Why does God give us a choice in the first place, doesn’t he want absolute obedience? If he wanted absolute obedience then he would have made us robots pre-programmed to say I love you. God often compares his covenant relationship to various types of human ones like a parent to child (creator to creation) and a husband and wife (God to his people). Most people can understand the view of God as a Father but seeing God as a husband seems strange to some. What is the difference between the two kinds of relationships?
Besides the romantic and sexual intimacy of a married couple, one key difference is that marriage starts with a choice. Men ask women to marry them and women have to say yes in order to move forward. Likewise, God reaches out to us in love first and we have to respond in love (1 John 4:18, John 3:16). This is why the body of Christ is analogous to a bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2). If a woman was forced to marry a man and only pretends to love him, then he won’t feel the same joy in marriage, because he isn’t wanted. Furthermore, love has more value as a choice because there is a chance that a woman can say no instead of yes.
Therefore God wants us to want him, otherwise, he would have made us robots. There is no value in a reward without risk because the opportunity for loss makes the gain so much sweeter. A man is more appreciative of a woman that chooses him when she could have said no, this lets him know that he is worthy of her love. God knew Adam would fail and still chose to make us and put up with the consequences of sin so that he can propose to us. Those who choose him will be cherished forever in this eternal marriage covenant.
John 3:16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. 18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”