Difficulties During the Decision – Considering Marriage Part 4
There are many individuals whose godly desires and expectations have not been met in the manner they wish. At times, God’s desire for our lives is different than we would choose. Other times, we must recognize we live in a fallen world and are affected by the choices of others, some of which can affect our ability to marry or be fulfilled in marriage. This fact does not negate the goodness of God, but rather reflects the brokenness of a fallen world.
Dealing with an unmet desire we believe is a wholesome desire is very difficult. Often, it leads people to question God and His Word. One may conclude they are ready to marry and believe they are supposed to marry, yet it still doesn’t happen. The marriage decision can be especially difficult as it involves the will and decision of two individuals. When unmet expectations on the part of one or both individuals arise in a marriage decision situation, it is often not possible to know the answer to the question, “Why did this happen?” We can find ourselves spinning as Job did, attempting to explain and fully understand our situation. In moments like these, it is important to cling to what we know to be truth. We can cling to the continuing certainty of God’s desire to sustain us in the midst of hurt and disappointment. We can cling to the certainty of His love for us. And, we can cling to the certainty of His desire to use even this hard situation to conform us to the image of His Son. Rom. 8:28-29, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” We can know God, but not perfectly. We can know His will, but not perfectly. Sometimes we need to seek grace to accept life as it happens to us, instead of needing to know God’s purpose or thinking. We must allow God to be bigger than us and more mysterious as His ways are above our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Sometimes what we envision for our life does not come to reality and it is not possible to completely understand why. That is where faith becomes truly real.
When we find ourselves questioning God, it is best to fully acknowledge those questions to Him and seek comfort from Him and His Word. For more resources to consider in this area, please visit Unmet Expectations. Ps. 27:14, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” 2 Cor. 12:8-10, “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
Few decisions in our life will challenge us, grow us, and conform us to the image of Christ as the marriage decision will. It calls us to walk by faith while applying the wisdom He has given us to think and act biblically. It calls us to a state of vulnerability as we seek counsel and make our intentions known to others. And ultimately, it calls us to be dependent on Him, leading us to a high level of trust in our Father and His goodness, no matter what the outcome. One thing is sure in the marriage decision process. If entered prayerfully and with a surrendered heart, it will change us. We can expect to grow spiritually throughout. And if we purpose to maintain our trust and faith in Him, it will bless us. (Ps. 84:11-12)
To view the complete PDF of The Marriage Decision, click here.
For Further Information:
The Sacred Search: What If It’s Not About Who You Marry, But Why?
Author: Gary Thomas
In The Sacred Search, Gary Thomas will transform the way you look at romantic relationships. Whether you are single, dating, or engaged, Gary’s unique perspective on dating will prepare you for a satisfying, spiritually enriching marriage even before you walk down the aisle. As Gary reminds us, a good marriage is not something you find—it’s something you make.