Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage. No, not because I’m about to get married. In fact, I’ve never even had a boyfriend. I know what you’re probably thinking, “Oh, poor dear! That’s, well, embarrassing…How sad…” Actually, it’s not. Maybe to most people it would be, but for me, it’s a lifestyle choice. A conviction. Yes, just like every other female, I’m in love with the idea of being in love. Unfortunately, I think a lot of our society’s problems with broken homes and off the chart divorce rates come from just that; being “in love”.
Makes sense coming from a girl who’s never dated before, right? I mean obviously if I’ve never dated anyone then I’ve never been in love, so how could I possibly say such a thing? Here’s why: Love is not a feeling, love is a choice. It’s not something you “fall into”, because if you fall into it, you’re eventually going to fall out of it. Love is something you choose to do, not just once, but over and over again, sometimes all in the same day. It’s a commitment. A promise. A sacred vow. Not dating doesn’t mean that I don’t know anything about love, it means that I know enough about it to wait for the very best. Charles Stanley said, “Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on that which we’re waiting for.” The reason I haven’t dated anyone isn’t because I haven’t had the opportunity, it’s because I’m choosing to love my future husband right now and I’m trying to save as much of myself for him as I can. I’m choosing now to love him by honoring him, respecting him, and thinking of him in the choices that I’m making. Because in reality, those choices affect him too. I’m trying not to go from person-to-person and just “heal and move on” when things don’t work out, because that’s not how it works in marriage. You don’t get to this point where you realize it just isn’t working anymore and then end things and walk away. Well, people do, but I don’t want that to be an option for me. I refuse to be another statistic. So, instead, I’m chasing after God until the right man comes alongside me, becomes my best friend, chases after God with me, and decides he’s all in. Till death do us part.
Call me crazy, but marriage really doesn’t intimidate me. Don’t get me wrong, the concept of “Till death do us part.” is a little daunting. The thing is, it’s not marriage that intimidates me, it’s choosing the right person to marry. My mom always told my siblings and I, “After getting saved, choosing your spouse is the most important choice you’ll ever make.” It effects way more people than just yourself. If I choose the right person, every day of the rest of my life won’t be enough time. On the flip-side, if I choose the wrong person, it could ruin my life. See, Hallmark and Hollywood have done a really fantastic job of putting this image in our head of how everything’s suppose to be. That’s what messes us up the most in life, the picture in our head of how things are “suppose” to be. Naturally, as females, we’re basically born with the instinct to begin planning our wedding and naming our children. It’s a process that begins in elementary school. But, what we don’t realize is that all of the Disney princess movies never actually show “Happily ever after…” They leave you with the false illusion that everything turns out perfect in the end. It doesn’t. Perfect and peachy aren’t requirements or conditions for “Till death do us part.”
Soooo, why am I thinking about marriage? Right now I’m kind of in that “in-between” stage of life. I could get married, but I’m still young and “have plenty of time”. Some people like to refer to this season as their “prime”. (Personally, I think life just gets better the more it goes on. More challenging, maybe. But the greater the challenge you overcome, the greater the reward.) I’m thinking about marriage because I’m learning so much about myself and the reality of that choice. The point of marriage isn’t to fulfill my desires, it’s to glorify God. It’s not about all of my dreams coming true, it’s about partnering with someone who better equips me to serve Christ and others. I’m learning how to be a teammate in life, how to respectfully disagree and explain my point of view, and how to be submissive even if I don’t understand. Even though I’m constantly growing and changing, I’m at a point in life where I know who I am and I’m not going to change so much that if I’m with someone we’ll grow apart. We’ll grow together; together as individuals, together towards each other, and together towards Christ. Hallmark, Hollywood, Disney, they know exactly what they’re doing. They’re painting a picture that feeds the desires of the flesh, and it works. We watch it, we’re seduced by it, and then we want it for ourselves. But this is not what God wants for us. He wants something so much more real, more solid. Something that will weather the storms of life and last as long as we do. A holy covenant that will empower us to change the world. I don’t want butterflies. I want a love so deep it touches places of my soul I didn’t know existed. Till death do us part.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but The Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
“He has made everything beautiful in it’s time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”