Saturday, October 22, 2011

Is He/She the One?

When I was single, I used to get so frustrated at married people who would answer my "How did you know?" question with, "You just know."

I resolved to never answer that way. Ever.

And then I met Corinne. We've been married 7 years now and it's been absolutely incredible. During our courtship (yes, we actually called it that), I struggled with my resolution because I really started to believe she was the one I would spend the rest of my life with and I didn't (at first) have a clear answer why. I knew I had to be sure for myself and in the past there were other girls, why was this one different?

I think I discovered something that might help you understand the, "You just know" answer. It's something I've thought a lot about over the years and after sharing it with a couple single guys last night, I thought it would be worth blogging about.

If you're a Christ follower, here's an exercise for you:

How do you know you're going to heaven?

How do you really, really know? The answer to that question is very similar to the answer about knowing who your spouse is. Your answer my vary, but here's mine:
  1. The Bible
  2. The Holy Spirit
  3. The input of family and friends I respect
  4. Wisdom from spiritual leaders (pastors, mentors, etc)
I trust in what the Bible says about my eternity based on my confession of faith and the fruit in my life (i.e. positive change to be more like Christ). I know the Holy Spirit is speaking to me and directing me, confirming my conviction of faith. The encouragement and perspective from family and friends who's lives I admire is also critical. Finally, input from people who have devoted their life to studying God's word and serving others is invaluable.

That's how I know I'm saved, but it's also how I knew Corinne was to be my wife.

Did I flip open the Bible one day and see our names etched together in a heart? No. But I did see Psalm 37:3-5:
Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
When I read that verse, I knew Corinne was the desire of my heart. I had put in the time to cultivate faithfulness, to give up my desperate "is she the one?" search and trust God. I remember fasting and praying one Saturday before proposing. I had to be sure. The Holy Spirit was with me that day, encouraging me to move forward. It wasn't a deep emotion; I wasn't weeping or singing or anything like that. I just submitted my heart and my will to the Spirit and left everything open to correction. I remember talking with my parents, my family and friends and my pastors. By the time we started dating, no one could convince me otherwise. Corinne was going to be my wife.

I just knew.

If you're single, hopefully this information will help you know too. It's not about an emotion, it's about conviction, truth and faith. It's about you and your best friend and the plan God has for you both.

Single? Are you a mess of emotions looking for the one? Got any questions or comments you need to get out there? If so, leave them below.

Married? How did you "just know"? Did you follow a similar process?


Luke Stokes said...

In my experience; God's will comes easy. Usually things that I have to force are my will and end in regret. Asking Karrie to marry me was easy. We started were friends first. We could be real around each other. We have taken several personality assessments and they are say we were tailor made for each other. I cannot see myself with anyone else. God knew.

Luke Stokes said...

It's funny how difficult we make things at times. It's true though, when we let go and follow His plan, things work out as they should. I definitely agree about being friends. I don't know how people can really get to know someone through the "dating" process.

Corinne and I recently took the DISC profile and we're exact opposites which we both think is hilarious. I'm a high D/I (99 out of 100) and she's a high C/S (also 99 out of 100). We balance each other well.

Joel Fortner said...

Besides loving one another, MaryBeth and I were just so compatible. Plus, she's such an outstanding, pure person who betters me. The process had little to do with overwhelming emotions and more to do with foundational elements of love, friendship, partnership, compatibility, shared goals, shared interests. This is the stuff that I've learned leads to lasting marriages. We've continued to grow upon these.

Luke Stokes said...

"love, friendship, partnership, compatibility, shared goals, shared interests" - I love that list, Joel. Great stuff, thanks for sharing.

Brian Reese said...

When I stopped looking for "the one" and let God do the searching I fell in love with Colleen. The more we got to know each other, the more I know that she was the one God brought to me.

It's funny how sometimes we just have to stop trying to do things on our own and let God handle it.

Luke Stokes said...

Well said. I'm often surprised how quickly we "get in the way" of things God has already taken care of. The illusion of control gets me often.

Jamie Kocur said...

I used to think the same thing. How did you just know? Give me a real answer! Then I met my husband, and I honestly... just knew. There was a great peace to the whole situation. I remember praying, asking God to show me anything to indicate I should not marry this guy, and I heard nothing. Anytime I was with him, I felt safe and at peace.

Luke Stokes said...

Thanks for commenting, Jamie! It's funny how often we get confused and frustrated when God's plan often is very simple and peaceful.

Tim Lytle said...

[Happily stumbled across this blog via twitter, so that explains the comment on a month old post.] When I was single, others would talk about this, and my thought was they were too concerned about

Luke Stokes said...

Thanks Tim! Always brings me a big smile when a blot post gets discovered. :)

You're so right. Getting too wrapped up in "the one" mentality can be really counter productive. It's an important decision for sure, but what matters most is what happens after that decision and what we do daily to build up our marriages.

Thanks for sharing. The one is the person who says "I do." Simple. I like it.

Laura McClellan said...

I always got frustrated with that answer too! Since my husband is the only guy I ever dated, I really struggled with the, "but how do I KNOW??" thing. Through some messages at the young adult ministry we went to, I realized it wasn't so much of a feeling or even "just knowing" to me...but more of a choice and a commitment. Not some mystical thing you couldn't track down, y'know? Also apologies for commenting on an old post, but of course I'm just looking around on your blog from your first link!

Laura McClellan said...

totally agreed.

Luke Stokes said...

Thanks Laura! Please don't feel the need to apologize, I _love_ comments on older posts because I take that to mean the content is still relent and worth discussing. That's super encouraging to me!

It's definitely a commitment, but I do remember being confused about "who" to commit to. :)

Jamie Kocur said...

I used to think the same thing. How did you just know? Give me a real answer! Then I met my husband, and I honestly... just knew. There was a great peace to the whole situation. I remember praying, asking God to show me anything to indicate I should not marry this guy, and I heard nothing. Anytime I was with him, I felt safe and at peace.