Q: How do you know if the one you love is really the person God meant you to be with?
A: This is a great question, which is pretty much the same as another question which many people ask: “Is he/she the ONE?” In other words, is this person I am dating “the one” whom God has made for me? Personally, I don’t believe that there is only one person for you, and here’s why. If I believe that there is only one person for me, and this person is that one, then going into marriage I have an expectation that things are going to be easy and that there is not going to be much effort required to make this work, because this person is the one. If things don’t work out, and this person doesn’t fulfil my needs, then maybe I made a mistake and they weren’t the one! Suddenly someone comes across your path whom you really connect with and have so much in common with. You start thinking: perhaps you should divorce your spouse and pursue this other person because they definitely feel like “the one”. Furthermore, this philosophy can lead to despair if you find that “the one” turns out to be married to someone else. A question may then arise: does God really want me to miss out on what can be the greatest joy and delight? Surely they are not as happy, fulfilled, and satisfied as they could be if they were with me?… Can you see the danger? The concept of “the one” seems to minimize the reality of working at a relationship, and realising that each person has flaws – there is no perfect “one”.
To answer your question though, I do believe that some people make better partners than others, and that God does lead us in these choices. There are some questions you need to ask which should go without saying:
(1) Does this person love me and are they as committed to me as I am to them?
(2) Do I trust them?
(3) Have they ever done anything that has made me question their commitment and shaken my trust? (e.g. have they cheated on me while we have been dating? This is a deal breaker right here – if they can’t be faithful now, marriage will not change anything)
Some deeper questions however are:
(1) Does this person love Jesus?
(2) Does this person believe what I believe about the major teachings of the Bible?
(3) Are this person’s life goals in line and compatible with my life’s goals?
(4) Does this person have the same desire for kids that I have?
(5) What do my family and friends think about this person? (listen to their concerns honestly – they are the ones who care about you the most)
Once you have satisfied yourself with these questions, pray. Trust that God loves you, and will lead you to make the right decision that will mean the best possible future for you, as you live to glorify Him. If you find that, while praying, or while asking these questions, there are some question marks or even a loss of inner peace, have the courage to make the right decision. It may mean short term pain, but it is better than a lifetime of potential heartache.
As a final word, marriage counselling is always advised for those considering marriage, as well as attending a marriage course which we run periodically. If you want to meet one of the elders personally, or would like to signup for a marriage course contact the church office.