"You....complete me." Jerry Maguire There is something going on in our world that I never noticed when I was married. What I am speaking of is couplehood. It is my guesstimate that nearly 95% of our world falls into two categories. Category #1 is being part of a couple. Category #2 is waiting to be a part of a couple. When you are a single person, especially when you get to a certain age, people seem to think it's their duty to try to set you up with their friend who would be the perfect person to complete you. Somehow we have gotten this idea that life begins when we enter into marriage. There is a fear for many about ending up alone. To some that seems to be the worse affliction that one can endure. Yet in the Bible Paul talks plainly about being single. His thoughts are very clear: To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. 1 Corinthians 7:8
Being married was wonderful. I had the combination that many long for. My husband was my best friend, made me laugh endlessly, and also took my breath away when he entered the room. But I also don't want to overly romanticize marriage. Marriage is work. It's hard work. You don't wake up beautiful like the movies and your husband isn't constant perfection. It takes a constant amount of dying to yourself, some times dying to your desires, and always putting someone else first. You can't let up and you can't get comfortable. You always have to be pressing in, pursuing your spouse and remaining committed to building a foundation. There is a common thought you become more yourself when you get married. I will admit that I felt that way. There's something about another person being around you 100% of the time seeing all of your faults and weakness and still loving you deeply. It's empowering and it gives you confidence in who you are. But I would argue we are getting our confidence from the wrong place in that instance. Our confidence needs to come from who we are in Jesus and who He created us to be. Not our spouse. He is the only one who can truly complete us, nothing or no one else can. The #1 relationship we should be pursuing, even more than our spouse, is one with our God. You hear people say "well I put God first and my husband second" but how many times is that truly the case? How many times does Gods love and approval matter as much as your spouses? And how often do you pursue Jesus just as much as you pursue your spouse? I know I was guilty of not always putting the right one above the other.
One of the incredible things about being married is the vulnerability that comes in marriage. I allowed myself to be that way with my husband. I allowed him to be my big knight in shinning armor and come in and save the day. I let him baby me, take care of me and tuck me in every night. I loved every minute of it. I was blessed to experience that. The ironic thing about that is one of the biggest things that drew Joel to me wasn't my vulnerability it was my strength. Yes I was the girl who let my husband take care of me but I was also the girl who moved to NYC on a whim completely on my own. I was the girl who interned at a ministry with inner-city with children. I was the girl who worked and went to school full time while living on my own away from home. I was the girl who jumped out of a plane and faced my fear of sharks by jumping into the middle of the ocean to snorkel. I'm the girl who can break her tailbone and keep playing in a basketball game. I'm the girl who likes to do things on my own and to show strength and not weakness. That, at my core, is who I am. The vulnerable girl, is who I let myself become because of love. There was nothing wrong with that. But truly at heart, who I am and who God created be to be was a woman of strength. I thought I had found out who I was as a woman when I was married. I was wrong. I'm finding out more about who I am as a woman now than ever before.
And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:35
I am in no way bashing marriage. What I've learned going from being married to not being married is that I may have placed more of an importance on marriage and not on Jesus. I gained my confidence from the love of my husband instead of the love of my Jesus. That's were I went wrong. I also went wrong in single hood before I was married. I admit that I was looking, and waiting for my life to "begin" instead of seeing that it already had. True strength and confidence comes from knowing who you are and not from the love of others or who they make you feel that you are. The deepest growth can come when you are walking the road of life as a single person with only God and His purposes to lead you.
I loved being married. I miss being married. Getting to experience that was one of the biggest blessings of my life. But I have no plans to ever do it again. I have entered a point in my life that is radically different. As much as I do miss being married I can't help but also feel I can embrace being a single with open arms. Life is short and I've got much to do. I won't rest until Joel's story is heard and continues to affect lives. I believe that's my mission until the day I die. I've got an amazing son to raise into a mighty little world changer. And I've got this girl that I need to get further acquainted with. I want her to know who she is as a woman, as a mother, as a sole provider for her family. I want her to get rooted in her true identity and be bold in her confidence. I want her to know who she is in Christ. Day by day she's already finding out she's stronger than she thought she was. I have a feeling she's going to realize it more and more.