If God calls you to marriage, does He choose a spouse?


#1

I was thinking about vocations recently, and wndered something: I know God has a path for you, and calls you to a certain type of life, but does He get more specific, and make you and another person as complements who would function the best in married life? Simply, does the Catholic Church promote the idea of soulmates? Or does God put you on a path and leave you to decide how best to fulfill His wishes?


#2

God does not choose a spouse for us. We choose a spouse. It is good to pray for guidance in doing so; but we choose, not God.


#3

I’m not certain.

I think our free will coupled with aiming to be in God’s will might help us in our choice.

I’ve often wondered if my children, or anyone’s children, who God knew before they were even conceived, figure in on God’s overall plan, including marriages. For instance, other people whom I might have married would have produced completely different children, with different temperaments and gifts let alone eye color and height!

I’d like to think that these children my husband and I are raising were destined to be and are who God wanted to be on this earth.

I think in our Free Will and choosing, we can make some pretty bad choices and some better than we deserve.

When considering marriage as a vocation, you are already elevating the state of marriage quite a bit higher than most people who just live in the world. You might be considering it a better choice to marry someone who already Believes in God, is a functioning independent person, doesn’t have an active addiction, and a faith filled life.

But, if you have abandoned the Faith, you might not even consider marriage at all even if you have children.

God Bless you as you discern your future.


#4

Some people believe that God sent them their spouse. That is a lovely thought. It is not something that the Bible or the Church teaches. Do not wait at home for that special someone to ring your doorbell.


#5

I once had a priest philosophy professor who asserted that a marriage between any man and any woman could be a good marriage provided the parties were properly disposed and gave consent, even arranged marriages. This raised a lot of objections from the class, who thought that personal preference ought to play a much greater role in the matter.

And certainly they should. But ultimately it is the bride and the groom who pledge themselves to each other. If they are sincere and take the vows without qualification, each will turn the other into his or her soulmate by virtue of the love that is given, strengthened by the grace of the sacrament.


#6

This is a romantic notion, and some Catholics do claim that the Book of Tobit supports it. However, the book of Tobit is about miracles of healing, and miracles, by definition, are not everyday occurrences.

From a cultural perspective, I think this confusion arises because we in the West tend to view love, even married love, as subsisting predominantly in the passions (emotions). Hence our fondness for such tropes as “love at first sight”, “falling head over heels”, and so forth. However, in Eastern cultures - including the culture of the Ancient Near East which was the cradle of the Jewish and Christian faiths - love is more an act of the will. :slight_smile:


#7

I think it’s true if the personalities are compatible. That is important.


#8

We certainly choose for ourselves. However, I do think it is possible for God to point you unmistakably in a particular direction and make the choice almost a no-brainer.


#9

What do you mean by this?


#10

Can their be a particular spouse willed for a particular person by God?

Yes.

Can it be that God wills one discern and make a choice of who to Marry from those one meets?

Yes.

Normally speaking -pray, seek, met people and prayerfully choose.


#11

Karl Keating, the founder of Catholic Answers, once had an e-letter titled “The Non-Existent Prince Charming”, but the link is no longer available. It basically debunked the teaching that God has one special person pre-selected from the beginning of eternity to be your spouse.

There are several reasons that I theorize that his teaching is so prevalent:

  1. People are indecisive, so they want God to make the decision for them.
  2. They could be trying to manipulate someone into marrying someone that he/she does not feel is suitable or compatible.
  3. The popularity of TV preachers - many of whom may be influenced by Calvinism - who say “God has a plan for each one of our lives”.

I also think that it is possible for God to warn you away from a person that would cause you harm - kind of like the traditional picture of the guardian angel who is watching over the boy and prevents him from falling into the river if he gets too close.


#12

I am pretty certain this happened to me while I was dating a few years before I met my husband.

Here’s how: For one instance I was warned in a dream. There could be a very ‘natural’ explanation. Maybe my brain was picking up subtle cues my heart didn’t want to see. But, I really really liked the guy. Okay, I loved him. I wanted to marry him. He’s a fine individual but he wasn’t the one for me, and I probably would have made him miserable. I’m glad I’m not making him miserable.

My mother told me sometimes God may talk to us through others. “If a dozen people are telling you something. Maybe it’s God’s way of telling you!”
The very next person I dated was a very bad person who hid behind a 'good’mask. I am comfortable making a judgement call on his behavior. I had person after person, including his friends come to tell me I should leave. I was turning a blind eye to his subtle disrespect and controlling personality. He shortly after we broke up went on to marry a sweet young woman. She was found to have cancer the first year they were married. While she was battling terminal cancer she divorced him. Her tombstone has her maiden name. If you were to imagine that their marriage was bad, it was probably worse. Her family won’t speak of him.


#13

I definitely agree. I’ve been in that position before.

In any case, my experience is that God’s will for our lives is to be happy in our vocations, whatever they may be. And you can be sure that God will guide us, but he gave us free will for a reason! :smiley:


#14

there are some passages In the bible that say otherwise. Mary and Joseph seemed to be soulmates and God willed them to be together even sending an angel telling Joseph don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife. God also willed Hosea to marry Gomer


#15

In the Book of Tobit God sent Angel Gabriel to lead the young man to find a certain girl to be his wife (who he had never met),
So the Bible does prove that God can already have a spouse picked out for someone!!! :slight_smile:

Another example:
God chose Joseph to be Mary’s husband, and even confirmed this in a dream He sent Joseph in which an angel encouraged him to take Mary as his wife.

God respects free will, but does have His plan.

Many of the lives of the saints, God told specific saints who they would marry.


#16

Please please list them or give us the citation! I would love to read this. Thank you!


#17

Here is an excerpt from that Karl Keating e-letter:

In summary, then, when it comes to basically good people whom we meet, it is possible for us to love any of them. This even applies to prospective spouses, and here I come to the real point I wish to make. As you know, Catholic Answers hosts chastity talks by various speakers. Such talks are aimed at young audiences–high school and college students, chiefly–and, by necessity, the speakers themselves are young. At least they are still years away from middle age.

Some speakers who have spoken for us, when first starting out, told their young audiences that somewhere out there was a Prince or Princess Charming, someone fated from all eternity to be a young person’s perfect match. Listeners were told something like this: “Save yourself for that one person that God has set aside just for you.”

When I learned that this is what was being said, I told our speakers to cut it out–because it wasn’t true. It sounded romantic, and it sounded pious, but it wasn’t true. It left each young listener thinking that there was one and only one person whom he could love and have a happy marriage with and that, if he waited long enough, God would arrange for the couple to meet. That’s not how real life works. When I have a chance to speak to young people, I shock them by saying, “Within easy driving distance, there are a hundred people whom you could marry and have an equally happy life with.” Of course, there also are a hundred or a thousand with whom they might be miserable. My point was that a marriage is what you make of it, under grace.

The full e-letter is reprinted here.


#18

I don’t completely agree with this. I mean, it’s not true that there is ONE prince/princess charming out there for each person. But it’s equally untrue that God won’t guide you to someone who may be your best match in this life. The truth is somewhere in between I think. In any case, the point made by chastity speakers with this is valid. There is one person you’ll marry and it is good to save yourself for them.


#19

Thoughtful post.

Another thing to consider when it comes to the topic of soulmates on whether God is the one who chooses them.

God is God, so of course He knows everything, aa in everything. Nothing is kept hidden from Him, including what we are going to do and what is going to happen. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow or later with absolute certainty, but He knows.

This means that God also knows which person you are goinf to marry or be in a relationship with, whether you made the ‘right’ decision or not.

And yes, if you think about the children… if you ended up with someone different, the children would also be entirely different people. God also knows these people who are yet to be born.

So I don’t know. I’m not God, so i don’t have inside info when it comes to these things. But yes, interesting ideas to consider.


#20

Can their be a particular spouse willed for a particular person by God?

Yes.

Can it be that God wills one discern and make a choice of who to Marry from those one meets?

Yes.

Normally speaking -pray, seek, met people and prayerfully choose.

Sometimes too one may go quite awhile before meeting the person one will choose.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.