God gave us free will, but many Christians believe that God leads us to do certain things such as tellings us who to marry, what job to take, or what car to buy. A Christian friend of mine is having car problems, but he doesn’t want to sell it because he believes God told him to buy the car. Another Christian said they don’t think it works that way, but who knows, Christians can’t deliberately say what God will or will not do.
Best-selling author Gary Thomas wrote an article called “God Didn’t (and won’t) Tell You To Marry Your Spouse.” It talks about how some of his clients complained about their awful spouses but believes that God told them to marry their spouse. Thomas’s argument isn’t suggesting that he knows what God will or will not do, but is saying that there is no scripture supporting the idea that God will specifically tell you to marry someone. Just as there is no scripture supporting that God will tell you what car to buy.
There is plenty if scriptures that will guide us on what car to buy. The book of Ecclesiastes supports the idea that buying a luxury car just to blend in a specific social group is meaningless when an economical car is all you need to get from point A to point B. See, God didn’t have to tell you what car to buy, reading the Word of God gives you the wisdom to make discernment.
God didn’t provide us with a massive brain of knowledge for us to sit and wait for Him to tell us what decisions to make. I understand the whole concept of waiting on the Lord. Like you prayed about something and you’re waiting for an answer. But, I don’t think God speaks to us through burning bushes anymore, so often the answer is in the Bible, or through an experience.
We have all the tools we need to discern which people we need to keep close, the ones we want for a moment, and the ones who are toxic. I still talk to my college friends three years after my graduation not because God said so, but because I know they are good people to keep in my life. There are times when we feel like we’re forcing to maintain a relationship with someone and it just seems like it isn’t working out. Eventually, you come to the conclusion that it isn’t meant to be no matter how hard you try to keep it together. We think these moments are divine. If we try our best to keep someone in our lives and it doesn’t work we believe God doesn’t want them in our lives. Or, it can simply be that that person does not want the relationship as much as you do. Their motives for you in their life are temporarily while you feel like you need them/want them longer.
My pastor once said that just because something isn’t going the way you planned doesn’t mean that God isn’t in it. Many times we think that when things are going good, then God approves of our decision, or that God ordained for the event to happen. When things are going bad we believe that we made a decision outside of God’s will, or that God disapproves of our decision.
The results of life are not a gamble of choosing option A, B, or C, and if you pick the best option, then everything will go right. Take marriage for example. I believe the majority of marriages go through the same trials more or less. If you feel like you have a good marriage it doesn’t mean God told you to marry your spouse it means that you have the discernment to determine a good spouse for you.
If you feel like your marriage is awful, then it doesn’t mean you married someone outside of God’s Word. It doesn’t mean that you married the wrong person. Many Christians’ spouses are not Christians and they have a good marriage. Plenty of Christians get married and end in divorce. The fact is, there is no one answer for marriage. I know Christian marriages where adultery happened. While there are plenty of nonchristian marriages where adultery never happened. So, you choose who to marry and God will be there with you.
You have to understand that God’s will doesn’t mean it will make you happy. As well, just because your marriage makes you happy doesn’t mean it is in God’s will. There are plenty of things my fiancé can do for me that will make me happy but it’s not according to scripture.
Our marriages should make us more holy than happy. Remember that there is no marriage in heaven, so God didn’t design marriage to distract us from Him, God designed marriage to bring us closer to Him. You can’t come closer to God without hard times. Jesus didn’t and neither will you. There will be hard times being single. There will be hard times being married. There will be hard times if you marry John. There will be hard times if you marry Peter. There will be heartache if you choose to fight for your marriage. There will be heartache if you choose to divorce. You’ll be selfish if you don’t have children. You’ll be selfish if you do have children. Choosing to have children won’t make you any more selfless than choosing not to have children and just donate to charities.
If you believe the scripture “Be fruitful and multiply” means to have children whether you want to or not, then God will be there with you. If “Be fruitful and multiply” means to spread your talents, money, or selfless service to those less fortunate than you, then God will be there with you. God doesn’t tell us what to do. He doesn’t have to. God gave us wisdom, freewill, and His Word to make choices even when the choices are not crystal clear. God gave us faith for when we make a decision and cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.