As a person who works in the wedding industry, believe me when I say I have seen a lot of weddings. And who doesn’t love a wedding? (Ask Captain Jack Sparrow) After all, this day is billed by society as the most important, most magical, greatest day you will ever have (ever). Girls who aren’t even engaged are expected to have at least 7 Pinterest boards dedicated to their dream wedding because (Oprah voice) Guuuuurrrrl you have to be prepared. And once you are engaged, brides MUST complete the knot.com’s 397 step plan to the perfect wedding or your day is going to be “so totally lame.”But seriously, why are we SO COMPLETELY WEDDING OBSESSED?
I don’t think there’s a twenty-something alive who hasn’t felt the pressures to get married. The acquaintance asking:
Are you single, married, girlfriend? Yeah, I’m just single right now. Ooh honey, (head tilt) don’t worry, you’ll find someone.
And then there’s aunt Agnes at every family gathering discretely asking (at the top of her lungs) why you don’t want to get married. I mean, clearly anyone older than Justin Bieber who wanted to be married would, of course, be married.
Heck! Even God favors marriage:
“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD” Proverbs 18:22
SEE. Go! Get married already! Find a relationship that is pretty good and lock it in so you can please your parents who want grandkids asap, please your friends who want a great party, please God who gives favor to marriage, and ultimately quiet that voice in your head that says “once I’m married, I’m going to finally be so happy.”
Doesn’t any of that seem a little bit… off to you?
Let’s clear something up right away in case you decide not to finish reading this. I misled you about the bible to make a point. (sorry). The passage above from Proverbs is not, I repeat, NOT calling you to go out and marry the first person you find so God will like you. Here is an expanded translation from a biblical scholar:
The man with the mental capacity to love from the ultimate source of his soul, who finds a wife he recognizes as having the ability to respond to his love, receives grace from God the Father. (Pastor Monty Rainey)
First of all, the man must have the MENTAL CAPACITY for love. Further translation – maturity, honor, strength, honesty and the ability to be vulnerable. Those things don’t happen by accident. Most importantly, God wants you to find a grounded, healthy, loving marriage that can withstand the test of time. THAT is what he is in favor of.
God could care less about your party, how many bridesmaids you have or how elaborate your center pieces are. He is focused on your relationship and on your love. Which, by the way, is probably what you should be focusing on and what I think many couples lose sight of in the grandeur of wedding planning. God wants you to be the best you can be, and for now, it might be best that your single.
Okay single women, I have to give it to you straight for a moment. Are you desperate to be married? Guys can tell and frankly there are few things that will drive us away faster. If you’re so focused on marriage you are saying that God is not enough for you, that you need marriage and a man to make you whole. No guy wants that pressure because we know we will never be enough. We just won’t. The only way to be completely alive and content is through your creator.
Go ahead, chase every other avenue of “happiness” this world has to offer: marriage/relationships, alcohol, drugs, porn, money, status, celebrity, body image, possessions… they will never lead to living a life of contentment. “Those who are most ready for marriage don’t need it.” -Mark Driscoll. Why? Because they are fulfilled by God. That doesn’t mean you can’t pray for God to bring love into your life if that’s your hearts desire, but take a step back and check are you actually ready?
I challenge you look at your own weaknesses. What is less than great about who you are? What steps are you going to take to improve them? Now, in the time of your singleness, is the best time to improve your character and your relationship with God. In a relationship? SWEET! Ask your partner what your weaknesses are. Planning a wedding? CONGRATS! Just make sure you don’t lose sight of what is the most important part of the wedding – the vows, the pledge to be there for someone until death. We have to do marriage better than the generation before us.
I love this quote: “We have never arrived.” It’s so true. We are constantly growing, changing, and trying to be the best we can be for a God who loves us with all his might. So shred the wedding magazines and open a book or two. Maybe start with the “Five Love Languages” or Mark Driscoll’s “Real Marriage” and see what happens. Only God knows the master plan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make sure you’re ready when he brings that special someone into your life.
“It’s a long walk through this world, but keep walking tall, you’re one day closer to being home.”