Does God Choose Mates?
By: Bodé Adeboyejo
“I don’t care what you all say, I’m not going to leave Bob. That’s the person God has for me, that’s who He has chosen for me,” blurted out Karen, in response to her friends’ pleadings that she dropped Bob, because they didn’t think he was good enough for her.
Karen and Bob have been seeing each other now for about three years. But as far as Karen’s friends and relatives are concerned, they do not think that Bob is the one for her. Even though they really can’t put their fingers on what exactly they think is wrong with Bob, they just feel that he’s not the one for her. And so, they would once in awhile try to discourage her from going through with her decision to marry Bob.
According to Karen’s friends, Bob mistreats and disrespects her; and don’t think that he loves her. So, to prevent what they think could be a disaster or living in bondage, they advised Karen to stop seeing Bob.
While I couldn’t really be concerned with Karen’s choice of a mate, (she determines what or who she thinks is good for her), I was concerned by what she said about “That’s who God has chosen for me.” God? How so? If I understand correctly, she’s saying that God assigns a mate for every body, at least Christians.
Like Karen, there are many Christian singles who hold the view that God chooses mates. They believe that since God created us with a purpose, it is His responsibility to make sure that we marry the right person that will complement that purpose. That is, there is that special person whom God created just for us. Therefore, it’s not uncommon among Christian singles to hear such statements like, “That’s the person God has chosen for me.”
So does God choose mates?
I guess the answer to the question is better given by another question; which is “Why would God choose mates?” Or better yet, “Why wouldn’t He?” If He does, He will be violating one of His principles when He created Man. That is, to make man have his own will; with the ability to choose for himself.
Considering the divorce rate among Christians and non-Christians alike, if God chooses mates, there would probably be more people pointing accusing fingers at God for making their marriages fail. The same way Adam accused Him when he sinned in the Garden. “The woman whom you gave me to be with me, she gave me of the tree of and I ate.” Genesis 3:12.
So what role does God play in our choice of mates?
The book of Genesis gives us insight into God’s role in our choice of mates. To be specific, the story of Isaac and Rebecca. When Isaac was old enough to marry, Abraham pleaded with his head servant not to let Isaac choose a wife among the Canaanites, among whom he dwelled. But told him (the servant) to go to his (Abraham’s) kinsmen and choose a wife among them for Isaac. The servant then went to Abraham’s kinsmen as Abraham wished. But confused, not knowing who to choose for Isaac, the servant prayed to God to show him what will let him know the woman to choose for Isaac.
Then he said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, “Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’ – let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I may know that You have shown kindness to my master. Genesis 24:12-14
The story continued to say how Rebecca – who was Isaac’s niece came out to the well to fetch water. Read Genesis 11:26 & Genesis 24:10, 15. How the servant asked her for a drink, how Rebecca gave him and his camels water to drink, and how he inquired about her family, etc. The servant then gave thanks to God saying:
Blessed by the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren. Genesis 24:27
What does this story tell us? That when we trust in the Lord with all of our hearts, and lean not to our own understanding but acknowledge God in all our ways - particularly as it relates to choosing a mate - He shall direct our paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Like Abraham’s servant, when we are on “the way” of choosing a mate, the Lord will lead us to the right person, if we seek His assistance. So that we may choose the person “appointed” for us. That’s an interesting word to note, “appointed.”
According to those who believe that God chooses mates, their reasoning is that God created us for a purpose, and only Him knows the person that will complement that purpose. Therefore, He will be particular that we do not choose a person who can thwart His purpose for our lives or someone not complementary to the purpose He has for you. So, for this simple reason, God would choose you your mate!
If you go back to the verse above, the phrase “appointed for your servant Isaac” may suggest that truly God has a particular person in mind for us, i.e. chooses the person. Matter of fact, those who believe that God chooses mates, use the scripture to validate their point. Rather, what the phrase is saying is that there’s someone out there that will complement us and complement God’s purpose for our lives. And since God alone knows what that purpose is, He alone can lead us to that person. It does not mean that God does the actual choosing of the mate for us. We do. Not that He says, “Joe, here is Susan, marry her.”
Some even go on to cite the Adam and Eve’s story to support the argument that God chooses mates. But that argument is flawed because we all know the circumstances surrounding Adam’s case.
The fact that God created Man with a will is very strong one. This is attested to by the fact that when God created man he gave him dominion over all the earth. Since Man’s will is the center of choice, he’s pretty much in control of what he wants and doesn’t want; which includes the choice of a mate.
We see this clearly demonstrated in Deuteronomy 30: 19, when God told the Israelites:
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live.
Why would God ask the Israelites to choose between life and death, blessing and cursing if Man’s will was not dominant on earth? He could just have chosen life for them, rather than admonishing them to choose life. And if God presented the Israelites options and told them to choose life, but did not choose for them, why would He choose mates for us? Taking it even further, if He does not force Jesus on us as Lord and Savior, why would He force a mate on us? But just as Christ is there for us to call on to be our Lord and Savior, so is the right mate available for us, if we call God to help us choose right.
The question to ask is “If God leads us to the right mate, are we going to know and accept that person as God’s “appointed one for us?” Or are we going to be led by the lust of the flesh? Just as everyone is not going to choose or accept Christ as Lord and Savior, so is everyone not going to choose the right mate. Some will choose right, some will choose wrong. Either because His directions and guidance seem foolish to our futile imaginations, our carnal minds or just because of the lust of the flesh.
Whatever you decide to do, whether you choose right or wrong, remember that the choice is absolutely yours. Just as the responsibility or the consequences of your choice is entirely yours too.
Will you choose right?