God has spoken to me on several occasions over the years telling me that He has someone for me and I was not to look. Now, I don’t know if He really has someone for me or if I am to remain single and He is the one for me. But, if He does have some man, He will bring him into my life at the right time. He really didn’t want me to actively look for a companion. I really didn’t listen. I looked. I wanted. God said “No”, over and over. I cried, a lot. I know God intervened several times separating me from some man who I thought should be the one. I can tell you in every one of those moments, I was not listening to God.
I believe that for some God chooses the one they should marry. Other people are given the privilege to choose their own mate, hopefully letting God guide in that choice.
In the Bible, God made a mate for Adam, (Genesis 2:21-23). He didn’t have a choice. He didn’t go hunting for someone. God led the servant of Abraham to find a wife for Isaac in Genesis 24. It is a beautiful story of how God chooses a mate. He didn’t have to go out searching. Isaac took her in and loved her. When you allow Him to guide you in your choice, He will put the love in your heart for that person.
Joseph was given a wife by Pharaoh in Genesis 41:45. Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Choose with wisdom and much prayer.
Marriage, to me, is not like picking out what clothes or shoes to wear because it will make you look good. Even if you are given the liberty to choose, it should be done with extensive prayer, because, unlike picking things to wear, this choice will affect the rest of your life and your children’s lives.
How many people do we know, Christian or not, that marry on impulse because of sexual attraction, money, status or ethnicity, only to be divorced later. I don’t know that person’s heart, but just from being on the outside looking in, I don’t believe that they prayed much about their choice.
Life is hard. Marriage has got to be hard. I am by myself most of the time, and at times, I get on my own last nerve. So, I can imagine that living with a person of the opposite sex can be challenging because it’s a closer relationship than just having a friend. You are living together day in and day out, literally connected as one.
Because life is hard, marriage isn’t easy, and most people are going to get married, when should you start praying? I personally believe that it is never too early to start.
Here’s a little story of a time when I tried to give this message to a youth group at my church. I remember being asked to give a Bible Study in a fairly large youth group. At twenty-six I was still emotionally seventeen, for reasons I will explain later, so I fit in perfectly. But, being older, I wanted to find a mate so I picked a Bible study on the importance of praying for a mate before you even think about seriously getting married. I picked scripture to back my little sermonette. I can still remember looking at the blank faces staring at me. One young man made the statement in the middle of my lesson, “I’m too young to think about that.” He probably was right. I really felt like an idiot, though, talking to them about what they should do before they were even ready for marriage.
The message was a burden on my heart. I wanted them to see the importance of prayer. Laying a foundation of prayer for the one God might bring into your life, whether you choose that person with God’s guidance, or God has a specific person for you, it’s never too early to pray for them. Whether anyone in that group of young people listened to me, I don’t know. Well, here I am again, much older and I pray a lot wiser.
Now I’m coming to my own experiences to give an example of why I needed to wait for God to bring that person. I have had very hurtful experiences in my life that went deep into my soul causing me to think and act in a certain way. For years I didn’t have any understanding of why I felt the way I did. How could I ever have a healthy relationship when I was so wounded?
Maybe God, in his mercy, wants people to wait so He can do some spiritual surgery, removing the deep-rooted emotional scars. We have to completely trust him because some hurts may be buried so deep that you don’t even realize it is there. That is what happened to me.
Even after God revealed it to me, it still took twenty years to be healed enough that it did not affect my thoughts or reactions. Other hurts, from my high school years, that penetrated deep, have not been completely healed. I know I will have to live with some of the decisions I made every day of my life.
I can imagine my life, if I had married, with deep wounds that had not been healed. At some point in the relationship all those hurts would have surfaced causing problems.
There are couples out there that marry for one reason or another before God completes the work He wants to do in them. Sometime during the years of marital problems they realize what has been buried for so long. Finally, God is able to heal. During, or after, the healing process they suddenly realize that this man or woman they married is not right for them. But children are now in the middle of this relationship. If they divorce to find someone that is the best, they now have children, who did not ask to be born, having to handle a hurt that may never leave them. This is a very important reason for “Why Wait?”
My next segment will uncover some of the deepest wounds that affected my emotions and life choices.