Because your relationship with the living God is God’s primary call on your life, it has to take precedence over all other relationships in your life. In the case of Jeremiah, this relationship with the living God affected all his major decisions about other relationships, including marriage.
God told the prophet that he must not get married. He didn’t say, “I would rather you didn’t get married.” He said, “You must not marry” (Jer. 16:2). Remember, God’s plan has a “mustness” about it. God had a good reason for telling Jeremiah this. He knew what was about to happen to the nation and was sparing him the agony of watching a wife and children suffer the unspeakable horrors that were about to happen (Jer. 16:3-4).
As with all major decisions about the relationships of life, God will guide us and tell us what He wants for us. We are free to choose to either obey or disobey the promptings of the Spirit. We are not free, however, to choose the consequences of our actions! If Jeremiah had not allowed his relationship with God to rule all his other relationships, he would have faced even more intense personal loss and suffering.
Before I became a Christian, the girl who led me to the Lord asked me whether I was willing to stay unmarried if I became a follower of Jesus. “Why would I need to stay unmarried?” I inquired, startled. “Aren’t there any Christian men around?”
“Not many,” was the reply. “So by the law of averages you won’t find a Christian partner.”
“Then I will marry an unbeliever and win him to Christ,” I answered promptly.
“That’s the problem, Jill,” my friend replied. “The Bible says you shouldn’t do that; it’s not the will of God.” She explained that if marriage was in the plan of God for me, it must be only with a believer (2 Cor. 6:14).
So right at the beginning of my Christian life I realized that my relationship with God had to be more important than any other relationship in my life. And how could it be more important if I was disregarding what He had clearly stated in His Word?
A young girl once confided to me that she was dating an unbeliever. “But I’m praying about it,” she added hastily.
“Save your breath,” I replied. “God has already told you not to do that. In fact, it says in Ps. 66:18, ‘If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” So save your breath and be an obedient child,” I advised her. The plan of God should supersede your plans for yourself where other relationships, especially marriage, are concerned.
Just Between Us Magazine