I am a clear believer that God has made one person for those whom He has called to be married. There are not tens, hundreds, or thousands of options as many well-intentioned ministers teach and preach. I base this not on any empirical knowledge, statistical inference, or human intuition. I base this belief on the character of God as He is revealed in the Scripture.
First, God is all-knowing. As Psalm 139 says, before we were even born, all the days of our lives were written in His book. He is not guessing what is going to happen to us. He knows exactly when and where we will meet our spouse, when we will get engaged, and when we will get married. He knows how many kids we will have, what their names will be (for they’re written in His book as well), and what color hair they will have. He knows how many hairs we have on our head at any moment in time. He knows when we sit down and when we rise up. He knows our very thoughts and our very words before we say them. His hand is upon us, with us, guiding us, and leading us. He will provide in His perfect timing when we are ready to receive His good and perfect gift.
Secondly, “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). As such, we cannot steal the credit for tracking down the perfect spouse for us. In fact, it is impossible to find the perfect spouse on our own because only God can give the perfect spouse to us. He will put us at the right city, the right bus stop, the right Bible study, the right meeting room, the right doctor’s office, or wherever else He has ordained for us to meet that perfect somebody. Until God provides the person, we will never find them no matter how hard we look. He wants the credit for the blessing and the giving of the gift. He will not have His glory and goodness stolen or taken credit for. We must wait upon Him and see with His eyes what wonder He has prepared for us.
Thirdly, God is good. He is the very definition of love according to 1 John 4:7-8. As an earthly father gives good gifts to his children, how much more will our good and perfect Heavenly Father give good gifts to His children? We can have confidence in God’s character to provide what is necessarily kindest, wisest, and best for us, no matter what happens and no matter what difficulty is encountered.
For me, these three reasons are sufficient to believe in God having one person designed, prepared, and made ready and available, just for us. He is all-knowing, able to see into the future and meet our needs and desires perfectly. He is a God of details, knowing exactly what we will need. He will oversee our individual growth and preparation for marriage and organize the very place and point in time in which we will meet. He will oversee the entire time as we develop the relationship and then commit ourselves to one another for life. We can rest assured that God has led us together and that we are following His will for our lives. We know that God gives good and perfect gifts. This is a direct and specific divine intervention as His gifts are perfect for the time, place, and need. Our meeting the right person is not a mere matter of chance or probability. It is ordained. And we know that God loves us tremendously, and as such He is very interested in our well-being. He is not disconnected from our lives as the Deists believe, having wound the universe up like a watch only to let the forces of nature take care of the rest. He is intimately and intricately involved with each of our steps and decisions. He wants to guide us in them. He doesn’t force us, and neither are we controlled by some mystical forced called fate. We have a responsibility in being sure we are who God wants to be and in looking for God’s chosen person in the right places. But ultimately, we are those who are dependent upon grace. When we meet that special one, we ought not to think that we are so wonderful, but we ought to thank the Giver of the good and perfect gift.
So how can we truly “know” that we have met the one? Well, you will have to search your heart on this one, but here some biblical guidelines for determining the will of God in this matter:
- You have come to a place in your spiritual life where you have laid your heart bare before God, scrapping preconceived notions and selfish ambitions.
- You have surrendered your will to God’s saying with Christ, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”
- You have confessed any outstanding sin in your life which will otherwise blind you from finding God’s leading.
- You have asked the Holy Spirit to search your heart and purify you from any false motives, fear issues, or outside pressures.
- You have acknowledged to God that left to yourself, there is no way that you can make a wise decision in any matter, let alone the most important life decision. Thus, you are trusting in the Holy Spirit within you to guide you into all truth and to show you the true desires of your heart as you delight in the Lord.
- You are convinced and have evidence that you are more effective serving God with this person than without him or her.
- Your joy is increased with this person.
- You cannot conceive of life without this person. If you can, you need to stop and reevaluate.
- This person aligns with the clearly revealed characteristics of a godly wife or husband as provided in the Scriptures.
- The person takes sin seriously and doesn’t talk about God flippantly.
- Those in your life who you trust as those who are mature in Christ and who have your best interest in mind confirm that you are making a wise choice.
- You don’t have to change who you are in order to be with this person, and neither do they. There is no pretending or faking.
- The things of God are readily on both of your lips.
- You sense that the other person is propelling you to become more like Christ, even without trying.
- You have spent an excessive amount of time in prayer in the matter, individually and with biblically mature friends, family, and counselors.
- If this person lost their best physical feature, you know that you would still delight in them.
- You know in your heart that you are not settling for less than God’s best for you.
- You do not have to compromise your spiritual values, beliefs, and convictions in any way.
- You are sure that you are following God’s leading and not a brainwashing of worldly expectations and values.
- You have not let inappropriate physical involvement cloud your mind as you have sinned and grieved the Spirit Whom you need to lead you.
- There is rest in your soul that, alas, I have finally found what my soul has been longing for.
- I am at peace in my spirit.
- I have no doubts or reservations because I am sure, regardless of how things happen in the future, that I have followed God’s will for my life.
If you are able to go through that entire list and check off all of the items, then the likelihood is very high that you are operating according to the will of God. In fact, you may find that based upon the biblical standards for marriage, there are not tens, hundreds, or thousands of compatible partners out there. Matthew 7:14 says, “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Very few who have a whole heart given to God are out there. It is a matter of faith to wait for God to bring you such a rare person who has a heart wholly devoted to the plans and purposes of God.
It takes tremendous faith to surrender this matter to God, and God will honor such faith. He wants us to live by faith in all matters of life, and certainly in the most important of life’s decisions. Are you willing to wait for the one? Let me emphasize again that waiting for the one of God’s choosing does not mean that there is nothing that we can do to avail ourselves to God’s provision. We are to be getting to know others as God leads, we are to be praying according to the Scriptures, and we are to be faithfully living out our calling as single people in work, church, and all areas of life. Yet, we must understand that we are to have surrendered our wills to His, for He knows best and we do not. We must trust Him, and, if we do, we will not go wrong. God will provide what is best when it is best. The best way to go is always where His Spirit leads.