n our culture, everybody knows about “the one.”
Romantic comedies, “successful” celebrity relationships, online dating sites, even most of our friends, are constantly repeating this message: “All you have to do to be genuinely fulfilled is to find ‘the one.’ Once you do, everything will be rainbows and hearts and flowers and love songs from then on.”
So even as Christians, we spend a lot of time before marriage searching for that one perfect soul mate. We even reinforce our quest with Scripture. You’re probably familiar with that “seek and you will find” verse. You know, the one in Matthew 7:7-8 where Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (NIV).
You may even have it memorized. If you’re a single follower of Christ still looking for that special someone, maybe you even pray it every day with genuine sincerity: “Jesus, You said I could ask for whatever I want and it will be given to me. You said that if I seek, I’ll find, and that if I ask, I’ll receive. So Lord, this is me asking: Please send me that person who will complete me. You promised. So now You have to do it! Also, thanks. Amen.”
I mean, everybody knows that you can’t truly be happy in this life until you’ve met “the one,” right? If you’re a Christian who’s not yet married, you’ve probably already been seeking that one person who you’re just certain can meet your needs. They’re your future spouse—they just don’t know it yet. And if you’re married, all you want is for the spouse you already have to just step up once and for all and meet all those needs you expected them to. (Why are they so stubborn anyway? Why won’t they just do what you want so you can finally be happy?)
You know the story: Boy meets girl. Boy sees girl is pretty. Boy notices that girl’s hair smells good. Boy’s mind is blown. “She’s the one!”
Of course, girls are much more sophisticated than that. She starts a mass text exchange with all her girlfriends immediately after that first magical date: “OMGosh! So sweet! His eyes are amazing and you can tell he works out!” And what’s the one thing they always say? “We just talked and talked and talked for hours! It felt like we could talk forever!” (Enjoy that while it lasts, ladies.) “He completes me. I just know he’s the one!”
If you’re already married, maybe you’ve prayed that same Bible verse, only slightly modified: “Jesus, You said I could ask for anything I wanted, and that if I asked, I’d receive. I honestly thought this person You sent me was the one. Now I’m not so sure anymore. But I’m asking You: Please change my spouse into the person I know they could be, someone who can complete me. I sure hope You’re listening. Amen.”
Usually, even when you think you’ve found “the one,” it doesn’t take long to question whether he or she really is the one. Things seemed to go well enough at first but then began to unravel. In the long run, finding that special one seems as impossible as panning for gold in the ocean. Why is that? Why does the one never seem to really be the one we were looking for?
I’m convinced there’s a simple reason. While it’s true that you do need to find that “one” to be truly complete, another person can never be “the one.”
Just once I would love to hear somebody say, “I just met someone awesome and godly! We have so much fun together. We have this amazing spiritual bond. You know, I think I might have just met ‘the two!’” Why? Because to really be fulfilled in life, you do have to meet the One.
Here’s the catch: God is your One. Your spouse is your two.
- Your One and Only
Usually, when I address the single people at my church, I have them raise their hands. Then I have them look around and see if there’s anybody else with their hand raised that they might consider a possibility. I really hope that one day—say, 19 or 20 years from now—I start getting graduation announcements from kids at my church named Craig because I helped their parents find each other.
If you’re not married yet, but you hope to be one day, I’d like you to commit to this. I suggest you even write it down and maybe tape it on the mirror in your bath- room or in your car—just someplace you’ll see it every day: “I will seek the One while I prepare for my two.”
If you’re not married and you follow Christ, then, above anything else, you should honor God. You should love Him, seek Him, get to know Him, seek to please Him, and live by His Spirit. You should structure your life so that everything
you do brings glory to God. Don’t seek a spouse. Instead, seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness. When you do that first, according to Matthew 6:33, God will give you everything else you need.
The challenge is that a lot of the single people who consider themselves Christians in our culture today believe they can just put off “the God thing” until they’re older. They figure they’ll have plenty of time to focus on that later in life, convincing themselves that those things don’t really matter much while they’re young.
Single people often seem to think,
One day I’ll get married, and then I’ll get my family in on that whole church thing. But for now, I really just want to have some fun. I’m going to hit a few clubs and try to meet lots of different people. Sure, I might be jumping around from person to person now—and maybe some people might even consider my life sort of shallow or “ungodly” or whatever—but I can always take care of my spiritual business later.
This lifestyle attitude has become quite common, and it’s incredibly dangerous, preventing you from finding the kind of person you truly want to marry.
- Someone Like You
Here’s a very simple principle you can take to the bank: It doesn’t matter what you want; like attracts like. If you hope to have a godly marriage one day, you need to start living a godly life today.
Become the kind of person you would like to marry.
If the kind of person you want is someone who’s had 18 different sex partners, then by all means, go right ahead and be that person yourself. Only remember: If you do the same things everybody else does, your odds of a lasting marriage will be about the same as everybody else’s: 50-50. Your odds of a meaningful marriage will be much less. If you want something different from what everybody else has, then you’re going to have to do something different than what everybody else does.
If you want a spouse who’s sold out to Christ, then you need to devote yourself to Christ. If you want someone who seeks God daily in every area of their life, then you need to start pursuing God daily. If you’re single and you want to be married one day, become the kind of person you would like to marry.
I will seek the One while I prepare for my two.