I write this post in the bliss of everyone else’s wedded bliss. I spent this past weekend at helping at the wedding of my sweet college roommate and will get to watch one of my dearest friends walk down the aisle next weekend. I have to say it: I am in love with love.
There is something so wonderful in watching someone you care so deeply about find their person. That person who treats them with kindness and respect. To watch their love story’s prologue end and the plot actually begin is such an honor.
I say this with no sarcasm.
See, somewhere along the line, culture decided that single women are angry and bitter and can’t stomach seeing someone enjoy being in love. But why?
I’m just angry and bitter about the fact that people assume I’m angry and bitter. Here’s the truth about being jealous:
It’s a waste of time.
As a fairy tale fanatic, I may have been fascinated with happily ever after for a little too long. But “I do” is not some magic shot to happiness and singleness is not a life-sentence to drudgery.
The grass is not greener in either camp—it’s just different. Married or single, you still have the same insecurities, same brokenness, same pet peeves, and hurt, and longings, and on and on it goes. Because you’re still you.
If you didn’t know how to handle your temper with anyone before, you certainly won’t with a spouse. If you struggled with your self worth on your own, it’s only going to be magnified in a committed relationship. If you didn’t know how to process tragedy in your single days, it will be no easier to weather the storm bound to someone.
The escape from struggle is not marriage—and there is a temptation to look for it there. We’ve read the novels and watched the movies and listened to the songs that tells us that all we need is to find that person that is going to make us feel strong and secure and without fault. And that that person is a human that just happens to be ridiculously good looking and wealthy to boot.
Here’s the real truth of it: a spouse was never intended to redeem you. That’s not fair pressure to put on any of your relationships and it’s not fair for that to be placed on you.
If that’s what you’re looking for in your relationship, then you are going to be sorely disappointed, my friend.
I am NOT saying that God needs to be your spouse first. (If you’re chasing after Jesus-is-my-boyfriend theology, then there is an even bigger discussion we need to be having.)
I am saying that before I can be jealous that someone gets to enter into marriage while I’m in a stage of singleness, I need to really swallow that neither camp is superior or inferior to the other. I also need to take account of what I’m looking to get out of a relationship.
Yes, I crave that intimacy and companionship. I also crave wholeness and redemption. Marriage can’t promise these things and I need to remember who can.
Married or not, you are loved by the giver of all good things. In this knowledge, anger and bitterness don’t stand a chance.