There is a tendency among single folks to wish for the days of happily ever after, to wish that the perfect person to come along and magically make life better. We dream of that effortless relationship that completes us, the relationship that makes us happy and takes away all our pain.
Allow me, if you will, to burst that happy bubble of yours: a relationship or a marriage is not the solution to all of life’s problems. A relationship will not take away all of life’s pains, it won’t complete us, fulfill us, or make us perfectly and incandescently happy. A relationship, if it is true and ordered according to God’s will, will challenge you. It will frustrate you. A relationship will stretch you, your emotions, your heart, your soul, your mind, and your spirit. It will make you happy, but it won’t take away all of your struggles. The ONLY relationship that will ever do that is your relationship with God. Period. End of discussion.
We forget that. I forget that. When we try to make a relationship our band-aid for life we end up making the other person our God. As St. Catherine of Siena said, everything short of God must and will disappoint you. I’ve lived it. I get it. I’ve been that single girl who wants nothing more than to fast forward through this seemingly nothingness to the life I’m dreaming of with my husband. But guess what we are doing when we wish the present away for some future reality: we miss the journey. We miss out on all the things that will make us appreciate the struggle it will take to get us to happily ever after. Furthermore, we miss out on the God who is so patiently waiting to shower us with His love. When we wish away the present we are no better than the younger son in the parable of the prodigal son who effectively wishes his father dead when he demands his share of the inheritance. We might as well tell God that the life He is calling us to in the present moment isn’t good enough for us. How foolish and prideful we can be.
A relationship won’t complete you, only God can do that. As Peter McWilliams says, “Two halves have little choice but to join; and yes, they do make a whole, but two wholes, when they coincide, that is beauty. That is love.” Another human being cannot and will not complete us or make life all hearts and rainbows. A relationship can and should lead you to heaven, which is lasting happiness and eternal rainbows, but in and of itself, a relationship won’t take away all of life’s burdens. The bottom line is this: people are not perfect, but love can be. We waste so much time looking for the perfect lover when we should be spending our time creating the perfect love. Look to Him, who is Love, perfect Love incarnate, made flesh, made real for us to see, touch, and feel. Ask Him to show you how to love as He loves: unconditionally and perfectly.