God’s decretive will takes in absolutely everything, even sin. It is worked out in the big and little things of God’s providential dealings with us. But it is unknowable to us except in retrospect. You know it only after it happens. Knowledge of God’s will in this sense cannot guide us through life just because it is inaccessible to us.
During my years as a campus minister two seminars I gave always drew large attendances at statewide conferences. They were on the interrelated topics of finding God’s will and choosing a marriage partner.
Concern to know God’s will and to find the right partner are healthy Christian instincts. Christians, however inconstant the strength of the desire and inconsistent the follow through, want to please God. They know by Scripture and the Spirit that they should submit themselves to God, and they know by experience that there is misery in rebellion.
Did I make the right decision about a wife? Well, in the sense that I married the only woman I’ve met who wouldn’t have killed me, yes. Did she make the right decision about a husband? Who knows? She says two things about her decision: (1) She was too young to know any better. (2)I wouldn’t go away. However, if you ask her why she is still here, she will tell you it is because she promised. Good or bad decision, she’s lived with it.
Bill Smith is a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church of America. He is a writer and contributor to a number of Reformed journals and resides in Roanoke, VA. This article first appeared at his blog, The Christian Curmudgeon, and is used with his permission.