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Does God tell you who He wants you to marry?

Discussion in 'Questions From Singles About Marriage' started by tuliplane, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. tuliplane

    tuliplane Newbie

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    In these days, does God give us signs as to who He wants us to marry? Such as, if we're thinking of the topic of marriage and happen to see a name or that person comes up in conversation.

    I'd like to see some answers, and please list your denomination if you have one.

    For any Calvinists, what do you think of God giving us signs to a particular person He wants us to marry?

    1 Corinthians 7:39 says that a woman whose husband dies is free to marry whom she will, only in the Lord.

    Does that include women who have never married before as well?

    The only answer I seem to get from the Bible for today is that verse...that we choose, but only choose a believer; only someone in the Lord.

    The Bible never seems to speak of God giving us signs as to who He wants us to marry or that He even has one person picked for us...that verse seems to say that we get the freedom to choose only within God's will.

    Yet, what does it mean if we think certain things are very coincidental, like we're thinking of something, then someone starts to talk about it, and other people also talk about receiving signs and God telling them who to marry?

    Thanks!
     
  2. sonia777

    sonia777 Newbie

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    well, I think that God permits us to choose. But at first we should ask His weel, because we can't do anything good without Him...
     
  3. J0hnSm1th

    J0hnSm1th Regular Member

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    Like anything in life, we should bring the issue before God in prayer. However, dont just sit there waiting for a revelation. Get on with living, with the expectation that God will tap you on the shoulder if he wants you to adjust course.
     
  4. iambren

    iambren Newbie

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    Yes, God can give you peace about the one to marry. But what if that call was going to lead to you fathering a son for ministry yet your marriage God knows will end in divorce? Will you obey His leading on this one?
     
  5. sonia777

    sonia777 Newbie

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    mmm I think that God will never put the one who really believes Him in this situation)
     
  6. CounselorForChrist

    CounselorForChrist Senior Veteran

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    Yes I believe God tells you who he wants you to marry. I didn't believe that until I met my fiance. Looking back I can tell this times its different. Its like you feel content...at peace when you meet the right one.

    Another example is I have always been afraid to have kids because of health and financial reasons. And yet with my fiance even though we already said no kids.... I have this feeling of peace and its almost as if God is saying "You will have kids!". So I do not worry about it. Even though when we marry we are using protection, I feel like if he wants us to have kids it will happen no matter what kind of protection we use. And frankly it makes me happy knowing I can actually have a daughter (or son).

    A year ago I would have NEVER accepted such things. But it all feels like its in his hands. Well it is actually.
     
  7. LinkH

    LinkH Regular Member

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    I don't think it has that much to do with Calvinism, unless one is a determinist who thinks all marriages (and divorces, deaths, and sins) are predetermined beforehand. But if you believe in determinism, you can take a passive approach, just marry someone, and say it was predetermined. One could use that as an excuse not to take responsibility for one's own actions.

    I think it's more a case of whether someone is a cessationist or a continualist ('charismatic' to some degree) in their thinking on spiritual gifts. I don't suppose you would have to be to believe in God answering prayers as signs, but it is pretty close.

    I believe there is plenty of scripture that gives us example of God directing people to do certain things, so why would a big decision like who to marry be exempt from this principle? I'm not saying one has to receive an individualized revelation, but that there is plenty of scripture that would indicate that such a thing is possible.

    The Bible teaches 'all things are possible to him that believes.' It also says 'ye have not because ye ask not.' When I wanted to get married, I wanted the Lord to show me who. One reason is because divorce is so rampant. I didn't want to be in a situation where my wife left me in some questionable way, and I was sitting there struggling with my desire for companionship and biological urges pulling me toward remarriage, with my conscience telling me to live celibate. So I was praying for the Lord's help to find the right person.

    I got it, not so much from signs I prayed for or my wife prayed for. In our case, each of us had a vision before we got to know each other. Someone had given her a prophecy years before that served as a bit of a clue, at least that I might be a foreigner. The I sensed the Lord speaking to my heart that we were to marry as I prayed, and even got some details about an event from her past what I was praying that she later told me about. I would have liked to have gotten a prophecy to confirm what I believed the Lord was saying before I made up my mind. After I had made up my mind to marry her and wasn't struggling with knowing God's will on the matter, probably one or two days later, someone prophesied over us about us going to many places and ministering to many people, which seemed to me to imply that we would be married.

    I also got to know her and found out about issues related to character and values and got an idea of the strength of her dedication to the Lord and relationship with Him.

    If I were to teach people looking for spouses on the subject, I'd emphasize more 'criteria' for marriage, not so much looks and personality, but issues related to values in line with the word of God-- and also whether the person is eligible according to the word of God.

    I think it's possible to go off on the deep end on either side of this issue. I know of a man who seems to think you aren't really married unless God tells you by revelation that the other person is to be your spouse. I don't know how many marriages, some of which weren't registered with the state, from his group that ended. I've encountered people who think you aren't supposed to get married unless God tells you who didn't seem as flaky. One was a woman who was educated, accomplished, and very good looking 30, and still single in a country where it is unusual for a woman to marry that late.

    On the other hand, I don't think it is wise to look for a wife without seeking God's specific will on it, and asking for some help in terms of direction from the Lord, especially with the mess that marriage is these days. There are so many societal forces pushing people away from some of the basic principles of scripture on marriage-- even when it comes to keeping the marriage together.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  8. LinkH

    LinkH Regular Member

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    Before you draw this conclusion, think of the story of Isaac and Rebecca, and how Abraham's servant found Rebecca. Abraham prays for the Lord to send an angel before the servant, whom he sends to find a bride for Isaac. The servant arrives at the town and prays that the young woman Isaac should marry would offer to give him and his camels water to drink. I read an estimate that that could mean 90 buckets of water from a well. Rebecca did just that, and lo, and behold, not only was she a virgin and beautiful, she was also Isaac's cousin-- a perfect match. :)

    This is pretty similar to what people call 'putting out a fleece' based on the Gideon story, where someone asks God to do something in particular as a sign. It's right there in the Bible, so there is at least one example of it. We also see bridal consent in the passage, because the family asked Rebecca if she would go with this man, and she agreed to it. They all believed the Lord was at work in this situation.


    I tend to view this as a verse about widows. In the Old Testament, a woman could not marry whoever she willed. It may not have even been considered valid if she'd eloped-- more like fornication. Her father gave her away. One could argue that God stood in the role of father for Eve. I've heard the same Hebrew word was used in that passage that was used for giving away brides, but I think I gave the book away that made the point, and I don't remember the details.

    But the Old Testament had laws about this. If an unbetrothed girl was seduced or raped, the father could give her away in marriage, but the groom would still pay the bride price for virgins and could not divorce her. He could also refuse to give his daughter to a man who had taken his daugther's virginity. The father is in the role of protecting his daughter and giving her away in marriage.

    In the New Testament, we read about 'giving in marriage.' I Corinthians 7, the passage you quote from, talks about a young woman being past the flower of her age, and a man giving her in marriage or not giving her in marriage. That may be referring to the father giving the daughter in marriage, right there in the New Testament. I suppose the other interpretation is that it would be talking about a man deciding whether or not to marry his betrothed, but if he declined, that would be strange since he would be pushing responsibility off for the girl on the father without freeing her up to marry, possibly, IMO.

    In the Old Testament, the father gave the daughter away in marriage that first time when she was a virgin. But if her husband died, she could be married to her husband's brother. There is no indication that her father had to give her away for this. Ruth's dad didn't show up when Boaz took her to wife. They didn't really have a wedding. He just made a deal with his relative and announced to the elders that he was taking Ruth as his wife.

    There were daughters who approached Moses because their father died without sons, and they wanted the land. The decision was that they could keep their father's inheritance, provided they married whoever they wanted in their father's clan. They married whoever they wanted, with the constraint that it was within the clan.

    I saw this role of the father thing a bit in scripture as a young man. In my thinking, Biblically, my wife's father giving her away was more important than having a preacher do a wedding ceremony. That's a custom that developed, probably modified out of the pre-Christian Roman wedding, and became widespread probably a century or two into Christianity. Fortunately, we did have the church wedding and the marriage license and all that stuff. But her father gave her away as a part of the ceremony. He said he was giving her away, on behalf of their family name/clan, and stated the name proudly. I was happy with that.

    Unless you really do perceive God's hand at work specifically for you to marry that person, and you perceive it by the Spirit of God, I wouldn't jump to conclusions. You could hear a lot about this person just to pray for him or her. My wife had a dream where she saw this man. Later she met him in real life, and ended up dating him (before she met me.) But she made a mistake in interpreting the dream. She's had that experience many times since, where she will dream about a person, then meet the person in real life and it is the person from the dream.

    If you are looking for a spouse, you might be too eager to read that into anything.

    I'd say focus on getting to know about the other person's character and beliefs. You may want to find someone you are attracted to, physically, and emotionally. But it's important to find out, if you are looking for a man, if the man loves God and knows and respects the word of God if you are to follow his headship later in a marriage. You want to know if he is hard working and responsible with his money and time, and if he is kind to his mother and respectful toward both his parents. You'd want to know what he thinks about divorce and remarriage. If he thinks you can get a divorce if you aren't happy, forget it. If he is trying to fornicate, that's a bad sign. First of all, you'd want him to show some interest in you, rather than you chasing him around. Make him ask your dad to ask you out. See how he reacts to that.

    In the meantime as the relationship progresses, pray for God to show you and him if you should marry and then believe God to do it.



    Great topic. Practical, but theologically and philosophically heavy.

    I was raised Pentecostal. Theologically, I'm not classical Pentecostal, I suppose, but I believe in the spiritual gifts. I'm not anti-Calvinist, but I wouldn't label myself as Calvinist. The Bible tells us about believers being predestined. I'm not sure one can show a good case from scripture that all details are predestined. I suppose a deterministic view of the universe where God plans everyone's marriage dovetails nicely with Calvinism with it's interest in God's sovereignty.. But if you view scripture as God's revelation to man, then it sure is difficult to hold to that when you see some of the passages of the Old Testament, despite the appeal of a heavily deterministic view of things
     
  9. Luther073082

    Luther073082 κύριε ἐλέησον χριστὲ ἐλέησον

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    The best guidance for knowing who to marry is to match what the bible says are standards one should look for in a spouse to a person.

    There are also good worldly things to consider as to if this is a person that you are attracted to and enjoy being around. And honestly if you love the person romantically. Those things will make marriage easier.

    As far as individual revelation, while I suppose it is possible, experience has taught me not to take those seriously. 9 times out of 10 the idea of individual revelation (as in God told me to do X) has been used by people as excuses to do something stupid or ridiculous but make it so that you can not question them because their order to do so supposidly came directly from God himself.

    Also I've noted that 9 times out of 10 the thing that God tells these people to do is something that they want for a selfish reason and not any sort of God directed goal.

    I'd take a person more seriously if they said "God told me to sell this and give the money to the poor." Or "God told me to take a week off of work and volunteer at an orphanage" or something like that.

    But if you say. . . God told me to go out and buy myself a Ferarri that I can't afford to make the payments on. And then of course they add in the expected "God will provide" bit should anyone dare question their God ordained purchase of a expensive vehicle that they can't afford.

    You may laugh, but I can't count the number of times I have seen someone try to defend being both stupid and selfish in the name of "God told me to".
     
  10. goddard12

    goddard12 Believer

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    I"m not sure about this, as I didn't have a big sign with the words "Marry this one!" flashing in front of me. Let me explain a little about how I met my now husband and my feelings at the time.

    When I met him, I was fresh from a relationship that ended because we knew we weren't right for each other. I still loved the guy, but we just wanted two different things in life. One night I was playing on the xbox and my (now) husband and I were joined in the same game on Halo 3. We talked and joked about the game and I knew that I wanted to become friends with him online. Then we found out that we lived in the same city. This was big for me, because in the gaming community you are matched with people from all over the world, and yet here we were both from the same area. We exchanged phone numbers and talked for a few weeks and then decided to meet in person. By this time I KNEW in my heart that he would be special, different. So we met up and got to know each other a little better. After a couple days I told a friend, "he's my future husband, I have this feeling". Three weeks after we met he told his mother that he was going to Marry me. I think God was behind our meeting, and I like to think that God chose him for me to be with, because the way I feel with my husband is a love that can only come from God (in my opinion), and it is like nothing I have ever experienced before.
     
  11. CounselorForChrist

    CounselorForChrist Senior Veteran

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    Well lets also remember if your not a christian you tend to say things are coincidences or you use "odds" to explain meeting the right person. But as christians we know things happen for a reason. And alot of times if you asked a married christian couple they will say their other half is always what they wanted and then some. To me (if you go by odds) the odds of all these someone(s) happening to meet their perfect match on a planet with 7 billion people is amazing to me. Thus my belief God does have someone for us.
     
  12. goddard12

    goddard12 Believer

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    are you referring to my post or speaking in general?
     
  13. CounselorForChrist

    CounselorForChrist Senior Veteran

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    Oh I was just speaking in general.
     
  14. goddard12

    goddard12 Believer

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    Oh ok. I was confused on your post for a minute there. I've since reread it and see the point you were trying to make.
     
  15. iambren

    iambren Newbie

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    "Does God tell you who He wants you to marry?"

    It is scary to marry. It's for LIFE, or at least it should be. It's only natural to be reassured that we are making the right choice for a mate. To white-knuckle it even after you have prayed fasted, critiqued their suitablity, counseled is STILL a feat of courage.

    No, I don't think God tells you who to marry, not as a portrait in the sky, a soft voice from heaven, or a coincidence that "seems" to make it all clear. I believe that after the practical things I've listed there is the application of the scripture "Perfect love casts out fear". This is the ultimate battle--does your love for this person conquer your fear to run?". No one can tell you, it's your decision alone. The deep intuition or conviction will convince you and you'll proceed to make the best decision you humanly can make.

    Having said ALL that our future is not certain, marrying the "right one" does not mean you won't suffer or never go through a divorce, there NEVER is a guarantee in life no matter what we do. I write this from my desk, in my home I live in alone. Twenty-five years ago I met then married a wonderful Christian girl I loved and did ministry together. I fasted five days, prayed, counseled and with a clean spirit-filled heart I married her. Harm in her past destroyed and eroded our love over 15 years. We've been peaceably divorced 4 years now. NO ONE could have told me my leading was wrong. We had two great kids we hope will impact the kingdom.

    Someone posted the following: " mmm I think that God will never put the one who really believes Him in this situation)"
    Oh really? Ever heard of Job or Hosea who suffered for God's glory? We do our best to chose (who would blame us) but we remember it is ultimately He who is Lord over all.
     
  16. LinkH

    LinkH Regular Member

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    I would agree with that. My wife and I just had a conversation. We had a single man whose past the age people usually marry who had put in years in a long distance relationship where the girl ended up marrying someone else while he was busy. He'd like to marry, and my wife and I were sharing with him.

    We continued our conversation from last night. She emphasizes the importance of hearing God's voice and having a personal relationship with God where you can pray and ask God something, believe Him to answer, hear His voice and perceive and know His will. I agreed with that, but said I believed knowing God's word, knowing His will for marriage as revealed in the Bible, and knowing from scripture what kind of spouse to find was a foundation one needed first. We generally agreed but emphasized different things.

    She thought of it in terms of praying and making sure that marriage with a particular person is consistent with your calling. If you pray like this, and hear God, and know you are supposed to marry that person, when marriage gets difficult, you can remember back and know you made the right decision, and had an example of some friends who went through marriage difficulties. I said it is more important to know the written word and know what Christ taught about marriage and divorce so you'd know to stay married. I said I would emphasize that rather than what someone heard personally from God, though I would point out both. Joseph's visions, his personal revelations, kept him going during the difficult years in Egypt, so I don't have a problem with that. By the prophecies Timothy received, which aren't quoted in scripture as far as we know, he was to fight a good warfare. But still, knowing what the written word says is more important, I believe, to staying the course. Peter wrote of a more sure word of prophecy.

    For my own personal experience, I might put the number at 3 times out of 10 if I had to guess. Maybe I'm less critical than you are, or maybe I've seen more of the real thing.

    The Bible warns 'despise not prophesyings' which is good thing to remember if we want to be too quick to reject what other people say the Lord has shown them.

    I've seen a lot of things that seemed a lot more real than that.

    Now if a man told him God wanted him to marry a very hot-looking ungodly woman who was 20 years younger than him after a 1 week romance in Vegas, would you be more suspicious than a couple about the same age, both interested in missions, who had prayed for six months to a year, met with both of their parents, sought the counsel of pastors, who said that in prayer the Lord had spoken to both of them that it was God's will for them to marry?

    I know when I was making the decision I kept praying about the subject. Right after we had our first conversation before I asked her to do anything with me, I started praying about marrying her. My wife said when she saw me, the Lord told her I was the one, that second time we met anyway, the time we had our first conversation. She said she knew what He meant because they'd been in dialogue about her future marriage partner in prayer.

    My own approach was the one my wife advocates, actually, praying and seeking to hear and discern God's will. I think it is especially important in the current climate where there are so many divorces. Someone can put on one face before marriage, and another after. It is always a risk. And ministry calling can be effected by who you marry and marriage can effect ministry. I'm thinking of what I've read of John Wesley.

    Still, I emphasize as a foundation understanding Biblically what it takes to be a good spouse and what to look for in another spouse. But all things are possible to him that believes, and if you can ask God to show you who to choose as a suitable mate and receive direction from God on the matter, why not believe God for that?
     
  17. J0hnSm1th

    J0hnSm1th Regular Member

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    However the Christian divorce rate is nearly as high as the secular world. So this would not apply in every case. Of those that say it, some are completely sincere, some are just saying it to sound noble, and some have convinced themselves that its true. Christians who are following God's will are versatile and flexible in how they deal with people. A couple who are reasonably well suited can work at adjusting their behaviour so that they become very well suited.
     
  18. CounselorForChrist

    CounselorForChrist Senior Veteran

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    Well yeah. In America its crazy that its higher then the non-christians. My fiance knew we had divorce here but she didn't know it was that high. In her country (Philippines) the divorce rate is 0.4% lol. Of course they do't have divorce laws there. Some cities do have a law about annulment but thats about it.
     
  19. dysert

    dysert Member

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    I know many disagree with me, but I'm not a big believer in God trying to tell us things through coincidences. After all, He's God. If He wants to tell us something, why not just tell us instead of making a big puzzle out of the whole thing to test us? Not only that, but the enemy can work through coincidences as well, so now you're not only stuck with wondering what God is trying to say, but you're also stuck with wondering if it's even God saying something at all.

    Assuming God wants you to marry, the only criterion that I can think of is that you be sure he's a believer.

    When my wife and I were dating, we each knew the other was a believer. We had no issues between us. Our families were fine with us being together. We simply fell in love and eventually got married. No "burning bush"; no letting the Bible fall open and fingering a random verse for an answer.

    Make sure he's a believer, and make sure you are compatible and that there are no skeletons anywhere that could come between you in the long run. If you fall in love, then I wouldn't keep waiting on some set of coincidences and try to guess what God may be telling you. It didn't happen that way for me, anyway.
     
  20. iambren

    iambren Newbie

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    Again, it's scary...especially if you are from a divorced home or know of those harmed by a dysfunctional family. So you want to reach out for reassurance to calm your fear. However, there is no "divorce-proof insurance" policy out there. You can only trust God leading your heart. It actually is a great faith exercise. If life were to be without risk, why would we need faith in Him?
     
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