That darn Cinderella, always getting in the way of things with her fairytale experience and storybook ending. Such idealistic expectations! Overnight, her life goes from spectacularly glum to just plain spectacular and all it takes is a new pair of shoes, a great dress and a handsome guy. They share a dance, he returns a slipper and that’s that. One stiletto is all that’s necessary for our girl Cinderella to realize it’s a perfect fit: he’s the ONE.
Of course in real life, things play out a bit differently. I mean, who’s going to wear heels made of glass anyway? And gosh, if it was only as simple as someone offering a missing shoe to determine if this is it, if he’s the ONE. Unfortunately, there are no magic answers, but with or without a glass slipper, there are still ways to discover a good fit.
Can you see forever? At the beginning of any new relationship we typically see our guy through murky, make-believe lenses. But perfect doesn’t exist; no man, no relationship, no marriage is perfect (btw, neither are we). Be honest and take a good looks at his faults, his habits, his personality flaws… do you still see yourself together? If you’ve heard how loudly he chews (even in front of your friends), witnessed firsthand his terrible taste in ties, and know full well that he gets cranky when he’s hungry… and love him anyway, then you may have found a great fit. Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other’s faults, because of your love. (Ephesians 4:2, NLT)
Do you still have a life? It’s perfectly appropriate to make your guy number one, as long as he doesn’t expect to be your one and only. Marriage is all about being at the top of one another’s priority lists, but potential life partners need to accept additional items on the list. He gets to keep Monday Night Football and bowling league with the guys; you should continue enjoying yoga class, lunch dates with the girls and phone chats with Mom. If he supports healthy, balanced, appropriate relationships and activities in your life without getting jealous or possessive, it’s most likely a really good fit. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy… (1 Corinthians 13:4, NIV)
Can you let go? As believers in Christ, wives are called to respect our husbands so much that we allow them the final say. Of course, they are called to love us so much that they seek our opinion, want our advice and ask for our input. Submission is not a difficult concept when you have full confidence in your mate. When you know irrevocably that he loves you wholly, wants only the best for you and has your interests at the forefront of his mind, following the biblical prescription for marriage is beautiful. If his deep devotion for you overrides your fear of losing control, you can almost certainly trust that it’s a good fit. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25, NIV)
Do you like yourself? Significant others have the power to influence us, either in a positive or negative way. When you’re with the one who might be the One, consider who you are and how you behave. Are you kinder, more loving and less of a worrier, or have you let pessimism rule? Have you grown closer to the Lord, standing firm in your faith or have you fallen away? Relationships have the power to bring out the best or worst in us; if you have grown in constructive ways since meeting your guy and he is only bringing you closer to God, chances are it’s a great fit. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. (Hebrews 10:24, NLT)
A while ago, after lots of shoe shopping, I met a guy who made me wonder if he was the ONE. While he never offered a glass slipper, he did help me answer YES to the questions above. And it’s been a fabulous fit for the last twenty-five years.
Kathryn O’Brien writes books for kids and has a heart for moms. She’s published five children’s picture books, including her latest series (Sit for a Bit, Tyndale) and free-lances for several publications. When she’s not writing or enjoying her day job as a Christian school administrator, Kathryn can usually be found texting her three grown children, hanging on the front porch with her husband, or hiking the canyons near her home in Southern California.