It is a person’s obligation to put in the effort to find a match for his children, or for a man to find a match for himself. And although our Sages said, “It is from Hashem that a woman is chosen for a man,” and, “Forty days before the formation of the fetus, there is a bas kol (Heavenly decree) that announces: ‘The daughter of so-and-so is destined for so-and-so,” nevertheless, there are apparently three types of decrees: (a) when it is decreed that a certain benefit will come upon a person, and not harm. In this case, the good will indeed come upon the person even without any effort on his part; (b) when [Heaven] decreed something negative decree, and it was written and sealed. There is nothing that can save this person, even if he were to put in all the effort in the world; and (c) that Heaven decrees that the person’s request and effort should come to fruition. In this situation, if the person prays and does the right actions, he will receive [what he wanted], but if not, he will lose.
Therefore, every individual should be concerned that perhaps he is among the third group and should therefore do all that he can [to find his mate]. If need be, he should sell all that he owns to accomplish this. If a person gives up the fortune of his entire home for love — that is his duty.
Included in this, is that if a person was promised a large sum as a dowry but then the father-in-law lost his fortune, or the woman’s family refuse to give it to him for some other reason, he should not delay or break the match because of it. Rather, he should believe in Hashem and trust Him, for it is He Who gives each individual what is deserved. In any case, it is proper to begin with prayer, and every God-fearing young man or woman should arrange their prayer [that they find their appropriate mate]. Likewise, every father and mother should pour out his or her heart before Hashem in prayer that their descendants’ marriages work out well.