Luz is the seventh Filipino we’ve met in Costa Rica. Her delightful accent betrayed her Cebuano roots, and immediately brought back fond memories of my friends from Cebu City in the Philippines—Malu, Livian, Gina, and JR. Luz and I had been Facebook friends for a while now, but she wanted to meet me personally so that she could recruit me and Dahl to her runners’ club. More on that in the future.
Over dinner two nights ago, Luz mentioned that shortly after college, she was summoned by her pastor. She was shocked by what he had to say: “Luz, God spoke to me and he told me that you’d be my wife!”
She hardly knew the pastor. How can he say that?
Luz was gripped with fear. She didn’t want to become a pastor’s wife. Was she being disobedient to God?
“God told me you’d be my wife!” may sound like a spiritual pick-up line but for the most part, I think it is presumptuous and, therefore, arrogant. It pushes a woman to a corner. You do not give the woman a choice: if she rejects you, she would be disobedient to God. That’s harassment in the name of God, if you ask me. ¡Que barbaridad!
It has been twenty years since that frightful conversation. Luz remains single. Did the pastor misunderstand God concerning Luz? Most likely. I just hope he is now more careful about speaking on behalf of God. Deuteronomy 18:22 was an instruction to the Hebrews but the principle is clear: “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”
I believe that we should carefully and prayerfully seek God’s guidance in finding our lifetime partner. I myself prayed in May 1995, “Lord, I want to meet my future wife in this conference.” And I did. But it took almost three years of courtship, prayers, counsel from godly leaders, and consent from our parents that Dahl and I came to a clear understanding that we were God’s best for each other. For this God-given partnership, our intentions are clear: we seek to give God glory always.
On March 19th, we will celebrate our 25th anniversary!