A quick Google search for “marriage compatibility quiz” turned up over a half-million hits. Many of the quizzes were quite silly, such as the “Love Calculator” that promises to predict how well your relationship will work based on your birth dates.
While I firmly believe that making decisions based on astrology is sinful (see my post on this topic), I don’t believe God has a problem with our poking a bit of fun, so I entered our birthdays and clicked the button. The results? Pete and I are “93% compatible.” (After 32 years of marriage, I could have guessed that.)
The site went on to say, “The only problem here is that neither knows how to save money, so caution must be given to this aspect….” They also stated that Pete is very romantic, and I am much more stubborn than he is. If you know us at all, you’ll see why I find this hilarious!
The marriage compatibility quizzes on other websites were a bit more reasonable. Quite a few asked questions along the lines of “Do you have similar views on raising kids” and “True/False? For long-term compatibility, a woman should choose a man who is her psychological opposite.” You can see one typical quiz at ItMightBeLove.com.
With all the advice available, the common denominator was clearly that we believe being “compatible” is essential to relational bliss.
So, what does God have to say about this? Absolutely nothing!
Nowhere in the Bible could I find anything about “be compatible with the wife of your youth.” There’s no passage about having the same hobbies or interests. Nothing about having complementary personalities. Not a word about how to hang the toilet paper or where to squeeze the toothpaste tube.
You’d think that something so important wouldn’t have escaped God’s notice, but apparently His mind was on other things.
What does God deem important in relationships?
- Love one another.
- Submit to one another.
- Respect one another.
- Be devoted to one another.
- Honor one another above yourselves.
- Live in harmony with one another.
- Encourage one another.
- Be kind and compassionate to one another.
- Forgive each other.
And how about married couples? What does God say about them? The same things, with the addition of:
- Stay married. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)
- Have sex with your spouse (1 Corinthians 7:2-4)
- …unless you agree to abstain for a short time in order to pray. (1 Corinthians 7:5)
Sure, life can be more fun if we have interests in common with our spouse, if our personalities mesh well, if we agree on who to vote for, where to go on vacation, and which TV shows to watch. We might even be happier.
Years ago, we knew a couple who seemed to have a rock-solid marriage. Both were lay leaders at church, they had great kids, and the whole family seemed to have everything together. Then one day they stunned everyone by announcing that they were divorcing. Why? The husband explained that he wasn’t happy in the marriage.
I hunted diligently, but I couldn’t find the verse where God says, “Love your spouse and stay with them as long as you are both happy with one another.” While He does promise joy, our happiness doesn’t seem to be one of God’s priorities either.
So, couples—stay married. Love one another. Submit to one another. And keep in mind Paul’s advice for husbands and wives!
Happy Valentine’s Day!