Thursday, May 28, 2009

Picket Fence Placebo

“So when are you getting married?” The pastor’s question took me by surprise. We had not been discussing my marital status. We were talking about the wonderful writer’s conference I had just attended and all the ways the Lord had blessed my time there.

“You caught me.” I said. “I’ve really been in Vegas this past week and the hubby’s just waiting out in the car.” We laughed and I walked away.

Now, my pastor knows that I’m trusting God for the plan of my life. And I thought my pastor knew that although I would like to be married (if God has that in mind for me), I am content to rely on God’s love and never marry if that’s what is asked of me. After all when you come down to it the apostle Paul is not such a bad example to follow.

So the brief conversation has been playing over in my mind. Nagging me. Why would he ask me that?

No offence to the married, but I don’t actually envy you. My hardships are not any worse, or any easier, than yours are. Marriage is a sacred union before God and I honor that and respect those who are called to marry and raise families. But I have to say -- getting married is not going to solve any problems. Being married is not a shiny pill that will cure all ills. It will not cure every unhappy moment. It will not magically make life better (just different). It will not even guarantee that I don't have to drive in city traffic and that I always have a sympathetic listener when I want to talk. I have married friends. I know whereof I speak.

The only proven cure for anyone’s life is a relationship with God. He's the only One who always listens and the only One who's love is always unconditional, abiding, and satisfying. If we are not happy as single people, if we do not feel fulfilled in our lives alone, then that picket fence and 2.5 children are just placebos. We might think it’s curing something but we’re taking the wrong medicine.

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