There are so many Christian singles out there who believe that they just need to wait around until God reveals to them the lucky “one” they are going to marry.
As though the right relationship is just going to fall from the sky.
As though God is going to knock on the door one day, and all of a sudden there will be the one they are supposed to marry.
As though somehow, they will “just know” when they come face-to-face with the right person.
And sadly, Christian culture perpetuates this lie. I had the opportunity to speak at two different Christian colleges at each end of the country in the past two weeks, and the students affirmed to me that this belief still runs rampant within the student body.
But no matter how many Hollywood films you’ve watched, or how many romantic stories you’ve heard, I’m here to tell you this: you can’t just “know” from the outside looking in whether or not someone will be a good match for you. It’s not about a feeling, and it’s definitely not just about getting lucky.
Relationships don’t work like that. And generally speaking, neither does life.
I was at the grocery store this summer, and found myself standing in front of a bin of beautiful, green watermelons. My family loves watermelon, and especially my four year old son who could eat watermelon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So I decided to pick one out to take home.
Now if you knew anything about my family, you would know that purchasing a watermelon is a process. First you have to find the right one, typically because of it’s bright green color. After you’ve found the right one, you test it out to make SURE it’s the right one by drumming on the outside of it, and listening for the sound it makes. I don’t know if it’s just my family, or of this is a universal thing (I’d like to think everyone does this….otherwise my family is just strange) but based on the thumping sound the watermelon makes, you know whether or not it’s a good one.
The only problem with this theory, is that I actually don’t have any idea what sound it’s supposed to make. So I end up grabbing a watermelon, drumming on it one or two times, and putting it in my cart. When I take it home and cut into it, it’s always a mystery. Even with the special drumming I did at the grocery store, I still have no idea whether or not it’s going to be a good one until I bite into it. And frankly, it’s a hit or miss process. As illogical as this all may sound, I do it every time I go to the store.
But you know what? When it comes to relationships, SO many people are JUST as illogical.
They look for “signs and wonders”, “feelings and emotions”, “chemistry and connection” in a relationship that will ultimately tell them whether or not this person is going to “be the one”.
But at the end of the day, they ultimately have no idea what they’re getting in a relationship until the relationships progresses further – or even until marriage.
You can choose a bad watermelon with little to no consequences, but choosing the wrong marriage is absolutely devastating.
Despite the lies we’re being fed from our culture on a regular basis, the most important thing you need to grasp about all of this is that good relationships aren’t just “found”. They are CHOSEN. They are made.
They are built through a series of choices, a consistency of exchanges, over a proper length of time, with important conversations, healthy communication, and one positive decision at a time.
They are not something you find, they are something you CREATE, with someone who is just as willing to create a healthy relationship as you are.
There are so many people who rush into relationships without ever assessing the risk. Without knowing enough about the person they are dating. Without giving it enough time. Without having some really important conversations.
They meet. They like. And then they rush…..without ever knowing how healthy their partner is.
And so many times, going blindly into relationships, they end up with a broken heart and shattered dreams.
God gives us the responsibility to use wisdom, discernment, and discretion in choosing who we are going to marry. We’re responsible for this most important life-decision, and we’re the ones who have to deal with the ultimate consequences.
In choosing someone to marry, it’s up to each and every one of us to take our time, to assess the risk, to uncover the baggage, to invest in counseling, to prepare, and train, and learn everything we can possibly know. It’s up to us to choose well. Because once you choose “the one”, they become “the one” – til death do us part.
*This post was adapted from my new e-course: Breaking Free From the Lies of Singleness. Sign up today to uncover the subtle lies you might be believing that are impacting your relationship status!
A version of this post originally appeared on True Love Dates on April 12, 2017. Used by permission.
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Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!