When I was 18, I was heading off to college I told myself I was going to find my future wife while I was there. It seemed like the good “Christian” thing to do. I was enamored with the idea of being the happily married and young Youth Pastor dream that I had built for my life. Shortly before I was 20 I met the girl I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with. She was a beautiful Baptist girl. When dated in high infatuation for a while. When I started asking bigger questions around God, Christianity and the World, after nearly two years our worlds catastrophically crashed into each other and we broke up in a very cruel way.
When we broke up I found myself analyzing why it ended, or, if I should date, or get married. I have dated a few girls since then but not intensely like those two years. My problem with dating or getting married, especially at my age is the small fact that dating or getting married has always existed around me. The thoughts of marriage always existed around what I want or need. Those relationships had offered me something comforting around thoughts like:
I am lonely and this person will help me not feel alone.
This person seems to really like me, now I can really like myself.
I am really horny and I really want to lose my V card.
When I look at love at its best it is a pure unconditional gift. God loves me not because I am special but he just loves me, and, I don’t have to love him back. My parents still love me after me some really rough years I put them through. I don’t want any future marriage to exist around me and the fact that their presence strokes my ego or sexual desires. And, as I have developed my own identity over the three and a half years after that relationship has ended and I allow God to love me through and through and break down my own ego, he has given me a greater capacity to move towards that unconditional gift. When I find myself, I no longer need myself. I don’t need to cling to others to be my source of happiness, pleasure and fulfillment. I don’t need another person to make me free and whole. That’s what I think marriage should be. Two free and whole people, freely and wholly loving each other. Two people who don’t fear vulnerability, pain and showing the other person their dark side. While embracing the wholeness and freedom of the other person for their own pleasure and delight. It is the most edifying relationship that one can find on this earth, when done right. While that person has the greatest capacity to hurt you, the love shared will be far more healing, enjoyable and sanctifying than any other relationship while we are on this earth.
But, as I move towards wholeness and freedom, I find myself saying that I really don’t need another person in order to be happy and whole. The years I spent wanting other people to fill my loneliness, was the escape that the cure for loneliness is really learning to love the community of yourself and God. As my hormones have slowly reduced as I have gotten older, I have found ways to channel my sexual energy in other ways in giving myself to others in service. And, as I learn to love myself, I no longer need myself and can give myself away to a bigger world and a bigger mission.
I do imagine that I will get married. I want to get married. I look forward to that healing, enjoyment and sanctifying relationship if it happens. I look forward to the gift of marriage. I look forward to the fights. I look forward to hating her parents and every other stigma surrounding in-laws. Until then, I don’t think I need it.
Why do you think people should or shouldn’t get married?
What have you learned in marriage?
If I do get married, I hope its to this girl: