Sunday, January 20, 2008

Guarantee #6: Promise of a Mate

The sixth guarantee that I listed on a previous blog was "God told me that she will be my wife." I'm addressing each one of these supposed guarantees in separate postings. 

We've had this situation many times throughout our years of ministry. One particular situation became problematic. The young man had heard others give testimony to the fact that God told them who their mate would be and it happened. 

He just knew that he had heard from God about who his wife would be. He told her. She had not had the same word from God, and let him know emphatically that wasn't going to happen.

He became obnoxious and somewhat of a pest to the young woman. The whole situation ended up in a counselor's office. In fact, the young man had to be told very clearly by others that he needed to back off and give it up. He did, and later moved and met someone else and married and now has a family. 

Years later we had a similar situation where a young lady married her sweetheart and they went on an extended honeymoon. She had previously been stalked by a young man who insisted God told him that she was to be his. There was a very tragic ending to this story, great pain for all involved.

Where do young people get this idea, that God has promised them who their mate will be? Could it be that in our zeal to tell and show how God has led us and promised to be with us and give us good things that we inadvertently give the message that God promises things like this and if we just claim the promises and faith it, the guarantee is there that it will happen? 

Again, I would challenge each of us to find in the scriptures anywhere that anything like this is even hinted at, much less promised. Some might say the promise was personal and spoken to the heart by God. Might be. But, sharing that as a teaching or as a promise for others to pick up and claim as a promise becomes a stumbling block to others.

I've also counseled women who say that they missed God when they married their husband, and many have suffered their entire married lives thinking they are outside the will of God. Sometimes I marvel at how far afield we get from the actual gospel and what's written in the scriptures. I enjoy trying to bring women back to actual truth and reality.

Reality check: My calling and my assignment is to be a godly person and a godly mate, be it husband or wife. (I reread that and laughed and wanted you to know that I've never thought I was called to be a godly husband, just a wife.) We can sure mess ourselves up by listening to well meaning testimonies and trying to apply those principles in our lives rather than searching the scriptures as Bereans whether these things are so.



Carl said...

Where do young people get this idea, that God has promised them who their mate will be?

There is a simple answer to that... Lust. The same god who blesses greed blesses lust. The problem is that neither is Scriptural.

MB said...

Do you suppose that if God shows us who our mate is going to be, that He also will show us how many children we will have, what they will turn out to be like, and anything else we feel that we need to know up front!! Is it faith or presumption? Keep up the good work, I'm loving the posts.

Rex Ray said...

Could this ‘knowledge from God’ be like one of my aunts (when they were very young) saying to the other?

“You keep telling me all these dreams you’re having! I think they’re just your wishes!”

Rebel4Reality said...

Carl, I wonder if it's sexual lust or sometimes lust to feel that one is special to God through special revelations. It seems that it's difficult for this generation of believers to just take God at His Word as revealed in scripture. And sometimes the problem is that believers don't know what the scripture really says because their knowledge is too often second-hand from sermons and testimonies. But, that's another post, isn't it?

Marjory, good point. That's another interesting study, is it faith or presumption and how do we know the difference. That would be a fun discussion.

Rex Ray, I like what your aunt said. Wise words. Also, I like your name. It's one of those names where both names go together, both starting with an r. So pardon me if when I respond to you, I address you with both names. They just go together. ;-)

Psalmist said...

Mary, I check in at Paul's blog every so often and enjoy the wisdom there, which is how I found your blog. I simply want to thank you for this series. "God promised" has become code for "God has placed a stamp of approval on all the things I want." I see much wisdom and maturity in your list and your exposition of these false "promises." Excellent stuff!

Lin said...

Oh how badly this teaching is needed in churches all over America!

Do people ever read Job anymore?

Alycelee said...

Mary, I came late to the party and read all of your post. Tempted to respond to all of them but refrained.
I'm so glad you are blogging and sharing here.
You sound like Paul (or does he sound like you) ha.

thank you for your insights.

Rex Ray said...

Even though you’re talking about marriage, the attitude of “God told me…” has been around a long time.
Using God to back up some decision or reason is a powerful method to ‘get my way’. It’s helpful in winning discussions.

I feel this was used by James in (Acts 15:28 Holman): “For it was the Holy Spirit’s decision and ours to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things: that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality.”

It was also used by Peter in (Acts 15:10 NLT) “Why are you now questioning God’s way by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we not our ancestors were able to bear?”

How can Peter say it was not God’s way to burden the Gentiles, while James said it was the Holy Spirit’s decision to burden the Gentiles?

The background for James’ thinking is (Acts 15: 21 NLT): “For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.”

This tradition of the Jews convinced the Jews, but the Gentiles probably cared less about Jewish tradition, so I think in the letter to the Gentiles, James used a name they would respect.

Mary, I know this got to chasing that rabbit again. The Chicago Statement on Inerrancy would say this difference between Peter’s words and James’ ONE DAY will be seen as an illusion.