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Many people (myself included) have asked, “Joy, what do you think about the one?” *
Over the next three Mondays, or “Monday – One – Day” as I have been calling it in my head, I will post videos with my personal thoughts on the one.
Part 1 – Is There Only One?
Part 2 – How Do I Know? (If this is the one.)
Part 3 – What If There Is No One?
(Contrary to popular belief, we did not order wind machines for this shoot.)
* Yes, I talk to myself in first person on occasion.
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oh! cool beans. I didn’t realize there were technical difficulties–I was just trying to express my enthusiasm 🙂
Good thoughts. I’ve definitely pondered this a lot and only lately come to the conclusion (if you can call it that) that maybe I’m asking the wrong question. Maybe to give an answer to such a question is like trying to explain the sovereignty of God.
I liked what you said about focusing on being the one.
Loved the video and the message in it! I’ve gone through phases where I believed several things about “The One”. Right now, I am resting where you are– the person you one day marry will/ should become the one.
On why God takes His covenants so seriously– He’s putting Himself on the line. He is promising to do something, and because He cannot lie and is forever faithful, He always follows through. For whatever reason, it seems that He is proving to us, broken and stupid people, that He is worthy and trustworthy.
His fulfilling of a covenant, however, will look nothing like we expect. It won’t happen when we expect. I believe we can see that all throughout Scripture. One of my favorites is when God promised Moses that he would see the Israelites to the Promised Land, but Moses (being human) defied a condition of the covenant, died before he made it. But, when Jesus is transfigured and is chatting with Moses and Elijah, they’re in the Promised Land.
your crazy windy hair in the last bit was cracking me up! even though i’m sure the wind presented lots of challenges on the production side, i love your location for this shoot. so cool.
i think i’ve always loved the romantic notion of there being only one, because to find that person would mean a hollywood-perfect ending. but i also get the practical reasons of why it simply can’t work that way. (if just one person in the world died before meeting their One, or missed the bus and ended up meeting someone else on the corner as they walked home, or simply chose someone else, that would throw off the whole One system for the rest of the planet.) ((okay, that might make sense only inside my brain…))
i still believe in the covenant bond with our One and the sanctity and holiness of that. so there’s still a bit of a dichotomy in my brain over it all (what was your word? antimony?)…
i’m looking forward to monday one day(s)!
LOVE this topic, Joy! Not to oversimplify things, but I think that God can choose someone for you to be with. And if necessary, he can choose another person down line for you to be with. The un-romantic notion that there isn’t just ONE person out there regains is beauty when we begin to understand how amazing it is when God blesses a relationship. I know several widows who have been in two Godly relationships that have been blessed by God. Both were special. Both were unique. Was there only one person in the world for those widows? No. But their love didn’t suffer because of that. Rather, it flourished!
Hey! Rooftop location: excellent!
I think the “One” concept is so difficult for me because it makes God’s will seem very specific. Someone going through a difficult experience in their marriage might be caught up in thinking “Is my spouse really the One? What if s/he’s not?” It can lead to some serious angst. Or anxiety about missing the One by making the wrong decisions.
But Jesus says in Matthew, “What God has joined together, let no man separate.” Something my pastor pointed out a couple of weeks ago was Jesus’ acknowledgment through this conversation with the Pharisees that although people are involved with their free wills in the issue of marriage, ultimately it’s GOD who brings a couple together in a providential manner.. I’m still thinking this through in regard to my own marriage. It kind of blows me away, because I tend to err on the side of thinking God doesn’t have time to bother with the details of my life; little things like relationships. But Scripture indicates otherwise.
But something I’ve heard from several pastors is really helpful: “If you’re married, than your spouse IS ‘the One’.”
Has anyone else seen the move The Adjustment Bureau? I liked how that movie dealt with questions of fate vs. free will. It got ridiculous at times, but man, it was entertaining. I bet moreso to Christians than anyone else. Anyway.
Good topic/convo, Joy!
I tend to think of “the one” as another way of saying a soul mate. I have read somewhere that the idea of “the soul mate” comes from Greek Mythology which I thought was interesting and at the time and without further investigation, I chose to regard the idea of “the one” as a myth. However, if the Greeks were feeling that they were missing their lobsters, it is possible that this myth came from that longing. Anyway, God designed those Greeks too ey?
Again very interesting perspective you have here,and oh how I long for heaven and to finally be in the presence of the One who created me. 🙂
I’m with you, Joy. We’re designed to share a deeply intimate relationship to only one. As there’s only one head chef in a kitchen, a head coach on a team, one chief executive, we know that we can only be loyal to one with our hearts. Conflict, doubt and various ugliness-es come into play when we’re doubly-minded. We tend to overly romanticize the benefits of such a relationship while de-emphasizing the work and difficulty that goes into such relationships. This leads to a form of coveting and an over-willingness to give our hearts away.
Is there one and only one? Maybe, maybe not. Where are you right now? That’s where God has you (not directed at anyone particularly). There’s a reason for Him to have you there.
PS When in doubt, hyphenate.
I believe “the One” is a lie put in place to give us reasons why it’s okay to be unfaithfull. We’ve all seen the romantic movies where a woman is about to marry one man, but then she meets her “One” and voila’- she’s fulfilled and perfectly happy and MUST be with the new guy, no matter who gets hurt in getting there.
When you marry, you are making a covenant with someone and saying “I choose YOU to be my One.” And once you’ve made a covenant you are expected to see it through, just as God sees His covenants with us through. God has given us free will and that includes in the area of romantic love. There isn’t one person in all of the world whom we can live happily with, we choose to be content in all things and to love when it’s not easy to OR we don’t- one is the way of the Lord and one isn’t.
I can’t help but feel that if the whole “one perfect soul mate for each person” paradigm (complete with all the feelings of rightness and wonderful that go along with it) is really God’s absolute best intention for marriage across all cultures and times, Hosea really got the shaft.
This discussion makes me think of Fiddler on the Roof. “A girl can get burned playing with matches!”
“What r u doing to become the one?” Staying busy in prepartions makes the waiting less painful to watch/endure. But very practical also because in the preparations to be ready one becomes a very desirable partner. This keeps you focused purposely till the time is right. Prepartion “in holiness” is part of the waiting phase for our (betrothal )while Jesus goes to prepare a place for us.
Having a desirable partner in both arranged marriages (sans choice/chemistry/passion) as well as those marriages where the two get to find “the one” is a good thing.
The antinomy- However let’s not under estimate God’s power of providence! He knows the desires of our hearts. The holy longing for perfection, idealism (fantasy??), the soulmate, the happily everafter thoughts do rise up in us. I believe it is put within us by God as part of the orginal design to long for Him. Eccl 3:11 Solomon said”He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts…” That desire for eternity may be expressed like Abraham who sought a city made without hands. He desired “a better heavenly country”. Moses chose to suffer affliction w/ God’s people “looking to the reward”. Their hope was not wishful thinking like, ” I hope I’m gonna win the lottery”, but it is a hope that is joyful expectation. Joyful expectation does not disappoint. God is so good he gives us this kind of hope that doesn’t disappoint!
@ Josh- Hosea did get the shaft but so did God. His heart churned within Him, how could He give them up?..
Prophets always get the (short-term) shaft. Aren’t you glad that job doesn’t exist anymore. Just kidding! Another topic for another blog. 😉
I’ve always thought of it as, as Val mentioned, the one you choose is the one. I’ve never been much of a fatalist.
I also really appreciate Lewis’s commentary on what unrequited love and break ups might look like in an unfallen world: something along the lines of how we might perhaps laugh about it, joying in the other because we see them as we ought; we would see them fully as we would be fully seen; we would not impose our self-centered interpretations of their actions upon each other. I like that.
I don’t like the idea that there wouldn’t be any unrequited love or break-ups (though we might have different names for them) in a perfect world. We tend to make that assumption because in our imperfect world those things are so painful.
Maybe it’s just the writer in me (and Lewis), but in my guts I just know God is not a boring storyteller, nor a boring teacher. In an unfallen world, we (will) still be ever-growing in our love/knowledge of God and his life (way of living/Kingdom). We’ll just be better learners.
Everyone – Your comments are adding such a richness to this post. Thank you. I loved what Tonia said about how the idea of “The One” can be an excuse for some to become unfaithful. So indicative of where our culture is at – to make our momentary feelings the determinant of Truth and twisting what God has intended for no man to break apart (as Val pointed out) into something casual that we must respond by being “true to ourselves” if our real soul mate comes along.
Renea – was that Lewis stuff from Mere Christianity? If it is, his section on Marriage in that is profoundly relevant. I have thought about just posting the whole chapter. (-: Is that legal? I mean, he IS dead.
Not sure where it’s from; I read it in Smit’s [Loves Me, Loves Me Not: The Ethics of Unrequited Love], which is fabulous (even if also a bit too fatalistic/Calvanistic for my liking).
‘The One’ is something that my friends and I often talk about.
I believe that my husband is The One, because i’ve chosen to make that convenant with him. My friends seem to think that there is only one, which is what i disagree with. I think that logically, you could make it work with a number of people. But my friends seem to be stuck in this place where they are with someone who could be the one, but then something will happen where they feel a connection with another person, so that means that the person they are with obviously isn’t the one. I don’t believe that being with the one means you automatically lose the potential to develop feelings for another person. It just means i don’t pursue those feelings and i focus on the relationship I am in to make that as fulfilling as possible for the both of us.
I love the advice about what are you doing to become the one.
AWESOME stuff! The thought and emphasis you put on God’s desire and value of a covenant was great. I had a discussion with a buddy last night between something that is good from God and God’s best and how we can know the difference. Such a difficult thing to chew on especially when you are in the midst of it all.
I look forward to the upcoming weeks and what might have to say on this stuff!!
Sidenote, have you read A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken?
Thanks for the insight … I looked for intimate love in my teens and right now as a young adult (27) Christian … but I realized that even if you find “love” you wouldnt know what to really do with it if you dont have a right relationship with the one who put those feelings with in you. Relationships are hidden in Christ and are meant to be found when we seek Him first 😀
Joy, you have beautiful Ariel mermaid hair! 🙂 Love the rooftop and looking forward to the rest of these posts. I agree that the person you commit your life to becomes the One for you. When I asked a married girlfriend one time if she ever thinks about how her life would be with another man, she said no… she only sees her life with her husband. I think that’s a good discipline and key to keeping that covenant and protecting it. And it is indeed a discipline more often than a romantic notion, because we are broken and our hearts are always desiring heaven, even when we think we’re desiring other things (there’s a great C.S. Lewis quote about that).
Thanks as always for your great insight!
This is sooo what I needed! I love that idea of not focusing on the one, but focus on being the one. It’s true…all I can do is prepare myself and make sure my relationship with God is what it should be prior to being in a relationship. LOVE THIS! Thank you. You always have such incredible insight.
p.s. Friends’ quote..much appreciated 🙂
Love the additional thoughts. Especially the one about my Mermaid hair. Wait until Part 3. It goes from Mermaid to, “OH MY GOODNESS WHAT HAPPENED TO HER!”
Truly, it was a very windy day. Hairspray can only go so far.
p.s. Adam — yes I have read A Severe Mercy. What are your thoughts in light of “The One” series?
Ummm, I am not sure exactly, but keep in mind I am about half way through. I think of the book and how enamored the couple is with each other at the beginning and how they take time away to do some maintenance on their relationship. They seem infatuated with each other until they meet the Lord then there focus shifts, which is awesome. I am just curious how this works for a couple who is not walking with Him, but have a mostly healthy relationship, yet when they do come to know Him, He has to become their first Love. The one has to be replaced by The One. The whole process of desiring the best for your counterpart, whether it is Christ or boy/girlfriend/husband/wife starts all over again because we are a new creation in Him. I am watching this with a couple of newly engaged students/new believers right now, so its a lot of thoughts all jumbled together.
I do like how the folks in A Severe Mercy did take that time out to do the routine maintenance (or whatever they called it). It seems as though that would allow the opportunity of the one to know they are still the one and that the continued investment from both people is still there and observable, which pushes the idea of valuing the other person and continually showing that. It seems like it would work……..I think all of that ties a bit……