I know what it’s like to be single. Now that I’m on the other side, I need to tell you that it’s not all a bed of roses. I need to tell you that there are good and bad days, so you get a balanced view. I need to tell you about how tough it gets sometimes, how ugly, and yet how beautiful marriage can still remain.
If you were to ask me what a successful marriage looks like, I would say it looks like two broken, sinful people, depending on God’s grace, drawing from His love, and trying to outdo one another in sacrificial love and deeds.
Someone taught me this as a youth, and I can still recall it word for word: “Love is an intelligent willingness to do what’s best for the other person.” It struck me then because I was a teenager then dealing with crushes; love then was a ball of fuzzy emotions, the kind you feel when a cute guy walks past.
If you were to ask me now, I would say love is laying down your life for the other person, and forgiving, over and over and over again. My husband says that, to him, the most important commandment in the list of 1 Corinthians 13 is “love keeps no record of wrongs”. He does this much better than I do.
I know what it’s like to be single and lonely. And I want to tell you I also know what it’s like to be married and still feel alone. To be together in the same room, but feeling like no one understands. That loneliness never goes away if we try to fix it with a partner, because there’s a God-sized gap in our hearts that only He can fill.
I want you to know that despite all its imperfections, marriage is good because God has made it so.
I know what it’s like to be married and still feel alone. To be together in the same room, but feeling like no one understands.
If you’re looking for that perfect someone, The One, you’ll never find him or her. Get to know someone deeply enough and there will always be something you find offensive or annoying. The same goes with all other relationships. It is both parties’ ability to extend grace to the other that determines whether the relationship will thrive.
I have often searched for the speck in my spouse’s eye, only to find a plank in my own. Marriage is not for the fainthearted. If you want intense moulding, by all means get married. God wants to make you perfect for His sake, and He will likely use your spouse to accomplish this.
Now that I’ve scared you enough, I want to tell you that marriage is beautiful. But you will not succeed without God. If two people continue to follow Christ with all their heart, He will lead and guide them on the paths of righteousness. He is the third strand that makes a marriage strong. A cord of three strands is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
Marriage is beautiful and sacred because it is modelled after Christ and his bride, the Church. Marriage was not made for man, but for God – too often have we got this wrong. Too often have we made love and marriage about ourselves and what we can get out of it – our rights, having our needs met. The world may say that’s what it’s about, but we are not meant to be of this world.
Whether or not it is your desire to get married, and whether or not it is your destiny, you are being prepared as the bride of Christ.
Marriage is beautiful and sacred because it is modelled after Christ and his bride, the Church.
If you are single, find a community and a family that loves and accepts you and is willing to walk with you through your struggles and difficult days. If you are married, this still holds true. God never intended for families to be strong in isolation. And the way we as brothers and sisters in Christ love one another should reflect the love of God the Father. Unconditional, godly, sacrificial love is not reserved just for one’s spouse.
When you are feeling lonely or left out, usually connecting is the last thing you want to do. But could I suggest you reach out and connect with other families in church? They might be looking for company just as you are, and will be refreshed by your help and presence. Families can feel alone or left out too, and will be happy to connect.
Don’t envy those who are married; underneath that veneer they are struggling too, although their struggles may be different. You may be tempted to feel resentful, but don’t be, because you are loved immeasurably by our Father. Pursue Him, not a spouse – only He can provide for all your needs.
Lastly, I wish you all the best. I’m rooting for you, and I’ll always be here to support you in friendship and prayer, whatever your marital status. May you experience the joy of the Lord in all its fullness.
Your friend in Christ