Title: “God Has ‘The One’ For You” And Other Advice To Reconsider
Artwork by:YMI X Estelle Queck (@morethanworks)
Description: You’re a single Christian with hopes of finding a potential partner. There seems to be a shortage of eligible dates in both your church and at your workplace. However, the one thing you’re not short on is advice from friends and acquaintances, all eager to see you partnered up.
Even though our friends mean well, their advice could point us towards self-centeredness rather than Christ-centeredness. The best way to tell is to evaluate what we hear with what the Word says about love. Let’s invite Christ to steer us through the ups and downs of our relationship.
Disclaimer: If what you’ve read here sounds intimidating and impossible to achieve, fret not! It’s meant to help you avoid possible pitfalls in your dating journey and enjoy an exciting one with Christ.
Butterflies in your stomach, sweaty palms. Tingling sensations of excitement scorch through your body as you meet a potential “the one” . “Maybe this is the specific someone God has for me”, you think.
Most of us would have been told, in one form or another, that God has a specific person planned for us, which sends us into a debilitating tailspin of anxiety and fear of choosing the “wrong one” —or feeling like we may have missed out on the “winning prize” when a relationship fails.
But the Bible has never said that God has set aside that “one person” for us. Instead, we are given the freedom to decide whom to marry, but through the Bible, prayer and the help of our community, He gives us the wisdom we need in discerning whether someone would make a good potential life partner (James 1:5).
You blow up each other’s phone with cute text messages, date nights are spent with you in tears of laughter, and you can’t wait till you both get to spend time together again. Your date makes you just so incredibly happy.
While there’s room for happiness in a healthy relationship, it’s an unreliable measure when it comes to figuring out if the person is the right one for us. A better way of gauging the person’s suitability would be to turn to our group of trusted friends for advice. Do they have any concerns about our date’s character, or the way the relationship is headed?
Proverbs 12:15 says a wise man listens to advice, and when it comes to the areas of love and dating, there’s nothing foolish about taking heed of the potential red flags or blind spots our friends might be able to help us see.
You’ve found someone you’re interested in and feel that there’s compatibility between the both of you. But over the first couple of dates, you don’t feel connected. You feel unsure if you should call it quits at this stage.
The reality is, we need to invest time into knowing the other person for a deeper connection to grow.
This can be built over time as we have God-centered conversations about our fears, thoughts, hopes and priorities in life or experience different situations together. Soon, you’ll find that connection is solidified when iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17), in times of carrying each other’s burdens (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 10:24), and as you build each other up (Galatians 6:2). Not only does this give us a glimpse into the other person’s character and ability to handle tough situations, but it also helps us better decide if we are ready to pursue a life-long partnership.
You’ve grown in your feelings for that special someone, and so has your expectations of him. Egged on by your friends, you start to evaluate the kind of gifts he showers you with, or what he does to impress you. “Has he brought you to a fancy candlelight dinner or surprised you with a visit?” You begin wondering if he’s truly interested in you if he hasn’t been doing anything special to show how much he cares.
Everyone deserves to be genuinely loved and to receive love. Expecting someone to “love us more” than we love them could run the risk of us playing with their emotions, their vulnerabilities, and their generosity for our own gains and securities.
1 Corinthians 13:3-8 says love is not self-seeking, but always protects the interests of the other person. How can we show honor to the person we’re dating, and to give more than we’re receiving?
You are open to meeting someone, and start looking around church and cell groups for potential partners. Soon, almost everyone you know is looking to introduce you to someone they vaguely know—just because the person’s “a Christian”.
You go on a few dates with the person, and things seem to go well. But if you’re looking to pursue a relationship, then it’s good to ask questions such as: Do they bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)? Do they look out for the forgotten, or the least of these (Matthew 25:40)? Are they looking to grow more like Christ (1 Peter 2:2) and setting aside time to do so? These are just some questions that help us assess whether our future partner is a person who is truly after God’s heart (Acts 13:22).
After all, there is more to the Christian life than just professing to be one—find someone who walks the talk too!
That jolt of electricity when your hands touch. The sound of your heart drumming in your ears. The sight of those expressive eyes and cute smile is enough to melt you.
While the initial physical attraction or “spark” is important, it’ll fade over time. As Proverbs 31:30 says, “Beauty is fleeting, charm is deceptive, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” And we’ll need more than just the jelly-leg feeling to fan the flames of a relationship over a long period of time.
Instead of focusing on the “spark”, here are some other more attractive traits to look out for: Do they have a heart of generosity or kindness? Or, perhaps a faith that has weathered through the storms of life and fears the Lord in their decision-making? Let these qualities be the fuel that’ll keep your relationship going even after that initial spark is gone.
You’ve been told you’re smart and funny, and that any person would be so lucky to date you. And it’s almost always followed by this: “You deserve the best.”
But what does that look like? Does it mean you can’t date the person volunteering to clean the church’s toilets every Sunday because you’re on the worship team? Does it mean ditching your boyfriend if he’s unable to shower you with expensive gifts?
“Deserving the best” has little to do with a person’s status, or the material gifts they’re able to shower us with. Instead of evaluating whether someone is “the best”, choose someone whose values or life goals align with ours, and encourage each other to pursue Christlikeness in every area of our lives (Hebrews 10:24). What gifts do you see in the other person? Seek ways to help them grow in exercising those gifts.