A wedding isn’t everything… but neither is marriage.
Girl likes guy.
Guy doesn’t like girl.
Guy likes girl.
Girl doesn’t like guy.
No, that’s not the plot line of a new rom-com. That’s the story of my life. So far in my time on this earth, I haven’t had a boyfriend.
Yes, I’m okay with that.
No, I’m not lying.
Of course, I’m only human so I do throw the occasional pity party with ripped up hearts and pounds of chocolate. On those days when I feel the need to complain about my lack of a significant other, I almost always get the same response.
“God has someone for you. Just wait – you’ll see.”
“Your future husband is out there – you just haven’t met him yet.”
“God handpicked the perfect guy for you ages ago, but it’s just not the right time.”
Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with those phrases. In fact, I think they could be true for me and have been true for other people. God’s timing is so different from ours that our sheep-like brains can’t even comprehend it. [Two words: total depravity.]
I also believe that God picks out significant others for His children long before the creation of a Pinterest wedding board. He writes all love stories before the books are even released.
I know those responses are meant to encourage, and they often do.
I just don’t like them.
When I’m feeling down in the dumps about the latest batch of unrequited feelings, I want to hear that my knight in shining armor is on his way. But is that what I need to hear?
When I hear that God has someone for me, my laser focus stays locked on the “someone” part of the equation. While it may help my heart to stop pining for the face attached to my current crush, it doesn’t make me stop pining for the love of another human being. I’m still holding onto the thought of prince charming – he doesn’t need a name or face to be an idol.
“One day you’ll meet ‘the one’ and have the most incredible love story.”
That doesn’t wake me up from my dream of a movie screen-worthy love. It actually makes me want it more. You know what’s not dominating my daydreams? The mission God has planned for my time on this earth.
If that mission includes a tall, blue-eyed, instrument-playing, dog-loving man who thinks I’m drop-dead gorgeous & laughs at every one of my puns, then sign me up. But all that loveliness should be the icing on the cake – not the cake itself. God can make a killer cake without adding my perfect man as an ingredient.
As Christian women, we are fed the idea that our lives should and will include a Godly man who will lead us spiritually and run the race next to us. We’ll get matching tattoos of our life verses, turn Hillsong concerts into date nights, and lead discipleship groups. One day, he’ll grow a beard to match the ones at our trendy church, and we’ll be seen as a Jesus-loving & Kingdom-focused power couple.
But what if that doesn’t happen?
Okay, I know I could survive without the tattoos, concerts, and beard – those are just details. The Godly man, however, is the staple. It’s a basic need… it’s a given!
I could survive without the man. It’s not a staple, it’s not a basic need, and it’s not a given. My life will not be lacking without it. It won’t be lonely, boring or empty. It won’t be less than anyone else’s. Man or no man, my life will be full simply because of Jesus.
So, that’s why my preferred response to my love life drama [or lack thereof] takes the form of a question.
“Is that why you’re here?”
It’s easy for me to say that getting married or falling in love isn’t my goal in life, but is that the truth? Maybe it’s not the only goal, but is it one of the goals? When I say I don’t care if I get married or not, am I letting my pride takeover so I can brag about how much I depend on and trust God?
The answer to that question is almost always a big, fat yes.
The truth is, I need that heart check. I need to look at my thoughts and see if I’m letting myself believe that a relationship [or any other idol] is the reason why I’m here. I need to tune my heart to sing only of His grace – that’s what matters.
“I can’t wait until you meet the man of your dreams and live a real-life fairytale.”
Option 1: I feed myself the idea that God has someone for me each time a relationship prospect falls apart, and I keep searching for the next object of my affection [and songwriting].
After a [very] short while, I get impatient. The words “why” and “when” start infiltrating my prayers, and the harmless bits of annoyance morph into a deep-seated bitterness. If the fruits of the spirit were hate, sadness, conflict, impatience, hostility, evil, disloyalty, roughness, and rashness, then I’d be the best Christian out there.
But I’m pretty sure that’s not the example Jesus set for us.
Option 2: I ask myself for the 937th time… is that why you’re here?
God may or may not have someone for me. Maybe Mr. Dreamboat is just around the corner or maybe he’s never coming. Either way, I don’t want it to matter to me. An earthly marriage is never promised. The only sure marriage is the one between Christ and His bride – us.
When He returns, the bridegroom [Christ] and the bride [the church] will be united in a ceremony that will put all other ceremonies to shame. That’s not an “if” or “maybe” or “hopefully” thing – it’s a “when” thing. It will happen.