11. Tara says:

    Thank you so much for being real. This is so, so good! 🙂

  12. Chantell says:

    Possibly one of your best – thank you for writing it, and thank you for listening to Him. I love you!

  13. Reblogged this on A Ravished Heart and commented:
    I’ve heard and read many peopl try to tackle the question of whether or not God tells us who to marry. This, by far, is one of the best responses I’ve seen recently. This is straight truth.
    Waiting on a husband and trusting God with that desire is definitely a process. A process that He is truly capable of handling if we allow Him to.
    Trust God. And wait. Definitely learning this myself.
    This is a great read!

  14. Leelee says:

    I know this line of questioning all too well. I remember praying and asking about a certain guy that I had met. Over and over, it seemed like the answer was no. Turns out, God was not answering my prayers the way I wanted because I needed to grow. I wasn’t ready and he wasn’t ready, as much as I wanted to be. And as this relationship is unfolding, I am catching little glimmers of answers. I have not heard any loud voices or seen any burning bushes, but I am noticing a quiet peace. Maybe that is all the answer I need.

  15. […] Read more here: Does God Tell us Who we’re Supposed to Marry?  […]

  16. Adekunle says:

    Wow this is awesome. It solves a whole lot of problems in our lives. Thanks for sharing, and thank you people for your comments. It’s so reassuring.

  17. Lynvi says:

    Thank God for you, Stephanie, writing this post. I needed to read this because I almost feeled desperate.
    God told me who my future husband is going to be, but right now at the moment, we know eachother and we are friends, but don’t meet very often. And I know a lot about him and his relationship with God we are on the same level spiritualy and he has a very good heart. But I am one broken hearted girl and I don’t think I can handle it right now to start a relationship with him. And yesterday when we met, we were both a bit shy and we diddn’t know at first how to talk to eachother, because I believe God told him too that I will be his wife someday. I felt awkward at the moments when I met him after the Lord told me this last month. Anyway, my expectations were to big. And after I red your post, I know I shouldn’t expect anything from him. Because I don’t want to get disapointed. I think that we both need more time to grow as friends first. And I need to grow in my relationship with God, I should put God first, keep my eyes on the Lord. knowing that everything will work out fine, because I have faith in Him. First I need to give God my whole heart so that He will fix it. I need to be patient. Because just a year ago I diddn’t know God yet, I did not had any experience with the Holy Spirit. But God changed my whole life, he replaced my loneliness, bitterness, anger and fear for love, friendship, peace and joy. And I am so thankful, I feel blessed.

    • Anonymous says:

      I Have never written a post but i Have too! I first off want to thank you so much for writing this. I am what I call a new Christian . I met God home , not at home . I always believed in God and prayed but I didn’t know that there was such thing as having a relationship and intimacy w The Lord. I hated talking to ” Christians” because they turned every topic into a holy topic. So I had a fear of getting to close to him so I would turn into a weirdo, lol! Well I broke up with a guy that I swore up and down was for me. He was perfect. I considered myself a spiritual person but NOT religious . And I thought I met my soulmate! Wow I was wrong. Being spiritus is nice to most people because it’s based on your opinions on your purpose and understanding on why we are here. After all who would know better than me! You believe in a supreme may it be named GOD, universe, Mother Nature , Budda, or idk … Chupacabra lol! It’s just a force or energy. So I felt I had met my soulmate when we broke up. I was so dead inside. I felt like a zombie ! Just doing actions but the vibrant person I usually was gone . I met mmm let’s call him ” LOVE” 2 or 3 months later after being in exile for those months. Those three of silence were important because God stirred something inside of me. A curiosity inside of me to know who he was . I started reading the bible !!! In promise you that was Gods guidance. I met ” LOVE” and it was not Who i wld imagine myself with. God spoke to me about him and i fought GoD because i didnt want that one . i wanted to be reunited w my ex because remember he was my ” soul mate ” and that was Who wanted to ve with. God spoke to me and asked me to be open w “LOVE” and i was annoyed because i didnt know Why God was pushing this do much. Until one day he was at my house and i walked to another rm for a second to pray before i forgot N he was. Looking for me and when he saw me praying instead of backing away and closing the door like a normal person would he dropped to his knees n started praying with me!!!! He then later asked me if we could start Going to church together( a Non christian by the way) and we did !! I turned to this pg because this is a year and 2 months later and i am still annoyed w the subject! I literally agrue w God about this . So my plea has been i am not Going to waste my time if unless i Have proof this is Going to end up being my husband! I need proof! O Have been listening to what God asks of me every time and it has hurt like a thosand knives being patient. It has grown my faith because i see what the lord is doing( doubting thomas) and i fight God still about it. But ur post helped me so much! I needed to read this. I fight the lord so much because i do not let him do his Job. I am used to controling my faith thru spirituality that i cant drop my guard and follow him whole heartedly. Im like a bratty kid, i know it. But thank u so much!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I like your post Anonymous because I have the same cases of your story.. but now I really love him but I still praying and trust in God if he my future husband. God bless you!

  18. Melody says:

    WOW this is exactly what I am going through now I not only heard a name I saw a birth mark and tattoo even the silhouette and I seen him told him to smh… find out he has a girlfriend that’s he’s madly into I’m moving out of town something I also prayed on and God allowed to happen(a whole another story) I didn’t want it to seem like I wasn’t trusting in God but I still asked God why was he going to forced to be with me couldn’t I have someone who chose me and I came up with same conclusion God gives us choices! so starting now I m taking the first leap of faith by moving…next by letting him bring me my husband…. who knows it might still be him but now I just want to be surprised for the rest reading this assured me to stop trying figure out how or if it will happen with who I saw but knowing he gave me another promises….that it will happen…thanks so much!!!!

  19. […] fear because we want to know, we want to be in control, we want an insurance plan. God knows. God is in control. When we place our faith in Him. We can overcome our fears because we […]

  20. Amber says:

    I think god can tell us who we will marry by signs and feelings. I also want someone focused on god but wants to marry me. God had given me lots of signs but maybe he wants to surprise people of how they end up together like I said in my other comment. God works in mysterious ways.

  21. Monday Blessing says:

    Woh! This is so fascinating, some times God can really speak to us about the right person especially when we begin to experience some signs as convinction ; when we have total peace of mind about the person.This is not what we can fight by our selves, we still have to trust God for total direction.God bless you

  22. God has told me things and he has tld me to do things without my knowing why I was to do them. I have followed what he said to do and then I found out later why he told me to do those things. They turned out to be a solution to a problem or I was being led to a blessing. So, I do believe that God tells some peole who they will marry. But they have to be listening to God and following what he says after. If they miss some things, it will not happen. Obedience is the key. Mary pondered things in her heart – she did not go out telling everyone what God shared with her about the baby Jesus.

  23. JC says:

    I read this article two years ago and I reread it today. And they were words I needed to hear again. So thank you so much for sharing them.

  24. Christen says:

    Timely… I so want to stop dwelling so much on my desire for marriage and not miss out on living well and waiting well in the present. I just don’t know how to strike that balance. ALL of my friends are now engaged/married and I do not have any single friends so I am struggling with how to spend my time and not fall into the loneliness.

  25. Megan says:

    I just love reading what you write! It is so inspiring and encouraging to see your heart for Christ jumping off my screen. I love the empowerment that comes from them. So many times my beautiful friends and I struggle with these same things, and it’s absolutely wonderful to have your articles as points of reference for encouragement and affirmation! Thank you for your faithfulness! 🙂

  26. […] try to tackle the question of whether or not God tells us who to marry. A couple years ago I read a post by a blogger that I follow and, at the time, it was one of the best responses I […]

  27. Sarah says:

    Well this was a blessing to stumble upon! You made me feel not alone in the sense that I truly feel, God has revealed my husband to me, with a whole journal of confirmations, reminding me of what he has shown and said…but as you mentioned, that is almost harder than not knowing. To constantly have to surrender the idea, and the man, so it does not become the focus of my wait or an idol, and not think about it as you wait on God’s timing, is just as trying, but in a much different way. Thank you for your heart and posts! Hearing that other people you know who knew who their husband was and went through the same waiting, doubting, and everything else, really helped. That is exactly what I am going through on a day to day basis, so I am glad to know I am not the only one! All I can do is keep praying and surrendering it the Lord, serving Him as much as I can in this beautiful season of my life. 🙂 Thank you again, sister! God bless!

  28. […] Read more here: Does God Tell us Who we’re Supposed to Marry?  […]

  29. Sofi says:

    Thank you so much for this! About 2 years ago I had a couple of dreams of what I believe was God telling me who my future husband will be, it followed by some confirmations and far from giving me peace it made me more confused for it asked a lot more of my faith than it would’ve been not knowing. I was certain I had been wrong, I had to- it just didn’t made sense and up to this day I am still struggling with it but hearing in your post that knowing who you husband is can be more difficult than not knowing at all, gave me peace in thinking that maybe I haven’t gone crazy after all, and God just wants me to excercise my faith more.

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