The Myth of “The One”

“I think he might be the one!”

Aren’t we all waiting to get to that moment in a relationship? There is this concept that has been propagated through an abundance of romantic comedies as well as our American Christian culture that we all have one perfect soul mate out there somewhere. But I want to propose that this idea of “the one” is a myth and is an idea that is actually bringing more harm than good to those who embrace it.

First, let’s talk about what I mean when I say “The One.” There is a right way and a wrong way to view this. As Christians, we know that Psalm 139 says “all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” Because God is aware of what will happen throughout the course of our life, he obviously knows who we will marry if we get married. This is 100% Biblical and a correct way to think. If this is how you see “the one,” then this article is not for you. But there is another, more common way that “the one” is viewed that is not Biblical. It defines the one as the singular other human on the planet who can complete you, satisfy all your longings, and the only one with whom you can have a successful marriage. We see this concept in movies like Jerry Maguire (the famous “You complete me” line), and Twilight (“You’re my only reason to stay alive.”). This concept of “the one” is what I am dealing with in this article. The idea of hoping in one person to complete and satisfy you might not seem that bad on the surface, but underneath it results in numerous problems in marriage and singleness.

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Just Because

Last year, I wrote an essay for a contest held by Real Simple magazine called “The Life Lessons Essay Contest.”  The prompt for the contest was “When did you first understand the meaning of love?”  In attempting to write a strategic entry that might actually win, I wrote about our 3 miscarriages.  Though my essay has no mention of God, who is the truest form of and actual essence of love, I believe that the love I describe in this essay is ultimately modeled best in our God through the person of Jesus.  Despite all our sin and flaws, He chooses to show us grace “just because.” It has nothing to do with what we’ve done or not done, it has everything to do with His character and grace.

Though I didn’t win, I enjoyed writing for this contest and thought I would share this essay with you all.  Enjoy!

“Just Because”

written by Kelly Needham

Two lines.  I love those two lines. I hate those two lines.  They have become welcomed friends and also hated enemies.  I first saw them unexpectedly in the Fall of 2007, and then a second time with more anticipation in September of 2009.  But it was the third time, around Thanksgiving 2009, which rocked me.

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Safer Than a Known Way

It’s amazing how difficult it is to believe the Word of God sometimes. Even after years of walking with the Lord and seeing His faithfulness proved again and again and again, I still find myself struggling to believe words I know to be true. Can anyone relate to me here?

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32 Some of my favorite promises of Scripture are also the ones that I struggle to believe on a daily basis.

I know that ultimately God has a much higher and comprehensive view of my situation than I do and therefore knows what is best for me. This is why I am commanded to trust Him and not my own understanding of my situation. I also know if He was going to withhold anything from me, it would be the thing most precious to Him: His own beloved Son: Jesus. But He hasn’t done that; instead He gave Jesus up for my sake to be punished for my sin so that I might be justified and have eternal life. So what reason does God have to withhold anything else from me unless it is ultimately for my benefit? I know these things to be true.

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Blog Update: Bible Studies Added

Hello friends and followers!

If you haven’t heard, I recently added a new page to my blog called “Bible Studies.” Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to write a few Bible studies and devotionals for high schoolers and adults. I am beginning to post some of these on this page for you to download and print off. Feel free to share these with others or use them to lead others if you already teach a Bible study. I hope these can be helpful to you.

I wanted to point out one in particular to you called “Intimacy with God.” I have often been asked about what it takes to cultivate true intimacy with God beyond just daily religious activities. I created a 3 day devotional in response to this common inquiry because I feel it is so vital to have a living, moving, active relationship with God that is tangible and felt. This devotional goes through 3 basic approaches that I operate in on a daily basis that bring me into real intimacy with God.

Here is a preview of this devotional. You can download the entire thing on the Bible Studies page.

Say that I decided to sit with you at lunch every day because I wanted to get to know you more. I immediately start giving you an in depth account of my day so far. I talk through the entire lunchtime and as soon as the bell rings, I jump up and say, “Great talking to you! See you tomorrow!” and leave. I begin to do the same thing every day. Do you think I will really get to know who you are? Of course not! I need to hear from you to get to know you.

In the same way, we need to practice listening to God through our day, and not just talking to Him all the time. But how do you actually do that? Let me share a story with you that I think will help:

There was a guy named Tim who went to high school with me. We weren’t friends or even acquaintances. I simply knew what he looked like. I never really saw him at school; once in a while I’d see him in line in the cafeteria or in the hallway. Then one year, I had a class with him and got to know him a little better. Within a few months, I had developed a full-blown crush on him. I thought about him all the time, and looked for him everywhere I went. All of the sudden, I saw him all the time! In the hallways, after school in the parking lot, and at lunch. I soon learned where his locker was, who his friends were and knew which halls he took to get to third period.

I’m sure many of you have experienced this same phenomenon before. It wasn’t that Tim wasn’t around before. He was always there. I was just too caught up in my own conversations to notice him. He was really still a stranger to me so when he passed by, I didn’t notice. But once I had a crush on him, I began to look for him. I always had my eye out for him. Through every conversation with friends, my eyes would be darting around the hallway just to catch a glimpse of him.

In the same way, God is all around us, trying to speak to us. But so often, we rarely hear because we are too caught up in our day-to-day activities. We aren’t looking for Him and listening to Him. But when we begin looking for Him and keeping our eye out for Him, He shows up all over the place! We need to be excited and expect Him to show up and speak to us, just like I was always expecting Tim to come around the corner.

Children: Burden or Blessing?

“Say goodbye to date nights!” “Better catch up on that sleep now because you won’t be getting any.” “You won’t have any free time, so use it now.” If you have ever been pregnant, these statements might sound familiar. These are the types of remarks I received when I was expecting the birth of our daughter last year. I was amazed at the amount of negativity that was associated with having children. Along with the (unsolicited) advice I received came warnings of nightmares to come. Even now that my daughter is 15 months old, I still receive those warnings from other random parents in the grocery store: “Enjoy it now! Just wait til she starts talking!” Over and over the message I hear is this: children are a burden and an inconvenience.

How sad that one of the most exciting adventures we are privileged to embark on is often clouded with pessimism. I think the main reason children are viewed so negatively is they keep us from being able to do what we want when we want to do it. Before our daughter was born, my husband and I could pick up and go wherever we wanted to go at a moment’s notice. It didn’t matter how late it was or if was naptime or not, we just went. If I wanted to go shopping for a few hours just for fun, I could do that. I didn’t have a heavy car seat to carry around, and didn’t have to fit all of my shopping into the few hours in between naptime. I could visit friends or work an extra few hours and it wasn’t a problem. Now that has all changed.

But as I look to the Bible, I am left with only one option as to how view children: they are a blessing. Psalm 127:3-5 says “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.”

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Is Jesus Really Enough?

Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me
On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains

These are lyrics to a worship song called “One Thing Remains.” We sang it in church a couple weeks ago and one line in particular stood out to me: It overwhelms and satisfies my soul. It reminds me of my favorite verses in Philippians 3:7-9 which speak of the “surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus” in which everything else by comparison is rubbish. The love of God… is it true that it overwhelms and satisfies my soul?

And what if that were true? What if His love not only satisfied my soul, but overwhelmed it to a point of overflowing? There would be such contentment in my heart and soul that all other longings and unfulfilled desires would dissipate. I would be so filled up by the love of God that I would no longer seek what I can get from my earthly relationships, but rather what I can give. All sorrow, pain, and sadness would shrink in the shadow of the love of God for me. In all areas of life I would be operating from a place of contentedness, not desperate longings for things other than God.

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Clearing the Stage: Waiting for What?

Well, today is the last day of our “Clearing the Stage” blog posts. Jimmy’s record releases tomorrow and we are so thrilled! And what a better way to usher in a new record than by Jimmy and I actually seeking to live out the message of this record. I hope that you have been challenged to do some stage-clearing and idol-crushing in your own life. I also hope you will get yourself a copy of Jimmy’s new record tomorrow, either on iTunes,, or at your local Christian bookstore. I really believe that this record will minister to you, encourage you, challenge you, and give you something fun to dance around the house to.

I have recently been studying through the Psalms and noticed the recurring phrase of “wait on the Lord.” There are many promises for those who wait on the Lord and many psalmists who promise to be people who wait on Him. I’ve written about waiting before (see my blog, “What are you waiting on?”), and am always amazed at how little I wait on God. I usually find that I am waiting on many other circumstances in my life: waiting to graduate from college, waiting to be able to have a healthy baby, waiting to get to a more “financial stable” place, waiting for Jimmy to get home, waiting, waiting, waiting. It seems that I’m rarely content in my current circumstances.

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Clearing the Stage: A Means to an End

I hope you have all had the opportunity to read Jimmy’s “Clearing the Stage” blogs this week on his facebook page. They have been phenomenal and full of truth and wisdom. He has mentioned a quote from Tim Keller defining idolatry as “turning good things into ultimate things.” I love this definition because it reminds us that it isn’t always something inherently evil that takes God’s place; often times it is something good.

I began praying this morning that God would reveal more things that push Him out center stage in my life. As I wrote down things that came to mind, none of them were bad things: my desire to be a good wife and mom, my desire for a clean and orderly house, to be a good friend, just to name a few. All of these things are good and righteous desires, but often they are the very things that keep me from God. When my desire to be a good wife, mom, friend, or homemaker compete with my desire to know God more, it’s my time with God that usually gets cut. I justify this by telling myself, “I can spend time with God any time I want to, but right now I need to (fill in the blank).” I am have become so quick to cut out my Jesus time because “I can fit Him in anywhere.” But usually, the end of those days come sooner than I realize, and I find I haven’t thought twice about my God.

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Clearing the Stage: Noise

Take a break from all the plans that you have made
And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper
Beg Him please to open up His mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister
Shine the light on every corner of your life
Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open
Then read the Word and put to test the things you’ve heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken
-Lyrics from “Clear the Stage”

Oh how I love the lyrics to this song. And yet the dangerous thing is that while the Spirit inside me testifies to how good it is to sit and wait on God, this rarely turns into action. I am often so bent on being productive (as I wrote about in yesterday’s post), that I forget what it means to sit still and wait on God to speak. I tend to fill every second of my day with something in hopes to make the most of my time. But if I were to look at my time with spiritual eyes, the reality would be that I am filling my day with so much noise that there is very little room for God to speak.

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