While strolling through our local farmer’s market this Saturday, my friend Heather* and I discussed the question that seems to haunt us all at one time or another: How do you know if the person you’re dating is “the one”? Between examining tomatoes and measuring out okra, our conversation spilled over from the deep places of our hearts.
Heather is being pursued by a man who loves Christ, but she can’t quite make sense of her own feelings. There are many things she likes, even admires, about this man. She thinks she wants to be in a romantic relationship with him, but since he’s not pursuing a physical relationship (he’s not even holding her hand) she finds herself lacking the usual swirl of affection and emotion that comes along with a romantic interest. He’s pursuing “clarity,” she says. How is she supposed to feel about that? Does that mean he doesn’t really like her?
Another friend of mine finds herself in a similar situation. She and her romantic interest met through a mutual friend. This woman loves Jesus. She’s smart, kind, and beautiful, too. (Don’t you just love friends like that?) The young man has made it very clear that he wants to develop their friendship to see if they might be a good match for marriage. However, before spending any one-on-one time with her, he presented her with some proposed boundaries for their time together: no hugging; no kissing; no phone calls after a certain hour. This man is going to a lot of effort to protect my friend’s heart and body and to avoid confusion. Sounds almost crazy by today’s standards, doesn’t it?
The Lord knows the future of my friends and whether they will marry these young men or not. In fact, He’s the only One who does know! So if you want to know if a certain someone is “the one,” I have only one piece of advice for you. It’s a simple and profound truth from Galatians 5:25: “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”
Keep in step with the Spirit. Walk with the Holy Spirit! Don’t run ahead of Him, and don’t lag behind. Walk with Him one step after another, moment-by-moment. If you are in Christ, the very Spirit of God dwells in you. Have you thought about this lately? The Holy Spirit is your personal gift from Christ Himself.
Jesus says in John 14:16–17, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into truth and into intimacy with Christ, then walk alongside Him with reckless abandon, wherever that may be. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did.
*Name has been changed