Marriage is not a death sentence...and neither is being single

Recently, I have run into several articles about relationships. People are blogging about singledom and marriage. What bothers me is twofold: 1- the way these opinions are presented as if they are the only right way. 2- The negativity that is expressed and supported.

Ideas and Feelings

One day I was browsing facebook, and I saw a post from a fellow blogger so I opened it up and read it through. I was frustrated by the end, because she was basically complaining about being single and how miserable she was. She then reminded herself how much freedom she has in her single life (being able to go out on a whim etc) and how those freedoms would not exist were she married. To me, that was hypocritical. You are unhappy in your current situation (being single), and you just projected that your future relationship (marriage) will not allow you to spontaneously go out with your friends...and that's why you are unhappy being alone right now?

A few hours later, I stumbled across another post that had to do with marriage. The title was I married young, what are the rest of you waiting for? Her general premise here is that we shouldn't avoid marriage until we feel like we have grown up because that's what marriage does - its grows us up.

Her concept is nice, but her theory wouldn't work for everyone and the way it was presented should be more accommodating to that fact. A few specific quotes that were frustrating to me were as follows:

"Nowadays, one’s 20s are reserved for finishing college, pursuing graduate degrees, and establishing careers. Relationships are, at best, not as interesting as a prestigious job opening at Cravath or a scholarship at Yale. At worst, relationships distract from these opportunities.......What I did not realize was how thoroughly marriage would jump-start our independence. On paper, our unmarried peers looked more carefree. But many of them also relied on their parents to supplement their income, drove home for long weekends and holidays, or stayed on their parents’ health insurance and cellphone plans (even though they had decent jobs!). I put David on my health insurance. We bought our own family cellphone plan and Netflix account. When we visited our parents once a year, we paid for the plane tickets and still did our own laundry. We loved our parents and siblings, but marriage made us realize that we were now a separate family unit"

Using your 20s to establish your career, save money while living at home (as long as it's acceptable with your family) and get settled in life, shouldn't be something that you are ashamed of. The author has had a happy and successful marriage from a young age - but to me it sounds very condescending to those who have chosen to wait. She and her husband have student loans yet the tone of the article is looking down on those who live at home and may be debt free. She also makes it sound like everyone has the option to marry young and chooses not to.

"Sometimes people delay marriage because they are searching for the perfect soul mate. But that view has it backward. Your spouse becomes your soul mate after you've made those vows to each other in front of God and the people who matter to you. You don’t marry someone because he’s your soul mate; he becomes your soul mate because you married him."


I think I understand her point, in that reality sinks in when you are in a long term relationship, and love over a lifetime requires work and a heart decision. Every single day can't be 100% butterflies. But if you don't feel like you have met your soulmate when you are dating, then why in the world would you choose to go down that road? Many Christians in our culture today poo poo the idea of soulmates and think you are silly if you believe in fairytale romance. Regardless of what you believe, if you don't feel head over heels in love as if you have met Prince Charming stepping out of the movie and into your life, then I wouldn't encourage you to get married in the first place.

Negativity

Negativity breeds negativity - and positivity breeds positivity. God has glorious plans for your life. It may be that you meet the man of your dreams at 18 and have a 70+ years together. You may not meet the man of your dreams until you 45 and that's OK. I repeat, that's OK! Wherever God places us and whatever road we are currently on, we need to be satisfied with it.

Too often we look to the future and say "I'll be happy when...". But that "when" never comes, unless we are happy NOW.

There are many positive and happy things about being single - so sure, go ahead and enjoy them! By the way, men usually find women more attractive when they are happy and confident in the life they are living - so love may find you when you least expect it.

Marriage is a beautiful thing! Be satisfied in that too - hopefully you are in a relationship that encourages you to spend time outside the home developing your friendships. In a healthy happy marriage there is no control, manipulation, or hindering of your partner. So wherever you are, and wherever God has placed you - there is a reason. And there is growing that can be done in either circumstance. I try to focus on the positive and stop looking for the negative, there are many wonderful things God has given to me. Since I have mentally made that choice, my life has been a much happier one!

Jeremiah 29:11

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
 
God has great plans for YOU!!!!!!!!!


K.T.Comment