Brilliant writing and thank you so much for bursting our North American Christian bubble of “falling in love”. Marriage is a very special union created by God but movies and American society glamorize this perfect euphoric fantasy experience that lasts forever. True love lasts forever but is nothing like what it is portrayed to be.
Jesus must be our first and only love. God in His wisdom created Adam before Eve, so Adam would learn to find his value and fulfillment in God first and not his partner. While human beings are created to be in horizontal relationship our horizontal relationships are only fulfilling when our vertical relationship with the Father is the foundation of life. In our American culture I would guess that most marriages are actually idolatry and very disappointing to God because we place our spouse above our relationship with God.
I love everything about this article because it frees people from the obsession and paralyzing fear of missing God’s will and finding the right person. However, if our Father knows every hair on our heads (Matthew 6) and pre-planned every single day of our lives before we even lived one (Psalms 139:16) wouldn’t this plan by very application include the person we would marry? It is important not to get lost in the fundamentalism of pre-destination where we are hopelessly stuck and destined to follow God like robots. For human beings to be purely pre-destined in nature God could not have created mankind with a freewill. We are freewill beings with the freedom to make freewill choices.
I see God’s plan for our lives like a map. The Father has a perfect plan for our lives and a perfect eternal destination. As we adventure through this journey GPS (God’s perfect-guiding system – The Holy Spirit) gently speaks (like the voice on GPS when you are driving) go left or go right each day of this great journey called life. The Bible conveys a detailed specific Father who cares about every detail of His child’s life. He does not expect us to find our own way home or plan out every detail of our lives because He knows as finite human beings we are helplessly lost without Him.
This is why He sends the Holy Spirit our GPS (God’s perfect guiding system) to guide us on the most direct, eternally meaningful and earthly productive life possible. For those who are starting to get scared about predestination, don’t worry, God loves us so much that he allows us to choose our own path and chart our own course in life. We can make a million mistakes and like the prodigal son completely walk away from God’s plan for our lives.
But what is so amazing about God’s plan for our lives is that no matter where we go or what we do, we can never void or destroy His plan. In Psalm 139 David realizes there is no where one can go to escape God. Even if I make my bed in the heights of heaven or in the depths of hell you are still there. There is no where I can go to escape your spirit!
One time when I was driving in my car, I took a million wrong turns and ended up driving a hundred miles in the opposite direction of my destination. Yet, no matter how far away I drove, my GPS kept recalibrating and recalculating the most direct and efficient route to my original destination.
This simple example reveals the profound, unfathomable and amazing power of God’s grace for us. All of us made mistakes. Some of us have lived in rebellion and purposely chosen a path in the complete opposite direction of God’s plan. Yet, just like my driving catastrophe, no matter how many wrong turns you have made, no matter how far away from God’s perfect plan you are, your loving Father has already engineered and re-calibrated a perfect script to live the most eternally meaningful life possible.
God’s grace contains unlimited power. God can do more with an 80 year old drug dealer who completely surrenders his life to Jesus than a nominal Christian who has lived a very religious life. This is a most important truth because it means no matter who you are or what you have done there is GREAT hope for you today. Many think that I have made too many mistakes or taken too many wrong turns to follow God’s plan. This is scary and inaccurate thinking many of us embrace. But the truth is following God’s plan has nothing to do with your past and is only dependent on the decision you will make today.
Marriage is one area that makes understanding God’s plan infinitely complex. Maybe if you faithfully followed God through teenage years you would meet a really devoted Christian spouse and together significantly further God’s kingdom in the earth for many years. But instead you decide to live in rebellion from God during teenage years and completely walk away from God for 30 years. At the age of fifty you return to God and live a intensely devoted life serving God and never marrying like the Apostle Paul.
Like the GPS in my car, it seems that the Holy Spirit takes our current position and continually re-calibrates the best plan for marriage (or not marriage) and all details of life. What an amazing and freeing thought! You no longer have to worry about missing God’s plan or soul mate for your life. But at the same time, we can rest in knowing that God’s perfect-guiding system is taking our current position and leading us in the best path to our eternal home with Him.
What freedom! What joy! Release from the chains of searching for my “soul-mate” but still anchored secure in the truth that through God’s perfect-guiding system my Father still has a perfect plan to best glorify Him in the remaining days of this earthly adventure and most effectively chart my course to my eternal home.
I wouldn’t want to imagine life without James. I enjoy being with him more than anyone else in this world. I love him more than I ever thought you could love someone, and I miss him whenever I am not with him. I wouldn’t want to married to anyone else other than James, which is good, because I plan on being married to him forever, and he has to let me die first.
But I reject the entire premise of soul mates.
Do you remember those awesome Evangelical 90’s/ early 2000’s where Jesus was kind of like our boyfriend and we all kissed dating good-bye because we just knew that God was going to bring us THE ONE and then life…
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