The One

8:13 PM

What’s the difference?” I asked him. “Between the love of your life, and your soulmate?”
“One is a choice, and one is not.” - Tarryn Fisher

 "I'm beginning to believe that 'the one' doesn't exist." I stated flatly.  

My friend sat in front of me coffee in hand and a debate in her eye. 

"I still do" she replied. "God is sovereign over my life. He knows every detail, so why wouldn't He have arranged something so significant?"

    This one, run of the mill, overtly Christian girl conversation, had me thinking for months. Is there a "one" for everyone? Is there such a thing as a "soul mate," or do we just find someone we love and feel happy with and just go with it? What really got the wheels in my head turning was an article on the Greek idea of "soul mates." Basically, Plato's thesis was that men and women used to be one singular being until they got too powerful for Zeus who decided to separate them. Now we are left searching for "our other half" to complete us. Up until reading this, I had't realized how much this odd concept had affected me and infiltrated my thinking. In the back of my mind, I was caught up in the dream of finding the one man who would complete me. Having grown up in an era that "kissed dating goodbye" and "let God write their love story," my thinking became strangely romanticized. I knew I wanted God to be integrally involved in who I chose to date and marry, but was He going to manipulate life circumstances to help me find my dream guy?

     I've been pretty open on my blog about saving sex for marriage, and even writing love letters to the guy I will marry. What can I say? I'm a product of the Rebecca St. James "Wait for Me" movement. But what if there isn't one perfect guy for me based off of the reality, there is no perfect guy.( See Romans 3:23) For that matter, I am a very imperfect specimen myself. I'm not sure if the ability to Netflix binge 'Parks and Rec' is on somebody's dream girl list. Pop culture would tell me that when a couple falls in love, they are simply two imperfect people coming together to make a perfect whole. So where does the Bible come in on all of this? What does God say about romance?

    There are many love stories in the Bible. Some are intrinsically beautiful, such as Adam and Eve. God allowed Adam to look through all of the creatures on earth for a companion. Not one fit the buck. Perhaps He wanted Adam to feel a pang of loneliness when he realized that for every male fish there was a female and every giraffe, hedgehog, and capybara had its counterpart. Then after one night of deep sleep, Adam awakes to find the only woman on earth for him (or on earth at all, for that matter.) And the rest is history. The human race itself began with an epic love story. 


     To my dismay, the Bible also boasts some not so great love stories. Ex.1 Hosea and prostitute. God tells one of his average Joe Prophets to go out and marry a prostitute as a living analogy of how Israel was acting towards God. The woman was deeply loved, but poor Hosea found himself in a marriage with a serial adulterer. I can hear all of you Redeeming Love addicts out there gnashing your teeth.  Another example of a highly dysfunctional romantic relationship: David and Bathsheba. For some unknown reason this female piece of work decides to take a bath on a a  very large city. (I've always felt her name was ironic.) Before you know it, she and the king are up to shady business. Their relationship begets a dead firstborn, a murdered first husband, and huge familial consequences. Although this would probably be an epic movie on par with "The English Patient," I'm going to assume in real life this affair wasn't so fun to be a part of. Moving forwards in Biblical history, we have David and Bathsheba's second child, heir to the throne, Solomon. Solomon went on to be the wisest man in history, proving that even if you end up in a bad relationship God has the remarkable ability to turn things around for good. He also wrote the book on love. No, but really. He wrote the aptly titled Song of Solomon, a highly erotic ancient love poem .Most preachers feel so uncomfortable with this book they either skip it entirely, or advise their congregations to imagine Jesus when reading it so as not to stumble ;). By now you're probably thinking, "Yes! A biblical love story that didn't go down in flames!" But wait, there's more. Besides his beautiful Shulamite (the woman the book was written about) Solomon had roughly 600 other wives and concubines. I'm going to assume it was a good day if he remembered her name. 

     By now, you're probably getting a little nervous about where this is going. Am I going to demand that you burn all of your Nicholas Sparks novels? Am I going to make you single people more depressed than you already are? ( As a single person, I reserve the right to make fun of all of us.) My conclusion is that God is the author of history. God is the author of my life. God does care about me and I believe He cares about the DNA of my future kids. He cares about what kind of dad they're going to get and whether I'll marry a good man. He cares about where we'll live and what kind of impact that will make on us and the people around us. Why do I know that? Because I know Him. He's kind and loving and He cares about me just as much as He did Adam and Eve. Unfortunately, I have a lot more choices than they did and I live in a far more broken world. 

     I  recently asked for opinions on Facebook about "the one." I was surprised to find that people were nearly divided in half on the idea. After reading article after article, and taking it back to scripture, I've decided that my opinion is that while I don't believe there is a "one," there is a "better one" for me. As unmysterious and lame as it sounds, I think God's going to let me decide this one. I believe He'll show me His will if I ask Him. And I believe that He's good and intricately involved in my life, so I think He'll lead us together. He's orchestrated so many crazy/wonderful events in my life, it would be very unfair of me to imagine He wouldn't be involved in this. However, I do believe that even if God leads me to an incredible guy who loves me, I still will have the choice not to marry him and he will have the choice not to marry me. Paul is pretty clear about that in the New Testament. Love is a choice. Getting married is a choice. Staying married is an even bigger one. Back to that original conversation with my friend, does God sovereignty in my life play a part in my future? Absolutely. Do I have a chance to royally mess that up? Ohhhh yes. And that's why God is merciful and gives us second and third and millionth chances. Sure, it would be great if we didn't mess it up along the way, but we humans don't have a very good track record at always taking God's advice. Those are my few thoughts on this issue of "the one." I'd love to hear more of your thoughts! Comment below or send me a message! 


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  1. I am surprised you found half your facebook people believed in "The One." The very fact that their is divorce/remarriage would mean that "The One" system gets messed up by default. I guess the system would quasi reset each decade with some statistical bounds about some average turn over rate on relationships...but still...Lets assume the best, maybe ~50% of marriages result in people getting the right "One". The other 50% get divorced and have a chance to end up with the person who they were supposed to end up with originally provided they are available (late life divorcees have little hope of finding the One.) For most the people, the shear fact that they got divorced, even if they miraculously found the One, would still have failed by getting divorced. Or if you marry the wrong One then you are stuck with the wrong person and the only way to be with the right person would be to do the wrong thing and divorce. When the right thing is to stay married and not get divorced then the reality of their being a right One other than the current One is pretty senseless, especially since Christians are always supposed to be able to do the right thing.


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