As a teenager, I lived according to the principles of many books, including ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye’ and the logic: ‘My dad and brothers are amazing – I don’t need anybody else’.
As a young adult, I identified with the countless books aimed at those in their 20′s such as ‘Single and Satisfied’ and the logic: ‘Nobody can compare to my amazing dad and brothers – I am spoilt.’
Today = 28. Single. No dating history. Still single and satisfied. Still spoilt by my dad and brothers. Confident that God has it sorted. Not wanting to compromise my morals and beliefs. But… wondering when ‘my husband’ with come along and become ‘more important’ to me than my dad and brothers.
Can you relate?
I know that I am not alone in this season of my life.
So here it is, a post for all my wonderful single friends.
Society and culture has a lot to say about love. It’s screaming at us everywhere. For the purpose of this blog, I want to draw of the wise words of Timothy Keller, author, speaker and founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian, in New York City. I was introduced to his book “The Meaning of Marriage” – a solid, thorough, insightful read – by my younger brother when he wisely decided to take the emphasis of the dating process and start thinking and learning more about marriage.
Singles are often on the quest to find the ‘ONE’. We have many conversations about lists, interests, dislikes, love, compatibility, standards… you know the drill.
But Keller so wisely states, “Single people cannot live their lives well as singles without a balanced, informed view of marriage. If they do not have that, they will either over desire marriage or under-desire marriage, and either of those ways of thinking will distort their lives.”
Wise statement? I think so.
Goodbye dating conversations. Hello marriage conversations. Good move, considering it is our end goal after all.
So, what is this balanced, informed view? To get the whole picture – read the book – It will change your thinking.
Tim Keller has changed my thinking about what it means to fall in love and find the elusive ‘ONE’.
Most people, when looking for a spouse, are looking for a finished statue when they should be looking for a wonderful block of marble.
Hang on a minute Tim Keller! I thought this book was going to be about finding my Prince Charming?!
Ah, that’s right – Disney is totally unrealistic. The long hair, glass slippers, life as a mermaid…. they don’t actually exist. Shock. Horror.
We should be looking for a wonderful block of marble. Not so you can create the kind of person you want, but rather because you see what kind of person Jesus is making.
When Michelangelo was asked how he carved his magnificent David, his reply is reputed to have been, “I looked inside the marble and just took away the bits that weren’t David.” When looking for a marriage partner each must be able to look inside the other and see what God is doing and be excited about being part of the process of liberating the emerging “new you”.
This is by no means a naive, romanticised approach – rather it is brutally realistic. In this view of marriage, each person says to the other, “I see all your flaws, imperfections, weaknesses, dependencies. But underneath them all I see growing the person God wants you to be.”
This is radically different from Disney. Thank goodness. After all, I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to suddenly get two ugly step sisters and leave my glass slipper behind at a ball.
So, instead of trying to turn myself into a perfect, unrealistic Princess… I will continue to find JOY in being single… and continue my quest to develop a balanced and informed view of marriage.