Ever since I was a child, I knew I wanted a family of my own. Though affected deeply by the divorce of my own parents, I had a deep desire to become a father. In some ways, I think this has much to do with a “righting of wrongs”—of correcting some errant course. In hindsight (and through therapy), I believe this was a work God was doing all along.
All this to say, I spent most of my 20s praying for a wife—praying “about” a spouse, asking the Lord if it would even happen, wrestling with loneliness and the sharp awareness of my own failures. I was determined not to be like my dad but at the same time so terrified of making mistakes that I constantly put the issue before the Lord. Sometimes it felt pathetic. Yet desperation had led me to the cross before, and I figured there wasn’t much better a reason to approach it than immense need.
In his sermon “How to Be Sure of God’s Will,” Dr. Stanley said, “Think about the last big decision in your life. Did you ask God about that decision? … We’re all mature or maturing to a point. There are some decisions none of us, not a one of us, is adequate to make wisely without God’s direction and help.”
Asking my wife to marry me was unquestionably one of the biggest decisions of my life. In retrospect, I’m thankful I spent so much time in prayer over meeting her. I don’t think a single thing about our relationship is a coincidence. Though I like to joke, “Thank the Lord she said yes—I don’t imagine another woman could put up with me,” I can see with increasing clarity that this relationship was God’s plan for us. He’s been moving and working—our marriage a book He’s writing, full of ups, downs, and the in-betweens.
Even though I often prize my own quick thinking, I’m learning that I need to put situations both big and small before the Lord. I don’t want to seek His direction only in the monumental or stress-inducing moments of life. The Bible reminds us that He cares about more than we might imagine. If He knows the number of (receding) hairs on my head, I can and should entrust everything to His direction.
Illustration by Adam Cruft