does god give us free will to marry who we want to marry?

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
if i want to marry someone does he give us free will to marry each other? of course i am talking if we follow his commands


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  • God gave us free will period. We have the ability to make our own choices in any situation.  Our free will is not limited so the answer to your question is Yes.
  • you can do whatever you want. but you have to remember that you will be held accountable for everything you do.
  • You have free will to maryy whoever you like... If your question is, is God okay with you marrying someone outside your culture the answer is also yes... As long as your partner Loves God before you, and you also love God before your partner. God does not care about culture, we men care about culture. Does God want you to marry someone who does not accept him,  NO , because he/she may become a stumbling block for you and your children.
  • GOD gives us the free will, but our parents don't. Sometimes it's just forced on us, and we get little or no say.

    Reality, sadly, isn't like the love stories you see in movies. Falling in love is a bonus in marriage. It doesn't happen often.
  • the 'true love' in movies is not true, it's a fairytale.
    having a 'love' marriage does not (at all) mean there won't be serious disagreements later on.
    indeed the expectations may be higher, because both people may think they are marrying a character from a film, not a sinful human being.

    the most loving family i have ever met has parents who had an arranged marriage. they respect, love and support each other beautifully, even now, 30 years later.

    the best way to have a successful marriage is to spend the time you are single working hard on your spiritual life, getting as close to God as you can, loving your enemies, accepting shame and hardship and learning as much from the Bible as you can, so you can be the best example to your future husband or wife  ;)
  • Mabsoota,

    So what if one were to get married out of sympathy for the other person? Like with arranged marriages, I assume they do it to be nice and respectful (not because they want to).
  • In my opinion God gives us a free will to choose who will be your future wife/husband. And before marriage He does not determine to us that you should marry only this person. And before marriage we have time to see different ppl and to choose many candidatures for your future spouse.
    For Christians God decides who will be a wife/husband for a Christian person. Because God knows better who is more suitable for us and whom we really deserve. There are also some stories from the biographies of saints how God determined a special spouse for a Christian person.
  • The short answer is NO.
    what do we pray?... Our Father who art in heaven, ... your kingdom come, YOUR WILL be done on earth (..... and in my life) as it is in heaven (not as i may wish to chose!).

  • God does not force anyone to pray "Our Father" or accept His will. Thus a person is still required to voluntarily make their will, God's will. So their free will remains.
  • hi, titl,
    u know i don't really understand it either, but i think that is because i am not close enough to God to really understand how you can do such as big a thing as submit your will to God so totally that you trust God (and your parents/priest) to decide on your marriage partner.
    sure in some cases it is just people being forced to do something and regretting it later.
    but in other cases, including the case i mentioned, people really love other humans so much that they can get married and then love that other person and get to know them and have romantic feelings for them after the wedding.
    i did the 'falling in love' route to marriage, so i can't comment so much on marriages that are more like arranged.

    but if you are not comfortable with someone who is proposed to you in marriage, you certainly should not go ahead. only if you believe this is truly God's will, and you and the other person are prepared to make big sacrifices then you should get married.

    this applies to arranged marriages and equally to 'falling in love' marriages!
  • God does not force you to pray 'our father' however, Jesus is the one who taught his followers to pray like this. it does not appear that he was forcing them, or indeed anyone. however, when Jesus tells you to do something do you take it as a simple matter of exercising your own free will? Not so, if you love him!! If you don't love Jesus, then not even the point raising the question. it is worth noting that he was correcting the wrong way of praying and was teaching how to actually pray better!! how much choice can we have here? Not much if we love him! in other words, we do have the choice to say ... 'i will exercise my free will to pray how i want not how jesus wants me to!' and because i like my free will i will do just so! of corse you can. God will not kill you for this... just yet. he is very patient. but you will find out when his patience runs out, where your own free will leads you to. unfortunately, this would be too little too late.

    as for exercising your own will to choose someone.. of corse you can chose. god won't be upset with anyone for choosing your own heterosexual partner according to your own free will, but you run into trouble, sooner or later, if your choice does not match his principles. that is ... if you love your own free will more than his will, then you cannot say you love God. Jesus said: 'He who loves me does the will of my father who is in heaven'.  
  • good point  :)
    i think that summarises the dicussion about free will and God's overall control nicely.
  • it is also worth noting that sometimes God will express an impose His Own will with regards to the choice of a particular person, as in the case of Hosea. But, this is not generally the case. Usually one should exercise own choice in falling in love but this choice should be based on Christ honouring values and principles and not on selfish/self gratifying desires.. Otherwise, no point in asking the question.
  • Thank you.
  • what if the 2 love each other but people dont approve of the 2 mates wanting to get married but the guy is a great guy is that gods will?  if they drive each other to christ make him the source of a relitonship
  • u mean the people who want to get married are both really great and wonderful and really spiritual in their own opinions, especially the guy??

    to be honest, if no-one (priests, friends, relations) supports it, maybe the people need to step back and think again. when there are problems in the marriage, it is good to turn to friends for support, to help keep you together.
    if you alienate all your friends getting married, you will loose this source of support.
  • that could also be an option. i guess when Hosea decided to marry that prostitute not many of his mates approved of his decision. But Hosea knew what he was doing, namely God's will. Was he wrong in not taking his family/friends advice?.. Not at all!

    Having said that, it is generally healthy to take our friends/family advice if special circumstances do not come our way. After all we continue to belong to the extended family and friends and want to share our joys and sorrows with them,  not just with our partner. then we would do well if we blend in well. If, on the other hand, our families and friends disapprove of us (the new couple), and we have no good reason to endure this burden,  we have written our own sentence. thereafter, the joy of having exercised our free will  will never compensate! and nothing else will!

    So .. free will looks more like a dangerous trap when it comes to falling in love. we must be very very careful.
  • I want to add that sometimes a person can be inveigled by a beauty or good social position or mind of another mate. Sometimes a person can go mad because of another mate. And he can feel that he/she absolutely falls in love with this person. But after some time God opens the eyes of the inveigled person and he sees that a person whom he/she loved does not suit him/her.
  • [quote author=Alexrus77 link=topic=11440.msg138076#msg138076 date=1305613418]
    But after some time God opens the eyes of the inveigled person and he sees that a person whom he/she loved does not suit him/her.

    that's exactly what i mean when i emphasise on 'your will be done'. If God opens our eyes, we can see. If God does not open our eyes we cannot see. So my question is .... how much can we brag about exercising our free will when we consider that , should God leave our eyes un-opened, we would make anything but stupid choices?..... we should be really concerned about God working on our eyes, more so than claiming our right to free will.

    with our eyes as they would be 'un opened' by God we would freely choose to go to hell ...or bring hell into our lives. The fact that this is our free will exercise wouldn't bring any comfort into that hell, would it?..
  • Yeah, Lightening you're absolutely right - by our will we can go to hell. So if you find someone that you love, you have to pray to God that He will tell you is this person is really for you. And we haven't make quick decision.
    But sometimes when your mate attracts you and you are still thinking and thinking, he/she can be taken by another person. You know, sometimes in life it happens.
  • yes, it does! that's what hell is made for!!..
    may god keep us sane and on the right path!
    may His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
  • if you are in a society where people are being 'taken' so quickly without those doing the 'taking' stopping to think, then it is the society that is wrong, not you.
  • No, it's not because of the society. I'm an idealist. I think that it is a man, who has to offer his hand and a heart to a girl. But as you all know sometimes ppl can have many candidatures to marry. And e.g. if a guy is thinking should he marry this girl or another (when he has various candidatures). Another guy will offer a hand and his heart to this girl with whom she also meets. And he just take her in front of your nose because you're thinking too long. This is the point.
  • still i think this does not sound much like how it happens (or should happen).
    we should not rush to get married and only think, wow, i'm glad i got that man/woman before anyone else.
    instead we should trust God to guide us and check everything out to make sure we are honouring God with our lives.
    in my experience, my husband thought of me as a possible wife long before i thought of him as more than a nice friend to write letters to. but he prayed to God and so did i and God fixed it for us to get married.

    it's just not true that u have to be really careful and always on the lookout for that wonderful man/woman in case he/she disappears and you loose your only chance of happiness.
    this is the lie shown in all popular films.

    you have to serve God, trust God, love God, and He will put you in touch with people.
    in the church there are lots of men and lots of women!  ;) God is really smart, just by going to church we can meet people! (i met my husband at a Chistian music festival)
    i think people should make friends, and when you think one of your friends is particularly special, pray and talk to your priest and parents (if you are still young) and friends and check if the other person feels the same.
    if not, you have lost nothing. you are still in church, still close to God, and you have not done dangerous things like going out dating people you hardly know.
    sometimes we don't end up marrying the first person we have romantic feelings for. usually this is a good thing, when we look back on it. like you said, alexrus77, sometimes God opens people's eyes to see they were about to make a bad decision.
    may God guide us and have mercy.
  • I love your answer Mabsoota!
  • thanks.
    however i think everyone wrote really sensible and interesting stuff on this thread.
  • Yes, Mabsoota, you wrote the right things :)
    Of course, it's very good when you have a parish, and this parish has youth. It's an easy way to find among the majority of young ppl the one you like to get married. You know, when you can meet with a person face to face and to see how this person behave in different life situations, how he/she treats with other ppl - it's easy for you to understand what is this person. But there are situations when you don't have a Coptic church near you and you don't have Coptic friends near you with whom you can meet. And talking by internet is not enough to understand the person. And even if you just travel to another country to meet a person (future husband/wife) and to spend with him/her some period of time it's not enough to understand the person.
    But anyway we all made here the right conclusion: trust your will into God's will and He will settle everything :)
    But I want to add we shouldn't wait when God brings us on the plate the person who we will love. God demands from us our activity, strength and strife with a help of God, and in all this strife He will show us the person whom we need :)
  • it's ok to marry other orthodox people as well, are you in a country with very few orthodox people?
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