As a single man, I find one of my greatest struggles is the battle of my thoughts: the desire to have a wife and children and building a family devoted to God. This hope sometimes feels more like a dream that may not come true, yet I trust if God wills it, it will be and if it’s not His will, then I don’t want it. I’ve seen many couples rush into marriage based on physical attraction and/or common interests, loneliness, or necessity. All of which were not based on God’s direction, but their desires. I too, have struggle with desires, most severely, yet God has protected me both from pre-marital sex and marriage to the wrong person.
I nearly married back in 1991 to a young lady, but God prevented it. We knew each other about a year and loved each other very much. I had been a Christian for some time and she wasn’t when we met, which by the way I’ll warn you as does Scripture: don’t go there! 2Cor 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” Never date a non-Christian or even toy with the idea: we’ll just be friends. Also, dating, if you chose to do so – courtship is the Biblical method – is not a mission field! If the other person is not a Christian don’t go there! Her friend (a non-Christian) told her to just profess Christianity and that would solve the problem. Of course, we as Christians know that doesn’t work. It’s hard to imagine something worse then a house divided with one spouse in love with the Lord and the other not. Fortunately, her conscience would not allow her to do such a thing as she had told me about it sometime later.
The reason we did not marry was due to God’s sovereignty. Although she had become a Christian, her parents forbid us to marry. She’s Japanese and I’m American and once her parents heard of her interest in an American, they were outraged. While we both thought that was a foolish reason not to marry and she was in the states and her parents in Japan, and we were both in our mid 20s, we purposed to obey God’s command to obey our parents. Mine parents had no objection and while her parents where not Christians they were still her parents and God didn’t say only obey your parent if they’re Christian. We prayed often that God would change their minds, but His answer was continually no. It was a painful experience for both of us, yet looking back at the directions both of us have taken, it was for the best.
I’m very serious about my relationship with God, yet she has not been and it would have taken a toll on our marriage. I’m grateful for God’s hand of protection through circumstances that made no since to us at the time. God used a family’s sinful prejudice as a device of protection.