Ever since I was a little girl, I would watch every Disney princess movie, every sappy chick-flick, and pretty much every “happily ever after” film and dream of my prince that would come and save the day–the one who would make my life whole. It’s ingrained in our culture that we cannot be fully whole without being married. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely see the perks to being married and look forward to having that special person to share life with someday, but I have come to realize the danger in society’s warped marital expectation as I’ve seen this mindset play out in my own life.
When I went off to college, I had that exact thought in the forefront of my mind. From the second I stepped onto that campus, I was on the prowl for that one guy who I would be with for the rest of my life. In fact, I walked into classes my first day of school and thought for sure that I had met the man of my dreams. I didn’t have my sights set too high. As long as he was a Christian and liked me, well then he must be the one for me, right? As it turns out, that guy didn’t end up being the one for me, and as time went on, I became restless in waiting for God’s perfect timing. God hadn’t brought me the man of my dreams, so I was going to find him myself and make him “the one!” I completely disregarded the fact that God knew better than I did and knew I wasn’t ready emotionally or spiritually to get married. Instead, I had my eye on the prize of marriage, and my standards for a husband sank lower and lower to where I didn’t even care if he was a Christian anymore. I thought if he loved me enough, then he would learn to follow God–eventually. As a result, I threw myself into an emotionally abusive relationship for three years and chased after that unhealthy dream that had been so ingrained in my mind since I was young. Even after that relationship was over, I jumped from guy to guy looking for love in all the wrong places only to find my relationship with God as nothing but a distant memory.
It was only after I found my way back to him years later that I finally realized that my idea of the perfect guy was not God’s idea of the perfect guy because that perfect guy doesn’t exist. He doesn’t exist because God won’t let him exist. Even if he did, God would keep him as far away from us as humanly possible. He doesn’t want us relying on a guy to make us feel whole; he wants us to rely on Him for that. I wasted years of my life chasing after a false dream only to realize that it didn’t exist at all. Now, instead of spending my time chasing after a false dream that the world has ingrained in my mind, I chase after God’s dream–for me to have an intimate relationship with Him that is the only thing that can fully satisfy. I’ve finally come to accept that it isn’t my job to go running after a husband. If God chooses to bless me with that, then He will. If not, then he won’t. I will be satisfied and happy either way.
Again, don’t get me wrong in thinking I don’t want to get married, because I definitely do. But now, I have realized that it is not my decision. I humbly and thoughtfully offer up my life to God to do His work however He sees fit. Of course I would love for that to be with a wonderful man of God by my side who will encourage me in my walk with Christ, but I am not the one who is going to make the decision. So now, as Philippians 3:14 says, “I (will) press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” That prize which is not to find myself a husband, but to be a servant of Christ who lives each day according to His will and purpose.
God knows my heart’s desire to find that man of God to marry, and until then, all I can simply do is live for Him and wait patiently. I hope you do the same! 🙂
– Erin Whitaker