I have had countless conversations with different young people on how exactly one gets to discern God’s will concerning who to date and marry. Caveat: Not being married myself (yet) I will just keep it real and share some of what He has taught me thus far. *grin*
Growing up I was quite familiar with the phrase “God’s will in marriage”. This was a byproduct of membership of the church in which I grew up. The church practiced a system whereby a couple who had probably never met physically purportedly got divine revelations of who their spouses would be. They would then individually approach their respective pastors to share the revelation with him and ask for guidance on what steps to take. Fast forward through several processes and passage of time and the couple eventually meet face to face and undertake the process of courtship by scheduled meetings at a designated church member’s residence where it is ensured that the couple is never left alone in total privacy (the flesh is weak). No dates or any such thing were involved. Personally I opine that such a process is fraught with huge knowledge gaps on the behaviour of each partner which could turn out to be disastrous in marriage.
Truthfully the process of getting to be absolutely sure of who one is going to marry is no easy one. I sometimes imagine how Christ would have arrived at that decision (in choosing a spouse) if He were to marry while on earth.
However God left us some subtle tips on this delicate process, chief of which is “he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord”.
To my mind men therefore have to “find” their wives. The word “find” connotes some kind of positive activity on the part of the man.
This process involves some physicality. There is a lot of spiritually involved in making the important decision to marry afterall marriage is first of all spiritual. However the entire process is not spiritual. For a man to find his wife his eyes must be open.
His spiritual eyes. And his physical eyes.
Before a man makes the critical decision to marry he has to first accept and acknowledge that God will always make the best choices. He therefore has to give his heart and life to God. Only then will his spiritual eyes be opened. Then he can see and think how God intends. In so doing he can clearly determine the qualities he looks out for in a wife. He can also discern what God expects of a husband. He can discern how to love flowing from his relationship with God. He has his God-given purpose in mind and he is determined to have a wife who will help him accomplish it.
With the spiritual eyes opened a man then has to open his physical eyes. Wifey won’t pop up in his high-powered intense-vision goggles. She won’t appear in a vision where he has to do nothing but pray her into physical existence. He must be alert and open to the possibility of meeting her anytime. He must interact with people. She is out there somewhere waiting for her knight in armour (whether shining or not) *grin*
He should have realistic expectations. Sometimes the right person comes with uncertainty. She may not be sure. Hence a man should have a clear vision and focus. She is not perfect. This reality must be faced.
The most important tool however is prayer. This cannot be over emphasised. Some people scoff at me when I speak of prayer. They ask if God will come down and say to you, “this is your wife”.
Now it is a fact that God speaks to us. Always. The thing is, we do not listen. He speaks in different ways. Through written word (may not even be the bible sometimes), through people, through music, through common sense, through our consciences, nature, etc. To hear Him however we must be alert and aware of His presence. If we pray to Him He answers. But many times we are distracted. There’s so much noise and cares clogging our ears and hearts.
He may not say in such direct words (she is your wife) but He will definitely reveal something if we ask Him. To some people He actually speaks in such direct words! (I have met some of them).
For the avoidance of doubt prayers are to be made in two phases. The first is to request for the wife. It is after this phase that the eyes must be kept open to find her. The second phase commences after a potential wife has been found. We then go to God to ask if she is His will for us. He will surely answer either by confirming that she is His will or that she is not. In any case our action in line with His confirmed will always leads to inner peace. Then we are sure that our choice is in line with His will.
We must pray. If we must know God’s will we must pray. Fast even. Fervently. In faith. There is no way to bypass this requirement. Prayer works in ways that nothing else works.
NB: after finding the potential wife and seeking God’s face concerning if she is His will for you, and after He confirms that she is, it is very helpful to ask Him for her hand before you even ask her. He is her Father you know *winks* (Mark 11:24. Matthew 7:7).
Some men have a notion that God’s choices do not recognise our physical preferences at all. This is a false notion and is not scriptural. God will not base His choice of a wife on her physical attributes. But He will not give a man a wife he is not sexually attracted to. He will not provide our “wants” which are based on frivolities rather He will provide our needs, with some of our genuine wants. God is not “harsh” as we humans tend to believe. God is interested in our sexuality. He wants us to be joyful (and happy) on all fronts. His blessings come with no sorrow.
May God guide you in your search to find your helpmeet indeed, your missing rib, the flesh of your flesh and bone of your bone in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Genesis 2:18; 22-25. Philippians 4:4; 6; 19. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.