I remember when my wife and I first got married and we got into our very first quarrel. This was, you guessed it, on our honeymoon. Our arguing was so intense that at one point one of us uttered the words “why did you marry me”? Essentially hinting that maybe we married the wrong person. However, now, 22 years later, I am happy to say we both feel that we married the right person.
Is it possible to marry the wrong person? This is a question that I have thought about for years sort of in a philosophical way. This is because as Christians, since we believe marriage is till death do us part, then when you marry the person, wrong or right, it really doesn’t matter. Jacob discovered this for himself, in the story of Jacob and Leah (found in Genesis 29) where he married Leah accidentally, and had to make the best of the situation.
So then thinking along these lines, why do we ponder so much on who to marry, if we have to work things through good or bad anyway. Instead, maybe we should accept that a difficult marriage may be your lot in life and your cross to bear, and that God can still help you through the painful journey that may ensue in the months or years to come
While we can learn from Jacob’s commitment to fulfill his marriage vows regardless of who he married, I do believe that it is possible to marry the wrong person, and that if you are in season of waiting you should be aware of some of the following thoughts that I want to share with you.
Firstly, that marriage is a choice. I believe that Christians can be overly spiritual when they make their marriage choice, in that they relegate their marriage decision to God’s command. Yet Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 shows simply that marriage is a choice. Like Paul, anyone of us can choose or not choose to marry. God doesn’t make that choice for us, we do (though he can advise us on his will). So if you have someone that you have found to marry (or conversely, a relationship that you want break from before it gets too serious), let them know you are the one that is making that decision, and don’t wield the God card unnecessarily. So often we use God as a shield to avoid taking responsibility, or as a sword to force others to accept our own desires, but I believe this is not God’s way.
Secondly, understand that marriage is not ultimately to make you happy, as much as it is to accomplish God’s purposes in your life. We see this thought in the origins of the first biblical pairing in Genesis 2:20 where God says But for Adam no suitable helper was found. Indicating that husband and wife are called into some sort of mission. This mission is revealed in Genesis 1:26-27
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Marriage was created of course for companionship and intimacy, but a mystery revealed in scriptures is that God joins a husband and woman to partner with him in kingdom fulfillment in order to bring his dominion into the hearts and affairs of humanity. So, just like Adam and Eve had to work the Garden of Eden and spread it’s harmony to the entirety of the earth, God wants you and your spouse to partner with him to make this world a better place. So, the question then is not only who should I marry, but why should I marry. One couple I married said we love children, that’s what we feel God is calling them to, and I said that’s probably your own version of the Garden of Eden. As we imagined what God could do together through them we realized the possibilities were endless. It could be through raising Godly children that would impact the nations, or that the couple would have a serving ministry or outreach that involved children. Another possibility is that they could adopt or mentor a child, and the list goes on and on. As every Christian individual seeking marriage takes seriously this missional purpose of marriage, I believe it will help us filter appropriately the right marriage candidate, where God will reveal who to or not to marry.
Thirdly, God can provide an alternate choice, which can become his approved choice. This is the situation with Ruth. See Ruth had originally married one of Naomi’s sons however he had died. One may naively assume then that since God’s first choice for Ruth had passed away, any future husband would be at best conciliatory and definitely not measure up to that first relationship. However with the matchup between Boaz and Ruth, we see that when God provides, it becomes his perfect will. Maybe you have had to pass over a few suitors, or you have been passed over, and you somehow feel that you may have lost out. Can I encourage you today? Even if the person God wanted you to marry said no, you are not left abandoned. God knows how to create alternate paths, that can become his perfect will for you. Just simply look to him, and trust that he holds your life and times in his hands. God is certainly enough for you, and he will come through.
I trust as you continue to pray through your future relationship goals, and consider some of these thoughts that you truly will marry the right person, and that you will flourish in the endeavors that God has called you to be together as husband and wife.
Pastor Olu Jegede