Why do you want a relationship?
What do you think it was created for?
I can tell you why my heart yearned for it years ago. I was looking for my identity. Searching for my worth, not only in the eyes of a man but in the eyes of the church as well.
When did we stop encouraging young people to pursue the heart of Christ and start encouraging them to pray about who the Lord had for them? Because let me tell you what, that leads young, immature people who are already insecure in who they are as people and in their relationship with Christ down a rocky and misguided road.
And it was EVERYWHERE. Looking back, I feel like ‘pray about who your husband will be’ was more gospel then the gospel itself. Somehow, marriage became more of a spiritual victory, like if you are granted a spouse; you have somehow attained a level of spiritual maturity the rest of us are still grappling for. Married individuals who LOVE sharing their “let me tell you how the Lord brought us together” story would say things like “the Lord is still working things out in you and/or your significant other” as ‘encouragement’ for the trial that is singleness. Really? No… just, no. We are not defective. Being single does not make you less and it doesn’t mean that one day you are going to marry a pot smoking drug dealer who is still too busy getting high to pay attention to the Lord’s tugging at his heart.
It became hard for me to keep getting older while watching others much younger get married and have babies. That “why not me?” thought echoed like a loud Metallica song that screams on and on and NEVER ENDS. See, I totally bought into all those poorly placed comments and thoughtless suggestions.
What do I have to do to be worthy of this elusive relationship?
These thoughts that turned over and over in my head began to weigh on me. They robbed me of my joy and rocked my peace.
I felt worthless. After all, that’s the message that had subtly been preached since I was a child. That was the message in all those poorly placed comments by well-meaning people.
So I began to pray. Not for a husband or understanding or what I needed to change to be worthy of such an honor as marriage. I begged the Lord for contentment. I pleaded for it. Got down on my knees and cried for it. Day after day, month after month, that prayer was like a recording I recited over and over throughout my days. I was so tired of being plagued by my desires and so hungry for contentment. And then one day, I realized I had stopped praying for contentment. And even more amazingly, I realized I was content. My heart was burdened by my desires and a new fire was burning in me. There was so much joy in that moment. So much hope. I remember how overwhelmed my heart was at the quiet faithfulness of Christ.
But that wasn’t the end of the journey He was taking my heart on.
Gently the whole makeup of my heart began to change. The more I saw the heart of Christ, the more my heart was transformed (and still is by the grace of God).
I no longer desired a husband, someone to hold my hand and walk through life with me and tell me I’m beautiful and encourage me and be encouraged by me. The desire to live in a cute house with a handful of kids and a life full of fellowship and happiness started to taste like sour milk in my mouth.
My obsession became revival. My passion became the church. Not my personal church, not the system that is called ‘church’ today. But the body of Christ, the vision God lit in the heart of the Apostle Paul.
My dreams and desires were radically transformed. My vision for my life of purpose collided with Christ’s purpose for my life. I always thought they were one and the same, you know? Get married to a good Christian guy, have babies, serving in the church, being a light in the working field, raising my kids to love Jesus. Now, please understand I’m not diminishing any of those things. They are all beautiful and important and needed. But Christ’s plan and purpose is so much more than that.
When I think about marriage, it no longer has anything to do with me. When I think about what I would want out of a marriage, it has nothing to do with me.
God created it to be about Him. His glory, His plan, His kingdom. Not our worth in anyone’s eyes. Our lives were created for so much more then marriage. And if that’s not where you are right now, you’re just wasting time obsessing over a fleshly thing instead of pursuing God’s purpose for His kingdom.
I’ve watch this pursuit destroy people, this need to be with someone. I’ve read the Facebook statuses and watched friends go in and out of relationships and I’ve seen lives shipwrecked over this drive to love and be loved.
Please don’t think I’m dismissing marriage. I think there are aspects of God’s love we can only experience in marriage, and I think He created it to be a huge witness for His glory.
My issue isn’t with marriage. It’s with the mindset behind it. My best advice, the counsel I wished I had received as a young girl wading through the confusions that can lie in our pursuing of God’s heart, is to STOP. Stop praying about who your husband will be or begging God to bring you one or constantly trying to manipulate your life trying to bring it about because you want it.
Start begging God for contentment. Beg Him for the insight to know what His heart is toward marriage and what He created it for.
Do you want to get married so you can have the security of knowing someone wanted to be with you, that God has ‘deemed you worthy’ of such an honor and you get to rise through the ranks in the eyes of those around you?
Or do you want every single breath you breathe to bring God glory, do you want to move mountains in His name and shake lives up with His truth, and maybe, if the time comes when you will be a better witness with another serving at your side, who’s heart is passionate about winning souls for the kingdom of Christ, will you want it because it’s still all about Him?
Search your heart, know His truth and desire for your heart. Be passionate about Jesus. Beg the Lord for a passion for Him and only Him and let yourself be so captivated by His heart that every other desire melts away until He writes it into your ceaseless pursuit of His purpose.