Since getting engaged, I’ve had a lot of friends ask me how I knew Charles was “the one.” To be clear: I hate the term “the one.” I don’t believe in it, and I don’t think it’s biblically accurate.
I definitely believe God planned Charles and I to meet, and He is the sole reason we will soon be husband and wife. But to me, “the one” makes it seem like we all have one shot at love in our lives. If we miss it, oops. Too bad. I don’t think that’s true, especially for people who lose their spouse and then re-marry.
Even without the term “the one,” I know for certain God designed man and woman for monogamy. From Genesis, we see God created man and women in His image and gave us marriage as a gift between man and woman. He created man and woman to come together as one flesh in the covenant of marriage.
And I know without a shadow of a doubt that Charles is the absolute best man for me. He has all the qualities I desired in a future husband, and I know God prepared his heart for me while simultaneously preparing my heart for him. Charles is my teammate, my biggest cheerleader, my confidant, my best friend.
So how did I know this? How did I reach a place of confidence in him and in our relationship?
It was not love at first sight for Charles and me. We were both instantly attracted to each other and wanted to know more about each other, but I did not have immediate confirmation that he was the man I was going to marry. No spotlight shown down on him; God’s voice didn’t come over me, telling me he was my future husband. Our love grew slowly, and the Lord provided continued affirmation over time to both of us.
Early on in our relationship, Charles suggested we read The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller.
Me: “You do know the expectation this is setting, right?”
Charles: “Yes, that’s why I want to read it.”
Me: Well, okay then; let’s do it!
Charles was intentional with me from the very beginning and clear about his desire for a relationship leading to marriage.
These five specific qualities helped me know that Charles is the man God has for me:
1. He prays for me.
Charles prays for me, and he asks how he can be praying for me. He’s quick to send me a Bible verse and word of encouragement when I need it. One of the big reasons God brought Charles to me is because of the way he has helped me in my recovery. He speaks Truth into my life. He’s also constantly sharing with me what he’s learning from the Word and what God is teaching him.
2. He prays with me.
Also important: Charles prays with me. We try to end each phone conversation by praying together. This doesn’t always happen, and we both understand there are situations (like when one of us is driving or when we’re out and about) that make this more difficult. But knowing my soon-to-be husband values praying with me is the greatest gift. Sometimes we as a culture treat prayer like a last resort. But prayer moves our hearts. Prayer allows us to be in tune with the heart of God. Prayer reminds us that nothing is impossible for the Lord. Friends, date a man who prays.
3. He makes me laugh.
We are both quirky and goofy. We share the same sense of humor. Charles made me laugh on our first date and has kept me laughing since. ( I also know there are times when this blog has made him laugh out loud, hehe.) He helps me relax when my anxiety kicks in, and I’m just so darn happy to grow old with a man who keeps me smiling.
4. He loves Jesus more than he loves me.
This is so, so important. Charles loves me, yes. He loves me most than any other human on this planet. But he loves Jesus more than he loves me. That may seem counterintuitive—shouldn’t I want my husband to love me the most? In short, no. I prayed for a husband who would put Jesus above me, and that is what Charles does. If Charles loved me more than he loved Christ, then I would become an idol. I would become his everything, and our marriage would be held to an impossible standard. Imagine if Charles loved me above Christ and then I disappoint him (which I have). The disappointment would be devastating, maybe even crippling. For our marriage to not only survive but to really thrive, we both need to put our love of the Father first. He is our primary devotion; our love for each other comes just below it.
5. I see who God is making him, and I want to be a part of that process.
In The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller writes:
“Within this Christian vision of marriage, here's what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of what God is creating, and to say, "I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, 'I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!”
THAT. That is exactly how I feel about Charles. That is how I knew I wanted to marry him. In the two years we’ve been dating, I’ve watched him grow more and more into the man God has created him to be. It’s the most exciting part of this whole journey, and I cannot wait to see all He will do in Charles’ life—and ours together—in the years to come.
If you want to talk more about Jesus Christ and faith and what-the-heck-is-all-this-stuff, shoot me a message. I love meeting new people, whether virtually or in person, and gabbing about life.
And if you'd like to know more of my story, you can read my testimony here.
Truly, He makes beautiful things.