Waiting for “The One”
Proverbs 18:22 says “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the LORD.”
Going through Bible college (often aptly renamed Bridal college), I did my best to find that good thing, to find favour with the Lord. Needless to say, I was disappointed when I did not come out of my four years at Tyndale with my MRS. And believe me, it was not for my lack of trying.
But the Lord has perfect timing, right? When I threw myself into full-time ministry at Hope Bible Church Markham, I found Nardeen. (Note, not because I did. Doing ministry or serving does not equal automatic spouses. That was just the timing the Lord had for me.)
Young Adults ministry has a very unique duality to it. One the one hand, it is not just meant to be the place you meet your future spouse. We gather to proclaim Christ and make disciples. On the other hand, it is totally a place where you could meet your future spouse. There are many single, godly men and women. This is different from other ministries. In youth ministry, very few relationships last until marriage, and finding a spouse is not typically on the mind of a grade 10 boy. Obviously, in Men’s and Women’s ministry, you can’t meet your spouse there. Perhaps in mixed small groups, but it is rare that a couple should meet in small group. However Young Adults sees the group of people ages 18-30 come together, and often both genders have the thought of, “Could this be the one?”
Just to address something very quickly – not everybody gets married, and not everybody should get married. If you want a full unpacking on the blessing of singleness, please listen to Norm’s sermon on this here.
The reality is that most people want to get married, and Young Adults is a great place to start. (Once again, NOT the reason we gather, but a perk nonetheless.) So, how do we glorify God in looking for and waiting for “The One”, so that it does not become an idol that we seek before the Kingdom?
First, as I just alluded to, you need to be seeking first the Kingdom of God and all of His righteousness. There is no substitute here. Someone else is looking for that good thing, and you being someone who seeks the Lord first is the BEST quality you can offer. It’s not looks – as Matt Chandler says, “Gravity always wins.” It’s not your hobbies or income – entertainment and money are temporary. It is your knowledge and love for God and His Word that will be most important, because with proper love of God comes proper love for your future spouse.
Second, respect your brothers and sisters in Christ as that – brothers and sisters. For both genders, the brothers and sisters around you are family first, not cars to test drive to see if you like them. I know that sounds harsh, but too many relationships are harmed because well-meaning men and women treat others just as “potentials”. Enough of this. We are saints, heirs with Christ in the family of the living God, not commodities to be evaluated. Yes, you and your spouse will need to coalesce, but if you both have that first part right, this matters less than you think.
Finally, wait on God’s perfect timing. His ways are higher than yours, and His thoughts are better than yours. This doesn’t mean take no action. This doesn’t mean sit around and wait for the perfect man or woman to walk into your life. This doesn’t mean give it to the Lord in prayer once, and then you’ve done your part. This means be content if He does not give you a spouse on your timeline. Think of Jacob. The man had to work 14 years just to get the spouse that he wanted. I am pretty sure that wasn’t his timeline, but it was God’s!
Friends, as you’re waiting for “The One”, make sure you don’t turn marriage and your future spouse into an idol that you chase more than you worship the Lord. Seek Him first, respect one another as brothers and sisters, and wait on the Lord. In all of these things, you will not be disappointed, even if it is the Lord’s will that you not find a spouse.