I was part of the I Kissed Dating Goodbye generation. I still remember being in that “mini-class” in my quite toxic “Christian” high school, being taught that true love waits, that we needed to be not just sexually pure, but also emotionally pure.
I bought it hook, line and sinker.
But I’m going to be raw and vulnerable here and just say that it wasn’t out of some virtuous desire in me to become pure. It was easy for me to embrace the whole deal, mainly because I’m a wallflower, never quite the belle of the ball, and it seemed like the perfect excuse to explain away my wallfower-ness.
If anyone asked why I was single, I could always just say that it’s because I was waiting. I didn’t have to tell them that no one wanted me.
Now, at thirty, I can’t quite dole out the same excuse.
I’ve waited. I’ve followed the rules. I’ve delighted in the Lord, and He has given me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). It just so happened that part of the desires He has given me is a desire for marriage. Rats. That verse. Psalm 37:4. Didn’t quite interpret that verse well when I was younger. I thought that if I delighted in Him, He would give me what I want. Instead, He gave me what to want.
And if I’m to be honest here, I want to get married. I always have.
I’ll never forget one scene at one of our church summer camps. I was telling one of the young girls in our youth group about how we ought to follow the Lord first. Typical love, courtship and marriage stuff spouted out in youth gatherings. She just shrugged it off when I told her that that’s what I wanted to do with my life. To follow God and let Him decide who I marry.
“That’s just because nobody wants you,” she said.
I wish I could’ve proven her wrong. The problem was I wasn’t sure if she was.
If there’s a woman in the Bible I relate to most in this area, it’s Leah.
Sheesh. Let me tell you… She’s a hard, painful character to relate to.
Can you imagine what it would’ve been like to be her? To be the girl who wasn’t chosen? Imagine what she felt when she saw the disappointment in Jacob’s face when he saw her and not Rachel. Imagine all those years she yearned to be loved by her husband. Can you imagine what that kind of rejection can do to a woman?
Many times, I have asked God to give me the revelation He gave Leah when she reached the point where she named her son, Judah, and determined that though unloved by her husband, she would praise the Lord.
She was a woman who died worthy of respect, and I love that about her story. I love that about her as a Biblical character, not too often mentioned.
But does that mean I want to be like her, experience what she experienced? Honestly? No. What girl does?
Still, I love that she’s in the Bible. She makes me feel less alone.
As a single woman in my thirties, I have to admit that there’s always the temptation to build up walls like I did in my I Kissed Dating Goodbye season. I’m often tempted to tell everyone that I’m not meant for marriage after all and that I’m enjoying being single. That, however, would be a lie.
Well, I am enjoying my independence as a single woman. I’m not some decrepit woman, who’s withering away and overall pathetic. Puh-leeze. There is so much to delight in, so much to be thankful for, so much God has blessed me with.
But if I told you that I feel like I’m not meant for marriage, that He hasn’t promised me marriage… That right there… that’s the lie.
Why am I tempted to lie? To protect myself from this reality, from the reality that even at this age, there are some things I need to deal with regarding who I am as a woman, as a human being, as a Christian before I could get married.
I feel like He’s trying to deal with an area of my heart that’s full of denial, idealism and yes, religiosity. These things have left me vulnerable all these years.
Consider this post an introduction. I plan to write more on this as God reveals more of His heart and thoughts regarding this area. But this is as authentic as I can get at this point. This is me sharing God’s answers as I reach the point where I need to ask a question that touches a very sensitive part of my femininity: If I am beautiful, if I am fearfully and wonderfully made, why am I not wanted? Why am I not pursued?
What is wrong with me?
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.