God Has Someone For You – Really?!

One of the most annoying things you hear as a single person is when someone says the words, “There’s someone out there for you”.  Ok, well that’s great. Even worse is the Christian version, “God has someone out there for you,” or other fun variations like, “God will bring the person in His timing,” (thanks Calvin), or one of my favorites, “God is just getting them ready for you.”  That one makes me laugh.

I’ve heard some of these from the pulpit believe it or not and of course at conferences when I was younger as well as from many well meaning friends (all married of course).  But well meaning as it may be it isn’t a good idea.  It touches on some things we’ll talk about more such as, thinking God owes you a spouse, thinking that it is all God’s fault you are single, thinking that it is all about you, feeling that God is holding out on you, the whole “This is God’s plan that you are single” thing, and worst of all, having your spirituality tied up in this stuff.  But there are more immediate problems for this post.

First of all when someone tells me that God has someone for me I want to say, “Really?! You know this for sure?  You’ve prayed and God has told you that He has someone for me?  Tell me more.”  Look, I think a lot of people say this stuff because it makes them feel better and/or they hope it will make the other person feel better but it usually doesn’t. Now of course if you’ve actually prayed and felt like God gave you a word about this for your friend then by all means share it.  (I’ve had this happen to me actually – crazy story).

But otherwise this is not great advice.  For starters it’s not Biblical.  No where in the Bible are we promised a spouse.  You can’t read the Bible and think, “God has someone for everyone”.  Now to be sure marriage is set up by God and is a great thing.  It is also part of the original plan and it happens pre-sin so to speak (more on this later) but the problem is there are all sorts of people in the Bible who aren’t married.  There are people called to singleness.  And frankly, we did sin.  And friends, that screwed up every single aspect of creation, including this one.

We should not assume that we, or teach anyone else to assume that they, will get married. It’s just not a good starting point.  This has all sorts of ramifications.  I’ve had a couple of friends recently say to me, “Should this change what I tell my kids growing up?”  My answer would be yes.   As single people we need to have an attitude of submission to God in this area.  “God what do you want for me here?” would be a great starting point. It’s scary because we might not like the answer (either answer can be scary) but we need to ask it.  According to Jesus both marriage and singleness seem to be a calling of sorts. Maybe we should be working that out.

I think about how many times in my twenties that I prayed for God to bring me someone or for that matter to help me land a particular someone.  I don’t remember even really considering if He called me to something different.

We need to ditch the cliche answers that sound nice and actually engage the first questions first.

15 thoughts on “God Has Someone For You – Really?!

  1. I’ve had people go even further to say that I’m wrong to not be worried about nor manipulating my life in order to meet someone. If marriage is set up as such an “end all” or life’s biggest goal no wonder so many people are disappointed. I know I don’t want to be someone’s life goal – talk about pressure. Your answer is true – seek God’s will. Don’t assume you know it 🙂

  2. Just remember that when you ask God what He wants for you, He often responds, “What do YOU want for you.”

    God loves marriage. That’s obvious. Catholics say it is a sacrament. And my guess is that most of us will do best in working out our salvation in the midst of a Christ-centered marriage. So my guess is that He probably/maybe wants most of us/many of us to be married.

    At the same time, God does call folks to the “Pauline choice,” be it as a priest, a member of consecrated religious life, or perhaps as a single Protestant minister (not necessarily vocational). But i would say those “calls” are all BIG DEALS, and I would expect God to be pretty clear in His direction if He was calling us to that.

    So, I’m going to throw something out for discussion. Suppose I say, maybe God DOES want most of us to be married, for the sake of our hearts? Not that we have a “right” to a spouse. But just that He wants that for us, as a general rule. The problem with that statement is then we have to deal with, “Well I want to be married, too, and I’m not, and I’m frustrated, and it’s my fault, or maybe it’s Your fault, God, or my parent’s fault, etc. We can talk ourselves into a circle. But we better be careful before we convince ourselves that God doesn’t want us to be married.

    And if we think we hear Him say, “I want marriage for you,” then just maybe He has someone who is a good fit for you, as well.

  3. Hmmm… It’s kind of a tease to say that you have a crazy story about someone telling you what God told them about you and your marital future and then NOT tell us… How are we supposed to live vicariously through your blog when you hold back? (HA! Kidding!)
    I had a dear friend tell me one time that God revealed to her that I was going to marry a man named Caleb… Talk about unrealistic freak-outs anytime I meet someone named Caleb (which has actually only happened once … just so you aren’t in suspense, he wasn’t “the one”…)

  4. I love this post. Seeking God’s will, even when the answer seems scary and NOT what we want – submission to Christ – that is truly what honors God! Thank you for sharing this!

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  9. There’s no message I dislike more than hearing about being “called to singleness.” Paul chose not to marry because he favored the situation so he could travel for Christ. For those of us who aren’t choosing to be single, who want, seek, and pray for their help mate, hearing about being called to singleness is a slap in the face and worse than the “God has someone for you” talk. Certainly for me it hasn’t been any sort of gift, tool, or blessing. I can’t make it into one. He hasn’t used it in me. Yes, I do try to keep the focus on Him, but this has only been a stumbling block in my relationship to God and something that’s made me weaker in service to Him. I’m endlessly lonely. He does promise comfort through such things and that He will not gives more than we can bear. Yet here is the greatest source of my unhappiness and little hope of relief. I always pray in His will, but it is certainly difficult for me to hear or see any plan he has for me.

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