Soon we will celebrate Valentine’s Day. This is a day when many exchange love-themed gifts. While some see it as a purely commercial “Hallmark holiday,” most enjoy spending a special day with that special someone.
Indeed, our culture is infatuated with finding “the one.” This is our goal in dating – to find the one person who makes all our dreams come true. When someone is excited about their dating relationship, we ask, “Could they be the one?” When our dating relationship is going well, we say, “I think he’s/she’s the one!”
But we don’t seem too good at finding “the one,” do we? Unhappiness, abuse and divorce are sadly common in marriages today. How does this happen? How do so many find the one only to realize they aren’t the one after all?
How to Find the Right Person
Disillusionment happens because we aren’t searching by the right standards. We evaluate people based on how they make us feel, not who they are. We’re attracted to them for their outward appearance, not their inward character.
We must be smarter than this. Instead of being caught up in puppy love or sexual desire, we must set sensible and reasonable standards for those we date. Here are a few questions to help you discern if the person you’re dating is “the one”:
- Do they believe in Jesus? Paul says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14). He isn’t necessarily talking about marriage, but his words do apply. It’s best for a believer to marry another believer. As he asks a verse later, “What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?”
- Is God’s Spirit active in their life? Paul says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). These are the qualities we should look for. In other words, is their belief in Jesus showing itself by the way they treat others?
- Do they know what love truly is? Paul says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). If you replace the word “love” with the name of the person you’re dating, do these verses accurately describe them?
How to Be the Right Person
Finding the right person is important, but being the right person is more important. Are you becoming the type of person you want to date? In other words, how would someone answer the above questions about you? Would they decide that you’re “the one” for them?
We tend to put all our hope for marriage into our future spouse. We think we’ll be happy because they’ll be perfect. And then we put all the blame on them when things don’t work out the way we’d hoped. This is unrealistic and unfair. There’s no perfect spouse out there waiting to be found.
And guess what? You’re no perfect spouse waiting to be found, either. So stop basing your hope for marriage on some perfect person who doesn’t exist. Instead, base it on a commitment to forgive each other’s flaws and become the right person for each other.
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