(Editor’s Note: It’s wedding season and we know brides and newly engaged women have tons of questions. We want to give you some thoughts on weddings from anything from planning to sex. Enjoy our newest series “Preparing for Your Wedding Day.”)
Everyday I saw it. Pinned to my purple, polka dotted bulletin board in my freshmen dorm room was the quote:
“Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone. To have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. But God to the Christian says, “No, not until you’re satisfied and fulfilled and content with living loved by Me alone and giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me. Not until you have an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone.”
Something about this quote resonated deeply with my heart. I was nineteen years old and I knew I wanted to be married one day. I longed for that “deep soul relationship with another” but I also wanted to love God with all of my heart. I wanted to be completely satisfied in his love for me in Christ. But according to this quote, these two things were at odds. I had to choose.
Either I want a husband or I want God, so I thought. Therefore, I became determined to rid myself of any marriage wishes. I tried to give myself “totally and unreservedly” to God, like the quote prescribes. After all, it’s only when I do this that God would give me a husband. It became a daunting formula: achieve contentment in the Lord while I am single and God will reward me with marriage.
A Hopeless Pursuit
There were times when it felt like I was getting the hang of it. I could muster up enough will-power to make it days and weeks — sometimes a whole month — without thinking about my dreams to be a wife and mother. Petrified that it would become an idol in my heart, I kept myself from admitting to anyone my hopes of being married. If Jesus was my everything, of course I didn’t need marriage. But inevitably I began to crumble into despair. My desire to marry only persisted, and the more it persisted, the more it felt as though I was losing ground in my relationship with God. It was a hopeless pursuit, one that I was sure to lose — until I began to realize that this way of seeing marriage was flawed. What if my desire to be married was from God? What if marriage was his design? What if it was a blessing aimed at making me more like Jesus?