Boy meets girl. Boy thinks girl is pretty cute. Boy and girl hang out once. Boy and girl discover that both are Christians. Girl goes home and decides boy could be soul mate….because boy loves Jesus. And boy is kind of hot and has nice teeth. And to girl’s knowledge, boy has never committed a major felony or dated his own cousin.
And so the title “future husband” is given before the title of “friend”, or even “boyfriend”.
Okay, okay, I realize that seems a bit extreme. I know all Christians do not seriously do this. And yes, I know sometimes people joke good naturedly about these hot topics, myself included. And no, I am not discrediting any chemistry, initial sparks, or “feelings” one may get at “first sight,” because that can be real and can also have a purpose. God designed you to feel and have these reactions.
HOWEVER…there is a point I’m trying to make. I have found through personal experience and observation, that more often than not, devoted Christ-followers are committed to marrying a fellow Christ-follower. Kudos! This is in the Bible. It’s what you’re supposed to do.
With that being said, I realize the dating world is at times a cruel and lonely place. Not unlike the Arctic Circle… slim pickings. Or like the Serengeti Plains after all the wildebeests have migrated or have been eaten by crocodiles… Like the leftovers of a King Buffet after the entire Ohio State football team finished eating on their way to play Michigan.
As a result, upon meeting another Christian single, we feel we must hold on for dear life… because you never know when another one may come along…! Ahem. You’d think we were hunting endangered birds or something and not trusting God to bring us what we need, when we need it.
So, I’m about to say something that may seem rather obvious. All the same, I’m going to say it. Because trust me, it’s easy to forget…
Just because they are a Christian does NOT, I repeat, does NOT make them your “soul mate.”
Just because they are a Christian, and they fulfill the first five requirements on your check list, does NOT automatically make them your soul mate. Just because all your friends say “They’re perfect for you!” doesn’t make it true. Trust me I have been there and tried that. Just because it looks right on paper does mean it actually fits in real life.
And just because there is nothing “WRONG” with them does not make them the “RIGHT” one for you.
When you feel ready for the one God has for you, I know it’s tough not to be on the look-out for them. I know it’s difficult not to immediately evaluate members of the opposite sex as potential spouses, especially when it seems they have so many of the qualities you value.
However, the problem with doing that instantaneously is the pressure you put on yourself and the other person to meet the set of criteria you’ve already formulated in your head. When you’ve already walked down the aisle mentally over your first coffee date, it’s a lot harder to turn back around later.
Meaning, when you begin to date someone there are only two real options… marriage or break-up. If you’ve already decided you’re marrying them before the first date has even started, you’ll have a lot harder time letting go if it turns out they aren’t the one God has for you after all.
I’m not saying don’t date. I’m also not saying that you can’t strongly suspect that someone is the right one for you off the bat. What I am saying is that if they are NOT your “soul mate”, then they are someone else’s. Guard your heart. Guard THEIR heart. Respect one another from the beginning. Offer your potential and existing relationships up to God from the start. Learn about them as a friend.
Allow God to reveal the other person through the filter of His eyes, not through your filter of spouse-hunting. Allow HIM to steer the relationship, not your check list.