Mawwiage & Twue Wove
“Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove.”
The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies and it is where the unique title for this post came from. If you have never seen the Princess Bride then you need to stop what you’re doing and go watch that movie. Right now. As much as I love that movie, it’s not what I’m writing about today. I wanna talk about the blessed gift of marriage AND the blessed gift of singleness.
If you’re single and live in the South, you better watch out. You are going to hear some ridiculous remarks about your singleness. Including but not limited too:
“Ain’t you married yet?”
“How old are you, again?”
“Well, when are you getting married?”
“You know, I’ve got a grandson. He’s a little rough around the edges but I think he’ll do nicely.”
“Don’t you want kids?”
And my favorite: “Oh I’m sorry to hear that.” Said once my
disease singleness, has been discovered.
I swear, sometimes I feel like I’m expected to cry out when in public like unclean people had to do in the bible. “Single! Single lady right here! Whoa, don’t touch me. Wouldn’t want you to catch it!” Since I’ve turned 25 it seems as though these questions and the woeful stares that follow them are getting kicked into high gear. I can assure you that no one has died as a result of my singleness. It’s really going to be okay. We’re all going to get through this just fine. (Don’t get me wrong. I love the South and I’m proud to be Southern. However, There are some parts of our culture that can be agitating. The desperate need to marry everyone off at age 19 being one of them.)
I’ve talked about waiting in Rainy Days & Dry Seasons. To be a wife and a mother is on the list of the things that I’m waiting to come into fruition in my life. I believe that both of those roles are a big part of my ministry here on this earth. However, being a wife and mother is not “it” for me. I believe God has planned so much more for me to do, especially in this season of singleness. That being said, I’m sure you can imagine my frustration when people are too focused on my future instead of the amazing things God is doing in my present.
Marriage is not something I take lightly. It’s not something I’m going to enter into just because I’m lonely or bored. Marriage is a serious, lifelong commitment, ordained by God. It is a wonderful, beautiful union between a man and a woman that cannot succeed without God being in the center. Marriage is supposed to be a reflection of Christ and the church.
So much is required of you when you marry. The love you have for your spouse should mirror what is written in 1 Corinthians 13.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” v.4-8a
Ephesians 5 gives intense instructions for marriage. I am to submit to my husband in the way that I submit to Christ. (This does not mean wives should be doormats, by the way!) My husband is to love me sacrificially as Christ has loved God’s children sacrificially. We are called to submit to one another, to respect one another, to selflessly love one another.
Those scriptural requirements are enough to make my head spin. We haven’t even talked about the lifelong commitment part. Wedding vows don’t say, “I’ll commit to you only in the good times” or “As long as you make me happy” or “As long as you’re healthy.” When you recite those vows you’re committing to your spouse for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, til death do you part. If your spouse gets cancer or has an addiction problem, you’re called to be committed. We are broken, defective, sinful people in desperate need of God’s grace. We can’t expect that everything is always going to be paradise, especially in marriage. That’s a lot to take in when thinking about marriage. A lot is required of us in marriage and we must not rush these things. We absolutely cannot be successful in this without Christ being the center of our lives and our marriages.
“TO EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:… He has made everything beautiful in its time…” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11a
If the goodness and faithfulness of God were not enough to calm the worries in my heart, then this verse would seal peace into me. As excited as I am about being married and as impatient as I get waiting for it to be happen, I know that when I’ve been fully prepared to begin the “wife” part of my life, then God will allow that relationship with my husband to begin.
In the meantime, I’m still called to do God’s work in the here and now. My husband does not qualify me to do God’s work. God qualifies me. That’s true for everyone. Matthew 28:19-20 doesn’t say “Go and make disciples only if you’re married.” It just says “Go.” I’ve heard married people say so many times how they wish they wouldn’t have wasted the years that they were single. They wish that they had used that time wisely doing as much of God’s work as they could. I don’t want to waste the blessed gift of being single on wishing I was married everyday. There is no other time in my life that I can foresee that I will be able to learn and grow in God, unhindered as I am now.
For all you singles out there: There is beauty here. There is purpose here. Don’t wish away your days. Be passionately devoted to God. Do the work of the Lord with fervor. Don’t go looking for love. Since God IS love, He can provide all the love you need.
For all you marrieds out there: Honor God and His commandments for your marriage. And hug a single person today. Also, only set them up with God-fearing, devoted Christians, please.
I’m praying that each and every one of you will be completely satisfied in God today and everyday. That you are consistently seeking to become more like Christ everyday and that He is made the center of your lives. May the incomprehensible peace of God flow through each of your hearts.