Best Of: Looking For "The One"
From the LYWB.com team: It's our fifth birthday here on the blog. To celebrate we are featuring the "best of" the blog all month. This post on finding "the one" got you talking. With 116 comments, clearly many of you are wondering if "the one" is out there. Here is my two cents on the subject.
It's the stuff fairy tales are made of. One guy. One girl. Destined to be together forever as husband and wife. They are made for each other, and they fit together like two pieces of the same puzzle. They spend their whole lives looking for each other, and when they meet they "just know" that they've found "the one."
The idea that there is one person out there for us is certainly a romantic one. But to be honest, I'm not sure it's biblical. I've been looking, and I can't find any evidence in Scripture that God creates one specific person to be our mate. I know that this has the potential to burst a lot of bubbles, but I still think it's a subject worth tackling (I'll get to why in a minute).
There are lots of great romances in the Bible. Let's start with Adam and Eve. In Genesis 2 we read that Eve was created to be a helper to Adam. There wasn't much risk that these two wouldn't match up since they were the only people in creation. I'm not sure God's plan for who we are to marry outside of the Garden is so specific.
Abraham and Sarah were happily married, but we don't learn anything about their story until Abraham was seventy-five years old. There's no evidence that God instructed Abraham to marry Sarah because she was "the one" (Gen. 12).
Jacob loved Rachel, but he met her because he stole his brother's blessing and was forced to flee his home (Gen. 27–28). Ruth married Boaz, but it was only after her first husband died. I can't think of any examples where Scripture seems to indicate that God chose who an individual fell in love with and married.
The Bible does indicate that God knows who we will marry simply because He is omniscient. First John 3:20 tells us that God knows everything. Psalm 147:5 says that His understanding has no limit. But knowing who we will marry and choosing who we will marry are two different things.
I realize it may seem like I am splitting hairs here, but there is a reason why I think it's worth making the distinction. Thinking that God has created someone just for you (and you for him) sets you up for disappointment. Through His Word, God does command us to marry a believer (2 Cor. 6:14) and several passages give us helpful guidelines for what qualities to look for in a potential mate (1 Cor. 13:4–7, Titus 1:5–9). But if you're looking for a perfect match, you won't find him. If you head into marriage thinking that you were made for each other and will fit together perfectly, you may find yourself disillusioned when trials come and your relationship is strained. We know from Scripture that God designed marriage and He created men and women to complement each other, but it isn't perfect. You will never find "the one" who "completes you" like a missing puzzle piece.
Well . . . I guess that isn't exactly true.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding (Eph. 1:4–8).
Now that's romantic.