The adventures (and non-adventures) of a marginally seasoned attorney.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Your marriage isn't for me

The ramblings of a single, 20-something Christian.

When you're in your late 20s, social media morphs into this magical wasteland where everyone decides to share blog posts about what makes a perfect marriage and what is non-negotiable in marriage and how God wants you to act in marriage and so on and so forth. Young marrieds find these posts and share them and re-share them and re-tweet them and pin them over and over again. The young marrieds usually accompany their sharing with some comment like "SO TRUE!" and "EVERY young woman should read this!"

And if you click on these links, you will find there are some themes to "THIS IS WHAT MARRIAGE IS ABOUT!" posts. They are usually written by a young married person - someone who is usually younger than me, someone who is involved in the church, and someone who wants to share the story of *their* wonderful marriage. And their wonderful marriage was a struggle at some point, but they overcame it, by gosh. And there are usually some soft-light pictures of the blogger's wedding posted here and there so we can see how happy and beautiful they all are. I keep looking for a post that has the blogger's spouse flipping off the camera as they realize that they are being photographed while getting out of bed first thing in the morning, but that has yet to happen.

Anyway, I absolutely *loathe* these posts. No matter what words the person writes, they all pretty much come across the same way to me:

"I am married and HAPPY. Because I am married and HAPPY, I am an expert in all things marriage-related. If you are not married right now, don't worry, because you'll get married someday. Pray about being married more. Only date men who meet the guidelines of this scripture checklist. And if you're all sad and lonely, you need to stop, because you're just not being patient enough with God. Because if you're patient, God will bring you a spouse, and you will be married and HAPPY, just like me. Right? Right."

Thank you for telling me that everything will be okay because I'll get married if I'm just patient and follow the scripture. Now that we have that out of the way: AHHHHH STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STAHHHHP ITTTT!

Messages like this aggravate the heck out of me, because not only do I feel like I am being talked down to, I think they're dishonest. I just wish, for once in my life, that people would share this kind of message and get excited about this kind of message:

You may not get married, but that's okay. God's love is enough.

It's kind of the culture these days in the Christian circles to tell kids from a really young age that they'll find a spouse some day if they're patient with God. I don't know anywhere in the scripture that God makes that promise (just ask Paul!), and we need to stop telling kids that. We need to stop perpetuating this message online, too. I think marriage is a wonderful thing, and it's something that I want, but it's not something that is guaranteed to me, no matter how faithful I am, no matter how Christlike I strive to be. 

One of the biggest leaps of faith I ever made in my life was making the transition from thinking "I will be okay because God loves me and has someone for me" to thinking "I will be okay because God loves me." Period. And I hope that's a message that we start sharing with young people. 

God loves you. And that is enough.