I used to think there was only one specific person God wanted you to marry. But after reading this, I’ve come to a different conclusion:
“A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 7:39)
The Apostle Paul says here that a woman has the freedom to marry whom she wishes, as long as they are a fellow Christ-follower. This kinda nullifies the whole “soul-mate” idea we’re spoon-fed via Hollywood.
However, I certainly believe there are people God does not want us to marry. The first being someone who does not follow/know/love Him.
But there are times where someone can say they believe in Jesus, but they’re not really following Him wholeheartedly. It is certainly detrimental to your own pursuit of Christ to bind yourself in marriage or even just tie your soul to someone relationally who does not give their whole heart to God.
Think about it: if this person cannot give Love Himself, the One who’s given them everything; died for them, made the way to heaven for them–if they cannot love Him with all their heart, or trust Him with all their heart, how could they possibly love you in a trustworthy and fully devoted way? They can’t devote themselves to the Perfect Person, how will they devote themselves to an imperfect person?
The obvious answer is they won’t. Even if they never physically commit adultery, their eyes will look at others, their minds will wander, they will fantasize, or they’ll be more devoted to something else like a job, the kids, or themselves; their dreams, their desires, their money, their space etc.
The kind of love Christ taught us was very, very counter-nature:
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3, 4)
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (I Corinthians 13:5-8)
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her … So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself … let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:22, 25, 28, 33)
Submit to your husband in everything (Ephesians 5:24)? Respect a man always, even if you do not deem him respectable? This is something a natural woman, a woman who does not love and trust Jesus wholeheartedly will not want to do, nor can do.
Love your wife as you love your own self? That means to always look out for her and provide for her needs, cherishing her always, treating her as one who is just as important as your own self so she needs to be listened to and appreciated. This is impossible for a man to do till death do you part.
And to not seek your own? That’s all the culture feeds us: do you feel good with them, do they make you happy, are you pleased with them in bed, do you have a good time with them? It’s all about you.
But Christ says: wait until you marry this person to enjoy their body. Sacrifice your interests, don’t seek your own, be patient “suffer long.”
When things get tough, don’t give up, do not fail to keep your vows, bear all things, always believe the best. I mean, this stuff is hard at times even for Christians to do because it’s much easier to put yourself first. But when you love Christ with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, you seek to please Him. You desire to obey the way He tells you to love others. And in His amazing grace, He gifts you with His Holy Spirit so you actually can supernaturally love the way He commands. It’s an incredibly beautiful thing.
So Christian, can you marry who you want? Only if they too love the Lord. You’ll save yourself much heartache and save yourself from divorce if you marry someone who loves Jesus more than anything or anyone else. (If you wanna know how I knew God wanted me to marry my husband, check out this post)
So please be wise. Do not marry based on feelings. Marry based on observation. Does this person really love Christ wholeheartedly? How do they show it? What things come out of their mouths? What do they want to do for the Lord? How is God using them presently? Do they walk in the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love toward others? Are they patient, kind, honest, pure, a servant? Or are they selfish and self-seeking, a gossip, rude, impatient, and prideful?
Besides choosing to follow Jesus, who you marry is most certainly the most important decision you will ever make. Who you marry will either build you up in Christ, or drag you farther away from Him. There is no in-between. You decide who to marry. I pray it’s a good choice.
Have any thoughts on this post, comments or questions? Please feel free to share them in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you