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Mulder

There, I polled it (a special edition of the "There, I said it" series)

Because I see variations of this all over, all the time...

Poll #838667 God and The One

Does God promise a mate for everyone?

Yes.
0(0.0%)
Just for people who have a desire to marry (if you have the desire, He has a mate; if not, you have the gift of singleness).
0(0.0%)
Just for people He has favor upon.
0(0.0%)
No, not for everyone, but for some people.
7(26.9%)
No, not for anyone.
19(73.1%)
I don't think He promised, but I still act like He did.
0(0.0%)

I believe this because...

of a Scriptural basis (or lack therof).
17(65.4%)
it's what I've been taught.
0(0.0%)
it feels right.
4(15.4%)
it makes me/others feel better.
0(0.0%)
I don't know and don't comment on that kind of thing.
1(3.8%)

If you have Scripture references or another basis for your belief (or any additional thoughts on the topic at all), please feel free to share that in a comment.

Edit: Just realized it's going to drive me nuts if people choose the "Scriptural basis" option for one of the affirmative choices but don't share that basis. If you have truth, bring it! Edify!

Comments

If God promised a mate for everyone, I Corinthians 7:6-9 wouldn't make sense. So no, I don't believe that. But I've been reading a lot lately about how the tide has turned a little too much toward the "gift of singleness" in Christian culture, and I agree. It seems like few people hold a moderate view on the topic anymore. :P I believe there are people who have the gift of singleness, but we shouldn't all be encouraged to accept that as the norm. I still believe marriage should be the norm. God built a desire for marriage into us, and I think in most cases He provides for that desire.
It'd be great if those who were single exercised that gift as long as they have it for the Kingdom. That's so often not what even churches are encouraging, though, and like any gift, it gets gross when turned inward.

As you can tell, I'm not sold on singleness always being a "permanent" gift, though it certainly can be. I may be wrong about that, but such a view dispels competition between singleness and marriage—you use the gift you have at the time for the Kingdom, rather than either using it just for your own good or spending your energy longing for the other one. But it's an interpretation issue and one I hold loosely.
I checked for "a Scriptural basis" because I cannot recall any verse or passage in which a promise is made that some (definitely not all) have a mate planned for them from God. Scripture says it's better not to marry, but if you cannot control yourself, marry. I was surprised when I read that those who marry will have troubles in life! Anyway --> 1 Corinthians 7. That's all I can think of.
That's pretty much where I am, too. We'll certainly desire and even hope for things that God hasn't specifically promised, and we're encouraged to ask our Abba for them in Christ's name. But God's promises are "faith's checkbook," as Spurgeon said, and they're where our hopes ultimately must rest.

Wanting and asking is part of our freedom, and even our duty, but without a promise from God, I'd no sooner speak with certainty about a future mate than to declare someone healed who I wanted Him to make well. The latter is clearly off-base, but Christians seem far too accepting of the former. Our faith must be informed by His promises, not by our wishes.

I do not lack romance.

I've only met one person in my whole, rapidly lengthening life who I am sure had the 'gift of singleness.'

I keep things simple. I'm supposed to glorify God today. Today I am single. I should glorify God as a single person today.

I don't want to be single, but I figure that God is protecting women from the like of me out of respect for His mother, as the Catholics like to call her. I always think, when reminded that married people will have trouble in this life, that single people will also have trouble in this life, but are less likely to have anyone pick them up when they fall. I have absolutely no idea how all of this works, but I have a dead woman and a couple of dysfunctional women in my past to convince me that I don't understand anything but pain and perseverance. Just today my ex-sort-of-girlfriend's mother told me I lack romance, to which I replied, "What're you talking about? I'm full of romance. Just look at me right now. I'm dreaming beautiful, romantic things! I couldn't be more romantic than this!" Then I turned to Liverpool football video. It all started with a discussion of what Jane Austen would have done with a sequel to Pride and Prejudice or some other novel. (I have read almost all of Jane Austen, but was told that it's for girls and there's something wrong with me reading her.)

What did you say that you think again? I'm for that!

Re: I do not lack romance. PS

Yes, they are working me too hard.
I think the whole "finding a wife for Isaac" story in Genesis makes it pretty clear that God has a mate for at least some people.
Absolutely. It's whether God's made a promise to/for anyone that I question.

And really, that's not even what initially gave rise to my question. I often notice people making reference to "the one God has for you/me/her/him" with great certainty and gusto. For me to have that level of confidence, I'd need God to have made a promise in which I was resting. Without that, on what does my certainty rest? And if there's no promise, do we have any business committing God to a future course of action?

Welcome aboard!
I said not for everyone and that it just feels right to me. "Feel" meaning my gut reaction based on what I know of the Living God, the Bible, the sacraments and everything else that brings His Presence to me.
Totally makes sense. I made the second half checkboxes instead of radio buttons because I think lots of us have more than one reason for our belief.

Oh, and because I'm a huge dork.
I know you know that I know there's no specific promise like that. :D

So, there's a lack of Scriptural evidence. And also, it feels right, even if that's tougher. What about all those single people in history? Did God not come through for them? Were they never whole, or a part of what God was doing in the world?

signed -

the girl who's a whole person even though she's not married. :D
You are whole, and I love you.
My understanding of Scripture leads me to believe that God is much more concerned with what you have and what you're doing right now than anything else. And I tend to think that God wouldn't make promises about who will be married and who won't because he doesn't want us to ignore what's going on now in favor of daydreaming about what he's going to give us in the future.

Plus, what if God had someone all picked out for me and then I went and married John. *gasp* I could have screwed up his will for me for the rest of my life!!! The idea that God has people picked out for each other sort of negates the idea of free will. I tend to think that God creates and trains up people that are suited to each other, and will orchestrate meetings, I guess? But it's not like there's ONE PERSON that God has in mind for each of us... more like "compatible" groups. But that last bit is all my own opinion and observation of life :D
i don't think i got some sort of option to say why i chose what i did, but i said that i don't think he promises anyone a mate for scriptural reasons. that's mostly because i can't think of any place that i've ever read that promises a mate, but i know there's some verse somewhere that says something (like how vague i'm being here?) about delighting yourself in the lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. so i suppose that could be a promise, if being married is your desire.

maybe i'm just trying to make myself feel better though.
The closest thing to a "promise" that I know of is how God stated that it was not good for Adam to be alone. In a sense, that feels like God saying that He was going to fix that problem for Adam.

In regard to Rebekah & Isaac, didja ever think that the Holy Spirit picked her out by her character rather than by her name?
Yeah, going from creation to "the one God has for you" seems a pretty big stretch to me, but I see people do it all the time.
The truth is, there is so little place for singleness in the church, as if it's some sort of a temporary affliction to be overcome in time. I have felt that for all of my adult life. Church is for families. Singles are just the bonus track.

that sounds really horrible

I'm thinking "If i had that experience in 'the church', I'd leave. I'm sorry you had such a really horrible experience!
Setting aside the debateable view that Eunuch must refer to homosexuals only, Matthew 12:19 is Jesus' own view on the non universal suitability of marriage:
10 Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”
11 “Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. 12 Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry[e] for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

Coupled with Paul's view in 1 Cor 7:
6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. But God gives to some the gift of marriage, and to others the gift of singleness.
8 So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. 9 But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.


It is clear that it is suited to some to marry and to others, not. As to whether some have confidence of a promise of marriage from God, this seems to be to be a blessing conditional on our personal conduct as with many other of God's general blessings.

If you have a sincere desire for marriage but can commit that desire to God in purity then certainly He has promised to "give the desires of our heart". Spiritual cause and effect applies to this as much as any other aspect of Christian life IMO. It's our job to meet the conditions, spiritually, that make us ready to receive His promise of fulfilment - it is not a guarantee regardless of our behaviour.
Great thoughts. God's purification of my heart must precede His giving me the desires of my heart. Without that, my heart can desire an endless array of wrong things—marriage can even be one of these.

At last, a multiple choice poll with an open ended question option

In response to the poll question (Does God promise a mate for everyone): Who is God?

Re: At last, a multiple choice poll with an open ended question option

Also an excellent Jeopardy! answer.