“God’s got the perfect person in mind for you.”
I’ve heard this advice more than once in the last week.
Here’s the thing… I desire marriage and family. Those are undeniably things I want. I’ve actually had the thought “I want a child,” more times than the thought “I want a wife,” but I want both.
Lately I’ve been having a lot of talks with friends about marriage, and singleness. I’ve been thinking a lot about it for myself, considering the pros and cons of each possibility, considering the scriptures, particularly 1 Corinthians 7, and considering what it would be like to be a single pastor some time in the future.
I know what I want in a wife (kindhearted, beautiful, God-fearing, and meek, who likes to dance at weddings and talk about theology), and I know what I want in life (to teach the scriptures, preach the gospel, and raise a family).
These are my desires… but guess what, I don’t always get what I want. No one does, and that’s a good thing, because we want to sin quite often. If everyone always got exactly what they wanted, they would be sinning far more often and happy far less so.
The advice “God’s got the perfect person in mind for you” is a comforting platitude, but it is indefensible, INDEFENSIBLE, for Christians to be spouting it. Because here’s the truth: He might not.
God is under no obligation to provide a wife for me. While it would be completely within his nature to graciously provide the perfect wife for me, it would also be perfectly within his nature to graciously keep me single for his service and glory. Both options are likely. Both options are joy-giving. Both options are holy. And while it’s not wrong to want something, that want can easily become sinful.
If my desire for a wife causes me to dishonor my Lord, that desire for a wife is wrong.
Someone I respect wrote “We turn good desires into sinful demands when we believe we cannot be satisfied or fulfilled without them.” I agree with this statement.
God might not have the perfect person in mind for you, and if that’s the case, He’s still good. God might intend for you to remain single and devote your time to service of the body of Christ, and if he does, praise him for it. He may have the perfect person in mind for you, or he may not.
Stop telling people that God’s got the perfect person in mind for them, because you don’t know that.
And if you’re single and some Christian tells you that, make sure you come back with, “Yeah, or he IS the perfection he has in mind for me, and that’s just as good if not better.” Maybe it’ll make them think a little bit about the God in whom they claim to believe, which is always a worthwhile effort.