I’ve known that I wanted to address this topic at some point on my blog, but I wasn’t expecting to write this one so soon after launching the blog. Right now, a few of my close friends are meeting someone at a serious level, and I feel this sense of urgency to put all these thoughts into writing. I know that I’ve already expressed these to my friends at some point, but I tend to articulate my thoughts better in writing than in speech, so here goes. It may be a bit choppy, as for some reason I’m in a major state of hurry.
The More Important Question
The sense that this is the “one” did not come immediately for me when I met Allan. For him, he said he knew right away. For me, I came into the relationship with so many doubts and fears that didn’t have anything to do with him. I projected a lot of that onto him, which made me unsure about “us” many times, even after I said “yes” and entered our engagement stage. I remember at one point wondering, “Is this wedding ready going to happen? Things are so hard between us sometimes. Will we really make it to the altar?” Then the total confirmation came – believe it or not – right before the door opened for me to walk down the aisle. Now, I wasn’t planning on being a runaway bride or anything. I did have some wedding nerves, and I remember my bridesmaids praying and singing worship music with me right before we lined up behind the door. We also had some major prayer sessions (as a couple and with friends) the night before. Finally, as the door opened and I saw him standing at the altar, it was like God’s peace completely consumed me. All my nerves disappeared. I was totally relaxed and enjoyed every moment of our wedding. It’s been almost six years since that day, and I can honestly say that the question of “Is he really the one?” never returned after that moment.
Now, I’m not saying that’s how it will be for everyone (actually, I hope the total confirmation comes for you a lot sooner). Looking back though, at least for me, the total peace that “this is the one” came after and not before the relationship-building process. For me, the question “Is Allan the person I’m supposed to marry?” or “Are we going to make it?” did not get answered fully and completely until the altar. However, there was a much more important question that I did have the answer to, long before we reached the altar: Did I, and did we as a couple, seek God’s guidance and honor Him every step of the way? The answer to this question for us was undoubtedly “yes.”
The Three Essentials
You know that list you came up with when you were a teen – a long list of what you wanted in your future spouse? I must have made that list at least a few different times in my youth. Now that I’ve been married six years, and I believe that we have a solid, blessed-beyond-measure type of marriage, I’ve condensed that list into three main essentials:
He/she must love God with all of their heart, soul, and strength. Most of us know that this is non-negotiable, yet I think so many of us accept the other person at face value and do not take time to really put this one to the test. It’s about having the same values, morals, integrity, passions and visions. I also want to warn that it’s not about how much a person is doing for God or knows about God (serving, quoting the Bible, or having vast knowledge in theology), but does God really come first, even before you? How can you know this for sure? The most tangible way that I believe God provides for singles to prove this is in the area of purity. Let’s face it. That’s hard. Yet following God first in every area of our lives is not easy. “The one” is someone you are to do that with, for the rest of your life. There is one solid rule that God laid out in regards to this season of your relationship: protect sexual purity until marriage. For the ladies, I want you to ask this question: Is he taking the lead in protecting the sexual purity in your relationship? I promise you, God is not setting this rule to torture you. It’s a great opportunity to prove that God does indeed come first. When your man does this, it’s a Big tangible sign that he will lead your household in the same way when you’re married. Allan never gave me doubt in this area. He didn’t know everything about the Bible, and he had his faults, but I knew this for sure: he loved Jesus wholeheartedly, and he was not going to lead us to sin against God.
Please take my word on this: when you seek God’s way with all you’ve got (even when it’s hard), you will receive His FULL blessings…and there’s nothing sweeter.
He/she must be real, humble, and have a teachable spirit. The person you’re thinking of marrying doesn’t have to be perfect…nobody is. But does he/she show their real self? When you hit a bump on the road, do you always have to bend, or does he/she admit they were wrong and change their ways? Allan and I were able to be real with each other from Day 1 (that’s why we hit the bumps so early in our relationship). Whenever I brought up an issue, he may have been a bit defensive at first, but time and time again he showed that he took it to heart and did his part to create a better harmony. He was quick to admit where he was wrong and make necessary changes, as was I.
He/she must be someone you have FUN with…most if not all the time. This last one really completes the three-fold ingredient. You are going to be spending the rest of your life this with person. Fun and laughter are irreplaceable. I once almost dated this great guy. I had the utmost respect for him. When we spent time alone though, the atmosphere was kind of tight and it was a struggle to keep the conversation going. We laughed together at times, but I felt like I was forcing myself to have fun. With Allan, we can’t ever have too much fun. There are many days that he makes me laugh so hard that my stomach hurts and tears are rolling. He is by far my favorite person to spend time with. You want to find that kind of person, who you look forward to spending the rest of your life with.
Sorry to be long, but I’m so passionate about this. I’m tired of seeing marriages fail all around me. It doesn’t have to be like that. A lot of it has to do with choosing well and honoring God through the whole dating process (and beyond, in your marriage). One last note: I believe premarital counseling is also essential once you’re engaged. OK, that is all. Praying for all you singles out there. The one is worth the wait. The blessings far outweigh the struggles. Keep seeking and honoring God.