“How did you know Trevor was the one for you?” a seventeen-year-old asked me. “I struggle with knowing if a guy is right for me. Every day I ask God to help me figure out my confusion.”
Believe it or not, it’s surprisingly simple. Let me share with you what I’m learning from Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View by Gary Friesen and J. Robin Maxson.
1. Determine if you have the “gift” of marriage or singleness.
Dr. Friesen explains it like this:
The decision to marry or remain single lies within the area of freedom. The apostle [Paul] had a definite preference for [singleness] that he “wished” all others could choose. But he knew he could not give his desire the force of a command. For not everyone “has the gift.” God graces each believer differently. It is likely that Paul’s meaning is that some are “gifted” to enjoy singleness while others are “gifted” to enjoy marriage with its extra responsibilities (1 Cor. 7:7).
The first issue for you to work out is whether it’s best for you to be married or single. Surprisingly, “there is no command from Scripture one way or the other.” That means you don’t need to spend hours trying to discern God’s “still, small voice.” You don’t need to determine whether God is calling you to marriage or singleness.
Since both marriage and singleness are gifts from God, and since you are free to serve God as a single girl and once you’re married, both are good options. (You can read 1 Corinthians 7 for the pros and cons of both marriage and singleness.)
Now is a good time to think through this, even if there’s no guy knocking at your door yet. It will be less for you to figure out when a guy does come knocking.
2. Determine if your prospect is a believer.
Now—assuming you desire to be married, and there’s a guy pursuing you—you first need to ask if Scripture says anything about choosing a spouse. (And it does!) Scripture is clear: A believer in Christ may only marry another believer in Christ. This is vitally important. As Dr. Friesen explains:
The point is that not only are the believers’ values, goals, standards, motivations, and means of enablement for living incompatible with those of an unbeliever; they are diametrically opposed! They are serving two different lords that are archenemies of one another.
God has given you a whole lot of freedom beyond this one command. Don’t disobey Him here. Look first and foremost for a godly, Jesus-loving guy.
3. Seek wise counsel.
- What do your parents think of this guy?
- What does your pastor say?
- Once you’re engaged, get some premarital counseling, and listen well to what your counselor thinks of you two.
Those around you will be a lot more clearheaded than you will with romance clouding your brain. Heed their counsel.
4. Use common sense.
Do you two share the same values? Here are just a few things Friesen encourages you to note: age, finances, employment, education, personal goals, personality traits, birth control, principles of child rearing, hobbies, family background, socioeconomic background, and possessions.
I didn’t always understand the freedom God has given in wisely choosing a spouse. I used to try to figure out if it was God’s will for me to marry a guy by praying and then watching for “signs” from God. And it was confusing. Here’s an example from an old journal entry:
I was talking on the phone with Dad tonight when Jim texted. Actually, at that particular moment, Dad was praying that my future husband would find me, when I heard the text come in. Coincidence, or God at work? I don’t know . . .
Jim was also confused, because after months of sending me confusing signals, he told me that as he’d prayed about pursuing me, he “sensed a yellow light.” He didn’t have a “red light” from God, but he also didn’t have a “green light.” He also told me that as he asked God whether now was the time to pursue marriage or not, God had been “annoyingly silent.” I think that’s because God had already given him the freedom to decide himself.
Needless to say, I ended up telling Jim goodbye (you can read how that went down in chapter 15 of my book). And oh, I’m so glad I did.
Because a few years later, God plopped Trevor Marsteller in my lap. Well, in my Twitter feed, to be exact. As I began to date Trevor (he was a believer, so he was fair game), I kept my eyes wide open and used the wisdom God has given me through His Word and community.
Make a wise decision based on the Word of God, wise counsel, and common sense.
It’s not that there were zero concerns. But as I brought those to God, to Trevor, and to wise counselors, in the end they weren’t game changers. Although Trevor wasn’t perfect (no guy but Jesus is), I could see that he was “perfect” for me in so many ways. These three main things gave me the confidence to continue moving forward to marriage. And if you’re wondering, six years into marriage I am so grateful I chose him.
Back to you now, though.
Bottom line: Stop looking for handwriting in the sky telling you that this guy is “the one.” Make a wise decision based on the Word of God, wise counsel, and common sense. God has given you a ton of freedom. Choose wisely, and as you do, be blessed.
I’d love to hear from you. Does this sound surprisingly simple? What questions do you have after reading this post?
How Can I Know If He’s ‘The One’? was originally published on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com.
Paula (Hendricks) Marsteller is a compassionate Christian communicator.
16 thoughts on “How Can I Know If He’s The One?”
Hey Paula!!! Another GREAT ARTICLE!!! I love this and it makes so much sense to me…I admit to having struggled with “Signs” lol!!! (COnfession: Even at like 30-something!;) I had told you several months ago that that I did a book review for your book! Here is the link, Hope you like it!!! http://classicmarymoments.blogspot.com/2015/10/book-review-1.html
I love it, Mary. Your personality shines through. 🙂 I laughed when you said you learned you just needed to write a book for singles, and then you’d get married. 😉
Lol!!! I’m soooo glad you liked it!!! Are you ever going to write any more books? I REALLY do want to write a book for singles one day…I’m kinda unorganized tho so it MAY not happen till i’m ACTUALLY married! LOL
I hope to at some point. For now, though, transitioning into my new role as a wife is my top priority. 🙂
Love this! I think I’m going to star it in my favourites so when I have a moment and doubt or freak out I can read it again! Definitely want to check out those Bible passages too! 😉 bless you!!
Awesome, Bookworm1. You should check out his book, too, in all your spare time. 😉
Very interesting well , I had a guy telling me that God said I was the one for him..but when I was interacting with him and brought up something about Christ, he will find me sometimes annoying talking about Christ in the issues, and he will ask me to do inappropriate things that I knew the word was against..such as exposing your body part…I found out he wasn’t respectful to the lord and to me…Even though he claims to be a believer…He was constantly thinking of sexes not purity …so I knew that such man will not help me grow in the things of God..and if I continue this with him…and we get married, he will turned me into a sexes freaks instead of Jesus freak …so I had to cut him off and told him that God hasn’t told me that he is the one for him..and from his actions towards me, he is not my man. I told him tht I will be patient and trust God to bring me what is mine in his perfect timing. He wasn’t too happy with me.But I thank God that I already knew that his plan for me is marriage and He told me to stay pure. So I knew what to do when guys like that approach me..if they rejected Jesus ,that means they also rejected me too, so I don’t push it further but let go off of it .
Wow, AnnieJ, I’m so proud of you!
Thank you-thank you for this website-still looking for some scriptures to pray for my future man-so please if you have any , email me..thank you woman of God.
Here you go, AnnieJ!
oh my gosh , thank you very much:)
What if you don’t love him. What if he fits all the categories and is a godly, humble, madly in love with you guy… and you love the friendship… and potential physical closeness doesn’t repel you…. but you don’t romantically love him. Is it wise to walk away?
I did, Anna. I walked away from a guy who was so godly and so sweet to me (to the degree of being smothering). I wasn’t attracted physically to him. In fact, he kinda repulsed me. 🙁
Looking back, I have no regrets. I am so glad I walked away.
I’m not sure if that’s what you’re dealing with? Are you attracted to him physically? What do you mean by “don’t romantically love him”?
I don’t feel anything for him, if a good friend walks in, and he walks in, I’d feel the same way. While I’m not super attracted to him, I’m not repulsed either, I like physical closeness with him. I have walked away, but I don’t know if I should have just accepted the situation and been happy to be with a godly guy who cares for me deeply
I think it’s your decision, and you have the freedom to choose either way.
That said, in thinking through who you want to spend the rest of your life with, romantic feelings prolly shouldn’t top the chart. God’s command to wives in Eph. 5 is not to feel romantic feelings toward their husbands, but to respect their husbands. Ultimately, choose a man you can respect for life.
And then once you marry him, don’t look back.
Praying for you to choose wisely. Again, I think you have the freedom to choose either way; just know that romantic feelings are not enough to sustain a marriage for life. Love is a choice to sacrifice one’s life for another’s good, just as Jesus did on the cross who all who would trust in Him.
Hope that helps in some small way,
Thank you 🙂