It’s interesting how life happens.
Over the past six years, I’ve come to not only appreciate but embrace my singleness. I’d like to think that mostly has to do with the availability and flexibility to serve God, but if I’m really honest, there is another major “benefit”: I get to do what I want when I want where I want and how I want…and don’t have to answer to any earthly person for it. I also get to be left to myself to choose whether or not to be introspective, to be self-critical, to grow as a human on planet earth.
And that can be hard.
A friend once told me that being married is like having a mirror held up to you. You get regular feedback on who you are, how you’re doing and what you look like to the world. And, the fact is, it isn’t always pretty.
Only recently have I come to this realization: I would welcome that feedback – with the goal of making me more Christ-like. I would welcome the opportunity to bump up against another person and work to smooth out the rough edges, to create a tension and a friction that causes me to respond and react like Jesus (or at least try to) . To have the opportunity to work every day at dying to myself, practicing patience, extending grace, forgiving wrongs, saying (gulp) “I’m sorry”…
I can’t imagine a better relationship than marriage to give a person the opportunity to practice these things. And to make a person prepared to be the Bride of Christ that He is looking for.
I used to think it was a huge cosmic joke – that God would create two completely different kinds of people and expect them to choose each other and figure out how to navigate life together. I mean, let’s be real for a moment, most often men and women think and respond pretty differently. It’s practically miraculous that they can even exist together much less enhance each other’s existence! But there is something beautiful about that too. Something beautiful about the struggle of figuring out how another person might think or feel about a situation. Something beautiful about the fact that they can cause you to think differently – or at least examine your thoughts more closely. Something beautiful about choosing to love someone even through their ugliest of moments or their less than perfect days – kind of like how God chooses to love us. Always.
Yes. Now, if God has that for me, I welcome that.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7