Sunday, March 9, 2014
An Ounce of Prevention: 'Does God Tell Us Who We’re Supposed to Marry?'
You gotta love a gal whose website that's titled The Lipstick Gospel (I dig the front of the site too). Anyway, if you find yourself wondering how you can know who you are supposed to marry and/or if God specifically tells you, this is one perspective that may provide some clarity/insight:
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 let's 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.
That's some good single-turned-engaged-on-last-Christmas-girl wisdom right there for sure!