Marriage and the Great What-If Question – Daniel 3:16-19

Grandma Morrison loved her husband like a newlywed, with playfulness and affectionate squeezes. Grandpa reciprocated by teasing, or startling her just to hear her grunt. He also enjoyed encouraging her to not worry about things so much.

Grandpa was a retired pastor and she, the mother of the pastor where they attended church. They were faithful to be there every week, but one day their car needed a longer stay in the shop for repairs. She asked, “What if the car isn’t fixed by Sunday?”

Grandpa’s eyes glistened. “Oh, what if . . .

Grandma shrugged her shoulders and giggled, accepting his loving reminder that they could trust God in every detail of their lives. Could I do the same?

love. couple takazart. free pixabay

Finding Love – my Biggest What-if

As a teenager I took walks around town. I loved the exercise and the adventure of exploring new sights. It was also prime time for praying. Sometimes I sang to God, relinquishing my concerns to his care. Other times I struggled, talking out loud like Reb Tevye from the movie, Fiddler on the Roof.

My biggest concern was my lack of direction for the future, especially regarding whom I would marry. I desired a husband, a man to love me like no other, but nagging my mind was the thought marriage might not happen for me.

What if God says no?

In the book of Daniel, the story is told of how he and his friends were challenged by a ruler to bow to an idol or be killed in a fire. His reply included a strong answer to a what-if.

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-19 ESV).

A few blocks from home I stopped in the intersection and looked at the sky. It was the moment I muted my what-if questions and declared my resolve.

“Lord, I have asked you for a husband, but I understand it may not be your will. I put my life in your hands, and I trust you to provide what I need. If I must wait for years, or if marriage never comes, I will trust you.”

It may have sounded easy, but I knew it would be work. I added, “Help me do this, Lord.”

Trusting God continues to be work, but I enjoy the rewards when I watch my husband napping on the couch or playing with our grandchildren. And when I have concerns to work through? Taking a long walk still works for me!

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

Two Things to Consider Before Marriage

Interested in being married? Here are a couple things to think about.

In an earlier post I mentioned that I often pray with my hands open. This is to show I’m ready to receive from God, and also willing for him to take something away. To me it’s a perfect posture of faith, like I’m demonstrating the prayer, “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

1. Who’s Your Matchmaker?

Are you familiar with the movie, Fiddler on the Roof? I remember the look of horror on the unmarried girls’ faces during the matchmaker scene, when they realized that if they weren’t careful they could be “stuck for good” in a difficult marriage.

hand lifted. henkster. free.stockxchng
used with permission – henkster stockxchng.

They helped convince me I’d better be careful where I place my trust with such an important choice.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV).

2. What’s in Your Hand?

The hardest season of my life to trust God was while waiting for my future husband to appear. I’d pray, referring to my long list of desirable husband attributes, careful to point out the ones I was sure God would agree with. I also reminded him of the passing of time.

I’m glad I loosened my grip on both my list and my time frame for marriage. If I could believe God loves me, why couldn’t I believe he would bless me no matter what my marital status or age?

I turned my focus to serving God and others with my whole heart. I thought the most awesome thing would be for my future husband to find the real me in action, and not someone trying to be something else.  It’s one of those choices I’ve never regretted, because I have the comfort knowing he wants and loves me as I am.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis