Principles of Matching
By Jim and Hiromi Stephens
Copyright December, 2015
God’s Portion of Responsibility
Knowing God’s Plan
I think we can all agree that God has an original plan. After all, He did create the entire universe and every living thing from the smallest cell. All the relationships of protons and electrons, anions and cations, stamens and pistils, males and females were all designed by God. There was a plan. By extension, there must be a plan for you, for your spouse, for your relationship, and for your children in the mind of God.
Surely as well, it must be the best plan that there is. It’s just that the really hard question is how to find out the plan and know for sure when you have found it.
Our experience is that it is very difficult to know the plan of God and in fact, to go a step further, the plan of God keeps changing. We’re not sure, but it really feels like God’s plan changes. We have come to assume it is because of circumstances that are unknown to us that changed. The net effect may be that God seems to be leading you randomly.
Once God took our family into a matching process that we felt was fully inspired. After a couple of meetings with the family, it came to light that the other young person had already secretly found their own match. It was painful for everyone, but healing did take place in their family. We think that we had a hand in that and it was God that “used” us for the healing. We have offered that experience up rather than feeling betrayed by God. This was a lesson for us that God’s plan may be a whole lot bigger than just what we are looking at with our eyes.
God plans for thousands of years
Think about it. God must have ideas and plans out into the future for thousands of years. His matching plans for your family aren’t just for your children, but He must be thinking about your descendants for many generations to come later. If one matching is not a success, maybe the future children or grandchildren of those lineages are still intended to be matched.
Here is an analogy. We are driving a car on a very dark night. We can only see as far ahead as the headlights of the car will shine. You don’t know the curves ahead of that or the detours you will encounter. But you keep on driving in faith, right? Just stay on the road.
Having faith in God’s goodness is your best course of action. Believing that God has your best interests in His heart and is working to accomplish those all the time is important. If you are not looking, you will not be ready to find it.
God often whispers
One of our matchings got started because I (Jim) decided to look at Matchbook profiles in an age group that I rarely looked in. One profile that I read seemed to stick out because three times the young man mentioned “helping the world”. My daughter had been talking about that exact thing lately. When I emailed the parents, I described noticing those three phrases. Their son had been rejecting any attempts lately, but when he heard about this, he was suddenly open to communication. The lesson here is that God reaches out through your intuition and inspirations. Follow those.
Another of our matchings started when an old friend from my Seminary days in 1975-77 called me (Jim) that he had a dream that we were discussing the matching of our kids. It just so happened that we were due to give a talk at a workshop hours from our house but not too far from their house. We arranged to meet up and had lunch with them. I believe that dream was from God and his acting on it was what could lead to a successful match.
Another matching got started at a Parents Matching Convocation. A big circle was formed by parents with daughters. Hiromi was in the circle in the area for older girls. But she was very near the other end of the circle where there was a parent with one of the youngest girls. They struck up a conversation. Low and behold, our youngest son got matched to their daughter. That’s a few ways showing how God has worked for us.
God learns too
Personally we think that God has learned a lot from experience and probably changed His techniques over the years as He has seen the results of all of His efforts and ours at matching down here on earth.
One of our first matchings was accompanied by lots of spiritual signs. One of them was that when my daughter got on a plane to return to America from Korea, the mother of the young man was sitting in the seat right next to my daughter. Having an engineering background, I (Jim) am flabbergasted at how God could have possibly arranged that.
Over the years since those early days of matching, I don’t see so much of these exceptional spiritual experiences that seem to be God working directly. I don’t know if God stopped doing such “miracles” because they were not so successful or because we stopped looking for them, or if there is some other reason.
God knows how to speak to you
How will God speak to you? Each of us is unique and so is our relationship with God. God has already spoken to you many, many times in your life. Think about those experiences. Were they dreams? Were they inspirations in prayer? Were they words out of someone else’s mouth? Were they insights from reading? God knows how to speak to you so that you will recognize Him. That will probably be the way that he sends guidance about matching. Prepare yourself to receive the guidance and be watching for it.
Know for sure that God gave each of us a Portion of Responsibility. He did not interfere with the Portion of Responsibility of Adam and Eve even as they were heading into the Fall.
This shows how vital God holds man’s Portion of Responsibility and we need to recognize how significant this is. It means that He will not interfere in our own Portion of Responsibility as parents, as husband or wife, or as man or woman. Nor will God interfere in our children’s Portion of Responsibility.
Pray to know your portion of responsibility
As parents, it is important for us to recognize our own Portion of Responsibility and the Portion of Responsibility of our children and not interfere in it, just as God does not interfere. This is a valuable focus of your prayers during preparation.