How to know if this is the one
     How can you know that you found the one? My parents dated for four days before my father proposed.
     Hereís how you can know that a couple is right for each other. A man and woman fall in love and marry. There it is.
     Letís look more closely. The man falls in love with the woman, and she falls in love with him. They sense that this is it. They marry each other. Thatís how you know that they are right for each other. God put them together. Let no one tear them apart. 
     Iím not talking about a patently illegitimate relationship. The man did not kidnap the woman. Nor did he take a woman who already belonged to someone else. They are both single and mutually interested.
     Iím not saying that marriage is based on feelings. The feelings come and go, and the marriage stays.
     Feelings are totally relevant though. When a man and woman fall in love, those feelings reflect something every bit as meaningful as anything they could learn in counseling. Those feelings reflect something real and true and eternal. They reflect a deep personal connection. Love identifies one person to another, and whatever it was that they saw in each other, thatís what caused the feelings, so the feelings always mean something.
     My point is that we make this more complicated than it is. The man identifies himself with the woman and he sees her as the one. No one can prove or disprove that they belong together. Nothing can stop them from keeping a promise to see each other that way for the rest of their lives.
     Most importantly, a man and woman do not enter this covenant alone. Someone gave them the qualities that they saw in each other. Someone knew each of them before they met. He told them what love was. He knew all of the circumstances that would bring them together. He gave them as many hints as they needed, knowing how they would react. He left nothing to chance. He is the matchmaker; He tells them that this is it. He tells them whatever way He wants. If He decided to stop it, He could prevent the marriage any time and any way. At no point do they act outside of His influence.
     When pursuing a mate, we wonder how much depends on the individual and how much depends on God, but this is the wrong question. When you choose a mate, it is totally your choice and totally Godís choice. The question is, whose choice is determinative? In the matchmaking process God uses all factors to bring people together. He uses the personalities, desires, events, similarities, differences, and any factor we can think of. People make their own choices, but God can trump in at any time. He has no limits. As surely as He decided that a man and woman would enter this world without their decision to be here, He decided that they would be together. He thought of it first, and their decision happened in response to His leading.
     This does not eliminate a role for counselors. It simply puts them in their place. A couple should take their time, meet each otherís parents, and have counseling. God uses counselors as secondary agents to help a couple with their concerns, to help them decide on marriage, and to prepare them for the ride. God is still the primary agent.
     People who believe that premarital counseling will increase their chances for staying together are doomed. They can never be sure that they made the right decision. They canít be sure that they followed the right rules, asked enough questions, prayed enough, or had pure enough motivations. 
     It is not the purity of our motives that legitimizes a relationship, or none would be legitimate. God brings imperfect people together for His perfect plans.
     If it depended on us at all, we would surely fail. Our choices are flawed by our imperfections. If any relationship is worthy of our efforts, it must be a gift from God.
     God is the matchmaker. He guides peopleís footsteps. He makes sure their paths cross. He arranges for the situations that create ďsparksĒ between them. He ensures their marriage. They couldnít miss each other if they tried.