“How did you know your husband was the one?” is the most common question singles ask me. It seems like people don’t know how to recognize the person God has for them. Well, to help with your search, I’ve come up with a few ways you can recognize “the one.” It’s called “Relationship CPR.” It will either reinvigorate your search or current relationship, or it will kill it. Just label the relationship “Do not resuscitate” if the person doesn’t fit this criteria.
C – Christ-like, Character, and Caring
If you’re a believer, you should link up with someone who knows the Lord and is striving to be more like him. That doesn’t mean perfect, but the person should share the same religious beliefs as you. You should not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever (We will talk about what unequally yoked means in another post). Amos 3:3 raises the question, can two walk together unless they agree? Marriage is hard work. You want to be in agreement with your partner on foundational issues such as faith.
The person you are dating or courting—whatever you want to call it—should also be surrendered to the Holy Spirit so they can produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Jesus said you will know the tree by its fruit (Matthew 7:20). If the person produces anger, negativity, and hate, you need to rethink the relationship.
If you’re looking for apples, and the person is producing oranges, you need to let it go.
The man or woman should be a person of godly character. You don’t want to partner with someone who lies, cheats, or steals. You want someone who is a person of integrity and someone you can trust.
You should also watch to see if the person is caring. Does he or she care about your wellbeing? Do they help you? Watch how they treat strangers, friends, and family. This will be a good litmus test for you because how they treat others will be how they treat you in the future. In the book of Ruth, Boaz looked out for Ruth. He told his servants to let her glean from his field and not to mess with her. You want someone who has your best interest in mind. When I met my husband, I knew I could marry him because I saw how he cared for his family and friends. I knew if he went above and beyond for them, he would do the same for me.
P – Priestly and Peace
When you’re looking for “the one,” you want someone who is priestly. Priestly means they can lead you spiritually if you’re a woman, or they can hold you down spiritually if you’re a man. The man is supposed to be the priest of the household. That means he should lead the family in prayer, worship and service. I can’t stress enough that you want a spouse who is surrendered to the Holy Spirit. If the person you’re with has never spoken to God, you might want to rethink the relationship if you want to get married. Marriage should be built on the rock that is Jesus Christ. Marriage is hard work and will not last if you don’t have the right foundation.
When you’re in a God-ordained relationship, you will also have peace. Your spirit will not be troubled. Have you ever dated someone you knew you weren’t supposed to be with, and God kept sending you warnings? You couldn’t sleep at night, every sermon on Sunday fit your situation, and you just didn’t have peace! That is because the Holy Spirit was convicting you. I’ve been there. When you meet “the one,” you will have peace. The Holy Spirit will not trouble your spirit because you’ve got the right one. If you don’t have peace, if something in your spirit is saying this isn’t it, let the relationship go!
You will also know you have the right one if they are a peaceable person. That means the person is at peace with themselves and is a peacemaker. You don’t want to marry someone who is always looking for a fight. The Bible says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). You want to be with a son or daughter of God so that there will be peace in your home.
R – Ready for Responsibility, Respectful
Marriage and family are a lot of responsibility. If you’re a woman, you should look for a man who is ready for that kind of responsibility—emotionally, financially, and spiritually ready.
If the man you’re seeing doesn’t know how to manage his money well or doesn’t pay his bills on time, he is not ready to take care of a wife and children. Jesus said in the parable of the servant, “You have been faithful over a few things, I will put you in charge over many” (Matthew 25:23). If the man hasn’t learned how to manage his life with just him in it, he will not be successful at managing an entire household. It is the same for men looking for wives.
The person should also be respectful. The person should respect your faith and values. The person should also respect your body. If you’re dating someone and they are pressuring you to do something that goes against your values or morals, then they are not the right person. Someone who cares about you and wants a future with you will not put you in a position where you comprise your relationship with God or your values.
This list is not exhaustive, but I think it is a good place to start. Do you have any other ways to recognize “the one?”