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A question that’s been rolling around over the past three days. Probably because I was in two back-to-back weddings this weekend, both conveniently located on a ranch 30 minutes from my hometown. I forget how beautiful hay bales are.
A lot goes into a wedding: save-the-dates, engagement photos, invitations, bridal showers, ribbon, centerpieces, daisies and roses and lilies, bridesmaid gifts, bridal party photos, slideshows, playlists, first dance, last dance, cake-cutting. A lot.
I’ve begun to wonder if we’re a little obsessed. These are traditions, I know, they’re important, I know, but they take over. And if you’re a girl who’s grown up in the evangelical church, the thought of “finding your husband” probably took over long before the wedding festivities did.
In middle school and high school I was encouraged by youth leaders to pray for my husband. I tried once. It seemed the cool thing to do. I prayed that my future husband, wherever he was and whatever he was doing, would have a good day. It felt so weird, I pretty much gave up after that.
Recently I’ve begun questioning whether we should encourage youth or single adults to do this. After all, how do you pray for someone when you don’t know their prayer requests or if they even exist? They might not. Since when is marriage the be all end all of life? I’ve definitely fallen into the thinking pattern that it is. True love is the point of it all, right? Maybe wrong. That is a very worldly concept when you look at Jesus’ life. And especially when you read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Marriage is more of a bonus than a goal. So praying about it before there’s a possibility it would happen is sort of like praying for a BMW.
I used to think Paul was crazy for suggesting we don’t marry. I assumed a girl had broken his heart and he was bitter. Now his suggestion is coming into focus. I’m starting to believe that loving someone on this earth with that eros kind of love is our way of crying out to God, longing to love Him in this way but feeling we can’t because he is not physically in our midst. In this sense, marriage is a symbolic and desperate thing we do.
I’m not Paul. I’m not saying we should all stop getting married and start evangelizing. You can definitely do both. But I will say sorry to you, my future husband, for I am not praying for you daily, or really ever. It just weirds me out. I hope you understand.