by Jennifer Adams
She looked at me wanting to know what I wanted to do with my life. We were merely acquaintances meeting for a meal and a chance to get to know each other better. She continued, “If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?” There was nothing about her that suggested I couldn’t trust her with the truth. In that moment I should have said, “I want to be a wife and mom. I want to serve in ministry in the context of a family. I want to be an example of Christ in a marriage, my marriage.” But those words were not the words that came out of my mouth. In all honesty, I’m not sure what I said. I probably said something about wanting to serve in ministry or about wanting to work with young pregnant teens or maybe even about wanting to help in the fight against trafficking. I don’t know. I do know I left off the part about wanting to be married.
Why is it so hard for us singles to admit we want to be married? Please don’t tell me I’m alone in this struggle. Singles? Since you are reading this post, you are probably a lot like me. You desire marriage and a family. Do you too struggle with the fear of admitting your desires? I think a lot of us singles feel this fear, at least in varying degrees.
I believe this fear that keeps us from admitting our greatest desire comes from several false beliefs.
- If we openly acknowledge that we want to be married, we are saying that we have failed at reaching that goal. You and I know that this is not true. Just because we desire marriage and are still single does not mean we have failed. I have felt that though. As each of my friends has walked down the aisle, I have caught myself wondering what I did wrong. You, too?
- Dreaming of marriage is immature and old-fashioned. In our culture that celebrates autonomy, dreaming of joining your life to another’s life, for better or worse, just sounds crazy. It’s right up there with singles still playing with My Little Pony and Barney — “I love you, you love me”… you get the point. We millennials have better things to cry about, right? Umm false. Feels true though.
- To admit we want to be married would be setting ourselves up to be pitied when marriage doesn’t happen for us. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want people to pity me. Sympathize with me? Sure. Encourage me? Please! Pity is different, and if we believe that pity comes with admitting we want marriage, then it makes sense that we would keep our desires to ourselves.
The list goes on. I’m sure that while reading this post you have already thought of false beliefs you would add to the list. I believe it’s these false beliefs we carry that feed our fears, and fear causes us to miss the good things. By hiding our deepest desire from other people, we are missing true connection. Let’s not hide, guys and gals. When they ask, let’s be honest. God’s design for marriage is beautiful, a direct representation of our lives with Him. Being single takes no value from our lives. We can live beautiful single lives, but hiding our healthy desires of marriage cost us true connection to the body. Let’s live each season with grace.
Today, I’m writing to myself as much as I am to you. I’m not there yet. It would help me a lot to know that other singles out there, who desire marriage, are with me in being honest and facing fear.
I’ll end with this: (1) You haven’t failed, (2) desiring marriage is not immature or old-fashioned, (3) people may pity you. Wait, was I supposed to say that? Yes, people may pity you. Face that fear. I can’t help what people think about me. I can, however, know in my heart what God thinks about me. I’m pretty sure He would be disappointed if I chose to hide a piece of myself from other people because of fear. If you desire marriage, embrace it no matter what others say or do.
Are you with me?
Jennifer Adams is seeking sacred in every “single” breath, and she blogs about that, amongst other things Kingdom related, at www.jennadamswrites.wordpress.com.
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