It’s a question married women hear a lot. It was a question I asked a lot as a single person. “How did you know he was THE one?”
When I imagined myself at the altar, across from a man with a huge question mark for a face, more often than not I imagined myself just like Julia Roberts in the movie, running out of the church and climbing aboard a passing Fedex truck.
Even if I could find it in me to stay in a relationship and see it all the way to “I now pronounce you man and wife”, would I ever feel totally peaceful about making the life long commitment?
“When you know, you know.”
This was an answer I had never felt satisfied with. There was no logical support for this, and as far as I could see, no spiritual support either, aside from audibly hearing God’s voice.
But not long after I got married I was asked by a guest at someone else’s wedding how I had known my new husband was THE one. I was surprised by my struggle to put it into words (I mean, other than the fact the conversation was taking place in German). Even more surprisingly I really was tempted to say, “Wenn du weisst, du weisst.” “When you know, you know.”
I’ve thought about it since and realized in one sense it’s a totally accurate answer. After all the prayers, tears, books I’ve read, counsel I’ve sought, breakups, heartache, “thinking things through” until my mind and heart just couldn’t take it anymore, you’d think I’d have a much larger store of wisdom and advice.
I courted, I dated, I long-distance relationshipped, I close-distance relationshipped, and though I learned a thing or two along the way, I came out of those experiences more or less stripped of the answers I had going into them. My conclusion is, none of those scenarios or methods were the reasons I did or didn’t make it to the altar. Neither was it because I was ever in a relationship with a “bad boy”, because I wasn’t.
In hindsight however, there are some things which set Ber apart from the rest of the crowd of guys I knew, (crowding around me of course, but don’t bother fact checking that, cuz it ain’t true).
These things didn’t assure me he was THE right one, but they did assure me he could be. Hopefully you can see the difference. These things about him were simply assuring. And for a girl like me, some simple assurance went a long ways.
1 . His belief in a sovereign God.
I remember our first [ not a ] date. I remember throwing reasons out there why I didn’t think we could ever be an item. Our different church backgrounds, for instance. I asked him, “What would you say if one of us got sick? Would you expect God to heal me at least as long as my relationship to Him was in a ‘good’ place?”
As a side note, can you believe any guy ever wanted to date me after the first date?!
His reply to the question about sickness was, “God is God. Nobody tells Him what to do.” Now, you need to know something about Ber at this point, in case you don’t have the privilege of knowing him in person. He’s a deep person. But he isn’t one to try, as I do, to have all the questions and answers to life lined out ahead of time. His answer struck me hard in its simplicity and confidence. For him, this was not only an absolute, but an absolute no brainer.
2 . His flexibility to go wherever God leads him.
Even if it means outside of his comfort zone or outside of his known gifting. Another early conversation between us took place on a bench close to the train station. I don’t remember how we got to the topic of his studies, but I’ll never forget what he said. “Kay, I told the Lord, I don’t care if I am going to be an electrical engineer. And if He says to stop university today, I’ll stop. And if He says ‘Ber, go to Africa’, then Ber is going to Africa.'”
(He often speaks of himself in the third person, which sounds extremely sweet in person).
This answer also blew me away with its simplicity, and somehow, its finality. I believed him when he said it. This was a young whippersnapper who had plans and intentions, but with an over-riding heartfelt commitment to the call of God. Furthermore this guy I barely knew, was already impressing me without really knowing at all what would impress me. Beyond being impressed, I was assured. At least guys like him still existed. Later, because of this belief and lifestyle of his, I’d be able to trust that he’d be up for the adventure of life and that I’d no longer be “running away” solo.
. . .
Over the course of our three and a half year relationship proceeding marriage, these two beliefs were tested in both of us in almost unimaginable und definitely unforeseeable ways. The confidence I had on our wedding day, the absolute lack of fear I had walking down that aisle and standing next to him was thanks to the tried and tested faith we shared and continue to share. Faith is the assurance our marriage is insured. Not that nothing will ever go wrong, because that’s never what insurance is for. But for when something does go wrong, we both know that God is in control. And when you know, you just know. ” Corinthians 5:1 & 7
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens….for we walk by faith, not by sight.