Back in 2009, I started a blog for single women who desired to be married. Actually, to be more specific, it was for women who desired to be in a marital covenant (check out "Until Death Do Us Part — For Real" to see why I believe there is a difference). Not a week went by when I didn't receive at least a handful of women who were, how do I put it, anxious beyond measure.
For them, being single wasn't something that they cherished; it was merely something that they tolerated. Yeah, I won't even get into how many of them wrote me about how they truly believed that God told them that someone was their husband whether they knew the guy or not, whether the guy was interested in them or not or whether they had already said that very thing five times before…or not (God is not the author of confusion; the Good Book says so in I Corinthians 14:33). It was like being a bride and then a wife was all-consuming in their world. Personally, I found that reality to be really…well, sad.
It's not because I don't desire to married someday myself. It's just that I think sometimes we can be so caught up in—if not flat-out obsessed with—wanting something (or someone) that we don't even really know why. It's like the desire has been a part of us so long that we don't make the time to truly process why we want it so badly in the first place.
If for you, what you want more than anything in the world is marriage, listen—marriage is a beautiful, sacred and purpose-filled thing. But if your longing for it has you totally ignoring the also beautiful, sacred and purpose-filled season of singleness, I've got a few things that I'd like you to ponder. The answers that you provide just might reveal some hard truths to you. And that? That can be a good thing—for the sake of your single present as well as your potentially-married-someday future.
Is It Because Everyone Around You Is Married (or Is Getting Married)?
At 45, I'm at a point in my life where maybe two people in my inner circle are single. I think because I deal with the topic of marriage so much and I get to see what's really going on in people's relationships, the thought of being a "third wheel" at my married friends' homes and functions doesn't bother me. As I say often, "Marriage ain't for punks", so I'm more on the tip of "kudos" to all of those who are attempting to not only make their work, but make it thrive as well. That doesn't mean that I don't know quite a few single women who aren't in the same headspace. Many have expressed to me that they are jealous of their married girlfriends, they are sick of going to weddings and they are feeling lonelier than ever.
If this is you, you have the right to feel how you feel. With that being said, I have witnessed far too many unhealthy marriages. That's why I can promise you that it's better to be single with bouts of loneliness than to get up into a union that you'll end up regretting. And so, if the main reason why you're so consumed with getting married is because you want to be like the rest of your friends, do yourself two favors. First, ask the wives in your life about the challenges that come with being married (everything has its ups and "downs"). Second, start finding more people to hang with. Single people.
When it comes to that second part, the reason why I say that is because, if all you're around is marriage, it makes sense why you would think that that is all there is to life. It's not. Singleness is what you make it. And there's some pretty dope perks that come with not having a husband. Happy, healthy and content singles can certainly vouch for that.
Maybe It’s That You Feel As If You’re Running Out of (Baby-Making) Time?
I'm pretty open about my pregnancy journey. In 1999, I had my fourth and final abortion. My period still comes on time and my health is in great shape. But unless God comes down, sits on the side of my bed and tells me to get pregnant in this season of my life, that ship has sailed. I'm at peace with that. For so many reasons.
But man, I know a lot of women between 34-45 who are in a very different space. I get it and, as much as possible, I also empathize because when there's nothing you want too much more than a child of your own (from your own womb), a ticking biological clock can be the loudest sound in the world. To that, what I'll share is this. I know a couple who just knew that they would be pregnant on their wedding night. In fact, the husband told me that was the main reason why he wanted to get married. Several years later, there's no baby. What they do have is a pretty toxic relationship, though. There's no guarantee that when you get married, conceiving will be a breeze or even possible. That's why, getting married just to have a child is NOT a good, smart or wise idea.
Yet what should you do about your longing for a little one? If you are a woman of faith, pray. Sarah (Abraham's mom) and Elizabeth (John the Baptist's mom) were not spring chickens when they got pregnant; they still did, though. Also, be open to parenting in other ways too. I've shared before that one of my all-time favorite adoption stories is about a little girl named Chloe. Sometimes the plan that we have is so much smaller than the one God has for us. He sees your desires. Trust that He knows what's best in the midst of them.
Have You Been Consumed with Being a Wife Since…Forever?
If all that you can think about is being wife, first, that's not anything to be ashamed of. It's also not something that you should bear the total weight of either. On so many levels, it's something that our upbringing, our social circles and even the Church has filled our minds and hearts with. I mean, even when Adam and Eve were handed out the consequences for eating the fruit in the Garden of Eden, one of the things that he said was, "Your desire shall be for your husband…" (Genesis 3:16—NKJV)
At the same time, you're really doing yourself a colossal disservice if you choose to live your life like being a wife is all that you have to offer—or even if it's like the best thing that you have to offer. On the biblical tip, it goes over a lot of people's head that the first thing that a wife is defined as being is a "helper" (Genesis 2:18). Men need our help. Help requires a lot of personal investing, time and hard work.
We don't come out of the womb being a wife. We come into it being a single individual. Why wouldn't you want to use your season of singleness to, ironically, help yourself? Help yourself to find your purpose. Help yourself to achieve some goals that would be so easier to reach as a single woman. Help yourself to learn more about what you like and what you want. Help yourself to becoming your best self.
An ex of mine's mom once told me that while she loves her children, in hindsight, she wishes that she had never gotten married. At a late fall stage of her life, she didn't travel as much as she wanted to, she didn't get to take the kinds of risks that she should have—her life was all about giving to her husband and her kids.
I know far too many single women who can only see being a wife. So much so that they don't even acknowledge all of the benefits that comes with being single. After getting married is an unfortunate time to have regrets. Embrace all of what you can do as a single woman now. This brings me to my fourth point.
Do You Hate Your Life As a Single Woman?
So, what's so bad about being single, anyway? Like for real, for real. I get that a husband provides companionship, support—and if he's a really good husband—protection and provision. But be completely honest with yourself—have you ever really taken the time to think about all of the benefits that come with the relational status that you currently have? Your time is ALL yours. Your resources are ALL yours. You can pretty much do what you want, when you want, without discussing it with anyone else. Shoot, you spent 18 years doing that very thing with your parents. Don't you want to enjoy at least a little more time before having to considerately run things by your life partner?
If you truly are planning on someday going into a marriage with the intentions of being with your husband for the rest of your life, I recommend looking at becoming a wife like becoming a mom. What I mean by that is once you're in, you're in. In many ways, life as you now know it will no longer exist.
One of my closest friends tells me that sometimes she envies my singleness because she isn't able to go to the bathroom alone. When I ask her if she's referring to her kids bothering her, she sighs and says, "Sometimes it's them. But girl, sometimes it's my husband." The last time I went to their house, she asked me to come into her bedroom to help her with something and I noticed that, even though she and her husband aren't the shortest people in the world, their bed was on the smaller side. When I mentioned it, she rolled her eyes again. "That ain't me. That's your friend who feels like some part of his body has to be draped all over mine, no matter how hot it gets."
My friend loves her husband. I know that, for sure. Still, I am super grateful that she is kind and vulnerable enough to tell me the real deal about marriage. A lot of stuff that she shares keeps me thankful that I can use the bathroom in peace, sleep on my entire bed and live my entire life without having to have a discussion with anyone else (except God).
How About You “Push Pause” on Wanting and Start Actually Living?
If you're not familiar with Kisses from Katie, check out Amazima Ministries sometime (it's an organization that was Katie's vision, by the way). The short version of Katie's story—which is a lot more like a testimony—is she went to Uganda at 18 for a mission's trip, returned a year later and never came back to the States (to live permanently). By the age of 23, she had adopted 13 Ugandan girls and was living her life, to the fullest, as a single woman and mom.
I really respect Katie's journey, so I tend to check out her site, every few months, just to see what she has going on. I smiled when she shared that she had met her beloved. And no, he didn't come at the time or in the way that she once thought that he would. If you watch this video, you'll see that, like a lot of single women, Katie once had the dream of a white picket fence, a husband and two kids. But God had other plans. At around the 3:00 mark, the narrator of the video says:
"As a busy mother then, dating probably wasn't Katie's highest priority. She had a huge brood to take care of, all by herself, after all. But she would find love nonetheless, when her future husband, Benji Majors, walked into her life. And, in a remarkable twist of fate, it turned out that Benji and Kate had both grown up in Franklin, TN, although the two had previously never met…It wasn't until he moved to Uganda, that he and Katie's paths finally crossed."
Chills. I'll let you watch the rest of the video to see all that happened since they met. What I will say is today, they are married and they have a son, Noah. Oh, do catch something else that the narrator said, though:
"Before her romance with Benji, however, she had never believed she'd meet a man willing to take on her and her 13 adopted children…Katie thought, 'It would be nice to be married, but I guess it's not in the cards for me."
Not here in Tennessee as a single student did Katie meet her husband. It was all the way in Uganda, with a purpose as wide as all get out, did their paths cross. At the right place and time. Not while she was pining away for a husband. But while she was living her life to the fullest! And the man that was meant to complement her life? He didn't just marry her—he is helped to raise all of her daughters.
If you want the right husband, you need to be out here doing your thing because you can best believe that a good man is going to be here doing his. You're probably not gonna run into him begging and pleading in prayer in the side of your bed. It's probably going to happen while you're in the midst of doing what you were put on this planet to do.
That's one of the biggest takeaways I've gotten from Katie's story.
Again, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be married. Nothing at all. But if you really dig deep into the whys behind it, they may reveal that your desire could be about more than just having a husband. Because just think about it—you don't want to just "get married". You want to be happily and continually married, right?
Let life do its thing while you're thriving as a single woman. If you're committed to that, no matter how it turns out, you'll have far less regrets than if you just sit around wishing for a husband all of the time. I believe Katie—and some of the married women that you personally know—can personally vouch for that. A million times over too.
So, do yourself a favor. Treat yourself to a "You've Gotta Go Through God to Get to Me" tee, and chill out. Wanting marriage is fine. Just try your best to be intentional about wanting a lot more for yourself than that. Because you are certainly worthy of more...than that. Feel me?
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