Originally published 18 July 2011
OK, this is a post that I have been thinking about for quite a while. I have found myself getting into discussions with people about it, and I think it tends to come up a lot when I’m discussing marriage, especially with people who also attend
The question is: “Is there only one person that God has planned for you to marry?”
|I disagree strongly with this mindset, and I will set out my reasons in this blog post.
Now, before I start, let me make it clear that this is one area in which I concede that I could be wrong, even as I disagree with the majority view. Some issues in the Bible like Tithing (how did you guess?!) are frankly “black and white”, because they involve a simple examination of the Bible to see what it says. In fact, the question of Tithing as a Biblical Commandment (that is, it is NOT a biblical commandment) is as clear cut and as irrefutable as the issue of wives submitting to their husbands, and I have found few people who ever want to disagree with that one.
|Off the top of my head, that is the only instance in the Bible where prayer forms a part of the marital choice -except where God told Hosea to marry a prostitute – and even then He did not specify any particular prostitute “Go take yourself a wife of harlotry” – Hosea 1v2. Yes, God instructed Joseph the future husband of Mary the mother of Jesus to marry Mary, but this was after the marital choice had already been made; God was reassuring Joseph that he should still marry Mary after Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant.|
|Paul in talking about widows remarrying does not refer to “the will of God”. Rather, he says that “if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord”. I Corinthians 7v39. In fact, I do not think that Paul or any other Scripture writer, refers to “the will of God in marriage” the same way we do in church, at all. I think this is one of those situations in which Christians have added to the Bible – although it can never be wrong to pray to God to ask His will and His advice. One big reason why I personally do this is because I do not know people’s hearts. Someone may appear all golden and shining on the outside, but only God can see their true nature. This is why I will always pray for God to have His way, even when someone appears simply perfect to me.|
A special mention has to be made of this passage, as I was discussing with someone on the opposing side of the argument, and then he sent me this verse to prove that God has specific deeds that He has planned for us. This is the way I look at it. God has planned specific things, but we still have our will to choose which ones we will perform – and whichever ones we perform, they will all function to His glory. For instance, one of my favourite analogies: God has already designed roses and dahlias and foxgloves and delphiniums – these are specific plants that He has lovingly created. However, if we were to design/plant flower gardens, we could happily choose which of the thousands of available flowers that we want to cultivate – and we can be confident that many choices would still lead to a beautiful garden.