Last night I was reading a book about Christian relationships and realized it’s been a very long time since I’ve viewed relationships as positive things that require love and patience. Like your typical young twenty-something, I’ve experimented with dating websites and apps and have tried to meet people at bars, through mutual friends, etc. But I’ve been going at it in search of something unrealistic and unhealthy.
I’ve grown up in a society that makes you think a boyfriend or husband will make you happy. As cliché as that sounds, it’s still true in 2015. Sociology courses taught me how influential the media is on our social understanding and personal growth. It doesn’t matter if you take a crime show seriously or if you’re laughing at a sitcom. Even if you tell yourself “this isn’t real” it is still going to influence you.
As mentioned in the book, romance novels and ‘chick flick’ movies drill into a woman’s mind that to be happy, you have to find that man. And when you do, he will be perfectly designed to love you in every way you’ve ever dreamed. He will know what you need and desire. He’ll complete you and be your everything– filling that void in your heart.
But that isn’t true. A boyfriend will not provide you with true joy. Yes, he may make you happy in many ways and love you and could be a really great guy. But he can never fully know you the way God can. Your husband vows to be your loving partner in life, supporting you and your children, and guiding you to heaven at the end of it. But he is still human, just like you. He is not God.
On my way home from work today, this idea was readdressed. The afternoon radio host was offering kind reassurance to people who will be single on Valentine’s day this year. He told us a little about meeting his wife. At some point he stopped dating around and offered it up to God. He explained how he and his wife were friends for awhile and then one day she just ‘knew’ he was the man she was to marry. But she wouldn’t say anything until (and unless) he ‘knew’ as well. 22 years later, they are still happily wed.
I do not know what God has planned or what dumb decisions I’ll make down the line. But what I’m taking from these reminders is that I need to work on becoming the woman my future husband deserves. If I have high hopes for him, he is worthy of the best of me as well. So this Valentine’s day will be another one where I’m single. But for goodness sake, that is not a bad thing! It’s also nothing to be angry or bitter about. I have a great family and friends who love me. Remember, love is not just a romantic thing.
There is certainly no need to be upset, but to embrace the good I can do now as a single woman. Because one day, I will no longer be able to say that I am. I’ll probably spend the majority of my life married, so to enjoy who I am right now-young and free-is golden.
Have a beautiful week, my valentines.
Thinking Out Loud | Ed Sheeran