“And guess what…they were all checked off.” I said still in shock.
“No way!” My best friend Kristen said from the other end of the phone. The phone call went silent as we both digested what those words meant. Although this was something we both had been praying for for quite some time, there was still shock that this might actually be the answer to those prayers. My stomach felt like I just went down the highest point of a rollercoaster. My emotions swirled together and I couldn’t tell if I was happy, sad, or scared. In a way, I was all of them at the same time.
Happy because this was my first time experiencing God like this. Sad because my parents aren’t here to give me the confirmation of their approval. Scared because this was something new that I’ve never done. And if I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure I even wanted this.
See, ten days before this phone call with Kristen, I had a conversation with God that left me feeling free. I was spending time reading my Bible and had written some good notes on the topic I was studying. I was thinking about all the things in my life that weren’t perfect but seemed to be heading in the right direction. All the major things like my friends, my family, my job were progressing in a direction I was happy with. My life by no means was easy but for once, I felt motivated and sure of where I was going. I was expressing my gratitude to my Heavenly Father about these things when it hit me. I don’t need to be married. It was in this moment, I realized that my desire to be married was just that, a desire and not a necessity. It was the first time I didn’t feel like I needed to be married to be fulfilled as a woman. I found myself telling God, “If I never get married I’m totally cool with the way things are.” And I meant it.
So imagine my surprise when ten days after my confession to God, I was telling my best friend on the phone that there was a 90% chance I had found the man I was going to marry…
To say I was freaked out was an understatement. In less than a week God had not only revealed a suitor I never considered, but confirmed his place in my life. It was what every fairy tale love story was made of and the dream of so many little girls who love the idea of love. God had written a love story just for me and brought this beautiful, intelligent man into my life.
So, how do you know he’s ‘The One’?
This is a question many women including myself have asked themselves and each other in an attempt to identify what ‘should be’. Many times in The Church, I’ve heard that you shouldn’t ask this question. I, however, have a differing opinion. I believe that before you make any type of commitment to a man you should ask and re-ask this question. As the levels of intimacy or dating increase you should have an answer to this question before continuing to the next step in the dating process.
Like I said, when I was first introduced to Chris, I had no intentions on dating him. So, God really had to make a neon sign with my name on it for me to know that this was something He ordained. I believe that any relationship (platonic or romantic) comes with a God confirmation. We just have to know what we are looking for. There are two guaranteed ways that God confirms someone in your life. The first being His Word. The Bible has both friendships and romantic relationships and is pretty clear about how each one should function. Although, the term dating is a fairly new concept, the qualifications for a compatible partner have not changed. Whether you are a man or a woman, there is something important you should take away from relationships in the Bible. First thing first, you should know who YOU are in His Word. What kind of man or woman does the Lord want you to be? He gives us two very clear ‘skeletons’ of a godly man and a godly woman.
“…husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed & care for their body just as Christ does the church.”Ephesians 5:28-29
The entire chapter is a great blueprint for a godly man but when God confirmed Chris for me this is the scripture He specifically pointed out for me. This scripture is saying, look at how a man treats himself. How he treats himself is how he will treat you. Does he look clean and presentable? Does he clean up a spill at a restaurant? Does he take responsibility for small things like being late or missing an appointment. Does he blame others for things that happened in his past? Is his car clean? Does he eat good food? Does he workout? Does he go to the doctor when he is sick? All these things may seem small or minuscule and most people (including myself) would never put them on any list of qualities for a partner BUT if he isn’t doing these things for himself then he won’t do them for you during your relationship.
When I read this scripture and thought about the type of man Chris was, it was obvious to me that he was capable and willing to do all of these things for himself. God used this scripture to show me that yes, bigger things are important but since I was dating to marry had to also look at the small day to day things because those will be the things that mean the most when we are dealing with the richer/poorer sickness/health portion of the vows.
“She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.”Proverbs 31:16
When I read this I was floored. Here I was, focused on what kind of man I thought would look good next to me and not that the man I was looking for may not be looking for me. This scripture makes it clear that a godly woman is one that produces. A woman that can turn a dime into a dollar. A woman that can turn groceries into a meal, a house into a home, a seed into a baby, a small business into a national brand. This scripture has nothing to do with gender roles but everything to do with a working woman. America’s dream life was never God’s intention for a woman. This scripture says that God expects a woman to work, make money, and be producing. Our job as women is to make whatever we have better and bigger. If we aren’t doing that then the Ephesians 5 man won’t find a good partner in us.
So in reading these two chapters now I had a direction to head in for myself and a standard set of what kind of man was worthy to be with me.
The second way God confirms relationship is through revelation. Any person that is God ordained will be an answer to a problem you have. They will bring something that was missing in your life or help you solve a long term existing problem. No, this does not include happiness, money, sex or romance. While those things are apart of a relationship. If you don’t have a healthy view or grasp of those things BEFORE you start dating you will end up worse off than when you started. The problem the person will help solve will be things like, organization, accountability, spiritual growth, or resources.
God gave me revelation in two ways. He showed me that Chris checked off every single item of what I said I wanted in a man. I had made a list earlier the year I met him of all the biblically based traits I wanted in my future husband. When I made the list I also wrote down Bible verses that corroborated that each trait was one approved by God and not just a lustful desire. For example, originally, I wrote that I wanted a husband that is tall, involved in the church, & is affectionate. I could only find Bible verses for two of these three requests. So I had to take tall off the list. Let me be clear, I could easily find a Bible verse that has the word tall or referred to someone’s height. However, I was looking for a Bible verse that said that being tall was a requirement or characteristic of a godly husband. It isn’t, so it didn’t make the list. After my second date with Chris I went over my list and was surprised that he checked off everything on my list.
The second way God gave me revelation is in my purpose. God had already revealed who He called me to be. He told me places He would take me. He explained to me my role in the Kingdom of God and in the Earth. He told me what my legacy would be long before Chris was in the picture. I distinctly remember one time where I was in prayer and He told me that as I took more and more steps that He would reveal more of my purpose to me. When I got romantically involved with Chris, He showed me how the things He put in me would be beneficial to Chris because he lacked some of those things. He also showed me that the things I love to do like teach, write, & sing were all things that Chris understood and would push me to do more of. Our purposes fit together like two puzzle pieces it was crazy. To this day, when Chris and I hang out or talk, he will say something that he wants in the future but isn’t sure how to do and it will be something that I know how to do. This happens vice versa at least once a week. It’s no longer shocking or scary when it happens, it’s just God constantly confirming He is pleased with our relationship and guiding us separately in the same direction.
In my case, there was a third way that God confirmed His intentions with my relationship with Chris. That was through my tribe. In my regular life, the two most important groups of people are my family (extended and immediate) and my church family. He was already a member of my church and therefore had his own relationship with some of the same people who I hold dear. It was a matter of getting the opinion of some of those who I trust intimately to see if they thought that we would be a good match. In fact, before I even had one thought about dating Chris. God put it on the heart of at least 10 people in one day to come up to me and ask if I had considered dating Chris. It planted a seed and when Chris finally approached me my heart had already heard the idea once.
It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman reading this I do want to give you this warning because society will say that confirmation comes from things that are temporarily fulfilling. I watched the Netflix show Love is Blind and although entertaining, I couldn’t help but noticed 99% of the people on the show were broken people looking to connect based on feelings, validation, sex, and/or confusion. These are the things the Bible warns us against. And although some of the couples were considered successful because they are still together, I know that because they were founded on one or more of these things, the relationships will not be sustainable long term. You know it too. That is why couples like Mark and Jessica annoyed you and couples like Lauren and Cameron tugged at your heart strings. The difference between the two is the confirmation they sought. If you seek confirmation of relationship through the three I shared with you, it doesn’t mean the relationship will be problem free but it will be sustainable because worse case scenario you can start over from the foundation you’ve built with God and your significant other. If the foundation of confirmation is rooted in sex but your partner can’t or won’t have sex with you anymore, your relationship will crumble even if you’ve been together for decades.
God is not the author of confusion. He wants you to have healthy long lasting relationships. We just have to take the time to know how.
k, good talk