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The “Getting a Spouse is like trying to get employed” argument
Many critics of the faith-based approach to obtaining a spouse, the ones who feel a Christian should be continually pounding the pavement actively looking for a mate, frequently drag up the “employment” argument.
I’ve seen this argument used many a time, by regular Christians opining away at blogs and forums, to professional writers who churn out relationship advice for the Christian lovelorn. And am I ever sick and tired of seeing it.
It goes something like this (though I’m sure you’ve seen it used a million times before on various Christian sites, as I have):
“But if you’re trying to get a job, God expects you to mail out resumés and go on job interviews, otherwise you can’t realistically expect to get a job. It’s not just going to land in your lap without any effort on your part!”
Sorry, but no, not quite. Maybe Non-Christians have to approach finding a mate in that manner, but not the Christian.
I have something called Social Anxiety Disorder. SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) is a very severe form of shyness.
SAD makes doing things such as going on job interviews ten times more nerve wracking, painful and stressful than for the average person.
Guess what? God knew all about my Social Anxiety Disorder and that I was scared to death of the idea of even going on a job interview (let alone actually going on one), and do you know what happened?
After I prayed and asked God for a full time position, once I graduated from college, a friend of mine who was familiar with my work and liked it hired me for a full time position at her office.
I did not have to submit a single resumé or go on a single job interview to land that full time job.
She called me out of the blue one day and offered me this position.
So please, spare me and other Christians the whole, “But God expects you to go out and do ‘such-and-such,’ don’t expect God to send you “X” on your front door step” line.
That idea may be true for some people in some cases, but I think God realizes we are each unique and each have our own set of problems, and He will do the work for us if we need Him to do so.
God knew, given my Social Anxiety Disorder, that it would’ve been next to impossible for me to try to get a position on my own in the “old fashioned,” expected way, so He provided me with one by “dropping one in my lap” with absolutely no effort on my part what-so-ever!
Here’s another example for you.
Aside from a few blind dates my sister “Jane” made me go on years ago, I didn’t have any dates or boyfriends until I met “Doug” when I was about 27 years old.
Now, the negative Christians will tell you the only way you can get a man is by joining tons of clubs, churches, and so forth.
They stress that you must do something of your own accord, don’t wait on God.
That’s really fascinating – and wrong – advice, at least for me, and it may be wrong advice for you if you’re in a similar situation as mine, or have a similar personality as mine.
I didn’t lift a finger or join a single church or group when I met “Doug.”
Doug and I met through a mutual friend of ours, “Tim,” over the internet.
“Tim” and I had been posting to the same Christian internet board when he contacted me privately and asked if he could introduce me, via e-mail, to his buddy Doug. I said, “Okay.”
“Doug” and I began writing each other – which is the form of communication I am most comfortable with (which God knew; it was something I never told “Tim” or “Doug”) – for months before I gave the go-ahead for him to phone me.
After “Doug” and I phoned each other for a couple of months or so, we had a luncheon date at a local restaurant. From there, we become a couple and later got engaged. (“Doug” and I eventually broke up.)
The point is, I landed my first boyfriend through absolutely no effort of my own.
I see God’s hand at work in that, even down to the detail of Doug and I meeting (or getting to know one another) by way of writing each other before we ever phoned or met in person, since God knew that I’m shy in person and somewhat shy on the phone (or at least used to be).
Putting my own experiences aside, I have read too many articles and books by other Christian women (and I have posted examples of such stories on this site) who mentioned that God sent them their spouse, sometimes through a somewhat supernatural method, or else God gave them some kind of sign to let them know when their “Mr. Right” was in front of them.
Even a single such experience automatically unravels the arguments that God does not, or will not, send you a spouse or guide you to your spouse (or your spouse to you).
I have just read or heard of too many such stories where God has in fact sent one person to the other to let the negative Christians out there get me discouraged.
If God did so for even one person, there is no reason to believe He will not do the same for you!
My mother related to me that how, since she was a small child, she prayed to God and trusted God to send her the right man to be her husband, and that is how she wound up with my dad.
My parents are still together – they’ve never been divorced.
My mom has told me many times she knows God will send me the right guy, and that the “pray, have faith and wait” approach is acceptable and it works (and she says she prays on my behalf, that God send me my “Mr. Right”).
As I’ve said before, I deeply suspect that Christians who argue against strong faith in God for a marriage partner, such as Debbie Maken and the people at the Boundless.org site, lack faith themselves.
They don’t have enough faith, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say they lack the simple, child-like faith the Bible calls us to have.
Possibly, I think such Christians are ashamed or embarrassed to rely on God as totally and completely as I have done in my life, but I almost had no choice but to do so, considering my clinical depression and Social Anxiety Disorder.
God created the world in six days. He raised the dead to life, including Jesus. He is all powerful, and nothing is too difficult for Him.
All He asks is that we ask Him for our needs and wants and have faith, and He will come through for us.
If you have prayed and you feel led by God to go and do “such and such” to obtain a spouse, then go right ahead and do “such and such.” But do not assume from this that it holds true for all Christians.
Just because God expected you to “be active” in obtaining a spouse does not mean God expects me, or other Christians, to do so.