How to Know When You've Found 'The One'

Romeo sees Juliet in the balcony of her window and is compelled to declare, "It is the east, and Juliet is the sun." It's the stuff Shakespearean plays and romantic comedies are made of.

But was Romeo destined to be with Juliet? What she "the one"? Did fate decide they should be together forever? Maybe you've heard it this way, "You complete me." Does finding a spouse work like finding the last piece of a puzzle? It's a romantic idea, but is it a biblical one? Let's run to God's Word and find out.

From Warm Fuzzies to Sweaty Palms

In response to my recent post about marriage, Pam wrote this comment:

How do you know if he is "the one"? Is there just one guy that is perfect for you? What happens if you mess things up? Do you lose that opportunity forever?

I wish I could reach through my computer screen and give Pam a hug. She seems so worried! I don't blame her. The idea that there are seven billion people on the planet and yet each of us is supposed to find and recognize our perfect fit is romantic and anxiety inducing. If you're still searching for "the one," here are five truths to keep in mind.

1. God is sovereign.

When we think of our romantic stories as two pieces of one whole coming together, we are missing a critical piece—God! Ultimately, He is the One in control of our lives. Only God is sovereign.

Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps (Ps. 135:6).

When you feel out of control, it is good to remember God is in control.

When you feel out of control, it is good to remember God is in control. There is no part of your life that He doesn't see and have authority over. It's not up to you to find the perfect match. It's up to you to surrender your will to God's and to trust Him to bring you a guy in His timing.

2. You have free will.

Yes, God sees all and knows all. He is never out of control, and yet He has given each of us the gift of free will. You are not a marionette, and God is not a puppet master. He doesn't yank you this way and that way—toward this decision and away from that one. He has given you a mind to think with (Phil. 4:7), a heart to feel with (Prov. 4:23), His Word as a guide (Ps. 119:105), and His Spirit as a helper (John 14:26). Within the guidelines of those gifts, you've been given a tremendous amount of freedom.

Even when we make mistakes, we have God's promise that He will work all things to our good (Rom. 8:28). Trust the guardrails God has put in place, and enjoy the freedom He allows in this department (and others).

3. Love is not an invisible target.

We don't have to wait for some cosmic sign that this is "the one" or a certain feeling in our gut that this is the guy we are destined to meet at the altar. God doesn't leave us guessing about what love should look like.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Cor. 13:4–7).

Stop waiting for a guy who might be "the one," and start waiting for a guy who shows this kind of love.

Stop waiting for a guy who might be "the one," and start waiting for a guy who shows this kind of love.

Though not the majority, we do find some examples of love at first sight in God's Word. Adam and Eve fell in love the moment they saw each other in the Garden. Of course, they were the only man and woman alive, so in their case finding "the one" was fairly easy. Isaac and Rebecca agreed to be married before they ever laid eyes on each other (Gen. 24). The first time Jacob saw Rachel he wept aloud (Gen. 29:11). David fell in love at first sight with both Abigail (1 Sam. 25) and Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11).

Hollywood might try to spin these stories into tales of two people finding "the one," but if you peel back the layers of their stories you will find imperfect marriages held together by a perfect God.

4. Look for one who leads.

What I'm not saying is that any old guy will do when it comes to dating and romance. No way. No how. God gives us standards for our good.

For example, Ephesians 5 tells us that husbands need to lead like Christ. It is less important that young men be able to lead their team to the state championship or organize their friends to play football on Tuesday nights. It's most important that they be spiritual leaders who guide others to be more Christlike.

How can you recognize a man who will be an Ephesians 5 husband?

His life will look like this:

  • He is committed to his own spiritual growth and doesn't depend on others to spur him on spiritually.
  • He regularly reads the Word and seeks to live out what it says.
  • He challenges others to have vibrant faith through loving encouragement.
  • He seeks out wise counsel when he doesn't know what to do rather than shying away from making hard decisions.
  • He makes wise choices.

Leading like Christ is learned. Just because a guy doesn't lead perfectly now doesn't mean he won't be a good husband. But the ability to lead won't magically appear when a wedding band is placed on his finger.

5. You've already found "the one."

If you're on the hunt for "the one" who will make all of your hopes and dreams come true, flip open your Bible to Luke 2. (Don't worry; I'll wait right here.)

No guy, no matter how perfect, can meet our every need.

While it's normal and natural to desire a godly marriage, it's important to keep in mind that no guy, no matter how perfect, can meet our every need. But that baby you just read about? The one wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger (v. 7)? He is our hope (1 Tim. 1:1). He is our peace (Eph. 2:14). He is our coming groom (John 3:29). He's the One your heart is truly hoping for.

PS: For a different perspective, hear how a newlywed found “the one” in tomorrow’s post.

About the Author

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is married to her high school sweetheart, Jason, and together they parent four energetic boys on their small farm in the midwest. She is the author of more than a dozen books and Bible studies, the content manager for Revive Our Hearts, and a host of the Grounded videocast. You can hear her teach on The Deep Well with Erin Davis podcast.