Thoughts on Marriage from a Single Girl
I have a friend on Facebook who posts quotes about marriage. Like, a ton of quotes about marriage. Every time I see one in my news feed, my disposition dampens and I sigh in frustration. Why, you ask? Well, let me show you:
“The silent treatment is the Devil’s loudest invitation for interference in your marriage. When husband and wife stop communicating, it gives the devil sufficient time and uncontested opportunity to influence them separately.”
“Anyone who enters a marriage must do so with the clear understanding that they enter a work with no retirement, a school with no graduation, and a battle with no retreat or surrender.”
“Marriage is not 50-50; Divorce is 50-50. Marriage has to be 100-100. It isn’t dividing everything in half, but giving everything you’ve got!”
“Imagine a man so focused on God that the only reason he looks up to see you is because he heard God say, ‘that’s her.'”
Maybe you’re reading these, and you’re think they’re great – practical, motivational pieces of advice for how to keep your marriage strong. But that’s not how I’m reading them. I’m reading them as a young adult who has been single most of her life, currently has no significant other, yet who dreams of marriage one day. And as such, I read these and I think, “Oh my gosh, getting married sounds like the worst idea ever!” It sounds like all work and no play, it sounds like a daily struggle and an uphill battle, it sounds like the hardest relationship a person could possibly enter into willingly—and worse yet, if you’re a Christian, there’s no getting out of it!
Well, call me idealist, call me naive, call me whatever you wish. But I reject my Facebook friend’s quotes about marriage. I do think it’s important to remember that there will be challenges with whatever man with whom we become each other’s one and only. There will be trials and difficulties and times when giving 50% is all you can do, let alone giving 100%. There will be times when I say, “screw the high road, I need to go be human and fume at him for awhile!” There will be moments when our marriage feels like a tedious chore instead of a beautiful gift.
All hypothetically assuming I get married one day, of course.
I will choose instead to think about the blessing it will be to spend my life with a man who syncs with me so well that I feel secure in committing to lifelong monogamy with him. I will choose to believe that there will be times when marriage is easy as well as times when it is hard. I will choose to believe that I will marry a man whose character is strong enough that we can overcome our struggles together, and offer each other grace when one of us gives our marriage less than our best.
My marriage will not be a battlefield. It will be a life, full of mess and full of beauty. It will not be a relationship in which both of us always succeed in communicating effectively, but I hope it will be one in which we recognize when we need to get over our pity party and talk already, even if it means expressing frustration. I won’t always give 100%, and neither will he. But I hope we will be patient with each other when life gets us down, and we are able to give each other the space we might need to recharge when we’re incapable of being our best.
And I don’t want to be with a guy who lives with his head in the clouds, who doesn’t see me until a voice from God shouts in his head to look up. I want to be with a guy who is in tune with God, yes, but who is also immersed in this world, with eyes and heart open to the people around him. I don’t want to see marriage the way those quotes tell me I should. I’m a silver linings kind of person, I always have been. And I want that optimism to be saturated all through whatever lifelong bond I end up forming with a man. I don’t want to lose it, because then I’ll lose the heart to experience my marriage as something beautiful.