!! Philosophy Segment !! This is the Kind of Marriage I Want – Updates on Preparing for a Biblical Marriage !
About three months ago I received (what I believe) was a conviction from God to prepare for a future wife. At the time (and still today), I live as a celibate hermit between a small house in a coastal town and a more reclusive hermitage property where I’ve been testing a solitary vocation for several years. I have actually been on this contemplative path for 13+ years now, since my first marriage fell apart on account of childhood trauma my wife experienced and was unwilling to confront or address. She chose to end the marriage instead of working through our issues.
Needless to say, I was rather surprised by God’s direction for me now to begin preparing for a future wife. How is that even possible? To be honest, I can’t imagine a woman who would want to marry me. I’m non poor health. I have a rather disagreeable personality. While I am semi-retire, I make very little in my job, and though I do have assets, my net worth is certainly nothing to write home about. But beyond all this, why would God impress upon me something that for the last 13 years I’ve happily lived without?
Let’s jump in and talk about it, and more so let me provide an update on what’s occurred in the last few months and what my plans are going forward….
The Call to Prepare for a Future Wife
God never really makes his directives clear to me. He never has. I don’t hear a voice from the sky. I don’t have grand visions or dreams (only one dream in my life do I attribute to God and I had it long before I was ever saved). God typically speaks to me in a very peculiar way, through conviction. Throughout much of my life, when God decides something for me, he simply, supernaturally, touches me and the conviction does the rest. When I was 17, happily a Buddhist, God interceded in my life, and in a single moment he stripped away my karmic worldview, replacing it with an insatiable thirst for his Word. It was the flip of a switch. Afterward I could no longer meditate (no matter how hard I tried), I could no longer practice the martial arts, and couldn’t help but believe that there was a God and the message from the Bible is completely true. Those convictions have stuck with me all these years, never once wavering for a moment. Since that point in time, I’ve never once doubted God’s existence or my place in this world being the sole result of God’s divine plan. Have I questioned my salvation: absolutely. Have I struggled with the biblical text: yes. Have I wrestled with those who claim to be the Christian church in the modern era and yet resemble nothing of the biblical account: most definitely.
But, through it all, my faith, the faith that was given to me fully formed at 17, has never waned.
Since that moment, I’ve experienced similar revelations, or interventions, or whatever you want to call it. I don’t really know what to call it. Nothing really seems to fit. Most of my life amounts to nothing but confusion and doubt and second guessing and mistakes. Yet, there are moments in which all that chaos is punctured by pure conviction. I know with certainty and confidence what I’m supposed to do. It happened again when I realized it was time to move to the coast. For years I had wanted to move there, had talked about moving there. But I never did. I was always too scared to do so. I had too many excuses. I already had a job and didn’t want to go through the pain and uncomfortableness of finding a new one. I had a place to live. On and on. Yet, one day, out of nowhere, I remember looking down at a financial statement I had just finished for my business and the conviction came to me: It is time to start looking for a job on the coast.
Within one month (only two interviews), I was offered a job that would turn out to be with the same company I work at now (going on 7+ years), a job that is rather mythical and beyond description. Every step of the way, I simply knew what I was supposed to do, what decisions I was to make. God directed my steps from beginning to end. Within a month after being hired all my ties were cut (there weren’t very many) the business was out of my name, and I was living on the coast, working a great job – and the rest is history. I never would have done that on my own.
Another time such a sure conviction fell on me was just a few weeks ago. It might be mundane, but I’m convinced God is involved in every part of our lives. Plus, he used this specific experience as a lesson to me, as an answer to my questions about how I was supposed to find a wife given all my unattractive qualities and the dismal state of society in general (does any biblical man really see the modern woman as desirable?)
For over a year now I’ve been shopping for a kayak to replace the one I’ve been using or several years. This one I have is a 12ft SunDolphin Sit on Top. It’s a great little boat, but it is a chore to paddle the 1.5 hour one way trip to my property each week. Plus, it is not water tight, so if paddling in rain, the inside would certainly fill up with water before my trip was done. In addition, it has a dime size hole in the bow (that has been poorly patched), which means that it could/will spring a leak at any point, renders it impossible to use the Kayak launch at the public boat ramp, and just seems to be getting old and worn.
Yet, for all my searching in 2021, I could not for the life of me find a kayak that fit all my criteria. I needed something that was sit inside, that I could attach a spray skirt to, that was watertight, would not leak so my gear in the storage would stay dry even if paddling in rain showers the whole trip. I needed something that was longer but still stable in the water, that had a large weight capacity so I could carry a lot of gear.
Every kayak I found online was either way over price or had problems, or the weight capacity was way under what I needed, or was said to be very unstable. I had pretty much given up my search entirely.
But a few weeks ago, I was sitting in my office at work, and the thought dawned on me that I should look up kayaks on craigslist. I had no reason to think I would find anything, but I just felt led to check. I plugged in kayak in the search box, zeroed in on my area and immediately spotted a new listing.
I scoffed at the idea. Surely this thing would not carry the weight I needed. After all I was back up to 280 lbs on a good day. But it was a great color (not baby blue thankfully), it was 14ft long, it was narrow, it had a rudder system, and it even had a life jacket, a cockpit cover, and a skirt thrown in.
I looked up the specs on the boat and I was shocked to discover the weight capacity was 350 lbs! What? I went back to the listing and read it slower, looking for red flags. It had been posted 6 days ago. That was the catch. It was already gone. I emailed the guy anyway just to make sure and that afternoon he got back to me, stating the kayak was still available and he answered all of my questions exactly as I hoped he would. When he had purchased the kayak he had been my same height and weight and he loved the stability of it. He said it was a fast boat and it had been stored in his garage for the last 5 years unused. He was asking $200 under what the going rate was for the model elsewhere in the country and (an important factor for me) he lived outside of the city up north, so I would not have to try and drive in a metro area (I hate going into the city).
The whole process I was under that same kind of conviction I had experienced in the past. There was no reason for me to be. After all, this was just a kayak. I didn’t need it. But it was suddenly presented to me and God put on me a surety about it. I just somewhat knew this was the boat I was supposed to get.
I set plans to drive up that Monday and look at it. When I got up there he told me half a dozen people had come to look at it, but most had been on the fence about it. He said one guy had called right after I did and said he would take it, but the guy honored my spot in line and said I had first right of refusal. I looked at the boat for about five minutes (still not sure how the rudder even worked), and just knew. I handed over the cash and he helped me load it onto my car.
In the back of my mind I was worried about the car ride home, how the boat would handle. I was worried that I had not sat in the boat in the water yet. I was worried that I would be disappointed. Yet, the conviction quelled a lot of that anxiety. The drive home was actually surprisingly pleasant. The boat handled like a dream, better than my 12ft does. I left it on my car and took it to the lake the next day. I tried it out on the new kayak launch which worked perfectly. The boat handled better than I could have possibly expected. It was stable. It was quick in the water. On my return trip I figured out how to use the rudder system and that opened a whole new experience being able to steer with my feet and just paddle with my arms. It cut 30 minutes off my time!
But, you might ask, what does this have to do with marriage? Well, a week or so later, I could see from my kitchen window my kayak outside in my back yard, up on saw horses. One of those trips to the kitchen, and upon spotting that kayak again, a revelation hit me like a ton of bricks. It was as if God was say to me, “This is how I’m going to bring you your wife.”
At that time I had been really wrestling with God about the whole wife situation. How was I supposed to meet someone if I never interact with people? How am I to be attractive to someone if I have no attractive qualities that modern women are looking for? How can I prepare for a wife if I have no idea who she even is?
But God took away all these questions, rendering them completely mute. God had given me the conviction: I needed to prepare for a future wife. He would deal with all these other issues and challenges. It was his decision. It was his conviction, not mine. After my divorce 13 years ago, I made the decision for myself that I never again wanted to risk marriage with another human being, thinking people could not be trusted, even in the best of circumstances. I didn’t want to get married. But God apparently has other plans.
I walked out of the kitchen that day with another conviction. When he presented a helpmate to me that was truly comparable to me (not a compromise that I cobbled together by my own efforts) I would know without any doubt just like I knew that boat was the boat I was supposed to buy. The boat that met all of my criteria for the perfect boat. The boat that exceeded my expectations. That was how he would do it when the time was right. When I meet her, I will just know.
This has helped me greatly in focusing on the areas that I do have control over. Areas that God has actually tasked for me to accomplish. He has called me to “prepare for a future wife.” He did not say for me to sit and languish in loneliness. He did not say for me to remain the same person I am, the person who I”m okay to be as a single person with no responsibilities. No. I need to become someone else. Someone different. I need to start working on myself, change some things about myself. I need to become a better man, a better husband, even a better father, even before God brings me a wife. I need to redeem the time that I have as as single person now, one who has no responsibilities, no pressures, no mission other than to serve my king. What better time than now while I still don’t know my wife than to become the man she will need and will want.
And so I have begun. I have made a list of all the things about me that need to change. Poor habits that I’ve grown accustomed to. Lifestyle choices that are fine as a recluse but would cause a wife anxiety or pause or give her second thought as to my suitability as a mate. Not everything that is permissible is helpful. My liberty as a single person may not be healthy for me or my wife as a married man. My focus needs to shift away from me and onto her. I will need to provide for her. I will need to protect her. I will need to encourage her, nurture her faith. I will need to love her as Christ loves the church. This shift will take some time, as I have been single most of my adult life. But, what better time is there than now.
After all, it is what God has called me to.
An Old Flame – Another Disqualification
I look back on my last 13 years and wonder if I made a mistake. Maybe I was never called to the celibate life. Maybe I was supposed to be seeking out a wife years ago. But I have a hard time believing that. After all, marriage is a choice. Jesus said if we can accept it we should accept it. For the longest time, I could not have even contemplated the married life again. As a single person I felt truly free. Free to love and serve my God in the most authentic way I could find. I could devote myself to study, to reading, to prayer, to time just spent in silence with him in nature. I have a tendency to be one who sacrifices his earthly relationships for my relationship with Christ instead. It’s not intentional. It just happens.
One of those relationships was with an old flame from junior high. Well. Grade school, actually. Come to find out, I was her first love (as she puts it). Yet, time and time again, the stars were crossed for us. The timing was always off. Something was malformed. Misaligned. By the time I got to high school she had moved away and I had moved on with my life.
In my 20’s she turned back up with a couple of kids in toe. At the time I had been living on a ranch out on the river. She wanted to try out a relationship again, but I rebuffed her advances and sent her away. I was not interested in a relationship with her or with any women, really. I was a Christian. I had just went through four years of hell in the military. I was finally living out in nature on my own. The answer was no.
Years later, I married another woman and this old flame reached out to me. I again rebuffed her, citing that it really was not appropriate that I maintain even a friendship with her, given our history and that I was now married. She was angry and frustrated with me, but she accepted my choice and left me alone.
After my divorce, she reached out to me two more times. Once when I was just getting myself situated at my new job and trying to figure out who I was again. I can’t say that I was not tempted. I was very attracted to her and she was clearly attracted to me. But, I told her she was a temptation in my life. One that I needed to avoid. It was around this time that I was starting to learn about monasticism, about the hermits in the desert and their temptations with women and succubi in the witching hour that tried to lure them out into the darkness.
It simply wasn’t “in the cards” as they say. Fast forward to last weekend, and I’m sitting at work and it dawns on me. God has called me to prepare for a future wife. Could it be this old flame who has made her interest in me well known over the years? No. Surely she has given up and found someone else. Surely after all this time, she would be over me.
I get only and do a quick search. I find her website where she runs a business. She still lives a state away (which is good that there is a state between us). I send off an email to her, innocent enough. Within an hour or so she responds back and we immediately pick up right where we left off years before.
I tell her that all I can offer her is friendship. I do not tell her about the conviction I’m under concerning a future wife. But I tell her that something struck me and moved me to reach out. My offer of friendship is well received and we start exchanging emails back and forth, taking about all manner of minutia.
Of course, as is my nature, the conversation quickly turns toward the things of God. What I believe. Questions asking what she believes. And then, surprisingly (for I was certain she was a Christian, too), I discover, not only is she not a Christian (though she mildly claims to be), she is actually a deist / Buddhist (in theology and worldview, not by name).
My whole world is rocked. All this time, I thought I was choosing to distance myself from her because I was more interested in being single, when, in actuality, God was saving me from involving myself with someone who is not equally yoked.
Of course, this hits me hard. After all, she was tangible hope that God’s conviction was not all just in my head. Here was a real, flesh and blood woman who has interest in me. How could she not be the one? How could she not be a Christian? How could it, one more time, boil down to disqualification based solely on faith? The last women that showed interest in me was the same. I loved everything about it. We would have made a perfect fit together. All but one. She was not a believer. The last 7 women who have showed interest in my in the last 13 years all were disqualified because of no faith in or testimony of Jesus as the Christ or in his resurrection by the Father.
What am I going to do now?
That’s right. Now I have to wait. I have to lean entirely on God to fulfill his promises. I have to trust in him explicitly, implicitly, counterfactually (since it’s possible it may never actually even come to pass). All the questions come rushing back into my head. How can I possibly meet a women when I don’t socialize with people? How can I attract a women when there is nothing about me that is attractive to the modern women?
Again, God’s direct, wordless conviction comes to the rescue. I’m not the one who is responsible for meeting my wife. God is. I’m not the one who is responsible for ensuring my wife will be attracted to me. God is. These are not my challenges to find solutions to. God has given me a particular task at this time, at this moment.
I am to prepare for a future wife.
This is all he has asked me to do. This is all he has said about it. When the time is right, he will present her to me and I will know with certainty and without any doubt that she is the one he was talking about. I am to play the role of Isaac and wait while God orchestrates everything behind the scenes, sending out the Holy Spirit to quicken this particular women in whatever way he needs to, to lay upon her heart the exact necessities that I need so that she is the perfect helpmate who is truly and genuinely comparable to me in all the ways I can anticipate and in every way I can’t possibly even imagine.
This time God is in control. I’m simply to submit to his will, and obey.
A Wife Seeking a Truly Biblical Husband
Not long ago I stumbled onto this video on YouTube about what a young Christian women should be doing if she desires to marry. I found this video quite refreshing and uplifting as a Christian man with the new conviction that God may possibly be bringing me a biblical wife in the future.
In the video Nastasia states that women should not be looking for a soul mate but for a spiritual leader. A biblical husband. This is rarely talked about in the modern era, and most emphasis is placed on equality of genders or the subservience of men to the woman’s every whim. This kind of egalitarianism is contrary to the biblical roles for man and wife and it’s the reason I think Christians should not use dating apps or really should date at all when looking for a spouse.
Three times now I’ve posted profiles on dating sites, only to fall under heavy conviction to take them down only after a few days or a few weeks. The last attempt I was able to actually talk to three different women via chat. One said I was too wholesome for her taste (she was apparently into S&M even though her profile states she’s a Christian)? The second one turned out to be a member of the Universalist church. The last one reached out to me with the single word of “Hi.” A quick read on her profile immediately sent me to the settings of the service and I deactivated my account completely.
I really like the approach Nastasia took here, her priorities. The search for a spouse is not Plan A with Plan B being, “at least I have Jesus.” But it should be “I have Jesus” as Plan A, and if God wills it, “he will provide me a spouse as well.”
I cannot speak for anyone else. Just myself. I know for most of my life, God has called me to singleness. He made me as I am, one who can comfortable thrive alone, one who has no real imperative (until recently) to join with another in service to the Lord. It is possible that I’ve deluded myself (both then and now). It is possible that I was never called to single life and should have sought a wife during these last 13 years. But with marriage or celibacy, Paul and Christ both make it pretty clear, there is some level of personal choice involved. “If you marry, you have not sinned….But I want you to be without care….let him do what he wishes.” (1 Co 7:1ff). It is quite possible that I was not anywhere near ready for another marriage after my divorce. I watched so many of my family members and coworkers go from bad marriage to bad marriage and then to yet bad marriage again over those years I remained single. And I would have sought marriage if I had felt any regret, any kind of loneliness during that time. But I never did. Not once. So much so when God did finally convict me to prepare, I was taken aback, I argued with him, I pleaded with him, to let me remain as I was. I asked him to allow me to remain single, to take away these newfound feelings of desire for a wife, a desire to share my life with another, even a desire to have children. These feelings were foreign to me after so long. Peculiar and uncomfortable and confusing. Why after all this time? What had I done wrong? What should I have done instead?
But the reality is: I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong in those intervening years. I think that time was necessary to put distance between me and that pain, between the loss, between the mistakes of the past, between me and the betrayal of my spouse. I think it will still be a struggle to trust another human again, to trust a woman again. But, the conviction has been certain and quite clear. God is not bringing me just any wife. He is not bringing me a nominal Christian, one who maybe attends church a few times a year, one who loves shopping and money and gossiping with her girlfriends and who publicly states that she would never divorce her husband but privately knows he better do what she says or he can hit the bricks and she’ll find another.
God has made it clear what I am to pray for: A helpmate who is truly comparable to me. That means in every way I could possibly think of and in all the ways I cannot possibly even comprehend. This time around I think if God calls me to the married life, it will be a biblical marriage between two genuine and established Christians who are seeking to glorify God in their vows and who take their vows as serious and sacred.
Anything less is simply misery and something I want nothing to do with.
So, now, I prepare for a future wife, one that God will bring me supernaturally, as God did for Isaac. He is in control and I submit to and obey his call on my life, whatever that may be. In my prayers I only ask for mercy, for he truly knows my weakness and my petulance, and my stubbornness. I pray for wisdom and understanding and discernment, that I might know what is his true purpose and might be able to see his moving in my life as he is doing it (usually I can only see it after the fact).
May his will be done in me.
What If God Doesn’t Bring Me a Wife?
For awhile I struggled with this. More so, I struggled with the possibility that God would not actually bring me a wife in the future and that I would be stuck carrying these desires, these wants, this feeling of lack the rest of my life as a single person. That somehow I received for the last 13 years a great and awesome reprieve from such burdens, and now I would get it all in full, and with interest. It is, after all, the state in which we all must accept when we step into heaven and into our eternal fate. In heaven there is no marriage. Despite popular opinion, even those who are currently married will find theirs vows severed at the resurrection, for Jesus made it clear when responding to the Sadducees about the woman who had married all 7 brothers, “…when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Mark 12:25). Not only will unmarried people remain unmarried, but all those who were once married (even 7 times) will be rendered unmarried after the resurrection. This is because marriage is an earthly shadow of what is to come. It is born out of weakness, the inability to remain undivided to the Lord, the inability to handle life without falling to the temptations of the flesh, as Paul states, “because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and each woman her own husband…it is good for them if they remain as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Co 7:2, 8-9).
But to the question. What if God does not bring me a wife? After all, all of this so far resides in my own head alone. I have no tangible signs. There is literally no individual woman on the horizon that has interest in me that is remotely qualified by the Word as a biblical or godly woman. Not only is there no one, but I cannot comprehend an avenue in which I would meet someone like this. And his conviction is pretty clear on me that I am not to search for a wife like the rest of the world does. I’m not to put myself out there on social media (it really wouldn’t help anyway). I’m not to frequent bars (do people even still do that?). I’m not to settle for nominal or cultural Christians who profess a faith but do not testify to the faith by their actions. In fact, I would not be surprised at all if God came up short, not being able to find a suitable woman that met all of these criteria and also was willing to take on the responsibilities of care for me in all my infirmities and human frailties. There are actually plenty of non-believing women who have volunteered to do so. But those women are simply off limits due to Paul’s restriction, “[you] are at liberty to marry whomever you wish, only in the Lord” (1 Co 7:39), and, “do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” (2 Co 6:14).
I find it ironic that of all the women who have shown internet, and a few I have been quite drawn to, it has always boiled down to a lack of faith on their part. One in particular, a coworker that I have worked with for several years, I believe has the perfect temperament and is in the stage in her life where we would compliment each other quite well. Yet, despite being rather certain she was a believer, I found out recently that she is actually not. The same for the old flame who I was certain was a follower of Christ.
This has cast away all the viable options that I could use to cobble together a relationship out of the broken pieces of the past. It leaves me now completely vulnerable to something and someone utterly new, and it renders me completely dependent upon God to lead me where I need to go, for him to provide a solution to the conviction that he has laid on me.
I trust that, even if he does not bring me a wife at some point in this life, I know with certainty that “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Ro 8:28) and that God is a good God and “gives good gifts to his children” (Matt 7:11). If he determines that I need to carry this desire in my heart for the remainder of my life unfulfilled, then may his will be done. If this new conviction has more to do with my relationship with him and less (or nothing at all) to do with an earthly relationship with a woman, then I say please show me what it is I need to do.
Until such time that God decides to reveal to me his purpose, I simply choose to submit and obey. I trust he will forever be looking out for me all along the way.
If you are a Christian, I ask that you please take a moment to pray for not only me but that you also pray for my future wife. I ask that you pray that God will grant me wisdom and understanding, that I might be able to discern his true call on my life – whether as a married man or as a solitary living in the woods.
I joyfully accept either, as long as whatever I do I find favor in his sight.
Until my next post…..
Excerpt from The Light Aurora:
The door’s lock released and Dr. Lewis looked around at each of them.
“Stay close, and be ready for anything. I’m not sure if they’re all in the Command Center or if they are trying to secure Level 4. Hell, they could all be evacuating.”
He stared at Scott as he came up onto the landing.
“Let’s go,” Scott said.
Dr. Lewis pushed the door open and walked out into the hall, followed by the others – in ones and twos. Level 2 was similar to the other level, with a long corridor, doors on either side, all with security displays recessed into the wall next to them.
But, as they entered the corridor, Scott’s breath caught in his throat. As he stood there with the others, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. In front of them, probably no more than a few yards away, were three bodies lying on the floor. One was sitting up against the wall, the side of his face melted, exposing his right eyeball and a good portion of his right skull. Another one was laying face down, his entire back opened up at the spine, as if his spinal cord had been ripped out of him from behind. The last one was a few more feet away from the others, on his back, his eyes seared from his head, black, burnt flesh where his eyes used to be.
The intercom came back to crackling life.
“Professor?” Derrick said over the intercom.
“Don’t worry. You can answer,” he said. “I can hear you.”
Scott looked up, then fixed his gaze on the security camera at the end of the corridor.
“Yes?” Scott finally asked.
There was a pause, static.
“What are you doing, Derrick?” he asked. “Did you do this?”
“Indeed,” Derrick said, coming back on.
“They refused to help me.”
“What are you trying to do, Derrick?” Scott asked.
There was another pause.
“I want to go home, Professor,” the boy said.
“Yes,” Derrick said, his tone soaked with some other-worldly confidence that did not belong in an innocent, ten year old boy.
“I want to go home, Professor,” he said again. “Would you be interested in coming home with me?”
Buy the entire story The Light Aurora today and get ready for the thrill ride of a lifetime! What is this foreign and hostile place these strangers find themselves in? What does it all mean? Will all of them survive?
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But, trust me when I say, reading this book will change your life forever.