Buster Cannon

"The One God Has for You" vs. Free Will

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Something that Vince posted in another thread got me thinking:

 

 

 

Well the first thing we need to keep in mind is that we're never going to get 100% everything we want in a spouse. God never even promises that we will get a spouse at all let alone one that meets all our nitty gritty expectations. Relationships is an area where I think we often over-spiritualize by thinking God has this one special person set aside since the beginning of time. That I think is something that has been influenced by American Christian culture. When biblically speaking, all He did was set guidelines on what a Christian marriage should be like. Outside of that, I believe we have the freedom to choose our partner based on following His way or not. Otherwise Samson would not have been allowed to disobey God by marrying Delilah.

 

I completely agree. That said, I'm curious as to where the notion that "God has a special person set aside for you" comes from. Most of my friends at church fall into this mindset, to the point that they believe that not marrying the person that God directed you to would be a sin of disobedience. We have clear Biblical standards set for spouses/marriage, so to me all this extra stuff seems like romance with a "Christian cover", so to speak.

 

What are your opinions on these different schools of thought when it comes to finding a spouse? Have you run into either fairly often within your church/community?

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Something that Vince posted in another thread got me thinking:

 

 

I completely agree. That said, I'm curious as to where the notion that "God has a special person set aside for you" comes from. Most of my friends at church fall into this mindset, to the point that they believe that not marrying the person that God directed you to would be a sin of disobedience. We have clear Biblical standards set for spouses/marriage, so to me all this extra stuff seems like romance with a "Christian cover", so to speak.

 

What are your opinions on these different schools of thought when it comes to finding a spouse? Have you run into either fairly often within your church/community?

 

This is an important post, Buster Cannon.  I think we, as people, want to believe God has someone picked for us because we want a "meant to be" certainty when we meet them.  And when we pick someone and it doesn't work out, we claim that it was our human choice and not God's.  I think its more of a free-will thing, but I sure hope for God's blessing when I find someone!  I think relationships can turn into a disaster if God isn't in it.

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Something I said inspired another thread? My life is complete. lol

 

You know how there are those handful of well known verses that people throw around out of context? One in particular is Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Wow, so if I follow God, then He's going to bless me with lots of money, cars and a hot wife, right? Um no, just no. Stop right there before you embarrass yourselves even further. I hear so many Christians point to this verse and twist it to mean that obedience to God will result in a guaranteed spouse or any other selfish desire they have. But what the verse is really saying is when you follow the Lord, His desires becomes your desires.

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When you really like someone and then they don't like you back.  It hurts.  It's easier to cope with the pain by saying, "That must not be the one God has for me" than to deal with the rejection.  "We weren't meant to be'".  Even though I don't really believe in fate (at this time), it still would be nice if "meant to be" really was true.  It's a really nice thought.  But I think what is "meant to be" is the journey of life.  The journey.  Not all the particulars.  But the lessons and the hills and the valleys.

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I don't believe everyone has someone that is meant for them, or that they are meant for. I've never believed that God promises that. Most of the time I do FEEL like it will happen...someday...but that is not a promise, just my personal desire to not be alone. What I do hope for, more than anything, is that if it does happen that it will be a kind of love that might make me rethink the idea of soul mates and being 'meant to be'. What I mean is...I think I'll probably be alone, but my hope is that one day I'll fall in the kind of love that will make me believe in 'meant to be' even though I'll know better, realistically, and still work darned hard at making it the best relationship it can be.

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I may be living in a fairy tale but yes, I do think that God has THE right person for me since in the biginning.

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As far as I know, the concept of soulmates is actually a Greek idea, not a Christian one. The idea that each person is one half of a whole, and that somewhere, walking this Earth, is the other half, comes from Plato (Symposium 189d-191d). Incidentally, it's also the story he used to explain homosexuality.

 

That's not to say that Christians can't believe in soulmates :) Just because the first person to suggest the idea was Greek doesn't mean you're not allowed to hold the same view as him. But it's good to know, at least, where it comes from and that it's not in the Bible.

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I was just about to post about this topic until I saw this. I'm glad I'm not the only who questions this thinking.

Don't get me wrong, predestined partners is a wonderful idea, but there's so many issues with it. First of all, where is it in the bible? Yes, God will sometimes show people who they will marry, but God doesn't work the same with everyone.

I always thought this idea that there's someone for everyone is more of a romanticized idea married people use to encourage single people. In church as a young teenager I was told to pray for my future spouse, but this idea that I would have to pick "the one" God had for me stressed me out. What if he wasn't the one?? It brought about unnecessary condemnation.

Another issue I have with this idea is that it disregards those who are called to celibacy. This is why I only prayed for my future spouse a couple of times. I wondered, 'What if there isn't a spouse? What if I'm supposed to be celibate. Won't I feel like I've been praying so many years for nothing?'

Now that I'm a young adult in my first serious relationship, I sometimes feel like God picked him for me. I know I can say he's a blessing. I'm not sure if I would advise young girls to pray for their future spouse. I personally feel that God gives us a choice of who we marry. I'm certain that all He cares about is that we keep the standards of marriage He has outlined in His Word. (Don't be unequally yoked, wives submit yourselves, husbands love your wives like Christ loved the church, etc.). Is He at the center of your relationship?

I would advise young girls not to ask God "Is he the one", but instead ask, " Do you approve of him?" He's our Father and He knows us best and loves us more than anyone. He knows who would be right for us. He also knows the character of the man you're interested in. He knows if he's truly a godly man or not and if he'll love and cherish you as he should.

Just as any other part of lives, God should be a part of our romantic relationships. Without Him, how will the relationship last? We just need to continue to seek Him for wisdom in this area, and in all areas of our life.

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Even though I mostly don't believe there is a perfect, God-ordained match for you, maybe I do believe it a little!  I think it is just not always how we imagine it.  I think we usually think somewhere on the lines of perfection.  But there is no such thing as perfect.  Maybe there is a God-ordained match for someone, but it won't always be perfect or easy.  Or maybe there are people that were not forever in our future but were there to teach some sort of valuable lesson that ultimately positively impacted your God-ordained relationship.  Whoever I do end up with, I hope God blesses that relationship and will be my last.  And I DO hope God picks him for me. 

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Something I said inspired another thread? My life is complete. lol

 

In that case your life has been complete since I started the first thread in the gaming forum back in 2012. You're welcome.

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As I believe God has a plan as to what lifepath will (ultimately) be the best one for each individual I do believe this includes the issue of spouses. But I don't believe in predestination. Simply because God knows who we will/will not marry (or who is best) does not mean He forces us to marry/not marry them. If He gives us the choice to sin (thus risking our salvation) then surely He extends the strictures of free will to spousal selection! Hence I don't really agree with the connotation behind the title. And if we marry the "wrong" person then He is able to make the best of it if we let Him and cooperate....

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As I believe God has a plan as to what lifepath will (ultimately) be the best one for each individual I do believe this includes the issue of spouses. But I don't believe in predestination. Simply because God knows who we will/will not marry (or who is best) does not mean He forces us to marry/not marry them. If He gives us the choice to sin (thus risking our salvation) then surely He extends the strictures of free will to spousal selection! Hence I don't really agree with the connotation behind the title. And if we marry the "wrong" person then He is able to make the best of it if we let Him and cooperate....

This....

*slow claps*

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I don't believe in the idea of soulmates as in, "There's one person for you, and God picked him out from the moment of your birth, and his name is George or whatever, good luck finding him without a map." But I do believe in prayer and that God knows people well enough to take a look around and see who might fit with whom.

 

I have to believe that, anyway. I'm such a misfit, it's gonna take a miracle. :D

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I don't believe in the idea that there is one right person. if that is the case how come a widow or widower can find true love again? and some people have married their so-called "will of God" because their pastor told them he/she is the one or because they saw what they taught was a sign and ended up with regrets.

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I believe this thinking that God has someone for everyone is a feel good honky dori thing that God actually doesn't promise for everyone .

God never promised us a rose garden on earth , if you look at most of the people in the bible you will people that went through very tough times , heck Jesus himself went through the toughest of times . I also believe that this someone for everyone is a modern American Christian concept that simply wasn't believed by the earliest Christians. Didn't Christ say on the sermon on the mount that if you want to be first with him you must be the servant of all?

I think most Christians these days forget these sayings and instead focus on only the Joel olsteen feel good quotes .

For me I'm a virgin and I'm 48. I would like to meet the right woman but I have other more important pressing problems that don't have anything to do with finding my soulmate and I have to deal with the real possibility that I may not find get and that Maybe God didn't mean for me to get married ever.

But all of this is peanuts in the grand scheme of Gods plans for me . He wants me to spend eternity in heave in his kingdom with him and His Angels and saints .

Is there any marriage on earth that can even compare .i know the earthly part of me gets incredibly lonely a lot but the spiritual part of me longs to be with the lord forever

Like I said God never promised us a stress free life on earth , that comes after :)

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Another greek idea perpetuated by Satan to keep us single.

Ringer so you believe that marriage is just between 2 pieces of meat and 2 brains . If that's all marriage is about I could care less about it myself , but that's just me :)

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Ringer so you believe that marriage is just between 2 pieces of meat and 2 brains . If that's all marriage is about I could care less about it myself , but that's just me :)

Nice way to jump to a conclusion.

I just stated that "the one god has for you, or god has someone for you" is something that is perpetuated by satan to keep us single.

I didn't state what marriage was.

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Since God knows all of us, he's got to know who I'd be compatible with, and where those guys are, and if one of them in particular would be most compatible... just sayin', if God were to get bored, he could start the most successful dating service ever.

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I'm torn about this topic because on one hand, I read far too much and have fallen in love with the idea of soulmates to the point that most days, I actively believe there is a man out there for me who is in his every atom best suited to love me and be loved by me in return, that he is the "right one" for me. I can't help it, I'm too romantic for my own good. That being said, I also think that God already provided us with a soulmate--Christ. On the days when I worry if I'll never find my person, or if my person doesn't exist, I try to remember that there is already someone best suited to love me, someone who gave their life for me and pursues my heart each and every day in a way that I could never possibly deny.

 

I think that the nature of the trinity inspires me to believe that, being made in God's image, we are also made to love and be loved--we are creatures of relationship. And because we are made for love, I have no doubt that God wants an abundance of love in our everyday lives. Will that love come in the form of a one and only soulmate that we get to call spouse? I don't know. In a perfect world I'm sure it would happen, but like so many have said, we don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world of free will and consequently, things get a little messy.

 

God's always in the middle of our messes, working to our advantage, but I do think that this means there isn't anything shoving us in one direction or the other to some fated plan. There might not be a /right/ person, there might never be. I believe Christ is the supplement to this uncertainty though, I think that by establishing Christ as the path to an open relationship with God, we've been let into the circle of God's love, right where we belong. I think, too, that we have the chance for love and fulfilling relationships in our lives without a spouse or perfect soulmate, that just because we aren't married doesn't mean we can't be creatures of relationship and warmth and love--we have family, friends, a world that needs us, and Christ to be the center of our hearts and understand us more fully than any person ever could.

 

I think that in terms of Christianity, that's the more of the point than expecting God to provide us with our every whim or longing. I think  the point is to be so wrapped up in God's love and so fulfilled by His heart for us that there isn't the pain of never finding "the one." Along with this, I think if we're caught up in God's love and changed for the better, then if we do meet the man/woman who's to become our spouse, it lets us love them better, lets us be the kind of person who can exist in a relationship which reflects God. I know personally, it gets desperately lonely. We can't help that craving for love, and we can't help being impatient most days. We can't help but dream of the one person who fits us perfectly. But for now, it makes more sense for me to learn what God's love looks like, to learn how best to love the world, to be so wrapped up in my relationship with Jesus and so in love with who He is that if the time does come to be swept off my feet, I'll only fall for the man whose love looks like Christ, who pursues my heart in the same way. 

 

It's such a complicated question/subject, which usually means that there's more than one right answer and that we're all probably close to finding it, but not quite close enough. But I think that not knowing doesn't have to be a bad thing, I think that the sense of hope we get from dreaming is good for us, fated or not. So maybe I guess my final answer is that we should hope for the best, hope for a soulmate, hope for the dreams God's placed in our hearts, but be present in the moment and present in the love we do have, the love which was made to fill us from the very beginning. 

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