Q: Is there one person I'm meant to marry, or should I just choose a good man?
A: This question isn't simply a contemplative exercise; it impacts how you approach dating and marriage. However, I think it is the wrong question to be asking.
The question of "Is there one guy I'm supposed to marry?" is fundamentally based on fear. You've likely seen marriages break apart, and wonderful romances turn ugly. Perhaps you grew up in the throes of your mom and dad fighting. Judith Wallerstein, one of the foremost experts on the impact of divorce on adult children, noted that they often cope with the reality of divorce by believing true love is like winning the lottery. If you find your "soul mate," you can avoid the inevitability of broken vows and crushed dreams. Christians have spiritualized this by placing their hopes of happily ever after on finding "THE ONE." When marriage gets difficult, a woman may panic, thinking, "Oh, no! I picked the wrong guy."
Within the last six months, I've met with two young Christian brides who walked away from their wedding vows. Both of them said the following statements: "I never should have married him. I had doubts before the wedding and I didn't call it off." In essence, these young women believed because they married the wrong guy, their marriage covenant was "null and void" before God.
The truth is, whomever you marry, living out a lifetime commitment of love will be a challenge. One of the Bible's most romantic love stories is the account of Isaac and Rebekah, found in . If there were ever a situation in which God clearly said, "This is the one you should marry!," it was this couple. It was truly a match made in heaven.
Fast-forward about 30 years. The star-crossed lovers are now parents of twin boys who despise each other. Isaac loves Esau, and Rebekah loves Jacob. We find this husband and wife in a web of manipulation, anger, and deceit. Finding "the one" certainly didn't guarantee a life-long, stress-free love affair. Selfishness and bitterness compromised their love, even though they were ordained by God to fall in love and marry.
Instead of asking the question, "Is this the one I should marry?" consider these questions:
1. Am I in God's will?
There are some things about your life that God has not clearly revealed to you. Perhaps you don't know who you should marry, what job you should take, or how many children you will have. Instead of spinning your wheels trying to figure out what you don't know, work to be the center of what God HAS revealed is his will for your life. As you seek love and marriage, God has given you some very clear guidelines of his will. Here is one of them:
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