If you’ve been single long, you’ve had this conversation about why you are single, and someone says these words, “Well I guess you just haven’t met THE ONE yet, but it’ll happen”. Now if you are younger you might say this yourself, but usually the older you get the less you say it because you realize, 1. it might not happen – after all it hasn’t yet, and 2. there is not just one.
You read that right. I’m declaring it right now, right here. There is not THE ONE, at least not in the way we usually talk about.
Now I can hear some married people disagreeing with me (mostly women – no offense just being realistic) but I don’t think there is any biblical, empirical or any other ‘cal evidence that backs this up.
You could maybe, and I mean maybe, make the case before the fall that there was just one. But even that is shaky. Marriage is pre-sin, but I think THE ONE is a post sin way of coping. What about when someone marries someone and then they die, and they remarry – did God have two “the one’s” for them? This idea that God has chosen just one for us sounds very romantic, or very Oprah, but I don’t think we are promised it any where. Which I think is actually good news and good for us – which might be why God set it up that way.
THE ONE is killing us out there.
For starters, let’s realize what most of us mean when we say this is – the one who is everything I want, the perfect one, (or more religious sounding – the perfect one for me). This is not marriage or realistic. Getting married is not about finding someone who meets all of my needs or fulfills me. That’s romanticism at it’s best and consumerism at it’s worst.
This stuff can lead us, sometimes for years, to think that if I can just meet THE ONE then everything will be alright. No it won’t! Because even if you could, THE ONE gets old, or sick, or hurt, or is mean to you, or veers away from God, or breaks your heart, or lets you down.
When it comes to finding fulfillment there is only one THE ONE and that is Jesus. I know it sounds cheesy but it is essential we keep this in mind. If we get this wrong everything will be messed up.
If we don’t get ahold of this we will be continuing to make marriage and THE ONE an idol.
But there are even more side problems, including but not limited to:
- Getting married, being let down and being able to declare, “Oh I must have gotten this wrong. There must be a different ONE for me.”
- Searching for a person that we are 100% attracted to all the time.
- Thinking I’ve found THE ONE and then messing it all up because of the weight I put on the relationship or living in fear of losing THE ONE – which leads to all sorts of mistakes.
- Putting huge pressure on every dating relationship because I have to figure out if they are THE ONE. This is a crushing pressure that almost no one can stand under. And for free – if they can, something is off – everyone messes up – everyone.
- Waiting for God to bring me THE ONE instead of engaging others and getting to know people.
- Thinking someone that got away is THE ONE and spending all my time and thoughts figuring out how to make something work that is long over.
I want to be clear that I’m not saying that we should just go marry whoever. Not at all. I’m also not saying that God doesn’t bring you someone. He brings people into our lives all the time (and not just romantically). We need to choose wisely and with the Spirit because even though there is not THE ONE we will hopefully only do this one time.
So here are some practical helps. Maybe start by fighting the idol of THE ONE. Jesus is the only person who can fulfill us. Next, when dating people maybe instead of asking God if this is THE ONE ask questions like, “Do you want me to marry THIS person?” If I’m not dating, maybe ask God, “send me someone You’d like me to marry” instead of, “Send me THE ONE.”
Finally, don’t ask, “Is this person THE ONE for me?” but instead ask these big questions:
1. Am I good for this person? Are they good for me? Are we good together? and if yes, 2. Do I want to covenant to love and care for this person the rest of my life, no matter what?
Once you answer yes to those – you will have THE ONE.