i have and serve a marriage idol.
i have held marriage as in idol in my life. it is something that we are trained to want from the time we are young. i think it starts with disney. :) to be happy and to live a fulfilling life, you grow up and get married. this is how it works and this is the goal. for as long as i can remember, this has been on my radar. but as i have gotten older, rather than just hoping for it, i have found myself grasping for it. questioning why the lord has not brought it to me yet and then rather than trusting him, i resort to my own solutions. "be more approachable." "dress this way." "be skinnier." "be funnier." "you are too picky." "put yourself out there more." etc. and when marriage didn't happen, i would just move on to the next solution becoming more and more enslaved to my idol.
now, because being discontent with god is a sin and because i wanted people to think i was fine, i would cover this idol with spiritual things and twist verses like:
"delight yourself in the lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." psalm 37:4i would try to make god into my genie or force him into letting me marry. of course, i completely believe that these verses are true, and i believe that my god wants to give me good things and bless me, but he was also quick to show me what was wrong with my motives. if i am completely honest, most of the time, i am not delighting in the lord and who he is (like i was proclaiming). rather i am delighting myself in the idea of godly marriage and using him to get it. though i would never admit it, my desire to be married exceeded my desire for the lord and i held marriage as the end all. i would be happier or more fulfilled if only i had that. and that, my friends, is called idolatry. and as far as that verse about burning with passion, well the lord basically told me that through his spirit i have self-control, so i needed to quit making excuses.
"to the unmarried and the widows i say that it is good for them to remain single as i am. but if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. for it is better to marry than to burn with passion." 1 corinthians 7:8-9
i have faked being content with singleness many times. there have been some times in life where i have been close, but i have never been able to fully let go and believe that i was going to be okay, until recently. so to fake this contentment, i have explained it away. i have made excuses for the lord keeping me single for quite some time. i would say things like, "i am so glad the lord has me single right now so i can do this ministry or these things. i would not be able to if i was married." this is completely true, but i was just using them to cover my greatest fear. i did not really believe them and i was for sure not able to rejoice in the gift of singleness. occasionally, i even allowed myself to think i was somehow better because i was single. i had to endure more than those that were married. i basically was just making a martyr of myself.
this has helped hold me over and at times i actually meant it, but the truth is, i was far from content. i found comfort in these spiritual excuses. i needed something to make myself feel better as my friends and women i walked with or even discipled got married and and started having kids. but clearly this was not the answer to my problem. though i have used these techniques for years, i finally gave in and started examining this great fear of mine. why was i so terrified?
to be continued...