Having read your post jimp I cant help but be struck by my own experience of getting married and how completely opposite in character it was. I respect you for sharing as you have done. What I now share should in no way diminish your testimony and the wisdom it holds for some. In your experience it was clearly so. Continuing in prayer for your former wife is really gracious.Having just been released from prison I wasnt exactly the ideal candidate for anyone. Yet I fell in love and so decided to marry having asked Helen and then her father. My pastor at the time had said to me when I arrived out of the blue to his flock that I wasnt to ask any of the sisters out for at least six months. I agreed without any hesitation. Six weeks later I realised that I was attracted to Helen and so I asked another sister for advice. She said that I should ask Helen to the cinema and take things steady. I did and Helen said she would think about it. Within a few weeks of asking, my conviction that Helen was to be my wife was so strong that I was compelled to actually skip the pictures and ask her to marry me. I prayed with a great burden to be accurate before God and so I asked the Father in Heaven if I could marry his daughter. To my complete surprise the Father said to me that I would have to ask Helen and if she said yes then I could marry her. I was also warned that if Helen said yes, I would be held accountable for her. I asked Helen and she agreed. The pastor heard about this and told me that I wasnt to marry for at least a year. I agreed. However I came under another strong conviction that I ought to marry and so having asked Helens father we married in her family church. I wrote a letter to the pastor and advised him that when we saw him again we would be married. On the day we arrived back to the church we came into the end of the meeting. To my horror I heard the pastor condemning my marriage and telling the other young people to take warning. As he came down the central corridor of the church I fixed him with a look and asked him by what authority he had condemned my marriage. He replied that he had seen this sort of thing before and that the marriage had lasted for just two years. What my pastor didnt know, was that Helen and I were completely obedient to the cross. Whilst we were courting I had looked at Helen and said to her the only thing which is between us is Christ. The pastor had taken a similar position with another brother and sister. He had been saved in prison, she was a school teacher and lovely in every way. They followed the pastors advice to the letter. It was this sister I sought advice from regarding Helen. Some years later this sister discovered that her husband was having an affair. Needless to say she was devastated. They reconciled and she became pregnant with their first born son. The baby died just a few days after birth and their marriage completely collapsed. He went back to his unfaithfulness. Helen fell pregnant within seven days of our marriage. On the day we received official confirmation of this our land lady came to us and said that if ever we were to have a baby we were to leave. Imagine how I felt knowing Helen was pregnant. We left.There is a great deal more to this than these few details. But I think that what I understood at the time and what I have believed ever since is that marriage is between a man and a woman and not between a pastor a man and a woman. Authority in marriage is the only certain reality which will keep a marriage despite every kind of attack. The obedience should be firstly in the man submitting to the womans father in asking with a sincere asking and in the woman submitting to her husband with a sincere submission. Every thread of understanding I have in life which is wholesome and reasonable has come from being married to a woman who is sound in her faith and sound in her attitude as well. I know without any shadow of doubt that I am unworthy of her. Yet her attitude and faithfulness has kept me. I on the other hand have exercised authority over my family to keep them from the world and from the evil one. Young believers should be taught the principles of authority and submission in the area which will really make the difference. No pastor, no matter how he is, can keep a marriage if those who are married do not know how to keep themselves. By submitting to a pastor instead of directly to God and the heads of households, a marriage may be weakened from the very outset because the man and the woman will set their sight in the wrong direction. Even if there are no heads of households to submit to in asking, those entering into marriage should look to heaven and to the Father, and not to the church. Christ the head of the man, and the man the head of the woman. It has been rejected across much of the world. The Lord knows.
In my opinion, marriage is biggest decision anyone can make outside of a decision for Christ. It is so important that anyone considering marriage saturates themselves with prayer and God's Word. I would be very hestitant to believe that God would speak to anyone about marriage who refuses to follow the plain teachings of Scripture.That being said, even for Godly young people, it is so easy to allow the flesh to distort our sensitivity to God. I knew a very Godly girl a few years ago in Bible School who was completely convinced that we would get married. She felt like God told her... but He sure enough didn't tell me! It's probably a rare occasion when God tells someone who their future spouse will be, but leaves their "future spouse" out of the loop.I'm 24 years old and closing in on my first year of marriage. Some people laughed at me when I told them I didn't want to get into a relationship without knowing that she was "the one" for me. I was told that I need to date around to figure out my type. I wasn't convinced. After Bible School I went home and developed an attraction to a girl from my home church. Before feelings were heavily involved I took it to the Lord believing I would get an answer. God spoke to me that night more powerfully than I had ever heard Him speak in my life. He told me His answer was "Yes." I immeditely called her up and told her she would marry me. NO I DIDN'T!! I didn't even know if this girl really liked me at the time. God has graciously blessed me with a tiny bit of common sense. I went home and wrote a letter to her explaining what God had spoken to me. A letter that I gave her only AFTER she had said "Yes." I began talking to her, and within a few weeks of God speaking, we were dating. Until we were engaged neither of us spoke to the other of what God had told us. I learned later that two days after I got my answer, God seemingly out of the blue, told her that we would be together. God is so amazing! God left no room for doubt, and I believe that He can speak just as convincingly to anyone who really seeks Him. As a young person, you've got a lot of feelings constantly stirring that can make you think you've heard from God. I would advise these young people to seek first the kingdom of God and ask God for answers concerning thier future spouse that they would not be able to doubt. Even when they get the real answer, just use some sense and don't broadcast it to the world. It could make you look dumb and them uncomfortable. If it really is God, follow him into the relationship and let Him work things out in His timing.
This has been going on for a long time and I have to say I have never seen it work out well. If two people are to marry they will BOTH know about it. I have seen several couples marry after receiving one of these words. Both times the person agreed to marry the person with the "word" because they were considered to be more spiritually mature. Both of these marriages crashed and burned. I am sure there is someone out there where this worked but I do not see it to be a very natural coming together. It is also a bad plan to gather opinions on whether you should get married or not. Most people were not positive about my selected mate. We had not known each other long when we got engaged and then married. 33 years later and four children later we are doing rather well. I firmly believe in gifts of prophecy and other gifts of the Spirit but caution the use of them in this area. I cannot tell you how many women told me they were supposed to marry Carmen (the singer).
@waitonGod:I really liked the story you shared from your own life, man. Thanks for posting it. Made me chuckle a few times.
Thanks everyone. I really appreciate and am glad that this is not just something that I am experiencing. Your experiences have helped me to have a better take on this.