Lately, my social media feeds have seemed to be stacked full of couples celebrating their 10, 15, 20 year anniversaries. I am so encouraged to see marriages that have stood the test of time. Marriages that have strengthened. Marriages that have glorified God. But, there is also a part of me that is left feeling sad and with a sense of great longing.
I am 33 and still single.
When I see all of these couples celebrating years of marriage, it’s not lost on me that they were married at a much younger age than I am now. I would love to be able to celebrate 10 or 20 years with someone. But, as the years keep ticking by, I wonder if that will ever be my story.
When you find yourself in your 30s and still single, you can’t help but think you just must not be marriage material. You may start analyzing past relationships and picking apart your every move. “Maybe if I had done this or said that or not acted like this or not said that.”
You may also have well-meaning people tell you there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. That you are great. That you will make an amazing spouse one day.
But, at the end of the day, you are still single. There is still no one there to do life with.
This has been my experience in years past and now. No matter what anyone says to me, no matter how hard I try to fight the feeling of worthlessness, it’s still there. There must be something utterly wrong with me.
And here’s the truth.
I am messed up. I am flawed. I am imperfect.
Christians often think the lie Satan is trying to make us believe is that we are not good enough. But, that is not a lie. Scripture is full of enough passages to show us we are not good enough. I think the real lie he is trying to get us believe is that we are somehow worse than others. Or that there is something we can do to make ourselves perfect. We are just failing to figure it out.
I have been plagued with the idea lately that if I was just better than I am maybe I would still not be single. But, I look around and see others with the same flaws as me happily married. I don’t think there’s some formula I have to get in order to be ready for marriage. I will never be good enough. I will never act exactly as I should. I will never fit into this ideal model of what a wife should be.
We have built up way too many expectations when it comes to love and marriage. We think things should go exactly a certain way, and if they don’t, it must mean it’s not right. I’ve had downright ridiculous expectations when it comes to my ideal match or relationship.
Now, to be sure, it’s not wrong for me to desire a godly husband with certain character traits. But, even if some of those traits exist, he will not always exemplify them. In fact, there will be plenty of times when the exact opposite will be present. I can’t expect perfection from someone else.
I also can’t expect perfection from myself. I have to give myself grace and realize I will often do things wrong. Utterly wrong. But, I think that’s a good thing. It’s a reminder that I do indeed need a Savior.
Christ became a sacrifice for us because we are messed up. Yes, his blood covers our imperfections. But, while on this earth, we will always have flaws. He has worked for our righteousness. But, our sanctification is not yet complete.
So, here I sit. Thinking of all my insecurities. And, instead of trying to pretend they are all lies, I will embrace the truth in them. I am not good enough. And that’s ok, because no one else is good enough, either.
I am messed up. And I hope to one day find someone else who is messed up. Someone who will strive for godliness with me. Someone who will fail with me. Someone who will fight through the messiness with me.
Yes, it will be an utterly flawed marriage. But, praise be to God, it will point us to the fact we need a flawless Savior.