Dating and looking for that perfect life partner can be one of the most mysterious, wonderful, and confusing experiences. Even if you are walking through the experience wanting God’s best, the process can be challenging. How do I know they are “the one”? Are they God’s will for me? Will they forever love me? Will I forever love them? The experience becomes even more confusing once the exhilarating emotions of romance are awakened.
For the follower of Jesus Christ, there is help! There is the instruction of Scripture, the motivation of the Spirit of God inside, the counsel of godly friends, and the guidance of parents. Along with those, the following 5 factors will go along way in helping you know that you are on the path to the right person.
These 5 are based in the assumption that you are already experiencing the greatness of God’s grace for you in Jesus Christ. You are looking to Him for your identity, worth, acceptance, approval, forgiveness, and rightness with God. You are in the process of receiving this grace by faith and actively growing in that faith. As you do these 5 will greatly help in your dating and discovery of the “one” God has for you!
1. The core of their identity is rooted in Jesus Christ.
They know Jesus Christ and find in Him their worth, love, approval, acceptance, hope, and life. They know to look to Him instead of you for all that they need in life. Of course there will be times that as a couple you will give acceptance and approval to one another, but it is not healthy to look for those things in one another. Those core elements of the soul can only be experienced in receiving relationship with Jesus Christ.
2. They overflow with expressions of God’s grace.
Someone who is truly experiencing grace from God in their life will overflow with that grace. It can be seen in their relationships and in their response to the realities of life. Look for someone who has the fruit of the fullness of God’s Spirit within them. Do they have patience with others? Do they forgive others? Do they go out of their way to love those who may be hard to love? Do they find joy in serving others? Do they respect and care for their parents? Do they enjoy working hard? Do they notice when others are in need? These are the areas where the reality of what they believe will be seen!
3. They make it their goal to help you see how much you are loved by God.
Life and relationships are not easy. Along the way you will need encouragement. You’ll need reminders that you are loved not just by them but by God. You’ll need to be reminded that you are accepted, forgiven, treasured, favored, blessed, and loved by the ultimate Grace-giver. As you look for someone you will share your life with, look for someone who knows how to give you that kind of encouragement.
4. You will find great joy in serving, loving, and reminding them who they are because of Christ.
As a receiver of grace you will overflow with the same grace and love you receive. The person you unite with should be one who readily accepts the love of Christ through you. Do they enjoy being reminded of who they are in Christ? Are they humbled by His love? Do they regularly express gratefulness to God for what He has given them? Will you find great joy in reminding and showing them how much they have because of Christ? Will you find joy in serving them even when it is not appreciated? This level of love is the often the make or break moment for couples. In order for you to not reach frustration and burn-out, you’ll need to find great joy in serving and sacrificing for this one who is now part of you. Your ability to do so will say more about your experience with grace than theirs.
5. Someone who will honestly and humbly share every part of their life with you.
Marriage is the joining of two lives. Two personalities, histories, families, futures, joys, longings, fears, loves, weaknesses, strengths all become one. In order for two lives to experience the greatest depths of marital oneness, there must be an openness about all things. Do they talk openly about their fears, weaknesses, failures, and past? Do they talk openly about their relationship with God? Are they expressive about their longings, hopes, and dreams? The heart that is truly freed by the love of God finds the freedom to open every part of their heart.