Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How do you decide who to marry?


 "No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with."– Kristen, age 10
Hum... how many times have I told my children, " Don't worry about dating.  God has this all worked out.  Trust Him to bring you that special someone.  He knows the details about your life and cares so much for you that He has already selected a spouse for you, if that is His will for your life.  In the meantime, Daddy and I pray for your future, with or without a spouse, and we are certain that you will know when the right person comes along for you, and if you have doubts, ask us, we will let you know!" 
I would guess this dear ten year old, has also heard that same refrain a time or two in her home.  But I pray that her parents, while laying out the expectations, are clearly showing her each day that a relationship with the spouse that God has selected for you doesn't mean that you are "stuck" with them.  
This off the cuff statement from a 10 year old has given me some thing to ponder today.  It is hard in the day to day,  to love your spouse unconditionally, to not be irritated, or aggravated or in some way rubbed wrong by your well meaning, loving life mate.  However it is how we respond to those moments of being rubbed, that define for our children if we really believe that this is the spouse we are supposed to spend our life with as ordained by God, or if it is just who we are "stuck" with. 
As a parent, what do my daily actions and responses to my spouse say to our children, who hear and pay attention to far more than we give them credit for,  about my belief and trust in God that He has provided the "perfect" one/spouse for me to grow old with? 
Romans 5:8 "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" 

Even at my worst, God loves me unconditionally.  Oh boy!  You may not see the worst in me as my casual acquaintance or my coworker or even as an extended family member, but boy God sure does and so does my spouse and children!  I have come to accept and trust God at his word, which clearly says that when I am ugly, when I am at my worst, when I am a sinner(which I am everyday) Christ died for me, that is how much God loves me...So why then would I not be prepared to grace this gift of unconditional love to the Prince. Not just when it makes me feel good, or when it is easy for me, but and especially, when he is at his worst too?  What gives me the right to loose my patience, lash out and hold grudges towards him, if the model that I strive to emulate in life is God, then the answer is I have no right.    Ouch...
Now stick with me here.  Perhaps those of you reading this, have no problems in unconditional love, giving or receiving it, or in trusting that God loves us enough to be concerned about who we marry, or even if we marry. However, if I am adamant about this with my kids, telling them over and over to trust that God's got this area of their life, am I emulating a loving Christ like relationship with their father, the Prince, in the day to day that would inspire them to take me at my word. To trust me as the tangible example, that maybe there is something to this trust thing, something to the faithful praying for a spouse that would cause them to believe that I do trust God in all this and much more. Or am I living an example in which they hear that I trust, but I shows that I feel stuck...

I can not for certain say how my children would respond to the same question:  How do you decide who to marry?   I can imagine some of them responding with things like, "If they are as tall as me or taller, I would marry them." or "If they make a lot of money I would marry them."  "Maybe if they like the same things that I do, I would marry them."

I know how I guide them and direct them in my words, but it really is my desire to lead them by example.  So I will spend a little time this week pondering if my actions indicate that I feel stuck with the Prince, or if I feel blessed to be married to such a wonderful loving and caring man who I can plainly see God has provided for me to do life with. 


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