‘When are you going to get married?’
Society, especially Christians, seem to view singledom as a temporary state. Singles are constantly inundated with questions about their love lives and relationship plans. I remember, when I was single, random strangers would ask invasive questions about blokes on my horizon.
Like it was any of their business.
Looking back, I should have replied with a swift, ‘Sure, I will tell you all about my dating life, if I can ask all about your sex life. Deal?’
Singles are often treated like pre-marrieds, rather than as people in their own right, with inherent value and capacity to contribute to society. I have seen singles in church get promoted within seconds of getting married. Makes you wonder.
Singles are often treated like pre-marrieds, rather than as people in their own right.
I recently listened to Jeff Vines’ talk on Vision Radio, But I’m Single!* Jeff pointed out that while marriage is highly prized, and even idolised, in the church, singles and married are equal in this one respect:
Their status is temporary.
Singles will not be single forever. Marrieds will not be married forever. Both are temporary circumstances while we reside on earth. Once we get to heaven, our relationship status will be completely irrelevant.
Because our union will be with God.
It is all too easy to forget this. Marriage is, at best, romanticised in our culture and, at worst, given a status it does not deserve. Marriage does not make one better. Marriage is not a qualifier for adulthood. Marriage is not proof of deservedness or value or spiritual maturity.
Marriage is not proof of deservedness or spiritual maturity.
I have seen very immature people get married. And I have seen very deserving people remain single. I am sure you have too.
Marriage is not meant to be forever (despite the ‘happily ever after’ sales pitches we are fed on a regular basis). It is designed by God to be a symbolic representation of our heavenly union with him. When you see a healthy marriage, you are glimpsing our eternal relationship with God.
Our eternal home remind us there is nothing on earth than can fulfil our deepest desires. Our longings for love, our yearnings for acceptance, are pointing us toward the only One who can meet our needs. God alone can satisfy our eternal hunger.
Our longings for love point us toward the only One who can meet our needs.
Singles have this advantage: they are not swept up by the idealisation and worship of romance. They are not distracted. They can devote the entirety of their lives to serving God. And, when they die, they too will be joined in perfect union with him.
I am looking forward to our eternal marriage. That is a ‘happily ever after’ worth waiting for.
Do you think marriage is idolised? Do you suffer from pre-marriage interrogations? In what ways are you reminded of your eternal heavenly union with God? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.