Friday, September 21, 2007

Who Chooses Your Spouse: God or you?

A man is proposing to his fiancee.

I have heard people testify in church and in other places that God chose their wife or husband for them.  If God chooses our partner for us, why do we then set those conditions on our profiles to say the least? Does God really choose a partner for anyone? If God chooses someone for you, then he has made the choice for you. God should then be held responsible if that person gives you trouble or headache. God should then be held responsible for any failed marriage because most people who got married believe that God chose their spouse for them until that angel yesterday became the devil today. The main question is; if God is the one choosing spouses for people why would he choose a bad spouse for a Christian who believes in Him so it will fail and they later divorce; meanwhile, He chooses a good one for a non Christian who does not believe in Him? Does God really choose our spouse for us?

God has created the institution of marriage, but he does not decide whom you marry. You choose from the alternatives of men or women who crisscross your path. While God will choose by looking from inside (faith), humanity will choose by looking at vanities like wealth: houses, cars, job security and, physiognomy: color, height, weight, nationality, and a lot more (I Sam 16:7). Let’s take a look at some verses that show that God has given humanity the right to choose.  
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:16-17).
Question: Did Adam and Eve have the power to choose?

Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: 28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.(Deut 11:26-28).
Question: Did the Israelites have the power to choose?

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live (Deut 30:19):
Question: Why would God place life and death before someone if he/she has no power to choose?

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD (Prov 18:22). 
Question: How do you find anything without considering alternatives?

God has given us the ability to chose (Deut 11:26; 30:15). He has also laid down some principles like; she/he must be a Jew; Deut 7:3-4 (Christian) from my father’s house; Gen 24:3-4; 28:2 (believer). It is intriguing that the only condition that God laid was one that requires inward transformation. That is because man sees from the outside, but God sees from the inside; the heart (I Sam 16:7). When it comes to man’s part of seeing from the “outward appearance” side that is when physiognomy sets in. The Bible says, “he that findeth a wife findeth a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord (Pro 18:22)." If God is the one to choose for us a partner, why do we find them then? The Hebrew word /finds/ means to seek hard. If you find a good wife, it is favor you have received from the Lord, but if you find a bad  spouse, it is favor you have received from Lucifer. That means,  with the current rate of divorce, at least 35% of Americans receive favors from the devil each year. Lucifer is their Santa because they refused to follow God's principles laid down for selection. I am even against the church’s position that only the man should approach the woman for marriage. That was the tradition of the Jews (whereby Jesus annulled the ceremonial laws) and the influence of male chauvinism on the early societies.

There are at least four ways in which people got married in biblical times. In the Bible, we see different approaches. Firstly, the parents could decide for the kids like when Hagar selected for Ishmael (Gen 21:21), Abraham through his servant selects a wife for Isaac (Gen 24), Laban does same for his daughters (Gen 24, 38:6, Gen 29) and Mr. and Mrs. Manoah did same for Samson (Judges 14;2). Secondly, the man could make the first move (Gen 29 and Gen 2). Thirdly, the woman could make the first move (Gen 38:11-30; Ruth 3). Yesteryears customs restricted women from taking a forthcoming approach but nowadays women have been emancipated to be more forthcoming. In some cases too, daughters were given to marriage by the edicts of the king (Est. 2:2-4, 8-14).Wives could also be gotten by purchase Gen 29:20; Ruth 4:10; Hosea 3:2; 12:12) or by kidnapping Judges (21:21-23).  Nowadays, the last two will not pass through the legal eye of most nations but for purposes of explanation, I still had to include them.

There are many non-Christians with better marriages than some Christians as shown by recent statistics. Out of ten Christian marriages, five will end in divorce. Why would God ever condemn divorce when he chose the  wrong partner and knew that they were not going to live together forever? God should be a wicked God who rejoices in the sufferings of his people. What a caricature of God would it be, to paint such a picture of our loving and caring Father from whom proceeds every good and perfect gift? If God chooses our spouses and we have all these divorces, then God is a wicked deity to give only bad gifts to Americans. We could even say that God is inept to be unable to choose good spouses for his own people since Christians are divorcing all over the place. What type of God is unable to pair his own children with the right partners? I don't want to worship that type of God, and I don't worship that God!

One verse that is usually misinterpreted is Genesis 3:12 "And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." Let me draw your attention to a phrase “gavest to be with me”. Here Adam is saying it is the cause of the woman you created to serve me. The phrase gains its interpretation in Greek culture where there were temple virgins whereby young girls were brought to the temple to serve the goddess of love; Aphrodite. Therefore, in this situation, the blame seem to fall on the institution. God had him go through animals by naming them, but he did not find a helpmeet (Gen 2:20), so God then made Eve which he- Adam approved (Gen 2:23). By implication, if he rejected it as he did with the animals, God would not have forced Eve on Him. God influences our choice as Christians because we have to do that according to his word. Then as righteous, He creates the circumstances as he did with Adam. That is why you meet someone where you did not expect to find anybody. Then he uses his Spirit to speak to both of your hearts that this is the right one for you. Immediately, your spirits knit together and you  are convinced in your spirits that you have found the right lover, yet you still have to make that choice. If you refuse, God is not going to kill you for refusing. If not he would have killed you ere long for disobeying him in other circumstances. If God was killing people for disobeying him, someone like you, yes, you,  should not even be alive! You know deep in your heart that you have done things you consciously knew were against God’s word. That is because you have the power to choose. Why would God allow you to chose and practice evil but would not allow you to choose your spouse? That is sanctimonious transfer of responsibility.  Otherwise, it will be that God gives his children bad gifts.

Therefore, let us consider the nature of God’s gifts. The Bible says, "The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it (Prov 10:22)."Question: Is there any marriage with no problems? Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17). Question: is it your partner, or is it the institution of marriage God’s gift?

However, though the choice of a partner may not be perfect, the institution of marriage itself is the blessing of God, and that is where the perfection lies. For example, The NFL or FIFA creates a perfect institution for us to play football or soccer respectively. The NFL and FIFA are not held responsible for any rough play, but the player who does the rough play is the one who is penalized. That is why some players are suspended for games with or without pay. In a game, some players may end up with broken ribs, lost wages, prison terms or even death. The same goes with marriage; battery, infidelity, abuse, divorce, murder etc.

Nevertheless, we may want to ask ourselves; why do Christian marriages with the blessings of God and the choice within the principles and norms of God fail too? The simplest of explanations would be that even when God brings back a man to life that man can still die. Even when a barren woman miraculously puts to birth, the child can still die. The man can still die because we are under the bondage of death that is won only after resurrection. On that basis, even a God chosen spouse, the marriage can still fail if both partners refuse to adhere to the word and practice it as sanctioned because they still time and again fulfill the desires of the Flesh. The reason for failed marriages is not the wrong choice, but the surrender to the flesh (Gal 5: 19-21) and the refusal to walk in the Spirit so that they do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. If we live in the Spirit, we shall never fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Gal 5: 16). Never! If you do not walk in the flesh, you will never ever divorce! You can take that to any bank, and you will cash it; it will never bounce!

I encourage people who are looking for life partners to go out and look for a life partner according to the guidelines of God’s word. Then they should walk in the Spirit, so that they will not fulfill the works of the Flesh that usually destroy the institution of marriage. By doing that, they will have a perfect institution and a happy marriage ,though it will never be a perfect marriage. However, the women who decide to approach men should also be ready for rejection just as women reject men. May God bless His word!

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

“The power of choice is the remote control of humanity by folly or by reason, by faith or by flesh and by idealism or by reality” ( Hamilton Ayuk).

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