There was indeed a generation that preached actively the need to discover the will of God before going into marriage with anyone. This is because it was believed only God knows what is good for you and particularly because like Adam, all men have a missing rib which the Lord has constructed into a woman kept somewhere for you. Only Him knows where the woman is. You needed to approach Him to bring your missing rib your way. So proposals were couched, “Thus saith the Lord.”
This movement didn’t agree with the idea of falling in love with someone and making that the basis of a decision to go ahead in marriage. The question was always “is it the will of God?” If it isn’t, the so called love between the parties notwithstanding, they were advised to go separate ways. Emotional love alone is not enough for such sensitive life-long commitment it was taught.
But there were a lot of issues with this system of finding a life partner which is making the present generation turn its back on it. A lot of people have abused the “God said” thing. There were situations where more than two brothers were telling a single sister that God had told them that she was going to be their wife. We know that’s not possible. They are all either wrong or at least two of them are. And by the way they may be honestly wrong. Even the best of Prophets still mix up the voice of God once in a while. Samuel did. And like my mentor will always say, “none of us is in God’s council of elders to claim unlimited and accurate access to His mind at all times.”
On the other side of the coin, the “God said” mantra always appeared to violate the freewill of the sisters to whom it was expressed. It would appear that refusing to follow the instruction will amount to disobedience to God. So her wish notwithstanding, she mustn’t be disobedient to the heavenly vision. The sisters in our own generation would not have any of these. Not in this generation where women rights and freedom are gaining more ascendancy.
Then what about if God chooses for you someone you don’t like or want? Shouldn’t God leave us alone to make this decision on our own? To find exactly what we really want?
For the above reasons and more, more and more people are detesting the idea of a “Thus saith the Lord” procured relationship.
But I’m getting afraid. We are already moving to another extreme. The other extreme is the message, “God no longer chooses a wife for anyone.” Some said, after Adam accused God of giving him a wife not good enough, God had stopped picking wives for people. Only that contrary to the claim above, some centuries after Adam, in Genesis 24, we saw God again picking for Isaac a wife. That was not by force of course. It was Isaac through Abraham that gave God that absolute authority to make a final decision on who will be Isaac’s wife.
Yes, there were many abuses in the old order but we must recognise that the abuses were largely due to human flaws and not God’s. Even though I believe all relationships that will be biblical and successful must not start exactly after the order of Genesis 24, there is also nothing wrong if it starts that way. If a man or woman has chosen to give God the absolute right to pick a wife or husband for him, we should respect his choice. That’s smart too. We must admit that by the fact of God’s transcendent capacities, he should make a great choice. Many great marriages were born this way even in our current day.
And if conversely a brother decides to be the initiator of the process of finding a potential mate, it’s also fine. There’s also nothing wrong in falling in love with someone. A godly and successful relationship can be born this way also. The only thing is that in whichever way anyone chooses to go about it, it isn’t smart to make a decision to marry or even go into a relationship with anyone without getting an advice from God. And this even before asking the fellow out. This is the difference between our own approach to a relationship and the world’s approach of trial and error which was largely precipitated by the culture of dating as we know it today.
By the way it’s not not compulsory to get an advice from God. It’s your life. Everyone needs to recognise that God respects our free will a lot and has never been found to force anything on anyone. That’s the pattern of His character that we found in scriptures. If anyone enters a relationship or marriage without asking God about it, he won’t necessarily be tagged rebellious by God. Worst case, he may be considered unwise. How can you be making such a critical decision of your life and destiny in the light of the limitedness of your own personal wisdom and foresight and not ask your father who you know to be able to discern accurately what’s in the heart of all men and who even knows the end of things from the beginning?
Based on the popular messages going around, there is already a prevailing thought that seems to totally disdain the concept of God’s will in marriage and someone receiving a leading to ask a sister out.
Of course I admit that such message from God is never a mandate that must be complied with at all cost. And our brothers from the old order need to recognise this. When God speaks to you about a sister, it is an advice He has given you based on His wisdom. You can take it or leave it. If you choose to take it, the sister may not accept it. And God won’t punish her for that. God respects her freewill. It’s why you should recognise as a brother that even though God has spoken to you, it’s not God that will do all the work for you. You need to “help God” make the work easy and achievable. You yourself also need to come up with a strategy on how you’ll launch the “attack” and the sister will find you irresistible. The right timing, wetting the ground, fixing certain “commas” about yourself that can help her to find it easy to accept you; or else you’ll receive a resounding “No” and heaven will not fall.
On one of the occasions in the past when God had actually advised strongly about a sister, part of my strategy was to change my wardrobe and I started applying starch to my clothes. Please don't laugh. I wanted to increase my chances. Today, I hardly… Click To Tweet
So even though I do advise brothers who have been led of God to a sister in our days to mind the manner of presenting the issue and not use the “Thus saith the Lord” intimidation as that may sound imposing and manipulative, that is not to say God no longer leads people and that you as a sister must disdain a brother or tag him insincere just because he told you respectfully that He believes you’re in the will of God for him based on certain revelations he has. If you’ll not accept it, don’t accept. But he has done nothing wrong. And that doesn’t mean he is saying you must accept. He may just want you to know that he is a true son of God and not a frivolous person, for one of the marks of true sons of God is that they do nothing by their own wisdom except they have been led or at least confirmed with the Holy Spirit.
Let’s continue next week. I hope this blessed you?
Peniela Eniayo Akintujoye.