Hi Ernest. Thanks for responding to my inbox. My question is this. So I met this guy recently at my church during one of our ministry events. I had seen him before but we never used to talk. He then randomly walked up to me last week and he told me that God showed him in a dream that we are destined for each other and that it was God’s will for us to get married. He said it was God’s will that we even start going out for coffee dates. I know God speaks to people through dreams and visions. I have received clear instructions from dreams before. But I feel uneasy about this. I feel like if I say no, I’m doing something wrong. Does that make sense? Does God show people in dreams who they should marry? I don’t even like the guy. Or what if they are the one and I ignore them and miss God’s will. I just got born again recently and I’m starting to enjoy my single hood while serving in the church.
Hi. You are welcome. Thanks for allowing me to share your message. I’m glad that you understand that God can speak to people through dreams. However, we must discern if the dream is really from God. When I had a crush on a certain girl in high school, I dreamed of us dating and being in love. Was it a dream from God? No. It was dopamine; lots and lots of dopamine. There are many men who hide their motives with a false sense of spirituality. When men in scripture received dreams, they often sought God or His people for interpretation. I can’t take the authority to interpret that man’s dreams but I can share with you some wisdom. Let me spell out for you how this sort of narrative ends. I have spoken to some girls whose similar story carried on well after “God” told the man they were meant to be. Some even received a marriage proposal. Then after a few months the guy suddenly went quiet. When confronted he says something akin to “I need to pray to God and ask if you are the one for me.” The result is a broken heart; the girl’s heart. In one case, the guy started dating another girl a few days after “seeking God’s will”. Such stories make me really upset because many such men give potential husbands in the Body of Christ a bad name. My wife and I call them “tabia mbaya” relationship moves. People behaving badly in the name of God. The same man who said he had a vision or dream of him and the girl getting married is now saying God told him the girl is not the one! It’s nonsense! From the end of the matter, we can safely judge such a man’s motives. We can see he was a fraud. We can see that he was using God as a back up to his fears and shortcomings. I may not have that benefit to deduce that vehemently in your case but let me help you establish a few facts about anyone who approaches you proposing a relationship or marriage.
Realise that God made us as volitional human beings
You can say no to this man and you don’t need to feel bad about it. From the garden of Eden, we can see God granting man volitional power. In Genesis 2:19 it says “So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one.” (NLT). Man is given volitional power over creation. That same volitional power is granted in our life decisions- especially the crucial ones like marriage. Saying no to this man does not make you non-spiritual. It only proves that God made you volitional. Marriage is a very important decision. Getting married is a one way trip. Before you get married you have the freedom to choose your love. After marriage your only option is to love your choice. This decision is fragile; handle with prayer. Not with a stranger’s dream or vision.
There is nothing wrong with natural means
Some people think that when things are natural they are not spiritual and therefore ungodly. So they cook up falsehoods to try back up their natural desires and pursuits. If this man likes you, he should befriend you and develop a relationship naturally. Unfortunately, it sounds like he likes you and he is trying to get you without working hard for it. A man should pursue a woman and win her heart. The fact that he establishes the premise for coffee dates as God’s will sounds like a man who doesn’t honour the natural things of God. If he has identified you as a good wife, why not pursue you? Why not go naturally by establishing a platonic friendship first? Why skip to marriage? The fact that you are serving in church and are content in your single-hood makes you an attractive woman for any man who notices you. This man may be one among many who simply finds you attractive but does not want to pay the price for the precious gift that you are. In short, he is lazy.
God’s will is not a secret
Another girl I know in a position similar to yours challenged the man. She said to him, “If it’s God’s will for me to get married to you, why hasn’t God talked to me about it?” The guy went quiet with shame. God’s will is not some high-level security encrypted code that needs to be deciphered. The fact that he is telling you that getting married is God’s will sounds like a manipulative way of coercing you into a relationship with him. He may even know for a fact that you are newly born-again and may not have enough ground to resist him. One notable characteristic of the sinful Adam after the fall of man is how he shifted blame for his own actions. When asked why things were messed up, he blamed Eve. Don’t be surprised when this man gets married and blames his wife or someone else for his lack of responsibility as a man. A man who hides his selfish motives in the name of God is not the kind of person you want to spend the rest of your life with. You will be surprised at the many cruel things that men and women have done in history while hiding behind the phrase “God’s will.” That man will be accountable to God for those careless words. Matthew 12:36 says “And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.” (NLT)
There isn’t one person in the entire world for you to marry
Some people think that God has one person (and only person) in the entire wide world for them to marry. So they are afraid of saying no to someone because they think they will miss out. You expressed a similar fear and I want to encourage you. You can marry anyone. God has not destined for you to marry a burly Russian called Djokovic! That is untrue. The idea of one person in the whole world for you to marry is an influence of pop-culture from Hollywood and Disney. You can marry anyone. Imagine if you were meant to marry only one person and then that person dies, does that mean you no longer have anyone to marry? Or suppose someone married the wrong person. That means they married “the one” who belongs to someone else. Then that means this someone else married “the one” who belongs to another person. And we have a domino effect of a messed up world simply because one person married the wrong person. The man using the idea that God told him you two are meant to get married and that it is his will is heavily influenced from pop culture and not a revelation from God. For an explanation of how to know if someone is the one, click here on this blog I wrote.
I pray you may be wise as more men approach you. I also think you need to establish yourself well as a believer at this moment in life. Keep enjoying your single-hood. A relationship is not the thing you need now. Grow to know Christ and be established so that you are be able to discern the truth from the lies- even in men who are attracted to you. The most notorious to watch out for at your stage in life is of single men in the church who lead girls on and then jump ship. You need to guard your heart. They will take you for coffee dates, take you to the movies, have lengthy phone conversations and chats going deep into the nights, share their life and have you pour out your heart to them. When you are deep emotionally and ask them to define the relationship, they hide behind seemingly spiritual excuses such as “I was only interested in being your spiritual mentor.” It’s worldliness, Beloved. Some girls to their utter displeasure discover the single man in the church was a “spiritual mentor” to four other girls. Be wary of men without discretion. Guard your heart, Beloved. Guard it with all due diligence. Give it to a man loves faithfully. By the way, let those who you walk with intimately in your spiritual walk be of the same sex- not men. Even wise King Solomon said the way of a man and a woman can be crazy for him to understand (Proverbs 30:19). Furthermore, the scriptures even instruct older women to walk with younger women (Titus 2:3-6).
And I also pray you may be wise as you fall in love. The flip end for women is true too. I have heard women fall in love with other people’s husbands and then start saying that it is God’s will for the man to leave the wife and marry them instead. It’s a sick world, Beloved. Sick! Another one said God told her that she and a man who was about to get married in a week’s time were meant to be. So she said it was God’s will to interrupt the wedding. Classic tabia mbaya! Beloved, as Voddie Baucham says, “God told me is not a substitute for the Bible says.” Biblical conviction must override fleeting emotion, even for this man who wants you. One lady who was in a marriage she had been warned not to get into, once said to me, “If God didn’t want me to marry this person, why did they let me fall in love with them?” We must all learn to take responsibility for our actions and stop blaming God. After all, the scriptures are clear: “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD.” Proverbs 19:3 (NLT)