Monday, August 26, 2013

there is no such thing as "The One."


disclaimer: Before I get more oposition... I didnt give my opinion nor did I say I agree with this article :P Im just putting it out there! proceed!

There is no such thing as “The One.”

Gary Thomas Debunks 3 Common Myths That Most Millennial’s Believe About Marriage.
After polling my online community about the most helpful marriage resource they’ve found, I was shocked to see a book title I had never heard of show up in 1/4 of their responses. That book was Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas.
Naturally, I tabbed over to Amazon, made the purchase, spent the next couple days reading, and then reached out to Gary for an interview.
Quickly in to our time, I was thrilled to realize that Gary was no typical marriage counselor and seemed to actually enjoy life & conversation – beyond just offering formulas and making points. It didn’t take us long to veer off topic, where we landed on some golden thoughts about common myths young people believe about marriage. I thought it to be too good not to share.

MYTH: The One.

running free
HISTORY. The idea of  ”THE ONE” and a “soul mate” comes originally from Plato, the Greek philosopher.
In his book, the Symposium, his character Aristophanese suggests that the reason romantic attraction is generally so strong, was because at one point, we were all round people. Rather, we all were both male & female, and because of this, the human race became too powerful. So, Zeus split humans in two with the intention that we’ll spend our time trying to find our other half and won’t threaten the gods.
Sounds about right, eh?
REALITY. The spouse you spend your life with is your choice.
With as little as the Bible talks about initially getting married, it implies that it is a choice based on character & faith – not feelings or destiny.
She is free to marry anyone she wishes, as long as they’re in the Lord. | 1 Corinthians 7
(Note: The debunking of this myth 5 years ago led me to immediately propose to my wife. I spent the majority of our dating relationship waiting for God to tell me she was THE ONE. He finally clued me into the fact that love is a choice, and I made the jump. It was a much needed debunking that led to one of the better decisions I’ve made in life.)

MYTH. God will bring the right person at the right time.

REALITY. We have a role to play in FINDING and choosing our spouse.
If someone came out of high school and said if God wants me to go to college, the University of Texas will contact me. Or when they graduate college, they simply sit around waiting for a call from Bill Gates to go and work for Microsoft? Obviously, this is not how getting a job works. Turns out that marriage doesn’t work this way either.
A good woman is hard to FIND… | Proverbs 31

MYTH. My feelings are a primary indicator that he/she is a good choice for a spouse.

We’ve been so inundated with teaching on how blinding sexual impurity before marriage can be, yet never warned about the detriment of emotional infatuation. Science tells us that romance lasts 12-18 months and inevitably fades. In those 12-18 months, you’re officially infatuated and prone to idealization. You stop seeing who the person actually is. You find yourself so busy trying to get them and keep them that you don’t have any emotional energy or value to truly tell if they’re worth getting or keeping. You ascribe strengths to them that they don’t have and you marry someone that doesn’t actually exist.

sooooo beautiful. i love this so much.
REALITY. Strong feelings of romance are a 12-18 month chemical reaction that often cause us, in our vulnerable, to make stupid choices.
When you marry based on idealism and romantic infatuation, you will inevitably land on the thought “He/She is not who I thought He/She was.” You married someone you didn’t know.
God created the neurochemical processes in our mind, but it’s foolish to bet our life on it. We must make this choice on a biblical and wise basis.
Gary comes out & makes some bold statements here about things many of us have thought to be longstanding truths. Is there anything he said that you either strongly agree or disagree with? Speak your mind below.


  1. Hmmm. . . ok, so usually I agree wholeheartedly with your posts, mom. ;) This time though, I'm not so sure. For one, I believe in the providence of God--His hand is in and on everything. Because of that, I am %100 certain that God knows who I am supposed to marry, and I'm even more certain that there is one only man meant for me. A "soul-mate." And that has nothing to do with Plato. ;) After all, didn't God create Eve especially for Adam, the bone of his bones, and the flesh of his flesh? She was predestined to be his wife. She was made for him.

    On to the second point. YES I agree that we need to be taking an active part (especially guys,) in finding a spouse. However, numerous times God has brought people together--when they weren't even looking. If we have the right to pick whoever we want to marry, then dating sites are legit (you know my opinion there, ;) ) and we can play the mind of God.

  2. Good points Michaela! Like the post though interesting thoughts to nibble on.

  3. Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. :P

    Need I say more? Hehehe. :D

    My belief is that you fall in love, and then you choose to continue loving them, even when they're not acting very loveable. But falling in love is not a choice. That's the beauty of attraction. And God wired attraction in us. He made that blinding attraction for a reason.

    Basically, I strongly disagree with about 2/3 of this article. I do agree that we have to actively pursue relationships and marriage...annnnnnnnnd that's about it. I have quite a bone to pick with Gary Thomas' theories on love and marriage, mainly because he started throwing around the whole "is marriage supposed to be holy or happy" crud and now people are all about 'I want a HOOOOOOLY MARRIAGE!!!!" and I'm just like, why not have both? Why is one more spiritual than the other? Kinda tying into the discussion on Mich's status on FB the other day.

    Anyway! My two cents, since you asked! :P

    1. I know nothing about Gary Thomas, but I agree--this article is terrible! :P (sorry mom. hehe) I like how you say that falling in love is not a choice. Attraction can get out of hand, of course, but why on earth would you marry someone you didn't "love?" As in actually respecting someone's mind and heart; the person they are. Marrying for physical reasons only is very shallow. (this is why it's so important to define "crush" vs actual love. You can be attracted to someone all you want and never love them.) Actually, I was thinking of writing an article refuting this one. Saying that God doesn't bring people together is heresy in my mind. Think about it, along with Adam and Eve and countless others in the Bible, the line of David wouldn't have happened without Ruth and Boaz, which means Jesus couldn't have been born!(of course God would have found a different way, but you know what I mean.) They were divinely brought together. Anyway, I could go on, but I might save it for my article, depending on if I write it or not.

  4. I agree with this guy. Not saying that it can't happen in the "mythological" ways that he presents but since the majority of marriages in Christian circles (and I mean all who would consider themselves followers of Christ not just conservatives or Baptist or etc...) are conducted with one or more of these ideas in the foreground,and statistically the Christian marriage success rate is nearly as bad as the secular, then something is rotten in Denmark.

    Typically it would seem that trouble arises when "myth 3" presents itself... However I will say that all of these "myths" cancel themselves out because of the Sovereignty of God. Is there, in the omnipotent and all powerful will of God, only one for you? Yes, because God, being the One who made you specifically, knows exactly what you will choose given the choice and the circumstances. This is why none escapes His Will and yet we are all still free to choose.

    Example: Proverbs 18:22 "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord."
    The verb finds, implies by necessity, the action of seeking and yet, God knew what you would find at the end of the search and what circumstances would cause you to seek in the first place.

    The point however is that when we argue the "Divine Will" vs a circumstance or idea, the only way we can come to a logical and reasonable conclusion is if we are privy to what the Divine Will is. Since we do not have this information available to us beyond the Revealed Will in Scripture, it is pointless to argue for or against the idea of "The One" or "The Perfect Time" because we can only interact with time and space in the Free Will capacity. The balance comes when we walk by the Spirit because then we can be sure that, (Romans 8:28)"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

    1. So in other words, it's a bit like Salvation. At first I wasn't sure where you were coming from, but after reading over this twice, I think you are trying to say that we have free will.(and now I realize that you actually said that. ;) ) God allows us to makes decisions, but He through His omniscience already knows what that choice will be. Is that at all close? I thought of this already, by the way. :) It's exactly why I don't believe in predestination. God didn't "pick me" or favor me over others, yet He knew before I was born that I would accept Him and His Salvation. Perhaps it works that way in finding a spouse. So while it may be mythical to assume that ones "other half" is wandering somewhere in time, just waiting to be found, God's divine plan will show us what His Will is--what the blessing is. But then there's the problem of knowing exactly what that all means. ;) The Will of God is something I have yet to understand. Am I making any sense? If not please correct me. :)

    2. More or less yes. It is when we focus on the cause and effect instead of the Causer that we get messed up. That is why you could Biblicaly argue for both sides of the "myths" because when broken down to the presupposition that is at the base of them all, it becomes the debate over free will and Divine Will. It is a debate that humans can't win because both are true at the same time and in the same relation which is an impossibility by the laws of logic which we, in our 10 dimensional universe, are bound by.

      So predestination is true because God bent time and circumstance to cause you to choose Him and yet you still had the freedom to reject. That choice was never denied you it was simply "a deal you couldn't refuse." :) Like I said it is a pointless argument in the end because there is not an absolute answer. It is exactly the same as us trying to define the Triune nature of God. We can only use metaphor and simile to get a vague idea of the true nature of The Trinity.

      I guess my biggest point is to not worry about whether or not God will bring "The One" to you or if you have to seek him/her out. Seek and know that God will bring. When you do marry know with all certainty that it is "The One" because it is God who ultimately controls all of time,space, and matter.

      Let me put it this way, those who focus on the forest will miss the beauty of the trees, and yet those who only see the beauty of the trees will miss the grandeur of the forest.

      My turn to ask; Did that make sense?

    3. I like how you talk about predestination, and yet, isn't it interesting that "intellectuals" (aka, thinking people, :P) are supposedly attracted to Calvinism? Sure, it's an interesting thing to battle out--I certainly have. To me it's just a theory to try and place the "unknown" into human perspective. It's easier just to answer the question "why don't THEY GET IT?" With "oh, well, they aren't one of the elect." Of course the argument would be that we don't really know WHO is or isn't elect until death, but still. A friend of mine told me the other day that we aren't meant to understand the mind of God; I agree. However it is so important to learn as much about Him as possible in order to walk with Him. That means examining EVERYTHING, and studying to show ourselves approved. . .something that is greatly lacking in most modern churches. Rabbit trail, I know, but discussions like this are good. There is so little "thinking" any more. Drives me crazy. Anyway, all that aside, somehow all my Calvinist friends STILL wind up saying I'm Armenian. Whatever. :P

      Anyhow--yes, you make perfect sense, and I agree. Still not settled on everything in this article though. Finding God's Will means walking through doors until they are shut. In that sense, we sometimes have to jump into situations blindly, and sometimes we receive the blessing. Other times, we are totally misguided. So while I agree wholeheartedly that a spouse isn't going to "drop from the sky," God does play a role in bringing people together. "What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder." Yes, He knows who we will marry, and ok, we've already established that "soul-mates" aren't necessarily Biblical. HOWEVER I can't help but look at example after example all throughout the Old Testament that clearly show God's timing (ie, Jacob waited seven years for Rachael.) Like I said above, Eve was not only made for Adam, she was created FROM him. He didn't have a choice. Either because of their faith they were blessed, or they were actually "made to match." Think of all the dysfunctional marriages/families (in the Bible) that went AGAINST God's Will. If it's true that anyone can be "the one," why didn't they have harmony? Not saying that marriages won't have challenges, but these examples certainly don't look like blessings to me. I realize that once you are married you are "bound" to that person, making them "the one" in God's eyes. Yet it just seems like there must be some validity in "waiting for the right person." Note that I'm talking about the article, not your viewpoints. :)

  5. Precisely! (Side note: I am of the persuasion that both Calvinism and Armenianism are incorrect. Reason being that to agree with one is to deny an element of Scripture on the other. To get in the debate between the to is reminiscent of the Corinthian mistake of saying, "I am of Paul or I am of Apollos." In as much as any religious sect or denomination or theological school of thought is in agreement with Scripture, then I am also in agreement. So many problems ensue when, for the sake of a theological interpretation, men dissect or presume to judge the very Essence of God. But that is a "rant" for another time... Maybe I'll write a blog post on that ;)

    But yes, you nailed it exactly! God's will is discovered by living and walking through (or in to, as the case may be) doors that we know God has placed in our path.
    Soul mate in the Grecian sense of the idea is incorrect. But Soul Mate, like what you are describing, is entirely Biblical. Because God chose that 'One' for you before the foundation of the world. You can not be with the wrong one. Could there have been mistakes made? Sure, but is God Sovereign or not? He is not just Sovereign when things go "right".

    Let me ask a question though. How do we judge a God blessed and ordained marriage? By it's outworking of love, fellowship, and Oneness right? So this presents an interesting quandary. Who embodies the idea of the perfect husband? God. Who is His bride? Israel ( and that includes us who are grafted through the Blood of Christ). Reading through the Bible, would you say that the relationship between God and Israel was a "blessed" one? The answer is a resounding, No. Israel was continually committing adultery and being unfaithful to her Husband. Did God just not wait for the "right one"? Did He make a mistake in choosing His bride? Should He, perhaps, have courted her a little longer to get to know her better? That of course is ridiculous.

    My point is thus, marriage is a picture, an earthly shadow, of the Ultimate Perfection which is Christ and His bride. Could not God, in His infinite wisdom, cause marriages that are not "perfect" by our standards, to come about that we, as His children, might show to the world the Faithfulness and Love of our God?
    There is Scriptural precedence for this. The book of Hosea.

    Now with that said, Scripture is also clear that God desires for marriage to be harmonious and filled with shalom. The perfection of marriage is that Oneness which God painted such a brilliant picture of by creating Eve from Adam. It is this idea of you are not only created for me but you are, in a sense, an essence of me.

    So again, you are correct. The trap that people fall into with the understanding of God's Divine Will in bringing two people together is to expect God to bend the time space continuum and warp the very nature of reality to cause this amazing fire and ice connection of two souls joining in into one perfect essence of being. (Not saying that you think this way or anything, I am just describing the mentality that often goes with this idea of God bringing the right one.) God has laws and structure to His universe. Even though God can at anytime reach in and "break the laws", He most often arranges time ( which is the nature of our existence)to bring about His will. What can often happen is that in waiting for God's "One" we can desire to live in this ethereal plane where God manifests Himself in Fire and Light and great power. The let down comes when you meet your soul mate in the most unromantic way and so you assume that because there wasn't an angel choir present, that God must have a better one for you around the corner.

  6. Agreed, agreed--lots of good stuff here! I am neither Calvinist nor Armenian, though you know my parents were? Armenian, that is. When they were first Saved they went to a Quaker church (in name only--more charismatic than anything else.) According to my mom, she got re-Saved every Sunday! :P Poor thing, all that guilt! Both Calvinists and Armenians read between the lines and try to sort out what we humans are just not meant to understand. It’s a way of un-muddling the muddle in every Christians brain. In other words, it’s adding to Scripture. The hilarious part is, like I said earlier, Calvinists have this idea that all other “denominations” are Armenian. There is no in-between. I had this debate with a friends husband awhile ago, and in the end. . .I was STILL a form of Armenian. We also pinned the 2 points of the TULIP I agreed with. . .the only two that are Biblical! :P Original Sin and Preservation of the Saints (Eternal security.) In that case. . .I'm a 2-point-Reformed-Armenian?? o.O Anyhow--yes, you should write a blog post on the topic. I’d read it. :)

    Yes, doors we KNOW God has placed in our path, and yet sometimes those doors are covered in shadows. . .sometimes we need to take risks and walk forward, even without an “all clear.” There is something really special about communing with God in a way that we are trusting our entire lives to Him--no matter what. There is a literal “experience”--not talking about human emotion--of fellowship. Sometimes His spirit can be felt moving us to pray, or read, etc. Really, there is so much more to a FULL Christian Walk than most people realize. Discovering that more and more every day, and so, so grateful for the good times and bad. Without trials, how can we grow? Another rabbit trail, but rambling is my specialty. :)

    Thanks for clarifying that--I wasn't entirely sure if you were for or against the “soul-mate’ concept. It just seems like total heresy to “play God” the way this author seems to be doing. I've always been under the belief that God designed unique destinies for each of His children (aka, predestination.) It only makes sense to assume that marriage is part of that plan--not just something we have a random choice in that He *must* bless. I really liked the picture you drew of God and His Bride. I knew this already, of course, but you put it into perspective (in relation to this topic.) But back quickly to “finding The One.” There are so many young people that have jumped blindly into marriage because of “feelings.” (myth 3 of this article--pretty much the only one I really agree with.) Emotion has a role in attraction and falling in love, but a lot of times, especially in female circles, girls are overly ready to “make things work” without really seeking God. There are countless women who have supposedly been “in love” over, and over, and over again. Sorry, but those are just “feelings.” It drives me slightly crazy. If a couple is truly seeking God, sees open doors, and walks through them, like you said, they can’t go wrong. It’s sad though to think of so many marriages that have turned sour because God had no hand in the bringing together. Yes??

    All that to say, I can’t argue with your point regarding God and Israel. We’ll let that rest. :)

    1. Very interesting how you say that God at any time can reach in and “break the laws” to bring about His Will. Yes, and yes a thousand times agreed! There are so many different opinions on the topic of God's Will. For example, there is a belief that since everything is predestined, God’s Will, which was scoped before time, stands without wavering. In other words, nothing at any time can be changed, because God has already spoken, and He is Sovereign. I guess that's why the Calvinist's maintain He can just randomly send people to Hell. We can pray and receive the blessing, but it kind of defeats the purpose, since He never alters His course. Does that make sense? For ie, the argument would be that the devil can’t really get in the way of things because His interference was already counted into the picture. After all, he had to get God’s permission to attack Job. In other words, not even the devil moves beyond God’s Sovereignty and Will. In short, God’s Will stands. Obviously--but it only makes sense that He can change and bless according to our faithfulness. That’s why we pray. :)

      haha. . .yeah, well, my parents met at a gas station. Nothing romantic about that. ;)

    2. A, "Two point reformed Armenian"?!? Trust a Calvinist to invent a theological bracket with which to disagree. Yes I totally agree with what you said earlier that we must devote ourselves to the understanding of our God and our Faith. It is a pandemic within the Church today that very few know the fundamentals of their belief. Thus when confronted by antagonistic enemies of Christ, we are left ashamed.

      And yet, if we only seek God on the intellectual level, we will either have to ignore the inexplicable paradoxes of Scripture (and therefore we are never being true to a pure Philosophical searching), or we will sink into despair over the futility of man's ability to comprehend the seeming contradictions of Scripture and Scripture's Author. Thus Christianity is impossible without Faith.

      One of the greatest mysteries of Scripture is the Will of God. Herein we find the quintessential oxymoronic dichotomy. A perfect union of the impossible. It is with absolute certainty, therefore, that we can affirm that every person that is in hell is there by the express will of God and was destined for the flames before the foundation of the world and yet, it is they and they alone who are responsible for their suffering. For it was their unrestricted and unimpaired choice whether or not they would take Yeshua Messiah as their Lord and Savior.

      This truth effects all of reality, even down to the issue of marriage. This is why to your statement/question,
      "It’s sad though to think of so many marriages that have turned sour because God had no hand in the bringing together. Yes??"
      I say yes and yet no. Because the only way to look at any effect of a cause in our existence is to say that if it is, then thus it was divinely willed. What we do with the situation is all we can be concerned with.

      For hypothesis sake, let us take a soured marriage as an example. In hindsight, the trouble and "mistakes" could have (it is not certain) been avoided had there been more wisdom, time, prayer, etc... but to simply look at the problems in the situation and say that it must not have been God's will is to say that you are privy to the Divine will. If we judge a situation by the ratio of bad and good then we are not walking by faith we are walking by sight. If we were to judge what is or is not the will of God by what is or is not successful, then Jesus was a loser.

      See what I am getting at? We can, by human wisdom, look at a "bad" marriage ( And just to clarify once again, I am talking about marriages between Christians only even though nearly all of this applies whether or not you are redeemed.) and see the root cause of their strife. We can read the Scripture and see the warnings and wisdom of God on this topic, and attempt to apply what we have learned to our own experiences; but the correct response of some one within a soured marriage is not to look back and ask what you did wrong, but to move forward in faith believing that not only was this God's will, but that He will cause it to work together for good. From that point, it is now you who must choose to live as Christ commands in relation to your spouse. This is the will of God :)

    3. Yes, I see what you are getting at. :) Just want to clarify that the example I gave above on God's Will was based off of theories I've heard from different sermons, some, Calvinistic. They are not exactly my views. All that to say, we are agreed. :)

    4. Yes I got that we were agreeing :) The long explanations came from assuming that others are going to read this and I was anticipating what might go through their head as a question. Force of habit I guess :P So thank you for covering the angles ;) Did you do it on purpose because we did pretty much cover the whole nine yards and then some. High fives all round LOL.

    5. Welll. . .no, I didn't EXACTLY do it on purpose. I was mostly interested in your opinions. :P I usually don't talk about my doctrinal beliefs online, but I know we already agree. hahaha I guess anyone who reads this will have a thorough education on everything from God's Will to Calvinism and what it means NOT to be a 2-point-Arminian, eh?? ;) Bravo us! :high fives and extra points:

  7. WOW, really good discussion Michaela and Joshua! I really enjoyed reading it and it has given me LOTS to think about. :)