“Wesley, how do you know if she’s the one?” I was a little shocked reading the text message from one of my best friends whom I had the privilege of leading to Christ a few years ago.
I asked myself this question several times in my late high school and early college years. It is a question all guys ask at some point, or at least the majority do. During the season of my life when I began to ask this question, to say my priorities were lacking is like saying the ocean is wet. They were something like this:
This is hard for me to admit because, at the time, I would have argued that it was in the opposite order. I was sure Jesus was number one. I went to church regularly, helped others when I could, and even knew a couple of Bible verses. Confessing I was a hypocrite, living contrary to what I was saying, is still a hard pill to swallow. The Holy Spirit convicted me of my hypocrisy during Easter week of 2011. After that I submitted my life to Jesus Christ.
Prior to the Holy Spirit’s conviction in my life, the values I looked for in a girlfriend were not what I would look for in a wife. I went through several difficult break ups and the difficulty came from much more than just the separation. It was also a result of me placing every important thing in my life in front of Jesus. These important things became idols and like idols tend to do, they were constantly letting me down. No matter how hard I tried, sacrificed, or “prayed,” the relationships remained unsatisfying because they were built on selfish desires.
When I submitted my life to Christ at 21, the process of becoming like Jesus began. Although salvation is instantaneous becoming a legitimate disciple (or sanctification) is a process. Jesus began to take those selfish desires and restructure them to better reflect Himself. I began to look to Scripture to see what it taught about a godly wife. In the process I learned about what it means to be a godly husband. I began to pray for all that Proverbs 31 mentions in a godly wife and in the same breath I began to pray that I would become what Ephesians 5 defines as a godly husband. Although I was not aware of it at the time, God was training me, and this training went on for several months. I won’t lie. This was not like a movie training montage with inspirational music simulating the passage of day or two. It took time. I felt lonely and impatient. I believe God was stretching me and giving me the opportunity to trust Him more and more. Like gold being refined in a furnace, I was being melted and purified to better reflect Him.
Trying to draw close to God and learn more about Him, I pressed on. Just over a year later, God placed the most beautiful and godly woman in my life. Weeks after we began to date she told me her story and it was much like mine.
All these thoughts came into my mind as I reflected again on the question from my friend “Wesley, how do you know if she’s the one?” I called him immediately and there was disappointment and loneliness in his voice. He and his previous girlfriend were not getting along. I said, “Have you been praying for a godly wife? Have you been preparing to be a godly husband?” These were the two questions I weaved throughout our 15 minutes conversation. When he answered “no” to both, I challenged him to start and in a few months we could revisit the question “Is she the one?”
What are some things that may be keeping you from preparing to be a godly spouse? Or what are some things you should be praying for in a godly spouse? Let me encourage you to study passages such as Ephesians 5, 1 Corinthians 6, Proverbs 31 and many others. Preparing to be a godly spouse and praying for a godly spouse are the two best practices we learn from Scripture while seeking a lifelong companion. It’s through this process God will begin to shape you to depend on Him. It could be one month or one year later before God sends you the one he has prepared for you, but trust in Him. Also trust His timing. Tell Him you trust Him. Take to heart 1 John 5:14-15
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.