Does God divinely reveal who He wants you to marry? Christian YouTuber Joseph Solomon says no.
“I know I’m going to get so much pushback,” Solomon said as he began his video, delving into the topic of dreams.
Solomon pointed out that it’s common to dream about other people, and that just because you dreamed about someone you spent a majority of your day thinking about, doesn’t mean that God was telling you to marry them.
“If all of my dreams were true, I’d have like five wives,” Solomon joked.
“At different times,” he clarified. “But I’d also have several gunshot wounds. And the gift of flight, which apparently does not help me avoid getting shot.”
He clarified that he wasn’t saying that “God doesn’t use dreams anymore,” but he was pointing out that “the Bible doesn’t lead us to believe that that’s the primary way that we discern His will.”
Solomon looked to four main reasons he thinks that it is ridiculous and slightly concerning when people say God called them to marry a specific human being.
1. You’re not the only one.
Solomon argued that chances are you are not only one who has dreamed about marrying a certain person.
“Have you ever thought that if someone is a generally desirable person, that you’re not the only one who feels the same way about God telling them to marry them?” he asked.
He pointed out that he had never heard someone say that God called them to marry someone that they weren’t already extremely attracted to.
“I just want to hear someone say, ‘I’m not interested in this person at all,'” he added. “‘I don’t find them physically attractive whatsoever, and all the other qualities about them make me a little annoyed. But God told me to marry them.'”
2. Things get super awkward.
Solomon further argued that telling a person that God called you to marry them can make things pretty awkward.
“Not only will you make someone feel super awkward, but you are placing some sort of a yoke of conviction on them that they don’t need to have,” he said.
“If you tell the other person this, or they find out about it, it can make things super awkward,” he pointed out. “It’s one thing to say I like this person, but its an entirely different thing to bring the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob into the mix.”
He added that it can also make the other person feel bad, or guilted into marriage because they desire to please God.
“So you’re telling them that they are disobeying God for not feeling the same way,” he said.
3. You could be lying.
In his third point, Solomon encouraged Christians to “tread carefully with the ‘God told me’ rhetoric.”
“In the history of the Bible, this was never taken lightly,” he pointed out. “It always comes with serious ramifications.”
4. You’re setting yourself up for hurt.
In his final point, Solomon argued that telling someone that God called them to marry you can set yourself up to get hurt.
“You can get upset with the person for not following God’s plan, or find yourself upset with God for him not following through with something He never told you,” he said.
Solomon closed his video by pointing out that God’s ultimate goal for our lives isn’t to marry someone but to work toward sanctification, and “to become more and more like Jesus.”
“And God has given us everything we need in His Word that pertains to life and godliness,” he added. “God’s biggest plan for you is God.”
What does the Word of God say about this?
The concept of “soul mates” and the question of whether or not God sets apart one single person for you to marry is a widely debated question in the Christian community.
Only a few times in the Bible do we see God tell people specifically to marry others. One of those times is in the book of Hosea, when God instructs Hosea to marry Gomer, a prostitute:
“When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, ‘Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.’ So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.”
As Solomon pointed out in his video, he never hears people say that they are marrying someone whom they find unattractive and annoying, but instead, it is always someone who is generally considered “desirable.”
Gary Thomas, author of “Sacred Marriage” and various other Christian books, believes that God does not tell people specifically whom they are going to marry.
“There is, quite frankly, nothing in Scripture that ever tells us it is our sworn duty to marry one particular person,” Thomas writes. “Whether we marry, and who we marry, are spoken of in Scripture as part of God’s ‘permissive will,’ something He allows us to choose.”
Thomas further points out that he would never put God in a box, but that “the clearest scriptural teaching makes marriage our choice—both as to whether we get married and to whom we marry.”
Thomas adds that often times when people say they have been told by God by name whom they are going to marry, they are choosing a “mystical leaning” over “clear biblical teaching.”
He argues that single people should focus more on biblical characteristics when looking for a spouse, and not just attraction, which can often fog a person’s thinking.
“Just because you think God wants you to marry one particular person doesn’t mean He does,” Thomas notes bluntly. “And just because God doesn’t ‘stop’ you from marrying someone doesn’t mean He agrees with you that it’s a wise decision.”
As Solomon points out at the end of his video, God’s biggest desire for us is not to marry someone we think is great, but to grow to be more like Him.