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You REALLY Want To Get Married. Why Is That?

Desiring marriage is cool. But is that the only thing that you want outta this life?

Love & Relationships

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)?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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