I’m dating a boy who I want to marry. But I know God doesn’t want me to. I know this sounds crazy, but I don’t really care. Some days I think, “What’s the worst that could happen if I just marry him anyway?” Have you ever wanted to go against an answer given from God? It seems silly to ask, “What do I do?” but I really don’t know.
Torn like you wouldn’t believe
When I grew up and had to start “paying for things,” (I’m still a little bitter if you can’t tell), the last thing I wanted to pay for was a car. A car? No. I wanted to spend my money on fun things, like travelling, and skiing, and clothes. Not a car. A car is almost a necessary expense. It’s like healthcare or insurance. I don’t want to spend money on something I have to buy. But, I digress, I had to start paying for a car. Well, guess what? I recently paid off my car! And now that it’s mine, it feels surreal, you know? I’m an adult. I own something. And not just a nice jacket or some expensive speakers or a smartphone, but a vehicle. I own something big enough that I could live in it if I wanted to. Here’s something else I’ve noticed about owning a car that I paid for: I care about it a lot. I check the fluid levels and tire pressure incessantly, and the other day, I spent several hours vacuuming and dusting and polishing every corner and crevice. “But Ruby, what does your car have to do with the confusing relationship I’m in?” It doesn’t. I just wanted you to know how responsible and grown up I am.
Okay, I’m kidding.
Look, God has given us this very cool thing called agency. We all know the story: Satan wanted to force us to do the right thing, and Christ wanted us to choose the right all on our own, blah blah, we’ve heard it a million times. But I think there’s something pretty important in that story that we often miss. And that is: God wantsus to make decisions. He always has. He thinks it’s so important that you choose to either marry that boy, or not, that He gave His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for it. Christ died so you can have the opportunity to marry your boyfriend if you want to, even if God doesn’t want you to. That’s how much God loves you. He knows agency works a lot like buying a car. He knows that your choices will mean a lot more if you make them yourself, and He trusts you enough to make some pretty important decisions. It’s a messy business, to be sure. You have to navigate emotions, and logic, and revelation, and the opinions of others–it’s exhausting! Choices have never been easy.
Last year, I was dating a boy whom I loved very much, but I knew God didn’t want me to marry him. But you know what I did? I chose to keep dating him anyway. I had nearly the same thought as you: “I know God doesn’t want this for me, but I really don’t care.” Well, we dated for a while longer, but eventually broke up, and I wish I could tell you the story has a happy ending, but it doesn’t quite yet. There are still days when I’m very sad and miss that boy very much. Still days when I’m sure if he asked me to marry him tomorrow, I would say yes. But I learned an important lesson: God loved me despite my direct violation of his suggestions. I very blatantly disobeyed His counsel, and He still comforted me through some of the hardest months of my life. And you wanna know something? Whatever you decide to do, He’s going to love you too. No matter what. It’s pretty special.
So, Torn, I can’t tell you want to do about your boyfriend. In the end, you’re going to do what you want, and I think that’s the point, you know? We don’t know how precious something is–a car, or the gift of agency–until we experience it on our own terms. I can tell you there is surely a reason God is telling you not to marry this man. I can tell you, if you choose to marry him anyway, that reason will likely manifest itself, and it might be really painful and cause you much grief. But I won’t tell you not to do it. Satan wanted to tell you not to do it. He wanted to force you to not marry this man. But Christ wants you to choose for yourself, to learn for yourself. He’s always wanted you to buy your own car. That is literally what He died for.