As I write this, I’m sitting in a coffee shop downtown with headphones in my ears, sipping from a glass of room temperature water. Two guys in their early 20s are meeting at the table to my right, talking about life, careers and relationships.
And since I’m having a hard time focusing, I decided to eavesdrop.
When they started talking about dating, one of them mentioned a lady he likes. But he’s not sure if he should date her because he’s not sure if she is “the one.”
When he said that, a question came to my mind: “What do we mean when we talk about ‘the one?’”
If what we mean is that there is one person out there who is destined to be your perfectly compatible life-partner and who will “complete you,” then I can’t help feeling bad for my wife. She must have married the wrong “one.”
Don’t get me wrong. My wife and I say all the time that we are an amazing fit for each other in ways that we never could have imagined.
But am I really intended to be her “other half?” And is it really her job to “complete me?” If so, I’m afraid she has made a devastating mistake. And I might have as well.
The truth is, looking for “the one” can actually put unnecessary pressure on you, as well as your future spouse.
It puts pressure on you because you could marry the wrong “one,” not because they lack character or do not love God, but simply because they are not the divinely selected person you were destined to marry.
And it puts unnecessary pressure on your spouse because being “the one” comes with high expectations. If you believe “the one” is the person who will “complete you” and make you whole, you are going to be disappointed. Because no matter how great your spouse is, they are going to let you down.
Kevin DeYoung says it this way in his book, Just Do Something:
‘You complete me,’ may sound magically romantic, but it’s not true. Yes, men and women are designed to rely on one another in marriage. However, the biblical formula for marriage is not half a person plus half a person equals one complete puzzle of a person. Genesis math says one plus one equals one (Genesis 2:24).
Who should you marry then? Instead of looking for your perfect match only to be disappointed, here are three things to look for in a spouse:
MARRY A CHRISTIAN
If God is first in your life, but not in your spouse’s, your whole relationship will be off balance. How you think about life, approach your career and even raise a family will become frustrating because you have different values. So first and foremost, marry another Christian who genuinely loves Jesus.
MARRY AN ADULT
No matter how awesome someone is, if he or she doesn’t handle money, life decisions and relationships with maturity, they’re not ready for marriage. At least not right now. Marry a mature adult.
MARRY YOUR FRIEND
Much more important than physical attraction or perfect compatibility, seek to marry your best friend. Beauty fades, and compatibility is temporary because you will both change. But friendship lasts through the highs and lows.
In The Meaning Of Marriage, pastor and author Tim Keller writes:
When God brought the first man his spouse, he brought him not just a lover but the friend his heart had been seeking… In tribal societies, romance doesn’t matter as much as social status, and in individualistic Western societies, romance and great sex matter far more than anything else. The Bible, however, without ignoring the importance of romance, puts great emphasis on marriage as companionship.
If you want to marry someone who will complete you and be perfectly compatible with you, your best chances are to marry your mirror. But if you want to marry someone you can grow old with, marry your best friend who loves Jesus and makes wise life decisions.
Editor’s Note: For a great resource on this subject, click to download my free ebook, “6 Lies You Need To Stop Believing About Marriage.”