We’d be hard-pressed to find a SingleRoots reader who doesn’t desire marriage. There may be a few but, by and large, most Christian singles are wishing and hoping and thinking and praying and planning and dreaming of a marriage in their future. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Many are content with their current lots, yet they still long for the day they are become two-to-one instead of just one.
But for some, there can be this threshold that is crossed over where those longings for marriage become unhealthy. Marriage shifts from a desire to an obsession, from a dream to an idol. And sadly, it can be difficult to identify in yourself until you realize that you don’t remember a time when you didn’t hate your life. So how can you know if those desires are healthy?
SingleRoots Writers Say…
For wise counsel, we asked some of our SingleRoots alumni writers to weigh in on the matter. Here’s what they had to say:
“There was a period in my late 20s when I became obsessed with marriage. I could tell you every guy who was single in the room because the first thing I did when I entered it was scan left ring fingers. Part of my problem was that my mother and aunts were fixated on getting me married. I always thought it was a bit odd considering most of their marriages were sub-par, but I bought into the lie that my life was incomplete until marriage. One day, one of my wisest single friends sat me down and told me this pursuit of marriage at all costs was consuming me and had become an idol in my life. I was embarrassed that she could see it so clearly; I thought I’d hidden it pretty well. Over the next few months, we spent a lot of time in prayer about it and I could see the Lord beginning to chip away at my desires for marriage above Him. There are times when I slip back into pity parties, but He always reminds me that yielding to His will is so much greater than my own. Don’t worry, I still scan left ring fingers on guys, but I’m nowhere near as good as I used to be at it!”
:: Liesl Bennett, author of Never Been Kissed…or in Love
“First off, it is more than okay to want marriage. You aren’t weird or wrong. All singles struggle with this question and I think it is difficult to answer, because no one can know what’s inside your head. I will say that if you would do anything to be married, you are on the wrong side of desperate, and that is unhealthy. If you see marriage as the one goal to finally being happy, again, unhealthy. It’s all in balance and perspective, and watch out for obsessing on getting married. We’re all going to have bad days/weeks/months, but gratitude and contentment go a long way in combating unhealthy or obsessive desires for marriage.”
:: Brooke Corcoran, author of What a Difference a Decade Makes: Thoughts on Waiting for Your Spouse
“Sit down and write a painfully honest letter to your future spouse. Write about who you are and who you want them to be, what you want your relationship to be and reflect, and how you expect life and/or yourself to change through marriage. It’s inevitable that marriage will change you, but if you look at the letter and find that you desire marriage for the purpose of changing you, making you a better person, helping you escape, or finding happiness through your perfect match, it might be time to reassess your motivations.”
:: W. Brandon Howard, author of Do Christians Need Better Branding?
Explore the Topic Further…
For further discussion on the desires for marriage, check out these posts:
What If I Don’t Want to Get Married? – “You’ll never hear the SingleRoots team say that everyone is destined for marriage. That’s simply not true. After all, Jesus Himself remained single throughout His entire life, as did (arguably) the Apostle Paul. There are many virtuous reasons to remain single, and God often calls people to a life of celibacy.”
Marriage Is Not the Goal – “After careful consideration, I realized the one lesson I wish I had learned much earlier in my single life is that purpose, not marriage, is the goal. Marriage is good, and it is most certainly a ministry, but marriage does not negate the fact that God has a purpose for my whole life, not just my married life. Although singles are often treated as an afterthought in many regards, God’s plan for our lives is much bigger than just marriage.”
How Do I Know I’m in a Christ-Centered Relationship with My Significant Other? – “We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Marriage is not the goal. It doesn’t matter how much pressure your mother or people at church put on you, you can still live a really awesome life and never marry. We get it, though. You want to marry someone. We do, too.”
Marriage: Are You in It to Win It? – “We need to be careful here because, to be honest, any of us can get married to someone. If getting married were the goal, there’d be a lot less single people. Settling versus waiting for a perfect person is a whole other post, but the point here is that marriage is not something we earn.”