I sat down for coffee with a friend, our conversation traversed from theology to guys, to relationships, and ultimately to marriage. We commiserated on how difficult it was to be single and dating in your mid-twenties. The frustrations of how our married friends just don’t get it as they look at us like we are stumbling around blindly looking for a partner. Dating isn’t a game of piñata, here people, well sometimes it feels like it is. In a general sense, aren’t we all just going out blindfolded and taking swings at this piñata as crowds of hopeful friends cheer you on, fingers crossed that your baseball bat will make direct contact like Willie Mays to a home run and a shower of stale candy will rain down from this imaginary potential spouse piñata and a diamond ring the size of a ring pop will be in there somewhere?
Now I have some pretty ‘radical’ views on marriage. I guess you could say that I don’t just want to get married for the sake of being married or because I’m supposed to be married or somehow I become more righteous and holy and full of purpose once I’m married. I’m full of plenty of righteousness and holiness and purpose right now thanks to Jesus and so are you my single and married friends. My friend that I got coffee with said the same thing to me as she peered over the rim of her cup. “I’ve learned that I can really marry anyone,” she said to me as she wiped a bit of dew from the side of the plastic cup. “But I don’t just want to marry anyone.” Home run.
I started out navigating the world of Christian dating with a list in tow. “You have just got to have a list,” multiple older women encouraged me. “You have to know what you want.” Do I really though? I mean it made sense. Yet if I had learned anything through my early years of following Jesus, there is a difference between what I want and what is best for me. So I made a list, because I was a doe eyed girl who didn’t even know half of what was in store for her today. And then I dated guys that seemed to fit my list. And they didn’t fit me. So I would change my list and date other guys that seemed to fit my new list. And they didn’t fit with me. And this cycle continued for a few years until I threw that list out the window.
Let’s just say, that my list is now made up of three requirements:
You’re a dude. You love Jesus. You like me for me.
It is within these small parameters that I find the tension of marriage. There is this sense as my friend said, that I can marry just about anyone and it will work, but that doesn’t mean I necessarily want to marry just anyone. And for the record when I say ‘anyone’ I’m saying someone who is all out for Jesus like you, I do not recommend marrying a serial killer or someone who doesn’t appreciate the humor of cats. So it is in this sense, a piñata game, but there is a bigger hand that is guiding the bat for you, and thank the Lord for that.
There is also this tension for over simplification. You want to marry someone you actually like and that actually likes you. Do not begrudgingly marry someone or rush into it. Marriage is a big deal, and shouldn’t be walked into flippantly. But by being able to marry anyone, it’s this lottery factor. Some marriages will naturally be easier than others depending on who those two people happen to be. Some personalities just work better together than others. Life visions, callings, theology, it all comes in to play. Yet these things change as you change, as your spouse changes. It’s never going to be set in stone. Expecting your spouse to always be the same is like telling a caterpillar not to turn into a butterfly and you’ll end up stunting their growth and damaging your marriage, and ultimately missing the point of why God designed it in the first place.
Thoughts, questions, concerns? Tell me what you think! Let’s discuss! Leave a comment below. Get a little heated. Agree. Disagree. Throw your opinion out there. Hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m right. It doesn’t really matter, it’s my opinion anyway. I’m just glad you decided to join the conversation.