My dear Priscilla, what’s the confusion about exactly? Is the confusion about whether he is right for you or regarding the instruction given to him not to marry outside his ministry?
When he proposed to you, what exactly did he say were his convictions? It’s important to always ask anyone proposing to you to state the basis of his conviction. That helps you to weigh whether the proposal is worth your consideration or not. Same goes for a man. Ask her why she is saying yes to you. You’ll need these convictions (clearly spelt out) to determine the strength of your sail, and as a buffer against the storm of doubt that may arise on the journey into and after marriage.
Or he hasn’t really formally proposed to you? By asking you to get to know each other while he sorts things out with his Pastor, indirectly he has asked you to be in a relationship with him that should lead to marriage.
The big problem is the policy of the church he is in. Didn’t he know about the policy when he began to woo you? Or were you the one that wooed him?
The tidiest thing that should have happened is for him to have sorted out all the impediments on his own way before coming to approach you.
But I guess, your intimacy happened without prior deliberate plan. Things just happened and you both simply flowed along with things.
If he knew about the policy of his church, then what were his convictions that made him believe he should ask you out?
From your words though, I feel that he hasn’t really asked you out officially. You both seem to just be in a “situationship.” Or has he asked you out officially?
“Let’s get to know each other” is not a clear proposal. Get to know each other for what?
I would have preferred that he settles things with his Pastor first before tampering with the emotions of an innocent sister. Unfortunately now, your emotions are already tampered with.
My advice is that you pull the break on the “keep knowing each other thing” because you’ll be taking a foolish risk.
I guess the fact that he meets some of the qualities God told you about the man you’ll marry has blown you off your feet. And so you already appear to be the one wooing him and not the other way round. He ought to be the one wooing you. That’s the Biblical pattern.
And if he’s the one wooing you, he ought to have settled his own side first, before coming to meet you. Not that there are still impediments to clear on his side, and yet he is asking you to date him – because that’s what you’re already doing in essence.
The risk is that you’ll be falling more and more in love with something that may not eventually be. What of if at the end of the day – after your own heart has been indelibly altered in love, he comes back to tell you the Pastor didn’t consent? How will you be restored to your former position?
So the best is for you to pull the break on the falling in love. Pull the break immediately. Ask him to go and sort himself out. If you’re still available when he’s done, then that’s his luck. But free your mind. Be open to other prospects while he lingers. Don’t fixate your mind on him so that you’ll not become a prisoner of unreciprocated love.
Ordinarily, the position of his Senior Pastor (that ‘his’ Pastors must marry from the ministry) does not support the spirit of unity of the body of Christ which Jesus prayed repeatedly about in John 17.
It also negates the idea of the leading of the Holy Spirit in the choice of a marriage partner.
Are we saying that it is possible to trust the Holy Spirit’s leading and yet delineate the boundaries beyond which the Holy Spirit must not go in His search?
I know that’s not possible. There is One body!!! Ephesian 4:4. Just one body of Christ.
The Holy Spirit probably doesn’t “know” our different denominations – because there are tens of thousands of them all over the world; but He sure knows all those who are His. The important question at all times is whether a man has been genuinely washed and transformed by the blood of the lamb – and not, “which Church does he come from?”
From my personal experience, when you genuinely trust the Holy Spirit to lead you in marriage, he can bring someone from any christian denomination – because He is not limited by those denominational lines. He simply knows all those who are His and recommends a suitable person for any of His sons or daughters.
If this brother is like some brothers that I know who are men of the Word – being convinced that you’re the right person for his life, and knowing deeply the unscriptural stand of their Senior Pastor, they’ll respectfully and prayerfully stand their ground.
If after a reasonable time of waiting to see the Pastor change his mind and he doesn’t, that will be a sufficient ground to move out of the ministry.
We are not enjoined by the Bible to follow any Spiritual leader so unreservedly that even when their stand contradicts the stand of the author and finisher of the faith, we continue to remain loyal to them. No, that’s not the position. The position is, “follow me as I follow Christ.” In other words, if I don’t follow the will and heartbeat of Christ on a particular matter, you have a duty not to follow me on that issue.
The position restricting marriage to only members of a local church contradicts the spirit of oneness and unity of the Body of Christ which is the heartbeat of Christ documented copiously in John 17 during Jesus’ (what Lawyers will call) dying declaration.
In the eyes of secular law, it is believed that what a man says when he’s about to die has great weight and evidential value. It is presumed to be the truth (unless otherwise proven) and likely the uppermost issue in a man’s heart which ought to be treated very seriously. It is this same weight that every Christian ought to attach to the words of our Lord in John 17. That was His final prayer before the cross. And it was quite a repetitive prayer (He asked the Father to keep us one five times in that single passage) showing the seriousness of the issue.
Obviously, this your own man doesn’t seem to have such a deep conviction about you and if he does, he appears not to have the courage to pursue that conviction without reservations.
In the circumstance, it is best you wriggle yourself out of the dillydallying for the sake of your mental health.
Don’t join him to start a prayer project that things will work out and protocols will be broken IF it is God’s will. What’s the meaning of that? He is still saying IF at this stage?!!!
Before a serious brother approaches a sister for a relationship, he ought to have done his own home work on whether it is God’s will or not. Your own praying whether it is God’s will ought to come after he has settled his own. That’s the proper order. Don’t do his work for him. If you do, he can even accuse you later that you were the one that wooed him and not the other way round.
Let him settle whether it is the will of God or not on his own. If he’s able to do so, he can come back. But like I advised, don’t put your mind in it. Just rest in God that no matter what happens, He will preserve for you what belongs to you. If it is this brother, he won’t be able to move anywhere else. But that won’t happen by being agitated.
Your agitations cannot change anything. It is faith in God that changes everything. And the best way to express faith sometimes is to just REST. Just rest in Him. Just trust Him with your life. He will surely bring you to your expected end.
You can write me again if you need further help. May the Lord by His mighty power make every crooked path straight concerning you!!!
Peniela E. Akintujoye.
©️Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| firstname.lastname@example.org