Is there such a thing as the right person?
And if you are dating, how do you know they are? Is it the person you rarely fight with? The person with the same interests as you? The person who received complementary results on whichever personality test is trending? Is it the person you could see yourself growing old with? Or is it all of the above?
I submit to you that the problem with thinking there is a right person is that there could also then be a wrong person. That implication might seem harmless — some might even say helpful during the searching stage. However, once you’re married, the wrong person does not exist.
If you think otherwise, it may have a devastating effect on your marriage.
If we enter into marriage thinking it’s possible we have chosen the wrong person, it is unlikely we will face hardships with the same hope-filled ferocity we would have otherwise. If we both could’ve married the wrong one, why sacrifice and strain to make it work? Why not file for divorce and start searching for the right one (hoping that they also didn’t make a mistake and marry someone else)?
The idea of “the wrong person” looms in the shadows of many broken marriages.
The Romantic Road
Many of us have seen the movies or television shows.
Those romantic comedies involving a man and woman that “should” be together, but instead are “tied-down” to someone else. That “true love” thwarted by destiny.
At first, we often don’t want them to get together — we value marriage too much to see it broken. But as the film progresses, many carefully orchestrated events and interactions are showcased to slowly and strategically woo our hearts. We find ourselves hoping for the destruction of one relationship, in order to make room for the other. In just under ninety minutes, we find ourselves traveling from wrong, to maybe, to necessary. By the end, we find ourselves cheering when the couple finally gets together — infidelity and all.
A whole genre is dedicated to this premise — a premise that only exists when the idea of a right and wrong person does, too.
Mr. and Mrs. Wrong
Put simply: There is no such thing as “the one” — unless you’re already married. The one who is “the one” is the one whom you marry. That is what marriage declares.
Marriage is a commitment to a person with flaws. You don’t ignore their flaws; you commit to them despite their flaws. The flaws come with the marriage, with the commitment (Ephesians 5:25).
And as we commit, we must remember that we are the wrong person (Romans 3:23)! That is what makes marriage so glorious. A “wrong” person commits to another “wrong” person. Where would the glory be in a commitment to someone who is flawless?
The One Is the One You Marry
So, rather than looking for “the one,” look for a spouse that appears to be on a trajectory of sanctification. Once you’re married and have made a public covenant before God and before mankind, congratulations! You have married “the one.” If you’re already married, congratulations! You have married “the one” (Matthew 19:4–6).
When you reach a bump in the road, remember that the best marriage in the world is still between two people who need to be redeemed along with their relationship. And thankfully, Jesus came to restore us and give us the perfect relationship with himself (Revelation 21:1–5).