Friday, July 19, 2013

On Why You Might Be Wrong About Single People And Their Motivations For Marriage

Today, I found the most glorious article that has ever been published.

I seriously read it and wanted to immediately leap up and do a praise dance while angels sang the hallelujah chorus in the background.

This article. This one right here. Click it. Please click it. Because I need you to understand. And I want to explain you a thing. 

Have you read it? For real?

Good. Let's begin.

First of all, I'd just like to say that to those of you guilty of saying these things or related things, for the most part, have the right intent. And I understand that. If you are married or engaged or in a serious relationship, I get that having your single friend mope about (and please know that when I say single friend, I am purely talking about myself and my own motivations and actions. Some may follow suit. Others may not. I can only speak from my own experience and nothing more.)....anyway, I know that it can be frustrating to have a single friend mope about, seemingly constantly depressed or lamenting about their unattached status. I know that on more than one occasion, you have probably wanted to strangle me. I know that I'm annoying. And I'm sorry.

And I know that when you say things like those listed in the above article...or when you look at me, sigh and go, "You just don't know how lucky you are not to be attached to someone."....I know that you are really, seriously trying to ease the pain and give me some perspective.

But can you please understand that sometimes, I do not want to hear your words of misguided consolation. Because I have heard them all before. And believe me. On some days, I can completely accept and understand what you're saying. I have to admit, I do enjoy the freedom that comes from "the gift of singleness". Last fall, I took off to Canada on two days notice for no other reason than I just felt like it. There was no one to clear this with or check in with. I just got in my car and went.

Even though none of them have come to fruition yet, I am aware that there are a million opportunities at my disposal if I just find the means and/or the drive to take hold of them. I am aware that, given the financial capability to do so, I could hypothetically pack up and move wherever I wanted, do whatever I wanted, see whoever or whatever I wanted, at whatever time I chose to set out and do so.

I am aware of these freedoms.

I am also keenly aware of the fact that marriage requires extreme selflessness and the giving of one's time and energy and, yea, even one's body at times to another person. I know that this is not always fun and goes past the poofy white dress and the tux and the flowers and rings and cake and gift registries. I am aware that a wedding is not a marriage and therefore when single people discuss their weddings because they find them delightful and beautiful rites of passage, please stop reminding them over and over again that this is the case as though they are not aware and have only the material desire for a party than for an actual lasting and meaningful commitment that coincides with said festivities.

I am aware that marriage is not about happily after, nor will it be exciting or filled with love and emotion and enthusiasm at all times. I am aware that between the big things that people snapshot and hang on their walls, there are bills to be paid, routines to maintain, toilet bowls to clean, kids to cart off to soccer practice, annoying pet peeves that he will just not stop even though he annoys you when he does that thing and for the love of God won't he just stop already? I know that sometimes you will be incredibly angry and that at some point, one or both of you are going to want to just call the whole thing a wash and get out but you don't because at the beginning of each day you choose that person to stick it out with for better or for worse, because contrary to the reality of "all we want is a wedding", I am aware that your vows are something to be mindful of every day and not just once in a church in front of your friends and family before they throw some rice at you and yell "Mazel tov!"

You see, it's not the fact that we, or I, as a single person, believe that my life will be complete once I find that special someone with class and a British accent to whisk my off on a white horse into the sunset. It's not that I need or want anyone to kiss my problems away because I am all too aware of the fact that no one but God has the power of full and utter completion in my heart and in my life. If you have ever met me, you know that I can pretty well handle myself and if any man were to insinuate that I needed him or that he completed me, he would find himself with a fist in the place where his teeth used to be.

Because, you see, dear encouragers, the problem is not that I do not appreciate my freedom or enjoy the opportunity in Christ that would surely avail itself were I to accept Jesus as my Lord and Husband. Nor is it that I spend my every waking moment travailing that Prince Charming is out there and I must go out there and kiss all of the frogs and hunt him down and find him.

In fact, the problem is actually not a problem at all.

It is the very thing that leads you to look at your spouse each morning and think (okay, not always) "I'm glad I decided to do this." You have chosen a person that will (barring extreme circumstances) be there, walking alongside of you, for the rest of your life. You have chosen that person that will share in the achievement of goals, the breaking of dreams, the building of homes, and the furthering of purpose and ministry and the things that make life and the world a wonderful place. At some point, when you got married, you decided that this person was the person that got to do that all with you because traveling by yourself is not fun all the time and there's no longer roadtrip than the one that we call life and maybe that single person that you're trying desperately to encourage just wants a traveling companion to drink YooHoo  and eat Twinkies and sing "The Wheels on The Bus" loudly while they truck along trying to make it to the finish line.

For me, the man is not the end goal.

But I would greatly enjoy having someone when my GPS tells me that I'm arriving at my destination to high five and say, "Yes! We made it!"

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