The Thirst: Romance & Marriage
The thirst is real and it's not even cuffing season yet! I have to fight against the urge to click on the basic-ness that are "how to" relationship blogs. You know the ones...
"10 Ways to Tell He Likes You"
"10 Ways Your Body Language May Be Running the Guy of Your Dreams Away"
"10 Pickup Lines That Actually Work"
"10 Scents That Will Captivate His Attention"
"Battle of the Proposals: Prom vs. Marriage"
Trending Topics like #RelationshipGoals and #Bae filled with pictures of Hollywood couples that may very well break up next week.
I'm being silly, but you know that these things actually exist. I'll be turning 25 at the end of September, and I have to change my train of thought sometimes, thinking about how disappointed 9 year old me would be if she knew that I was still single. I don't mind (most times, if I'm being honest), but I feel a tad bit like a failure, knowing that she's crying bloody murder in a corner somewhere. *thug tear*
Throughout college I had my fair share of Christian relationship/dating book reading - a lá Joshua Harris & Elizabeth Elliot...yes, I'm mildly ashamed. I also had my fair share of relationship forums/roundtables and Bible studies - I believe that I should have some sort of honorary degree or certificate for the hours I've spent in Christian Dating 101-type seminars. I thought I'd heard all I could about relationships and how to get myself together so that God could finally send my Boaz/Isaac/Jacob.
Yet, here I am, still apart of the #EmptyLeftHandClub, or as some friends and I have called it "Together Forever Alone Always".
But is romance and marriage really the end all? As believers, is our ultimate goal or sign of spiritual maturity really marriage? Or, is there something even greater that, perhaps, marriage should point to? (Don't you just love rhetorical questions?)
More than ever is this topic applicable to my stage in life, as the #RelationshipGoals series will be geared specifically toward singles. I'm not sure if I'm reluctant or excited to hear the series (maybe excited, but only because I got to hear the inside scoop on some of the topics! I will be at church during these upcoming weeks.).
I'm always a bit reluctant because of our culture's obsession with romance and the Church's obsession with marriage as an ultimate goal in life. It may not be explicitly said, but in many ways it is implied.
I'm not anti-love/marriage, but I am against this idea that being single means that either you're miserable and lonely or actively looking for love. I'm also against this false notion that there's a "perfect one" or "soul mate" out there for everyone, when in actuality some of us will die single....and that's okay. But do we really believe that?
Romance: In our culture we see this obsession with TV shows, movies and Youtube series (insert shameless plug on Issa Rae & Jahmela Biggs' "First" series - great story, excellent music!). Back to my point - obsession with romance is everywhere! The messier and more ridiculous the storyline, the more views, likes or admirers to follow. Nowadays, the bigger the proposal (even as early as high school prom!), the better. People in our culture like to catch "the feels", as I like to call them. The feels are what happen when you see a really cute puppy, a newborn baby, your favorite team wins the championship or *insert other tear-jerker moment*. It's the butterfly feeling you got when you received an origami letter from your crush in the 6th grade. We're obsessed with romance! There's a reason why people still talk about The Notebook being one of the best movie love stories ever...people like to be deep into their feelings. Our culture loves a good love story - or a certain image of a love story.
Marriage: In the Church, this obsession looks like older women constantly trying to play matchmaker or reminding me every moment they get that they are "praying for my husband". These things aren't inherently awful, but can become dangerous if we think that every single woman (or man) is supposed to be married someday.
As I always tell people, Jesus was single and I'm supposed to look like him so.... #Winning.
Again, I don't want to sound as though I'm anti-marriage - I'd actually like to get married one day and adopt (yes, adopt!) a few children - we are, after all, wired for relationships and community. However, the idol of romance and marriage in our culture and in the Church are the real issues. The thirst is ever so real even for Christians, as is the false belief that there's no purpose in being single as if we're in limbo. Y'all, this isn't Inception! Wake up!!
I believe that there is beauty in marriage when it isn't looked at as an ultimate goal for Christians, but as a reflection of the Gospel. I also believe there's beauty in being single when it isn't looked upon like a curse or just interim period until marriage happens. There is room for fruitful community, spiritually growth and everlasting joy no matter what your relationship status is.
Our #RelationshipGoal is to glorify and reflect the image of God - single, married or "complexicated". If you're in Miami, I encourage you to check out The Brook for this upcoming series, as we live out our purpose to "Thirst for More"....something and a relationship with someone that will never fail.