I once thought marriage would cure all my loneliness, calm all my fears, and bring complete fulfillment and satisfaction to my life. As I’ve been learning these past three months, marriage alone is not the answer to all my problems. For all the wonderful and holy things marriage is, here are three things marriage alone does not do for us.
1. Marriage does not cure loneliness.
I used to believe that if I could just have a boyfriend and eventually a husband, I would no longer be lonely. I would feel like I finally found my place and would no longer need to fit in anywhere else. I would be satisfied relationally.
I’ve been married for three months, and I still crave community. I long for godly friendships and interactions outside my immediate family. As much as I love being with my husband and sharing my life with him, I still need other people. If I go a week without spending time with one of my friends, feelings of loneliness resurface.
One plus is that as a married woman, I’m not alone in my search for community. My husband searches with me. Together we have been looking for couples to join us in Bible studies and friends to come over and watch movies and share what God is doing in their lives. We are created to thrive in community, and although good, marriage shouldn’t be the only community we have.
2. Marriage does not calm all fears.
I can’t stand being home alone at night. And once married, I expected some of my fears to go away, including that one. I would no longer sleep alone. If my husband traveled, I would go with him. However, that hasn’t been the case. He travels for work, and I can’t always go with him because I work, too. Sometimes I am home alone until late at night.
I cannot look to my husband to calm all my fears. Don’t get me wrong; he does a great job of comforting me in those moments, but he can’t take my fears away. Those are my own to deal with as I pursue peace and healing in Christ. The only fear my husband can calm is my fear of never marrying. But he can’t take away my fear of being alone. Even in marriage, I can’t guarantee that he will live longer than me or that we will have children to take care of us in old age. Those are things I have to place in God’s charge.
3. Marriage does not bring complete fulfillment.
Because my desire for marriage was so strong, I felt like it was the one missing piece to my life. I thought I would be completely satisfied if only I were married.
While marriage is satisfying, one thing marriage does not do is fill the void that only God can fill. I don’t find my satisfaction in being married — I find it in who I am in Christ. I find it in pursuing my calling, which includes marriage but also involves my career. I find it in dwelling on the love of God, sharing that with others and walking in faith with a godly community.
Marriage, while an entirely good and worthy pursuit, is not the answer to abundant life. But do you know Who does cure all loneliness, calm all fears and bring complete fulfillment? Jesus. All of the things marriage alone can’t do for us, God can do.
If we turn to a relationship with anyone other than Christ for healing and satisfaction, we won’t find it. When we turn to others for safety and security, it’s only covering up the issues we deal with when we’re alone. It’s the same in marriage when situations aggravate our fears and insecurities. But in Christ, we find our true freedom and fulfillment. We find love beyond measure that cannot be compared to love found in any other relationship.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:19-20).