Growing up I has so many crushes. They were always the subject of sleepovers, the plot of my stories. But I was content to dream.
My senior year of high school was the first time I remember wanting a boyfriend. Before it was always a future goal for when I grew up, and suddenly it became something I wanted now. However none of my friends had boyfriends, and I knew I was still young. So I was content to wait.
But my sophomore year of college I hit a low I couldn't understand. My good friend and roommate was going to be getting married at the end of the year. It seemed like all of the girls around me were getting boyfriends and I had never even been asked out before. I found myself in a mild depression and though I prayed and begged God to make me happy with everything that He had given me, all of my Bible reading and praying didn't seem to help. I was no longer content to wait.
Then my mom told me to list out all of my expectations.
1. I thought guys would be interested in me.
2. I thought I would be asked out.
3. I thought I would have a boyfriend by my sophomore year.
4. I thought I would get married in June after I graduated, because that's what my mom did.
5. I thought all of these dreams and expectations would happen simply because I couldn't handle the thought of them not happening.
I made that list and I wondered, when did my future husband become my idol?
My dreams and wishes for the future had become my expectations. I was no longer content to pretend, dream, and wait. I was convinced it was time for me to have what I most desired, what I had waited for my whole life. My mom had gotten married right after she graduated at the age of 22, and that was exactly what I wanted. But how could that happen when I didn't have a boyfriend by my sophomore year? And that is what mostly brought on the mild depression as I walked around a campus filled with couples.
So one night in the darkness of my room I fell onto the floor and confessed all of this to Jesus and asked Him to take away this idol in my life.
I wish I could say after that night it was no longer an idol in my life. In fact the only real progress I have made in this area is that I am more quick to see my discontent, jealousy, and how my desire and expectation for marriage someday gets put above Christ.
But this is what I need to remember on the days I get discouraged:
1. Jesus already died for this sin.
I have done many terrible things in the last 21 years, but for some reason I consider this idol in my life my worst offense against God. Maybe it's because it has been a huge struggle for me for what seems like my whole life. Maybe it's because I can see how it has become the main thing causing a rift in my relationship with Jesus. But either way, Jesus paid for this sin on the cross, I accepted His gift of eternal life, and now nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. I still need to confess this sin to Him. I still desperately need His help to battle this, but I am also at peace.
2. Someday I will spend an eternity with Jesus in Heaven.
Though my flesh denies it, though my heart at times only wants the love of humans, though it is sometimes so hard to believe, this idol called my future husband, this desire in my heart that I long for, will only ever be satisfied in Heaven when I am with Jesus. He is all I want and need. He is all I possess, all that I am. He gave me breath on this earth and gave me eternal life through His death on the cross. Heaven with Him is what I truly long for, and someday that will come true.
Do I still long for an earthly husband, someday? Of course. But I have so much to look forward to when I leave this earth, and that is my true hope.
I am content to pretend, content to dream, content to wait, but unlike my singleness, I know for sure that someday this dream, this desire, this longing to see my Savior will come true.
P.S. Don't miss part 2 of this post where I will share with you more practical ways to keep your future husband from becoming an idol!