I hadn’t forgotten, but this has been stewing in my head for a few days now, enhanced by a couple of articles that have appeared on some of the blogs/websites I follow and some conversations. Contextually for the rest of you I got this email on the 22/2/06:
Just a question for you to have a think about from reading your quiz.
Why do you want “Mr. Right”?
What do you think it is within you that drives this desire?
So I have been thinking about this and I hope by no longer putting off writing this blog that the ‘outloud’ method will help clarify a few things in my own mind and maybe prompt some thought in some of those very fine tuned blog readers of mine.
To set the record straight I am not discontent in my status of being single – at least not currently ha, and I’ve had my rant on defining self according to relationship somewhere back here already. Go here to read an interesting article here on contentment. This is not to say I’m not frustrated at times, however frustration can be a good thing (Rom 8:20-21) whether that fits in this kind of circumstance I’m not sure.
I think the question in that email came about because I was previously talking about how I responded to a question posed at the new YITS camp.
Somebody asked something along the lines of, “Has YITS prepared you better for going into a relationship”. There were a couple of answers all along the same lines, one I remember fairly clearly was by Emma who said, no as YITS does tend to blow your brain full of questions and you’re left with a lot to sort out. I understand fully that she meant temporarily – and it’s not a good idea to go into a relationship coming straight out of the year for the same reason they don’t recommend it during the period. To be alternative and quite to my surprise I put a yes answer to the question, in that the year had better prepared me for closer/more honest/open relationships. Honestly I hadn’t thought of it previously at all and was quite surprised when the thought formulated itself into words that inisted on being spoken.
So in talking about this, I pointed out that I keep getting the sneaking suspicion that God is pushing me closer towards that kind of relationship. Stepping back to look at the bigger picture though, it would be fairly concerning (to those of us wanting one day to get married) to not be growing further towards a position where a relationship would be… ah what word do I use here? Appropriate? Good? Right?
Simply, we are all growing as individuals and we cannot but help be in a better place for a relationship as we grow/mature etc. I’m sure there are occasionally disturbances to the rule.
The curious thing about so called ‘late marriages’ which tend to happen far more often apparently (Don’t know what it is with so many of my friends getting engaged) in the western world is that by the time one thirty plus year old marries the other they are extremely distinct individuals. I see nothing wrong with this, but there is a slight pro-young marriage argument there which is surprising as it is usually the other way around. The young couple does more of their growing/learning together. Which in this period of history could be fairly disasterous as divorce is a far easier option than it used to be and so people have less weight on the ‘trying to work through things’. /tangent
In my mentioning of wanting a Mr. Right I am pointing towards the bigger picture of my life. I have… actually I can’t say that. Was going to say, I have no idea of when that might be. Because of something I believe God told me about quite a few years ago now – however I’m hold anything like that extremely losely. I am certainly not talking about within the next year in putting a Mr. Right on my ‘want’ list on some quiz.
Yes it is a desire of mine to one day be married.
Where does this desire come from?
Easy answer would be, “Ha, I haven’t a clue, how can you explain something like that? Does want have a source?”
I am not obsessive about it. I don’t think about it ALL the time. I don’t line up my male friends in my head wondering who might be appropriate. I do my best not to mind flirt with relationships that could work. You could blame my reserved, analytical, make no mistake personality. Or simply call it common sense.
A lot of desire I think comes from what – for the sake of a Christian cliche – I’ll call our sinful nature. You can’t help but wonder how much it falls back to the ‘curse’. Eve’s consequences:
To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband,and he will rule over you.” – Gen 3:16
Tracking back to some insight from A Road Less Travelled M.Scott Peck defines love as, “The desire to extend oneself for the welfare or “spiritual” growth of another.”
The position of being in that kind of relationship essentially doesn’t have a lot to do with what you get out of it. It has pretty much nothing really, it’s all about the other individual. And no I’m not saying I don’t want to have romance because that would be a beyond huge lie.
Which brings up another question, does desire have anything to do with love? Or is it as Tim Hein said, simply (in it’s most basic form) a way to ‘trap us into marriage’ where the real love grows. Saying that exculsively is probably a slight exaggeration but I’d like to throw up all ideas into the air.
Essentially marriage is a gift for this lifetime (I have absolutely no idea where there’s a reference to that but I think there is somewhere) and not present in heaven, not as we know it. Heaven is where marriage takes a totally new/fuller picture – and the ‘bride of Christ’ references probably expand exponentially.
Can you talk from a position of want and desire when marriage is a gift?
I was trepassing some links (thanks to Google and numerous searches and trailing) and came across this quote by the author of The Dark Night of the Soul (which I haven’t read yet):
“In our society, we have come to believe that discomfort always means something is wrong. We are conditioned to believe that feelings of distress, pain, deprivation, yearning, and longing mean something is wrong with the way we are living our lives.Conversely, we are convinced that a rightly lived life must give us serenity, completion, and fulfillment. Comfort means “right” and distress means “wrong.” The influence of such convictions is stifling to the human spirit. Individually and collectively, we must somehow recover the truth. The truth is, we were never meant to be completely satisfied.” – Gerald May
There is the throw back to desire as a core part of our ‘sinful nature’, but there is also this relational hard wiring that comes from being created by a trinitarian and relational God.
Ephesians talks a fair bit about love,
“Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Eph. 5:1-2
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Significantly in relation to Christ and the church. The bride metaphor for the church with Jesus as the bridegroom is profound in speaking of a relational God.
What amuses me most is the very short mention of mystery. Love is a mystery.
Proverbs says it again:
“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand… and the way of a man with a maiden.” -Prov 30:18-19
Should’ve just used that as my arguement to say, “I haven’t a clue” 😉 and left it all there!
Lastly, and much to my relief I am reassured that marriage/relationship is a GOOD thing, not that I didn’t know it, but God explictly says so. Hey look, he even created it!
“The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” – Gen 2:18
I could go on a billion and one tangents to point about that man was not ‘alone’ so to speak, God was there. Something else however was needed. Whala! A woman.
To be desperately honest. I personally think we all side far more with the first (sinful nature) side of desire. Whereby we are self fulfilling and attempt to meet our own needs by having that significant other in our life, deciding that all our problems will be solved after marrying the person of our dreams, we will no longer be alone or lonely, lost, unappreciated, unnoticed, unaffirmed, unloved and we get to have a warm happy content feeling as an added bonus! We ALL want love in some way shape or form.
I do not think that to desire marriage or love is wrong but carefully asessing motives and our position in life for whether marriage is a suitable option is important.
Love afterall is, “patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” – 1 Cor 13:4-8
Why I want a relationship like marriage?
I don’t want to do life alone, however, a good proportion, infact most of life will always be done alone. I am distinctly individual – no one’s going to change that regardless of where they fit in my life. As my family, my friend or my husband. Hebrews 10 talks about spuring one another on. We weren’t created to be alone. If we are married or even if we stay single the rest of our lives there should always be those around to be with, to ‘do life’ together.
I should and hopefully am making it my absolute priority to purse ‘intimacy’ with God as he’s the only who can truly walk this life with me, but another to share and to parallel journey with me would have to be one of the best things in the world.
And that Tony, is why I want.