You see, when we pursue a relationship with someone simply because of the way they make us feel, we are essentially turning another individual into our own personal servant who is meant to satisfy our desires.
In my bachelor days, I fell into a vicious cycle of
- meet someone new
- go on a few dates
- things fizzle out
- rinse and repeat.
This pattern really frustrated me because I didn’t want to play games. I was ready for marriage—or so I thought.
One day, I was grabbing pizza with my already-married best friend. I was catching him up on my love life: Who was I talking to? What were they like? And the most important question—Why didn’t things work out? I was in the middle of telling him and externally processing those experiences when my buddy interrupted and said, “Marriage isn’t for you, Chad.”
I mean, I was thinking he clearly was sneaking glasses of wine, or the pizza had gone bad because WHAT? I thought of myself as the most eligible bachelor I knew–and the most humble! I’m joking about that last part, but I really did think of myself as “the marriage type.” Why would my best friend, who was in a thriving marriage, tell me I was not marriage material?
I was stunned, so I pressed him for an explanation to this blasphemy but he simply repeated himself, “Chad, marriage isn’t for you.” I was thinking to myself, Okay, so I did hear him correctly, but I sure as “you-know-what”don’t understand why he feels that way. Then he finally softened the blow by explaining what he meant, and it rocked my world. His explanation completely changed the way I view marriage.
When he said marriage wasn’t for me, he explained he didn’t mean I’m not cut out for marriage, which gave me a huge sigh of relief. He was telling me that marriage isn’t for me. Then he continued, “You don’t marry someone for the way they make you feel. You marry someone for the way you want to make them feel.” In my mind I was objecting; But what about my feelings? What about what I want? But my friend was spot on. Show me a single time selfishness has served a marriage and I’ll stand corrected.
You see, when we pursue a relationship with someone simply because of the way they make us feel, we are essentially turning another individual into our own personal servant who is meant to satisfy our desires. That may work at first, but what if your desires change and they can’t fulfill them? Does that mean you are now free to move on to someone else who does give you what you want? What if the things you love about that person and the reasons you are with them change? Say they gain weight, lose their job, or go through depression? If they no longer have the attributes you love, then does that give you the right to “unlove” them?
All these are tough questions, I know … but as we open the Scripture, we see things like, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35 NLT). We also read “Wives, be willing to serve your husbands” (Ephesians 5:22 ERV), but we also find just a few verses below, “Husbands, love your wives the same as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.” (Ephesians 5:25 ERV) What do you hear when you read those verses? Because I am hearing that marriage isn’t for me.… It’s for God and my spouse.
So whether you are single as a Pringle™, have been married for years, or anything in between, it’s never too late to learn that marriage isn’t for you. Let’s take the focus off how we feel and what we think we should get and put the emphasis on how our person feels and what we are giving to marriage.