Throughout Scripture, God always takes the initiative.  He sets the agenda.  "We adjust our lives to God so He can do through us what He wants to do," says Blackaby.  "God is not our servant to make adjustments to our plans.  We are His servants and we adjust our lives to what He is about to do."

Once again we're back to the difference between a good idea and a God idea.  How many times have we heard people say, "If God gave me a brain, He must expect me to use it?"  Even though God have us the ability to reason and make choices, what did He say about our thoughts compared to His?

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.  "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."  (Isaiah 55:8-9)

God's knowledge and wisdom are far greater than ours.  He can see the entire landscape while we concentrate on a single valley.  We would be foolish to try to fit God into our mold and conform Him to our plans.  Yes, He did give us a brain, and we should be smart enough to know that God's even smarter.

Once again, what's the difference between a good idea and a God idea?  A good idea will work some of the time; a God idea will work all the time.  Scripture warns us not to lean on our understanding but to trust God wholeheartedly (Proverbs 3:5).  When we are not willing to submit to God's leadership and authority in our lives, God will let us follow our own devices.  In following them, we will never experience what God is waiting and wanting to do in us and through us.

Escaping the Traps

Christians must realize that it is more important to be certain that a marriage is God's will than to judge our suitability for marriage by love, attraction, or compatibility.  Our situations change and we grow through the years.  We cannot predict future compatibility on our own.  When we accept compatibility as the primary basis of marriage, we can be led into cultural traps such as living together before marriage to make sure we are compatible.  Only God knows the end from the beginning.  He is the one who creates love, not man.

It was Ruth's mother-in-law, Naomi, who made the choice of a husband for her (Ruth 3).  It wasn't love at first sight, getting to know each other, or even a passionate kiss that brought Boaz and Ruth together.  Romance wasn't the issue, although the story later became beautifully romantic as Ruth and Boaz developed an unselfish love and deep respect for each other.  The issue was obedience, a "rightness" about the relationship.  God was working in the situation, and He was using Naomi's kindness and moral integrity to guide Ruth.  As a result, Ruth later became the great-grandmother of King David and a direct ancestor of Jesus.

Does the story of Boaz and Ruth interrupt your romantic vision of passionate love?  Would you like the story more if the two had been lovers who glimpsed each other across the wheatfield and became passionately attracted?  It happens to some people in some situations, but the qualities that are attractive in the beginning may prove difficult to live with in the long run.  The man who falls in love with a woman's attentiveness may find it is the very quality that drives him crazy when he can't get enough space.  The woman who falls in love with a man's drive to succeed may find that quality irritating and destructive when he spends more time at work than at home.

Dr. Neil Clark Warren, author of the popular book "Finding the Love of Your Life," says your choice of whom to marry is more crucial than everything else combined that you will ever do to make your marriage succeed.  "If you choose wisely," he says, "your life will be significantly easier and infinitely more satisfying.  But if you make a serious mistake, your marriage may fail, causing you and perhaps your children immeasurable pain.  Most of the failed marriages I have encountered were in trouble the day they began dating.  The two people involved simply chose the wrong person to marry."