I will never forget an experience I had once I was giving a workshop to a group of married couples. They had gathered together to see how they could improve on their relationship and family life. Just a few minutes into the first part of the workshop, a woman raised her hand and asked the question: Father, how do we really know that God joined me and my husband together? There were mixed reactions to this question. Some thought it was funny and so they laughed since all the couples had been married for at least 17 years. Others expressed a big surprise at the question. And still others like me felt jolted by the question, for it was such a fundamental question. I listened and the woman continued: “for me this question is necessary because ONLY what God has joined together should no one put asunder. Isn’t it possible that some couples could have joined themselves but not by God? Or should we presume that all couples are joined by God?” After she had ended her question, her husband gave her a questioning look which everyone noticed and burst into laughter. Some started reading the husband, that maybe he joined to his wife without God’s approval. More laughter! My head was running wild trying to figure out how to approach this serious issue. I then decided to ask each couple to take some minutes to reflect on this question and return to the group with a sincere answer that both of them agree on.

It was hilarious when the couples returned. The majority agreed that God truly joined them together, and a very small number said they weren’t so sure. In effect, the few that expressed doubt were those having serious problems in their marriage. The couples that thought God joined them together provided evidence why it was so. First, they knew they had love for each other from the very beginning; second, no one coerced them into marrying each other; third, their friends and family were happy for them getting married. Above all, they have a lovely family even though things are not smooth all the time and despite the fact that some of their kids give them hard time. They have a few skirmishes with the extended family, but those do not usually affect their relationship. They spend more time working on their relationship with each other, making sure they care for each other, for they believe it is the primary responsibility they owe to each other. By the time the majority ended their input, some of the few couples that had doubts seemed to be uncomfortable. One man boldly stated that everything was good with them from the beginning, but over time they were not giving time to their marital relationship. At the end, only two couples still insisted they were not so sure but the rest had agreed! We all held hands and prayed for them. Right after that session I had a few more counseling sessions with them and today, they are still married and are happier!

There is no easy answer to whether God joined a couple. God does not come down to tell us. He works through our hearts, minds and through the events in our lives. That is why it is so important that people follow their hearts and are deeply sincere in giving their heart, body and soul to another. When insincerity and selfishness determine a marriage decision, it may prove difficult, though God can always perform a miracle. And so, do you believe truly that God joined you together? We pray for all married couples that God may continue to strengthen them in their resolve to love each other forever. Amen