I recently made a decision, and a purchase to go along with it.
To get the first question out of the way, no, I am not married. At least, not in the usual sense.
I wear this ring every single day, on my left ring finger. I have been asked (surprisedly) a few times by co-workers if I’m married, and I usually laugh and say no, make some sort of joke about keeping the ladies away (as if I need help with that), and try to not have to explain the whole thing. That’s what this blog is for, after all; explaining things.
The past year has been tumultuous for me, to say the least, especially the last six months or so. They have been extremely emotional months. Really, my being a romantic is something that I am thankful for, it allows for a certain perspective otherwise lost on people, but … it does cause much complication — only to be multiplied by the absurd intensity of teenage hormones and emotional concerns. I am thankful for my romanticism, in and of itself, but not a fan of the difficulty that walks in its very large shadow. So, I have made a deliberate, mental decision, devoid of emotional involvement.
I have decided to not marry. At least … that’s the plan.
Now, to get it out of the way, no, I am not claiming to believe I know God’s will for my relational future, nor am I saying that I will never get married — I can’t see where I’ll be ten years from now, but God can. Yet God allows us to make our own decisions, and learn from them, to help us grow. That being said, I know that if His plan is for me to marry, then I’m going to end up married. I know that. The choice I have made, is to avoid to the best of my ability all non-platonic relationships for as long as possible. And to pray for a whole lot of strength from my Father, because I’ll need it. Frankly, I am a growing man with very (very) strong emotions, and I’m in a difficult period of development — I hate the teenage years. The fact is, this is what I believe is best for me. And for others.
Some months ago when I was struggling with some things (also emotionally fueled), I sat down with myself and my journal, and asked myself some questions, answering them as honestly as possible. One of the questions and its answer was as follows.
Q: You see dating and marriage, for yourself, as a selfish desire and act?
A: For the most part.
I know for a fact that this will strike certain people as odd and nonsensical, but remember that this was my honest answer, and it still is. The reason I see it this way, is because for my part, I want a romantic relationship for gain; to gain an encourager, to gain a lifelong friend, to gain a shoulder to cry on. Also to gain someone who I canalways be there for. But the fact is, I can be there for people as a friend, as a brother in Christ, as a Christian who longs to love as Christ loves. My dad tells me that I’ll end up a selfish old man if I don’t marry, but I just cannot believe that. I’m choosing to remain single out of a desire to love all equally, and give myself up for all equally. I so greatly enjoy being able to spend time with people, to give myself to others. I am not saying one cannot do this as a married man, but I do recognize that when married, a man needs to make his wife the priority above all other people, aside from God, who must always remain on top. I am choosing to keep God on top, and put everyone else on the same level below Him. I believe that being single offers me more freedom to do that. Though I could be wrong.
This isn’t easy at all. Even right now in this moment, I’m thinking of the possibility of God having other plans for me. Thinking of someone in particular, who I’ll never deserve, who I hurt very badly. I can never express how sorry I am for what I did to this person. Nor can I explain to you how dear she still is to me. I pray for her always, and wish only the greatest blessings on her. Any other time this choice I’ve made rings clear in my being, and gives off no uncertainty. This person, however … this person has set a standard to which I can’t help holding all others. I don’t really know what else to say.
But now I’ve explained myself better for you all. The ring is a symbol, as any other wedding ring is. The way I described it for my sister was this: this ring, for me, serves as a purity ring, and a promise ring, and finally a wedding ring; to remain pure, all my life, as a promise to my Beloved, to whom I will be wedded when I get Home. I am the bride of Christ. I don’t know what plans He has for me, but I’m not going to stand still to find out.
[original blog entry]