One of my favorite pictures from my childhood is one taken on Halloween of my dad and I. I am in a stunning bridal dress with a beautiful black, curly wig covering my face with my arms are wrapped around my dad. I was about 5 years old and I had proclaimed that when I grew up I was going to marry my father. I have loved the idea of marriage ever since I could remember.
I’m not sure if whether to blame Hollywood, 90s/Early 2000s R+B/Pop music, or my childhood memories of my parents being together but from a young age I have wanted to be married. Strange thing though, I never envisioned my wedding, but my life with my husband was always my go-to day dream. I would see myself getting off work, rushing home to let the dog out. I would then begin to prep dinner and my husband would come home with an exquisite bottle of wine and assist me in kitchen. We would cook together, tell about our day, eat a candle-light dinner, slow dance in the kitchen and end the night with some sweet love-making! Oh yes! Alex knew exactly what she wanted in the marriage department. I truly believed that marriage would kill my most inner demons- my insecurity, my painful childhood memories and my fear of being alone.
I am now in my 5th year of marriage and I look back on my naive mindset to believe that marriage was going to fill in the deep cracks in my soul and shake my head. This is not a marriage-bashing blog post. Marriage is God’s idea and He only creates good ones. But marriage is not your savior, and if I could go back and whisper anything into preteen Alex’s heart I would say, “The pain you feel in your heart can not be remedied by lust masquerading as love. Try Jesus. He is The One who never fails”. Song of Songs 8:4, the only book in the Bible whose sole mission is to teach about romance, marriage and sex, says in New International Version “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” If you awaken love before its time you are creating an idol in your heart of marriage. Idols only have one purpose: dissatisfaction. The heart was only meant to gaze on one person- Jesus. No one else can handle the intrinsic details of your soul like Jesus and no one else was meant to.
If you walk into your marriage thinking your husband or wife is supposed to fulfill, esteem, satisfy or drive your purpose you are actually walking into your divorce. Harsh words, I know, but it’s true. After being married for 5 years with four kids I have actually come to a crazy realization that marriage isn’t even primarily a journey between husband and wife, the real journey is between spouse and Jesus. My true commitment is to Jesus. My highest accountability is to Jesus. The only person who can change me and my husband is Jesus. I am called to a higher standard. I am called to submit to my Husband as the church submits to Christ—no matter how my husband is acting. (Unconditional Love is all the rage but no one speaks about unconditional respect.) My husband is called to lay his life down for me as Jesus laid down his life for the church— no matter how I am treating him! This kind of love can only happen if one spends his/her time not idolizing marriage, or coveting other people’s marriages but by gazing upon and worshiping Jesus.
All you single folks out there, please do not spend your time making an idol out of marriage. Spend this time getting to know your Maker. Spend this time figuring out His mission for your life. I used to spend my single-day mornings worshiping my savior with abandon and without a care in the world of my volume. I miss those mornings. I wouldn’t trade my mornings now with my husband and my babies but I simply wish I enjoyed those worshiping mornings more. You will never have as much time in your life as you do now. That’s why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7 “Because of this, we need to live as free from anxiety as possible. For a single man is focused on the things of the Lord and how he may please him. But a married man is pulled in two directions, for he is concerned about both the things of God and the things of the world in order to please his wife. And the single woman is focused on the things of the Lord so she can be holy both in body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the things of the world and how she may please her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 TPT. There is so much wisdom in those verses.
For all of my married folks, if your still idolize your perfect fantasy marriage (been there!) or if you are flaming with a jealous fire at your (perceived) perfect friends’ marriage (been there!) take courage and hope that knowing all that has happened is a misplacement of your worship. Do a heart check and examine what you are looking for to save you. Is it a perfect marriage? endless Romance? Sex? Money? Instagram-worthy relationship pics? Whatever it is, release it and give it to Jesus. Knowing that He can resurrect, restore and realign anything, any one and any situation! Put your focus, your energy and your face on your Maker. Let Him into all the areas of your life, your heart and your soul. Let Him do away with whatever sat on the throne of your heart and ask Him to sit there instead and watch every other area of your life blossom. The heart is an idol-making factory. Idols lead to dissatisfaction. Let Jesus crush all idols and accept His invitation to find rest, love and ultimate satisfaction through Him.. He is worthy to be praised. He is worthy of your worship. He, alone.
Written By: Alex Yates