So, up until this point, I’ve basically been writing about what to do BEFORE you’re dating. Now I seem to be jumping into WHEN you’re dating. Why? First, this tip can be used before you meet them, too. Second, everyone and their brother gives dating advice like talk openly, learn to have fun together, don’t sleep with their friends, and other such practical instruction. I wanted to do something different, stuff people don’t talk about quite as much (at least in my experience).
Knowing how to identify your spouse is something that’s not outlined in the Bible, nor is it cut-and-paste in real life. Here’s the simplest answer I can give: God will tell you. Now, how does He tell you? Being God, he uses a multitude of ways.
Here, I will give four different illustrations of various extremes in which God showed people how they were supposed to marry the person they did.
1. The most extreme is my mother. She flat-out heard God’s voice–God’s audible, spoken voice. Like out loud. He said, “This (my dad) is the man I want you to marry.” They weren’t even dating, but Mom held God to his word and they’ve been married for 30 years now and they’re still ravenously in love (seriously, it’s gross).
2. A little less extreme was a dream my friend Jamie had. As a matter of fact, she had the same dream three times. In every one, she was marrying a guy named Jared. She was cautious and uncertain, but after three times, she began to see that God was telling her this man was not only good for her, but would be the Godly man she desired.
3. Leaning towards the other end of the “subtle” spectrum is my current pastor, Pastor Shawn. Shawn had always been enamored by the story of Isaac and Rebecca in Genesis. The way they met and just fell in love was endearing to him. One day, he started dating a woman named Becki. See the significance? Well HE DIDN’T! Seriously, he didn’t catch it! So one day, Pastor Shawn was praying over whether Becki was the girl to marry. God gently revealed that Becki=Rebecca. Shawn said a light went on in his head. I love that God literally had to spell it out for him.
4. Now, I get to my own story, which is the simplest of them all. There was no voice, no dream, no massive revelation. Mine was very gentle. God gradually showed me through the various circumstances of our dating days, that Diana was the best of the best. Basically, we were walking the same road.
Why the extremes? Because God is the master of the Universe and can do whatever he wants.
I believe that God gives us what we need when we need it.
My mom and Jamie (# 1 and 2) had no intentions of marrying those men. Jamie didn’t see Jared as marriage material and my mom only saw my dad as a friend. Neither one was asking, so God made the first move. He knew those couples better than they knew themselves and if you could see them now, those ladies are very happy God intervened.
My pastor and I didn’t get something so vivid because we didn’t need it. Pastor Shawn just needed a bit of revelation and I just needed confirmation. We were both already playing with the possibility that girl was the one; God didn’t need to dance around waving a neon sign.
My advice is to be open and ask God. Let him decide–he’s not going to shack you up with a Jersey Shore reject; He’s got someone special for you. In all four of those cases I mentioned, the couples are still very happy, whether old or young.
And we all married somebody hot, so there’s that…
When I say “the one,” I’m referring to the fact that God only wants us to marry one person at a time. He’s pretty much against polygamy. Yes, Jacob, David, and Solomon did it in the Bible, but as I’ve said in a previous post, some things are descriptive, not prescriptive. I mean, just look how they turned out!
When I say “the one,” I am NOT saying there is only one person in the whole world you could possibly marry for all eternity. That’s Shakespeare crap and it doesn’t exist. If you marry the wrong person, God doesn’t cut you off forever; you’re not outside his grace or even necessarily his will. And if they die, yes, you CAN move on with your life.
Holding that one person up so high that they become your only option for all eternity is not romance. It’s idolatry.
God’s will is very often more complicated than “Option A Good, Option B Burn in Hell forever.” I’ve heard it said many times that determining good or evil is easy. The hard thing is determining what’s good and what’s better. God’s will is a lot more open than you think.
You may think I hate my wife or I’m a heathen, but I truly believe that there are other women I could have married. I do! I think there are other Godly women out there with whom I am compatible. I dare say I could have been happy and blessed with another woman.
But not to the degree I am right now.
Like I said, God didn’t tell me that my wife was “the way, the truth, and the life.” He didn’t say she was the one and only woman that could make me happy or do any of the things Diana does. But God DID show me that Diana could do all those things better than any other woman in the world.
Plus I married someone hot, so there’s that…