DISCLAIMER: I’m still in love with Stephen. I’m not bitter. I can see how that could be thought though. But seriously. I’m in love with him. I just had some things that needed to be said.
This is not necessarily going to be a fun post. It’s probably going to step on some toes. I can return to regularly scheduled jovial programming tomorrow.
This is not a post to pronounce my expertise at marriage. I’ve been at it for 16 days. I know nothing. Seriously. This is a post to say some things that I think need to be said.
I was (and still am, for that matter) 27 when I married Stephen. I think it’s important to note that because of that I had seen a lot of friends get married, start their families, some get divorced, and struggled with some jealousy of wanting my own family. Something I was told often, and am still told is that marriage is the best thing ever. Or, it’s the most important thing. Or it’s God’s plan. And I’ve got some things to say about those sentiments, and a few other sentiments that have been expressed to me.
When you tell a single girl that marriage is the best thing, or the most wonderful thing, or any number of ways to express that sentiment, particularly a single girl that you either know would love to get married, or a single girl you don’t know very well, what it is extremely easy for that girl to hear is “Until you get married, you have minimal to no worth.” And I know that it might be hard to understand why we hear that, but we do. Because you see, if something is the BEST thing, then it stands to reason that everything else is sub par. And I’m definitely not convinced that being single is to be sub par.
Another problem with announcing that marriage is the best thing or most wonderful thing, is that it makes it awfully difficult to have your first loyalty be Christ. Because really, words mean what they mean. Best means best. And simply saying, “Well, I didn’t really mean that.” isn’t really sufficient. After all, we learn in the Bible that “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
When we announce that marriage is God’s plan, we forget about some other things. First of all, God’s plan is for salvation. It’s for his glorification; it’s for our salvation; it’s not specifically for marriage. I believe that marriage is the best plan for families. But. I can’t find anything to support that marriage is the only way to live life as a human. And if that’s the case, then marriage simply cannot be God’s plan. At least, not when the definition is that broad.
I know that I’m probably going to be told that I’m splitting hairs. That I’m too sensitive, and that I wasn’t listening carefully when people were and are speaking to me. I’d be willing to be OK with that, except, sometimes we all need correction. In fact, one of the best things about my marriage is that Stephen provides me with some correction. It’s wonderful.
The other thing I have to say is this: why don’t older women help younger women? Or at least, why is it so difficult to find older women to mentor younger women? I’ve been married for 16 days. I know nothing. And I can count on one hand the number of women who were willing to tell me when I was single that marriage was hard. I’d like to buy those women presents, but I can’t afford it right now. In all seriousness though, where’s the help? Where’s the biblical pattern of older women teaching the younger women? Cause really, I, and probably most other young wives, could use the help.