Views 149 | Time to read: 4 minutes | Uploaded: 11 - 25 - 2014 | By: Emily Pihl
It all begins with a list.
It begins with a list that characterizes the perfect man or woman. From loving Jesus, to having a servant’s heart, to being attractive, to having a good family, to being smart or musical or athletic or creative—this is how the listing and the dreaming begin.
In Christian circles, girls and even boys grow up with this terministic screen of ‘the one.’ Waiting for this ‘one love’ and praying for this ‘one spouse’ focuses Christian singles, usually men and women in their 20’s and 30’s, on dating with “one” purpose and living with purity and submitting to God’s timing, typically with good intention.
Complete fulfillment, satisfaction and a happily ever after. Is this found in ‘one’ person? Is this biblical? Is this healthy? Is this wrong to idolize and to build dreams of meeting and marrying one perfect person? What is this myth and idea that has clouded Christian circles, and especially youth, with false hopes and false realities?
Biblically speaking, there is neither description nor check-off list for finding the perfect spouse. Moses uses lists to dictate the Ten Commandments. Paul uses lists to describe the Fruits of the Spirit. Yet no book or verse in the Bible uses a list to define who ‘the one’ must be.
Instead, it is the modern-day, evangelical church that has created and solicited this idea of ‘the one,’ not the Bible. Protestants have solicited this phrase as a token for singles to focus on and to hope on until one day, they instantly find their ‘one and only.’
Ideally, this phrase sells well because, yes, it promotes abstaining sexually until marriage and clinging tightly to God’s promises. However, the idea of ‘God’s plan’ has become something idolized and worshipped.
Walking in faith is what Christ desires of His children, for their hope to be found in the Lord, as found in Hebrews 11:1, which states “now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Things not seen, such as whom the future ‘one’ may be, should not become an uncertainty to be worried about or to be fixated upon. When Christian singles consume themselves with this idea of finding ‘the one’ or marrying ‘the one,’ they idolize an unknown instead of pursuing God’s present love. This idolization is dangerous and deflects God’s intent.
God designs love and its pursuit to be perfect, but the ultimate human desire and human idolization of finding ‘the one’ taints His perfectly designed pursuit and often leaves singles hopeless and doubtful of their own worth. In addition, the church essentially discredits God’s authority with this idolization by not walking by faith in His provision.
Perhaps there is not just ‘one’ for every human being. Perhaps God will work through a person’s singleness, or perhaps the ‘one’ a person marries suddenly dies. Does that mean there is no other ‘one’ for them? Are they destined to solitude? Surely not. The number ‘one’ puts a finite limit on an infinite God, a God with infinite plans who works above and beyond whatever terministic screen or limiting number Christians have generated.
Even if every person on this Earth waited diligently to marry ‘the one,’ the fairy tale ending would still not exist. This term has a deflective reality because no ‘one’ person will ever be enough to fulfill the love, the desire, the needs, the hopes, and the dreams another person has. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 3:5, clearly states: “not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” (NIV). No one will be perfect enough. No one will be selfless enough. No one will be sinless enough. The only ‘one’ who can do that is God. Only God can love sufficiently, because God is love. What if, rather than looking for the perfect fit for the perfect mold, Christians looked to attain perfect love made possible by being ingrained in Christ’s love first?