I recently sat at church watching two kids roam up and down the aisle as their mother chased after them. The father set back swiping his finger across his iPad as my friend turned to me with a smirk on her face.
“Your future.” She said.
“Girl, you know you’ll get there first.” I replied.
“God forbid.” She screeched.
These were the type of conversations we had while getting a glimpse into the lives of the married couples at church. As we went out for walks, stopped by Starbucks for coffee, wrestled with menu items during ladies night, or just walked around throughout our day.
We all had a strong opinion on marriage and parenting. Unfortunately, most of it was negative. Sure our parents wanted us to get married, we shared stories of our family members trying to set us up on blind dates, of friends swearing they had found the right person for us, of church members, aunties, and even our dear mothers asking “Why are you single?”.
We had created a circle around us where our calendars were filled with outdoor activities, concerts, dinners and fellowship events. Each week we would text or call each other to ask what we were doing that weekend.
We were laughing at marriage. In fact, we were standing strong against it. Remembering the mother that struggled with her three sons at the restaurant, the husband that handed over his daughter with a soiled diaper to his wife, or simply the lack of affection we witnessed by watching other marriages.
Deep down we are just scared to accept someone into our comfortable circle and independent routine. Sure we may have witnessed a few problems in marriages, we may expect our future husbands to help us with the kids or even have a less traditional view of marriage. But, for many of us “single ladies” I realized our perspective on marriage was based on 1) our parent’s marriage and 2) our analysis of other marriages.
The problem is a five-minute glimpse into someone’s life says very little about that person let alone a marriage. It also makes the assumption that all marriages are the same, that we are doomed to repeat the problems of our parent’s marriage or we too will become the wife chasing after her kids down the aisle at church.
Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. 2 Corinthians 10:12
As a single person I’ve stopped comparing myself with others, I’ve also made a conscious effort to redefine what my marriage will look like when I get married. To take the positive qualities of my parent’s marriage and to work on the things I’m concerned about. I’ve realized that being open to marriage is the first step to marriage. Understanding that the comparisons I had about other marriages are probably far from the truth.
Now when my mother asks me about marriage I am clear about my fears and why I am still single, I understand that meeting the person God has for me is important, but so is accepting that marriage requires constant work. That it is sacred and should not be based on my fears, for God commands us not to live in fear.
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
We Want to Know:
What have you learned about being a single Christian?
Has your perspective about marriage changed over the years?