When you think about it, Valentine’s Day is a pretty big deal in our society. There are the married couples, the couples who aren’t married but are couples anyway, girlfriends and boyfriends and then the ‘forever alone’ group who buy themselves chocolate and watch sappy movies on their own.
Valentine’s used to be big to me too, and that’s a shame.
In the last church we attended, marriage was put on a very high level above a lot of other things that were deemed important. Looking back now, the church had pretty much made the idea of marriage one of it’s idols. In today’s societies where women go to college, have a career and then get married at age thirty, it was then communicated in our church that marrying young was the ultimate ‘awesome’ choice to make because you were–supposedly–putting God’s will ahead of your own. You were rebelling against the culture, you were making a statement. This added pressure to me; I needed to get married young and if I didn’t, then something must be wrong with me. And this was back when I was sixteen! I shouldn’t have been worried about marriage then, but I was.
And, I still get worried today.
My heart’s desire has been and always been to marry someone who was special to me and have lots of kids. But the idea that if I didn’t get married young made me anxious. What if nobody ever learns to love me like that; what if nobody ever wants to marry me; what if I’m a failure and I get married at the age of twenty-seven? And the idea made me ungrateful for where I was in life. Sixteen, seventeen, and now eighteen, I’ve spent too many hours worrying that I will never be good enough for someone, worrying that another month passes and I’m one month older.
I realize now that I should be happy for the times I have as a single woman. But instead, I was unconsciously being burdened with the knowledge and need that I had to get married young. Looking back at those families, looking at the girls that I’ve left behind, I feel sorry for them. They, too, unconsciously made marriage an idol, it’s been set as the ultimate thing to strive towards. These girls are thirteen, fourteen years old!
I am trying to shake off this old worldview.
Yeah, it would be great to get married young, where I still will have all my youthful energy, and I’ll have more years to spend with that special someone. But I cant’ let that be my ultimate goal anymore, because I have no control over when I’m getting married. I have to wait for a guy to make his move, and before that, I have to wait for the right guy. This is all out of my control, so I need to just let this go.
God will bring that guy along at His good timing, and whether I’ve already met him, will meet him in six months or in eight years; it will be His good timing. And it will be the right guy. And I think God will bring him and his marriage proposal into my life when He knows I’m ready for it. Because, honestly, as much as I’d love to get married by next week, there is no way I’m realistically ready for marriage.
Because, frankly, who’s really and honestly ready to get married at age eighteen? Very few people, I should think.
My mom recently told me that God puts our heart’s desires inside of us for reasons; I’ve felt reassured that this desire, that wanting to one day give myself to the right someone, to have a family of my own, has been placed by God. So, I simply need to have faith that one day, in His good timing, He will fulfill that desire.
This Valentine’s Day, I’m letting this idol go. I’m going to stop worrying and wishing for something that is out of my control. I’m going stop worrying about needing to be married young. I’m instead going to wait on God’s timing.
And while I wait, I’m going to learn to be content with what I have now.
Because if I’m not content when I’m single, how am I going to be content when I’m married?
Am I going to stop dreaming and hoping about marriage? Nope. I will always still dream and hope and scheme wedding cakes and gowns after watching Four Weddings. It simply won’t be my life’s ultimate goal anymore.
And that’s a very good thing.