I have a confession to make.
When I got into a relationship a few years ago, I caught a distinct sentiment running through my head:
“Now it’s my turn to shut people out.”
And sadly, for a while, I did.
Perhaps I’d been roasted too often by some friend disappearing into their own little world upon finding someone. We all know the pain of finding ourselves on a friend’s back-burner. Once we find someone who really gets us, it’s amazing how expendable everyone else suddenly looks.
And that betrays a pretty awful assumption: that relationships are about us.
I’m making an assumption: that we singles are training for our future marriage with our eyes on God. We’re seeking what he wants for us, revealed through Scripture, believing it’s best, choosing even in our relationships to practice as many marriage principles as we can.
So what if Scripture led us to train as if marriage isn’t about us?
A gal I used to mentor in high school got married this past spring.
I had the privilege to attend her wedding, even drove through a May snowstorm to reach it (and not for the first time. Montana, y’all).
It was one of those affairs you never forget, the pastor interrupted by great splats of melting snow hitting the pavilion roof (and splats of happiness hitting our hearts). The couple danced to “You Are Mine” by Secret Nation and wrote their own vows, the kind bursting with yearning and breathless delight. No offense to sober liturgies, but this one actually made marriage sound exciting.
But what got me really excited about these two was hearing the pastor talk of shared purpose. Here are two people who want to share each other’s callings and are well-crafted for it. A union of two disciples who know their role, who have delved deep into God and are discovering the “good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). As if it were plotted all along.
Maybe I’m just being a guy, but this side-by-side image of marriage, rather than face-by-face, sounds way better than any rom-com.