As leaders and ministers trying to train and teach well, or even as students trying to grow up, think well, and live well, one of the biggest decisions of our lives is one that we get very little help with whether we’re making it or guiding others. Even the church does a really poor job of teaching about this subject. Because of this, and our own silly selves, I think we way over complicate this one question.
So you’re “with someone”. As in, you’ve given him/her your interest and they’ve reciprocated. Maybe sometimes it’s stress and arguments, and maybe sometimes you drive home singing, “John and Jane, sittin in a tree…” Either way, it’s all pretty “normal” (no really though, it is) and so you both have a question.
Whether it’s fireworks in the sky, eyes, hearts, mouth, or even your pants, you both have a burning question (or at least you should): “Should I marry this person!?”
So the answer hunt begins…
You’re begging God for a sign. Some of the fireworks mentioned above maybe caused you to think you had a “sign” in the beginning, but maybe now you experience some fireworks of the negative kind, like fussing, or maybe none at all.
Is this maybe a possible “no” sign? Is the absence of a “go” sign a “no” sign? How can we know!?
So you’re waiting. You’re praying. You’re waiting. You’re looking, listening, asking, studying… aaaaand, waiting.
Could You Be Wasting Your Time?
Now please understand, I tend to use dramatic headlines because well, it got your attention didn’t it? I don’t mean to be harsh with this and I also don’t want to by any means come across as saying, “Just go jump into things all silly and stupid-like and it’ll work out fine.”
I’m more-so talking to those who have been in prayer, know God’s desires for what a Godly relationship is, and are mature enough to evaluate themselves and someone else with wisdom. Which (P.S.) means that if you don’t know Christ, it’s absolutely impossible to counsel you in anything else until you get that.
It is an issue though, that requires a degree of frankness though, and I intend to be that. It’s more popular to pose a question and let people discuss, and I’m cool with chewing all day, but eventually we have to swallow something substantial or we’re all gonna end up starved and stupid. – e.g. hurt and hurtful.
So let me pose a few questions to you that I’d love to discuss and in doing so, make a few statements of my own that I’ve discovered:
- Why do you think you need a sign to marry someone?
*Importance: I know of no biblical backing for this. No seriously, show me something! You might say, “I try to be aware of God’s desires in everything”, which sounds good and I’m glad – we should be! Yet, what if God’s already laid out the summation of those desires in the scripture and now you have free will? What if it’s that? What if the question isn’t WWJD?
- What would be the sign that it’s “all systems go”?
*Importance: I always say, “If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how will you know when you find it?” It’s a valid question isn’t it? What if instead of waiting for a sign, we were to go until there was a sign that was very clearly “stop”.Honestly, I’ve always known when God placed a “stop” sign in my path. I just had to choose to acknowledge it. I’ve often stressed over whether something is a green-light though! Maybe that’s because God has already said,
“So whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of God.” -1 Cor 10:31
“In all you ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight!” – Proverbs 3:6
When I read that I’m pretty sure I hear God saying, “Don’t micro manage or stress over thing I’m not stressed about. Honor me and I’ll take care of the rest… dude!” Ya know, if God talked like me.
- What would be the worst that could happen?
*Importance: This one comes with a BIG “IF”. That is, “…IF you both know Jesus and truly love him.” What I’m saying is something Margo and I said a lot at the beginning and now it’s kinda like a joke: “Because we both know we truly live for God’s glory and are growing in Jesus every day, this is the worst it’s ever going to be.” When you look at it that way it’s pretty easy to be satisfied.Now, yes, many people do, sadly, jump into a relationship despite biblical wisdom and good judgement and find themselves dealing with the consequences of their sin for the rest of their lives – battling their spouse in a spiritually dysfunctional relationship instead of doubling each other’s ministry. We don’t want that.
Yet, no relationship is happy all the time, in fact, my theory is that the more you try to honor God in everything the more fights and fusses you’ll have. It’s hard work! We’re jacked up people! Passivity is much easier! But that’s a different post for another day… Bottom line is that if you both are for reals, then you’ll be good!
The Popular Responses; And Mine
I’m not accusing anyone of being stupid. In fact, I know most people have great intentions. I’ve simply seen too many good relationships, with awesome potential, among well-meaning people, get sidetracked or even end all in the name of things like “testing the spirits”, “needing to know”, “compatibility” (ok, that one is stupid), and wanting to know God’s will.
So I simply propose something that’s already proposed. That is: You can’t know God’s specific will if you don’t even do his general will. Proverbs, the book of wisdom in God’s answer book, showed me two cool things that helped me piece stuff together, maybe they’ll help you begin to think through it more.
Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
Proverbs 18:22 “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and finds favor from the Lord.”
I don’t know about you, but those sound like “get moving” verses to me. What do you think?
Does this help? Do you agree or disagree? More confused? Challenged? Questions? Do you have experience with this in one way or another that you’d care to share?