I wish I could tell you that the way God will reveal “the one” to you is by making the process easier than any other relationship you ever had. God could do that, but for most of you that will not be what happens.
In fact, when you meet the person God wants you to marry, it could be one of the hardest things you ever go through because God will be calling you to go deeper with this person than you ever have before, which will be amazing and very difficult all at the same time.
But when God wants something for you, he will make it happen. Therefore, if God wants you to marry someone one day, here are 5 challenges he will empower you to overcome.
1. When You Meet The One, God Will Help You Overcome Your Fear of the Opposite Sex
Some people cannot ever imagine getting married one day because the opposite sex seems so foreign and far away from them. A lack of experience with the opposite sex or only having bad experiences with the opposite sex will cause you to be fearful about the future for at least two reasons: 1. You will fear you will never find someone to love you. 2. You will fear you may end up loving someone that will hurt you and mistreat you if you do marry them.
But for a healthy relationship to occur, these types of fears must be overcome. If you always remain fearful in these ways, you will always avoid the opposite sex or you will always sabotage good relationships because you are so afraid of things turning out bad.
While overcoming these fears stemming from a lack of experience or from past trauma will be very hard, rest assured all things are possible when God is for you. When we trust God, we have him on our side who said:
No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17)
2. When You Meet The One, God Will Help You Overcome the Consequences of Past Sins
One misunderstanding about God’s grace is that it removes the consequences of sin. But biblically there is a difference between punishment, discipline, and consequences. Punishment is when you pay the penalty for your sin. Jesus paid the penalty, so if you are a Christian you will not be punished for your sin (Romans 8:1). Discipline, however, is a corrective action meant to help you not make the same mistakes again. God disciplines those he loves (Hebrews 12:6), so if you are a Christian you will be disciplined. Consequences, however, are the negative cause and effect reactions that occur because of our bad choices.
God’s grace does indeed spare us the consequence of eternal punishment for our sins. And there are some natural consequences we can escape when we repent of sin like feeling shame, condemnation, or being stuck with no hope of living differently in the future. Because of God’s grace, we don’t have to feel guilty, shame, and we can live differently that we have in the past. For as 1 Corinthians 15:10 states, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”
But there still are consequences for sin. For example, perhaps you had struggled with gluttony for years and put on lots of extra weight because of this sin. Then one day you come to your senses and ask for God’s grace to forgive you. God will immediately extend his grace to you and completely forgive you, but that does not mean you will wake up the next day with a six-pack and perfect health. There are consequences to living a gluttonous life for years. God’s grace can empower you to start eating right and working out, but it will take time to see those results.
Likewise, when we sin for years in the area of relationships, God will completely forgive you and purify you in Christ immediately when you repent as 1 John 1:9 promises. But you will then need to unlearn many bad things you learned through those sinful past experiences. When two Christians come together and want to do it God’s way in relationships, God will often put them through a season of dealing with negative baggage coming from past relationship sins.
These consequences do not need to affect you forever. But when you meet the one, don’t be surprised if God needs to empower you both to deal with these types of issues together.
3. When You Meet The One, God Will Help You Overcome Unmet Expectations
It’s impossible not to dream about meeting the one. I don’t think God has any issues with us thinking about marriage and relationships during out season of singleness. But we can cross the line when we start expecting the future to be exactly like we imagined it to be.
So many times problems occur in relationships not because two people are doing something wrong but rather because they are both acting in ways the other person did not expect. When you predetermine what your relationship will look like, you will always be disappointed because God is the one who controls the future, not us. Oftentimes an unenjoyable relationship would actually be very enjoyable if the man and woman in that relationship would simply let go of what they thought this relationship would look like and instead just embraced what the relationship actually is like. James 4:13-16 says:
Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”
When you meet the one, this person will not be exactly what you thought they would be like. Certainly they don’t need to be the exact opposite of what you hoped to find in a spouse, but it is unreasonable to imagine someone will live up to all your expectations. God will help you overcome this when you meet the one he want for you.
4. When You Meet The One, God Will Help You Overcome Your Desire to Only Love in the Ways You Want to Love
We all want to experience love in our lives, but one of the barriers we must overcome to do so is the false ideas about love the world feeds us. Love in the movies is all about finding someone that completes you. Biblical love, however, is about sacrificially giving to someone else because you are already whole in Christ. Love in the movies is about finding someone who fills you with love. But biblical love is about giving away the love of God already inside of you.
It’s easy to love when someone does what we want. It’s natural to love someone in the ways that we want to love them. But true love will be different. It will stretch you to sacrifice in ways you don’t naturally want to do. For as 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 explains:
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.”
Notice how wide-open true love is. It is not narrow and limited to a certain set of preconceived conditions. It does not demand its own way but rather is willing to bear all things needed, it is willing to believe the best things of someone even after they fail, it will continue to hope for all the right things, and love will endure all the necessary things needed.
Therefore, when God empowers you for a Christian marriage, he will give you the strength to love your spouse in the ways they need to be loved rather than in the ways that come natural to you.
5. When You Meet The One, God Will Help You Overcome the Temptation to Put This Person Above the Lord
Perhaps the hardest thing you will need to do if you hope to have a healthy relationship is to avoid idolizing it.
Ironically, the best gifts from God are often the most dangerous gifts from God. I don’t mean that God would ever give us something bad for us; I just meant that when God gives us something so good, our sin nature will be tempted to worship the gift rather than our God who gave us that gift.
But when God blesses you with the gift of a loving Christian spouse, he will also empower you by the Spirit to not turn your spouse into a false god. As Galatians 5:16 states, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”