Christmas of 2007, I was 19 years old when my then boyfriend, Mike, knew he wanted to marry me. Instead of giving me what most teenage girls would like to get as a gift, probably shoes, make-up or a bag, he gave me an old book. There I was thinking I should break up with this guy! But he told me to open it up and read the words he highlighted on some pages until a ring showed up in the middle of what looked like something he spent so much time carving to make a holder out of. It was a promise ring embedded in his mom’s fiction romance book and I remember him running outside the house when I saw it because he told me he couldn’t handle the shame he might feel. Ha ha!
It was when I came across a photo on Facebook that is very similar with the book I got 10 years ago that made me ask him today that we are celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary, why me? How come he knew that day when he gave me that ring that he would want to marry me?
He told me…
When you meet the woman who not only makes you feel good about yourself but also makes your life better in every aspect–be it personal, emotional, spiritual, etc–it’s very easy to decide. What stood out for me was how you brought out the best in me. I used to tell you I’ve never smiled in pictures before and only did when I started dating you. In hindsight, it made a lot of sense, you brought me closer to God and improved my overall life and being. But I guess you could also say I rolled the dice, got lucky, and won the jackpot.
Wow. Here I am thinking I will never marry or have kids because 10 years ago I really didn’t see myself becoming a wife and a mom. All I was concerned about is myself and the career I want to take in the future but God has fulfilled His desires for me.
How do we choose our spouse?
Unfortunately, we don’t. Everything in our life has been predestined including our spouse. God knows exactly who you need. But that doesn’t mean you would date every girl or guy you meet just because you feel he or she is the one. We choose who we date based on the values the other person has not because we want to fulfill the desires of our flesh. If you are to make a list of qualifications your future spouse must possess, I suggest make God fearing number 1 and non negotiable as well. His views about the Lord not religion says a lot about a person and the future you might have with him. Will he hurt you? Will he cheat on you? Will he treat you good?
If he fears the Lord, you would know the answers to these questions.
Some of you may already know the story of our relationship— that Mike and I both lived a very sinful life before coming to know Jesus. And as I have said in my wedding vow, they say “your first love is the sweetest” from experience, I say it’s not. It took me so many years and I have kissed a few frogs but finally, I have met my Prince, (I bet you get the idea already.) Before, I don’t think I cared if the guy knows the Lord or what which was my greatest mistake. Although committing his life to Jesus came later, I believe that God has blessed Mike of being a natural good willed husband who has always been looking for my best interest.
Why not rush and make our own destiny?
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
I believe our human hearts are full of selfishness. That most of the things we plant there are for our own desires and won’t always do good for everyone. When Mike and I lived together before marriage, it is because we want things done our way. We were selfish to think that this is what’s best for us not realizing we are using love as an excuse to do bad things. As a result, we lived a life full of tears for years not being able to enjoy God’s blessings.
Other circumstances of rushing into something more than trusting God’s plan for you is pursuing a relationship with someone your parents disapprove of. They have this peculiar 6th sense when it comes to who their children are dating. Plenty of times we think they are being unreasonable for hating the guy you just introduced to them but best believe it’s their wisdom that is wanting to keep you safe. Honoring our parents will never do us harm. Some people may not realize this; when they are in an illicit affair they are constantly worried about their partner cheating on them or depressed because they don’t feel loved, they are always fighting about the same things over and over again. Whereas if the relationship has received a blessing from the beginning, unsurpassable peace will be with you.
Why is it important to trust God in giving you a suitable partner?
I know of a couple who are madly, deeply in love with one another. The only problem is that they do not share the same faith— the girl is already a follower of Jesus but the guy is not. As the girl grew in her faith and was being discipled in church, she was told that she shouldn’t continue the relationship anymore. The guy being eager to win the girl told her that he would be willing to commit his life to Christ just so they won’t have to break up. But the girl responded in the most shocking but inspiring way, she said, if your commitment is genuine, you will do it even without me. If we are really meant for each other, God will surely find a way for us to meet again. It is because of His sufficient grace that’s why we offer our life to Him not because our girlfriend or boyfriend tells us to do so.
When Mike and I gave our life to Jesus, it wasn’t easy for us as well. Amidst the selfish thinking, I know in my heart that there’s something missing in my life and that is Christ. I was called first and even before I get my then live-in partner to attend church, we went through lots of trouble. But as we decided to be obedient in God’s word, we separated (even though we already had our daughter at that time) and God indeed found His way for us to unite in marriage and here we are today, although we still fight and experience trials, we live a life of peace with impeccable love for one another.
Trusting the Lord even when it hurts is never easy but that is what Christianity is about. Shallow Christians only believe because of signs and wonders, but God is not a genie. God wants us to believe on things that we can’t explain, see or feel. He wants a deeper, meaningful relationship with you. Something that will withstand the Earth after all the trials and tribulations— LOVE.
Understanding God’s will for you.
As I have told people many times, how I lived my life, B.C., is not the way to go, I may or may not be credible in your own eyes but I believe I can speak of this in hopes of saving you from whatever situation you are in today.
If you are living in immorality, it’s time to break the chain of sin because God has better plans for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
If you are in an unhappy marriage, understand that God did not intend for you to endure your relationship with your spouse, instead God wants you to enjoy this blessing. Make Christ the center of your marriage and pray for your spouse, ask anything His name and your joy will be complete. (John 16:24)
If you are still single and you just don’t understand why even though you’re living in faith, do not lose heart! Remember that being single is a gift just as what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:7. He even warned us that it’s better to be single because those who marry will face many troubles in this life. Jesus has also preached about celibacy during his time, Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 19:11). Being single is not forever, remember that Jesus is the bridegroom who will someday return and take the bride, the church, you and me to be with him in his kingdom where there are no tears or pain for eternity. That is the promise.
And while waiting for God’s best, keep yourself pure just like what my friend, Ingrid, has been doing ever since. Yes, she is single and never had a romantic relationship before but I admire how she just keep walking in the faith in a very joyful manner. Although she had dark days as well where she questioned God about her situation, she didn’t let the enemy win. Instead, she used the circumstances to her advantage by serving the Lord and in return she is also being utilized to inspire, encourage, and share the Gospel to a lot of people. Her famous line would be, even Jesus is single —and I love it!
Folks, nothing or no one is perfect in this world. Even though my husband has told me those tear jerking words earlier, I still have plenty of things to improve in my life as a wife and mother. Don’t ever think that once you obeyed, everything else in your life will run smoothly. Whatever you decide to change in your current situation, may you do it for your desire of the joyful eternal life after this one. For you can do anything in Christ (Philippians 4:13) and with God nothing is impossible (Matthew 19:26).
May God bless your relationship as He is blessing ours!