When did you know she was your wife?
A few weeks ago, I got a message from one of my students. He is thinking about relationships and was wondering about my relationship with Amy. "When did you know she was your wife?" he asked.
There's this idea about romantic relationships, this idea of the One. That's what this student was searching for: "How do you know that the person you're with is the One for you?"
I'm not sure where the idea of the One came from. It shows up in some of Plato's writings, particularly The Symposium. He shares a myth that human beings originally had four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. They were powerful and threatened the gods. Not wanting to kill the humans, Zeus split them in half, creating male and female. Ever since, men and women have been looking for their "better half," "their soulmate," "the One for them."
So, for thousands of years people have been wrestling with this question.
But I found the student's framing fascinating. Instead of asking "how" he asked "when." And this puts him on biblical ground.
The Bible has little patience for myths around love. Love is a choice. Marriages are arranged. Romance is there, but it's not on the main stage. And faithfulness is prized above all.
The Bible doesn't assume that there is "the One" for you out there. The Bible paints diverse portraits of love lives. Some marry. Some never marry. Some marry and get widowed and remarry. Some will marry and regret their decision and know in their guts that there's someone more compatible out there. The idea of the One doesn't resonate with the stories that fill the Scriptures.
So, when did I know Amy was my wife? I knew when we got married.
7 years ago today.