i want to briefly look at the whole concept of ‘the One’ which i used to refer to as my Neo girl ala the Matrix… is there that one specific person that God has hand picked for me to date and marry?

and i think the answer is no! …except when it is yes!

hm? well i think it links to the concepts of general will and specific will. a lot of the stuff in the Bible is God’s general will for us and applies to everyone – stuff like Love God, Love people; and Look after those in need; and Forgive people; and Go and Make Disciples of all mankind… that stuff is a command to everyone and so all of us need to be making sure it is happening in our lives.

then you get specific will – God tells Abram to sacrifice his son on the mountain [and then intervenes before he can]; God sends Jonah to Ninevah; a faithful guy called Jabez prays a prayer and God blesses him; God calls Moses to lead His people out of Egypt towards the promised land. Specific will for specific people – instructions that were only for them to obey.

and so when it comes to finding your husband/wife i really believe that generally it is linked to specific will – God gives a list of principles – choose someone that loves Me first, keep yourselves pure til marriage, find someone who will serve you as you serve them – but He doesn’t hand pick a ‘the One’ for you

we can put so much pressure on ourselves with that kind of thinking – because linked with free will, if there is a ‘the One’ for me and i somehow screw it up or miss my chance, does that mean i have to settle for number two? It really doesn’t make a lot of sense and I don’t believe it’s Gods way.

rather my understanding is that there are a bunch of “definitely not the Ones” [easy to spot through different religion or values or vision] and some “not the One right nows”

and then there are a number of “Possibly the Ones” and of those, the one who i choose and who chooses me back and who i grow in relationship and end up one day becoming engaged to and making a public commitment in front of God, family and friends on our marriage day, BECOMES MY “THE ONE.”

that is really how i see it. The beautiful Val is my ‘the One’ not because she was the only option and if I’d missed her and she’d missed me we would both have had to settle for second best. But because we made a commitment to each other based on a relationship that grew between us and so we both grew into each others “the One.”

the reason i said “no” except when it is “yes” at the beginning is that there are a few stories in the Bible where there is general will involved with relationships. Especially in the Old Testament God very specifically links up some people with other people. and so i do believe there are certain times when God can and does get specifically involved and tell two people they are right for each other, but i certain believe it is the exception rather than the rule.

i think one of the most exciting and dangerous and messy and heart-breaking and amazing and heart-inflating things in life is that God leaves it largely up to us. Yes, He cares a lot about who we marry and spend our lives with and how we treat them and how we live together and the respect we have for each other and those around us. But He lets us try. And get it wrong. And hurt each other. And get it right. And find each other. And discover and build and grow together and learn to love. And so on.

and i think one of the themes and threads that has been going around within the discussions that have been taking place on this dating blog is how the greatest responsibility and opportunity we have as individuals is to be the best ‘the One’ we can be as opposed to merely seeking for the best we can get.

“I’m talking ’bout the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make the change.” [M. Jackson]

[For some thoughts from my wife tbV on her dating experiences, click here]

[To return to the start of this series, click here]