Do you struggle with thinking or being told that your spouse has free will? What does free will mean to you? This can become a very heated topic of debate on if a man is free to make a choice or not. I have also seen Standers choose to give up on the restoration of their marriage and the reason they cite is “I have free will.”
First, our will is open to many choices, and we are walking in a lifetime of learning what each of our choices is going to bring. If we turn left, we are going to be subjected to the path that our choice brought. If we turn right, that path is already mapped out for us. But when we stand at that crossroads and get the choice to choose for ourselves, that is what I consider ‘free will.’ The freedom to choose what path to try out.
Are we free to choose our will?
I believe we are. I believe we are all given the same purpose in life. The opportunity to find Him, and surrender our will because we have come to see that He is good. I believe that is our purpose here on earth, to choose Him. And He has allowed us that freedom to GIVE our hearts, minds, and souls to Him. And it’s that freedom that makes it so beautiful and special, so when we give ourselves to Him, choose Him above ourselves and our desires, it makes it all the more special to Him.
But what if we chose not to? Are we then free from the repercussions? Jonah chose to run and suffered in the belly of the whale UNTIL he chose to surrender to God and give up his stubbornness. Not only are we free to make decisions, but we are also free to CHANGE OUR MINDS! Thank God for that.
Saul was being pricked severely by his choices to persecute Christians, and that is what Jesus pointed out to Him on the road to Damascus when He met him and said, “It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” (Acts 26:14) Many see this encounter as Saul didn’t have free will, that Jesus took that away from him by blinding him with light and revealing truth to Him.
Seeing and knowing the truth doesn’t take away a person’s choice. Look at the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years. They saw the truth. They saw the cloud and pillar of fire. The miracles. They had truth all around them, yet they still chose to believe God was not good. Saul could have made that exact same choice when He met Jesus, but Jesus waited until the perfect timing to meet him on that road when Saul was tired of the consequences of what his choices were doing to him. ALL of that was revealed when Jesus stated (not asked), “It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
On earth, we are all here to discover Him. Discover what a life with or apart from Him feels like. Some of God’s children, who honestly believe He is real, are struggling in believing He is GOOD, and that causes them to be very obstinate against Him. And it’s this stubbornness that promises to bring a battle of the wills as they come against what it feels like to have their Father coming against them.
Colossians 3, talks about the sons of disobedience who are not killing the flesh but walking to appease it.
So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God). Col 3:5 AMPC
We see that there are children of God who are not denying themselves but turning themselves, giving themselves over to the sinful desires that tempt all of us. And just as we all have the power to choose how we will handle those evil desires that we are tempted with, either giving into them, or killing them, we do not have the power to change the outcome of what those choices bring. God’s Word, His stance on these matters are this. If His children, Whom He loves and chastises when they are doing wrong, oppose His will, His anger is EVER COMING UPON THEM.
It is on account of these [very sins] that the [holy] anger of God is ever coming upon the sons of disobedience (those who are obstinately opposed to the divine will), Col 3:6 AMPC
Our focus should NOT be on IF they have ‘free will’ but more on the fact that IF they are a child of God and are having a battle of the wills with God, that His anger is EVER UPON THEM until they yield, turn, surrender and repent. Our focus should be on the lack of fear of the Lord that would make room for someone to easily go against the Lord because it shows they truly don’t know Him.
If you are told, “Your spouse has free will.” Then your reply should be something like, “I know, and I feel for them because God’s Holy anger is ever coming upon them because of their stubbornness. That is why I am standing and praying for them because they are perishing in their choices and sins. If my spouse knew God, really knew Him as Father, they would fear Him and not go against His will but want to yield to Him.”
And God’s anger is not just upon those walking in what was listed in verse 5. Verses 7-9 talk about some of the other choices that we make and that He is ever upon us, working to rid us of.
7 Among whom you also once walked, when you were living in and addicted to [such practices].8 But now put away and rid yourselves [completely] of all these things: anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips! 9 Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old (unregenerate) self with its evil practices, Col 3:7-9 AMPC
We are all walking toward becoming renewed and remolded, which means when we come to those crossroads where we are faced with decisions, we use our past experiences, knowledge, and understanding to help us choose wisely and IF we make a mistake, change directions and get on the right path.
10 And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it. Col 3:10
That is what we are hoping, believing, and praying for. That our spouses who made a severely BAD choice will wake up, see it, feel the anger upon them from the Father directed at that bad choice, and know they CAN change their mind. Can be forgiven and can repent and come home!!!
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