God has never been an impostor or a meddlesome interloper who forces Himself on anyone. He is democratic and very humble. “Behold I stand at the door and knock;” that’s His nature. Though He is our maker and has the exclusive patent of our spirit, soul and body, yet He so respects our privacy that He will not barge into our room until we’ve opened the door to Him.
In the choice of a marriage partner, the picture of a Father who wants to impose a choice on you by all means is inaccurate. What’s His own? Eventhough He loves you dearly, if you get your choice-making wrong, you’ll be the one to face the consequences primarily, not Him. Why should He then cry more than the bereaved?
And so it is a rare privilege to have God accept to even get involved in our private affairs, despite His busy schedules.
If anyone does not want God’s involvement in that area of his/her life, it will be totally fine. And He won’t be angry with you for this. If you’ve studied God’s character as revealed in the Bible, you will realize that He is very accommodating and not vindictive. Having such enormous powers without the maturity of accomodation and self control would have been too disastrous for mankind. He would have consumed all of us long time ago considering our frequent shortcomings.
Rather, The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide…Like as a father pitieth his children, So the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.
Psalm 103:8, 13-14 KJV
Some believe and have taught that the reason God has stopped choosing wives for people is because He got His fingers burnt in the case of Adam. He chose a wife for Adam who turned out to influence Him against God’s will. But a careful study of the account will show that God didn’t impose Eve on Adam. He only presented her to him without more. It was Adam himself who waxed lyrical upon sighting the woman and uttered those famous romantic lines; “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.”
“…and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Genesis 2:22-23 KJV
God brought the woman to the man but didn’t say, “marry her.” He said nothing. It was Adam Himself who recognized her as the bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh and took her in. Essentially then, it was Adam that chose Eve though upon God’s presentation and recommendation.
And so even today, where a man has approached God regarding guidance as to who to marry, what God does is to recommend a suitable partner. The acceptance of God’s recommendation is completely the choice of that man. It is never an imposition because that will contradict the democratic nature of God revealed all through scriptures.
Because it is a recommendation rather than a command therefore, the following realities follow:
1. The man himself may struggle with God’s recommendation because it doesn’t suit some of his own expectations and desires. My advice for such a man is, go back to the same God and disscuss the difficulties with Him. He may work on you as to help you to accept His recommendation or He may make another recommendation of another suitable person that may gel well with you.
The fact that you have difficulty with accepting God’s recommendation is not a reason to now go your own way to make a solo decision. Even if along the line you meet someone you like and who you think may be suitable (because of the clear knowledge of your purpose), it is wisdom to still speak to the Lord to get His expert opinion regarding the person’s suitability (before ever saying a word to him or her).
2. The Sister may or may not agree. The same way God has made a recommendation which you accepted by your free will, the sister also has a free will to accept or not. A serious minded Christian Sister who also has immense respect for God and whom you told that you had come upon God’s recommendation would go to Him and say, “Sir, this brother said you recommended me to him. Is it true?” And God may say, “Yes, I did. If you will agree to marry him, I have made you suitable for his life and destiny. He in turn will be a great husband to you.”
But what of if the sister never even bothered to pray about it because she already doesn’t like your physical appearance? Or because she’s crushing on the Fellowship President and hoping he will be the one? In such a situation, she may give you a No and that doesn’t mean God has failed. Someone has just exercised her freewill.
If you’re the brother, I will expect you to go back to God and see what He will say. Whether He will ask you to wait or to move on. Many times, the best sign that God is asking you to move on is that He’s making a second recommendation. And you know this second person may immediately agree with you.
3. The relationship/marriage may not work out. God’s recommendation is never an insurance that the two people or one of the parties cannot later succumb to the temptations of the devil. Eve did and it wasn’t God’s fault. It was in further exercise of her free will. No matter how born again we become, God is never going to take away our free will. We will always be able to choose to abandon His principles and go out of His way if we so wish.
The recommendation therefore ought to simply commence a work of solidifying each other in God. Not a basis to rush into marriage. Why Courtship is important. A time of building character and synchronies which will further enhance the success of the union.
This is why even after marriage, we are constantly ensuring we’re in touch with our partners through constant communication; why we insist we must have bible study together and pray together from time to time, why we sometimes force them to rise early in the morning to pray. We do all these because we recognize that the victory over temptations of the devil designed to bring down our marriage is never once and for all. It’s a victory that has to be secured in a present continuous sense.
Adam failed in this responsibility. Where was he when the devil was communicating with his wife? Roaming about the whole earth? Then, why did he choose to submit to His wife’s backsliding? The bible told us that only Eve was deceived; Adam wasn’t. 1 Timothy 2:14. Adam just chose by his own free will to make his wife his head and put his head (God) under his feet. How is God to be blamed for this?
The summary therefore is that the failure of the first marriage was as a result of the choices of the couple made by their free will. It had nothing to do with God’s original recommendation. Every gift that comes from above is a good and perfect gift and will remain so if men will stay committed to God’s terms.
Someone may then ask, “If all these negative outcomes can still be despite God’s recommendation, what then is the benefit of seeking His recommendation at all?” Seeking His recommendation helps you reduce your odds of failure. At least you get someone who has earned God’s approval to an extent and who God believes is suitable. All you have to do is to maintain and improve upon it.
Some other people are a total no-no. They are so unsuitable that no amount of your efforts can make them suitable. It will be like hoping to feed a Lizard to become a crocodile. The project can never succeed. I hope you now understand?
We will continue this conversation next week.
Peniela E. Akintujoye.
©️Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| email@example.com