Question:

Please bear with me as this is long. While searching for my answer I stumbled across one of your previous questions that was somewhat similar, so I decided to write you.

I met my now fiance over five years ago when I was at a low point in my life. I was a drunk, party crazed, ungodly person who wanted to do better but just never did. I fell in love with him and he was a good man, I changed but not completely. Over the years he became very emotionally abusive toward me due to his own insecurities and stress; he would call me names and put me down and make me feel unattractive and a few times the situation became physical. During this point neither of us claimed to be Christians and we were most certainly not living the Christian lifestyle.

About a year ago my relationship with God became very strong but, unfortunately, my relationship with my fiance was not built upon a godly foundation. I found myself growing alone and as an individual with God instead of together as a couple. I told God that I wanted to surrender my life to Him and that I would follow His will completely if He would put me in the direction toward it. Shortly after I left my job to work within a church because I felt this was God's will for me and the way the job presented itself to me was very apparent, it was too much to be coincidence. During this whole time our relationship had remained much the same as it had always been. He was distant and cold and emotionless.

Recently I was talking to another church member about finding someone to take music lessons from and she suggested a person. I sent a message to this person and we communicated. I was not in the slightest attracted to this man, but there was some form of a connection. I didn't think much more of it until later when he posted that he needed prayers from everyone. I reached out to him and told him I would pray for him; and if he wanted to talk, I would be here. Immediately he opened up to me and I felt I had known this man my whole life. I talked to him in a way I would only talk to my best friend, and we opened up to each other about everything.

One thing led to another, and I slowly began to develop very strong emotional feelings for him. I could not help but feel God wanted me to be with him. He kept stressing that he wanted a relationship centered around God. We even prayed together about this situation in hopes of guidance.

Around this time my fiance started changing. He became so sweet and loving -- the way he was in the beginning of our relationship. I wasn't sure why and then I was trying to decide if that was a sign from God telling me to hold out, or if it was the devil working his way in. Eventually I sat down with my fiance and told him everything. I told him how I don't understand how I can continue to grow as a Christian when we fight the way we do, and I feel the way I do when I'm around him. I told him about this other man, how I have feelings for him, and how I feel God is leading me toward him. He became very emotional and told me that he was sorry for everything, that he lost himself along the way, and he realized recently what he had done and was trying to change. This was true. He had started changing before I ever told him any of this. He said he wanted us to grow as a couple and to grow through Christ and that he feels we can. My heart is breaking for him. I truly believe he has changed, and he does want to grow together and be a better Christian. It will be hard as we weren't Christians in the beginning, so our relationship together was formed before our relationship with God was formed.

I still feel this urge to be with this other man though. I can't shake it. My fiancee says that he doesn't see how this other man could be the direction God is pushing me because God would not send me someone while I am already involved with someone else. I don't know if that is true since we aren't married. I don't know that God sees a dating realtionship as a union the way that we do. Also, I feel it is God putting me with the right person before I decide to marry the wrong one. I am so confused. If my fiance could in fact change and be who he once was -- the man I once fell in love with -- I know we could be happy together, but I can't help but wonder if it's God's will for me to be with this other man. I feel you shouldn't ask for God to show you His will, if you aren't willing to take it, but I just don't know how to figure out if it is a clear sign.

Please help.


Answer:

Ultimately, I can't help you with your question because you are looking for someone else to make it for you. You are searching for non-existent, vague signs so that you can tell yourself that this is what God wants you to do.

God has told everyone how to pick a good spouse in His Word. Whether you heed His instructions or not is up to you. But let's just suppose that God had some plan in mind and He need you to marry a particular person to fulfill that plan. What the Bible tells us that there is no way any person can thwart the will of God. As God said in the past, He doesn't need to rely on any person to accomplish His will. "Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it" (Isaiah 46:11). It would be arrogant to say that you could counter what God wanted for you to do.

However, in the overall scheme of things, God doesn't force people's decisions. He teaches us the ways of righteousness, but leaves it up to us to either follow those ways or not not.

Right now, you are trying to make decisions based on your personal emotion and feelings, but such are never accurate guides. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26). So the question is whether you are going to walk wisely; that is, follow the wisdom of God in making your choice.

Here is where I cannot help you because you haven't said much about either man's righteous behavior. You don't look at which man will help you be a better Christian. You don't talk about who is living the Christian life.

You said your fiance has changed, at least that you feel he has changed. But there we go back to vagueness. What do you see in him that has actually changed -- not the words he says or the way you feel, but the actual things that he does and what results from his actions. "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:16-20). Likely it take a bit of time to see if the change is real and lasting.

As far as the new guy is concerned, realize that since you haven't known him that long, he seems better because you are filling in any gaps with the best assumptions. He could be as good as you are assuming he is or you simply haven't had time to learn of his flaws.

Jeffrey,

You are very wise and your information was very helpful.

I am not exactly sure how to know what it is God is telling me to do or not to do, how do you tell ? I thought it was God because it was weighing so heavy on my heart and because situations kept lining up repeatedly, too much to be coincidence. When I prayed to God about the situation I felt a sense of peace about what it was I thought I needed to do. I guess I am confused about how exactly I am supposed to understand Gods message to me. How can I distinguish between my emotions and thoughts and what it is God is actually telling me? I want to "walk wisely" I just need to figure out how.

As for the statement about which man will make me a better Christian, my fiance brings out the worse in me, and we don't have any religious foundation in our life. The other man pushes me toward God and is continiously encouraging me on my spiritual journey. The statement you made about my fiance changing really hit home because I guess I have been basing his change on my feelings or his words, there were no actions to prove one way or the other.

What God has said is to let the Bible, God's teachings, direct your path. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones" (Proverbs 3:5-8). It isn't hard, but it does require learning your Bible.

Thus, you boss asks you to tell a customer a lie, no matter how you personally feel about it, the answer is "No" because God said lying is wrong (Revelation 21:8). Your boyfriend want to put his hands where they don't belong, the answer is "No" because God said that we must not behave lewdly (Romans 13:13-14). Your friend says, "Let's go to Bible study tonight," the answer is "Yes" because studying God's word is good (II Timothy 2:15), regardless of whether you are tired or not. Thus, you walk wisely because you rely on God instead of your own personal feelings about matters.

Thank you so much! You have been very helpful. I will start focusing on studying the Bible and trying to let go of my own way of thinking and try to understand what God is trying to tell me.