To start – she is right in some ways, but her post is so far from striking a balance between sovereignty, free will, and the role of seeking God with all your heart and making decisions out of your relationship with him (Heb 11:6). However, this is just a post, emphasizing one side, so I have no idea if this is her complete view. But, I’ll still continue …
90% of the post is about free will and about how our decisions become God’s will for us (sort of a scary perspective but she is right in some ways, but this is not biblical when it comes to decision-making).
I do think everything she says – about choosing to love her spouse today, tomorrow, and until she dies – has everything to do with being an awesome, proactive spouse who’s not self-absorbed with a marriage-is-all-about-me attitude. She is level-headed and wise; she knows love is a choice that doesn’t always have goosebumps, butterflies, infatuation, or obsession as her impetus. But she altogether rejects the idea that God had a will for her to marry because she implies that it would be about her at that point.
The good news: the love of God is so amazing that it’s possible to confuse it with being all about you.
But we know that is it not. And Hannah’s post points us to that solid truth.
She is right when she points to how self-centered people became (me included!) about seeking a spouse, even as how we have been taught to see Jer 29:11 as about us – “God has a plan for you, to prosper you and not to harm you.” It’s a distortion, because it makes us – and our receiving certain things/happiness – as the supreme reason for God’s work when we know the ultimate reason for all things is his glory. God is most concerned about his glory.
I formerly believed in THE ONE and that isn’t because I believed marriage was about the perfect person crafted just for me – as the cheesy song says, “When God made you, he must have been thinking about me.” But after studying God’s Word for myself – and processing it with so many people, I came to the conclusion that deciding on a spouse is the second most important decision of your entire life because it impacts everything – especially who you think God has called you to be for his kingdom.
So, to reduce the choice of a spouse to “I chose to be with him, and he with me even though I lived in France for a year” makes it sound as if God is not actively involved nor has a will in who you will marry – which also implies that he is not personal. I cannot reduce the choice of a partner to “oh wherever the wind blows him, or blows me” as if a life on autopilot happens to be God’s will for my life. With God, his future for his children is so personal, but at the same time it is not about us. Like I said before – her angle is good perspective for maintaining a marriage, but not in deciding on whom you will marry. It is too impersonal.
Marriage is not just God’s means to sanctify you.
Marriage isn’t boot camp to become more like Jesus. Marriage was created before the church – and it is the ultimate display of the gospel. It’s just as much about how you are perceived, understood, and observed as a couple in the world – you reflect something greater than yourself. We all know following the Lord has everything to do with listening. But according to the content of her post she and her husband just happened to end up together by simply choosing to be together through various stages of their relationship. Her view is too small and it reduces marriage to be too natural – and absent of God’s sovereign and personal hand in everyone’s life.
So, now, my belief is that God is leading me to one person, and he will give me peace about that one person, and that is God’s will – both his personal and his overall will to further sanctify me. And, we will bring God more glory together than we did separately. So, if x person dies, divorces me, etc does that mean it wasn’t God’s will? No, peace from God to marry that person did not come with a risk-free guarantee or a lifetime warranty (heck, I wish!). But, that person was God’s will at that point in time.
So, yes, God is leading all of us to one person for that point in time, and if that person is who God wanted (known by seeking him through prayer, having peace, godly counsel, and discernment), and even if it wasn’t (because some settle for someone they do not have peace about, and proceed anyway) – God can still do incredible things – although those who settle will never know what might have been had they waited, pressed into the Lord, and waited for his timing and peace from his Spirit.
So, does it matter if you live your life on autopilot without seeking God and asking him for wisdom and choosing to trust him with hard decisions? You bet it does. Deciding to marry someone without consulting God is taking a scary amount of control over you life. Maybe this is due to a deeply held belief in free will alone, God’s “inactivity,” or believing God’s desire to sanctify you trumps his personal, loving guidance in your life. All of which could lead someone to force the future they want.
But this is true: God is love. There is no fear in love, and his love will progressively cast fear out of your life because his will is both personal and not about us. It can be confusing in the same way as believing in sovereignty and free will.
“All of creation eagerly awaits the for revealing of the sons [and daughters] of God (Romans 8:19).” It is through yielding and through lordship, that God is bringing his kingdom to earth, not by coasting through life and calling it his will.
A life on autopilot does not honor God. Be intentional. Seek God’s wisdom, seek God’s guidance – especially in whom you decide to marry. And afterwards, take up the advice of Hannah’s post.
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