I Got Marriage Fever: The Desperate Hunt For A Spouse

isaacbeerkowski asked:

Hey pastor. I’ve recent realized that I have a habit of going to church and looking at all the ring fingers on the beautiful godly women around me. Its not that it’s a common thing in my lifestyle. I try very hard to stay pure and prepare myself accordingly for my bride. But it seems like when I go to church, a pretty specific time when I should be focused on other things…I seem to instantly become desperate to find my bride. Idk what’s going on. Are you familiar with this struggle?

Hey dear friend, you’re definitely not alone in this.

There was a time in my own life (high school & college) when I just couldn’t stand to be single. I would go after every new girl in the room. It doesn’t mean I got them; it’s just that I desperately wanted to be in a relationship all the time. Of course, when I got in one, I wanted out. It was a selfish, vicious, stupid cycle that I confess to my own shame.

I’m not saying this is where you’re at. But in psychology, there’s an informal phenomenon called an aspirational crush. It’s sometimes a paranormal relationship. It’s not exactly sexual or even relational, but it’s that thing when you have a crush on every person who makes your stomach flutter. You could call it “girl-crazy.”

There are all sorts of reasons this happens, especially because we live in a culture that’s bombarded by overly sexualized media. The church is just as guilty. There’s a church in New York that has an entire wall of pictures of married couples who met at the church, and while I understand they want to celebrate this, apparently the church is huge on hooking up singles. I can’t imagine what this does to the “less socially acceptable” single people. Overall, I find it a bit tacky and demoralizing.

But ultimately, this comes down to reflecting on what you’re really about.

The two best things I can say are:

1) Relationships are hard. They’re not fun-filled little fantasies that will satisfy your emptiness. They’re hard work. Don’t be in a rush to get in one. Work on yourself. Run after Christ. If you find someone running after Christ next to you, then she might be “the one,” but you’ll hardly notice anyway, because you’re after Christ first.

2) Marriage is not a trophy. Women are not prizes. As long as you see single women as a prop in your own story, then you’ll suffer from Main Character Syndrome. You’ll assume you’re the hero of your narrative, and women will be a catharsis in your self-completion.  You’ll be devastated if you break up and you’ll be disproportionately angry if she disagrees with you or tries to live her own life.

I’m not saying this is your motive, but I hope you examine yourself on this one. Men do this all the time, including me. I couldn’t get married until I respected my wife as a human being with her own thoughts, her own agency, and her own dreams and insecurities.

I had to stop being some lone ranger who needed an accessory on my arm. I had to stop being that guy in the back of parties who thought I was “above” everyone in the room and that I deserved special treatment. Life isn’t about me, it’s not about my solo epiphanies and my own agenda. It’s a partnership with other people. Marriage is a unique exclusive partnership in which you promote each other to your best, towards God, by God.

Until you can let go of self-idolatry, you’re not ready.  It’s okay to feel what you feel and to desire a relationship, but think through to the bottom of why you want to get there.

— J.S.

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4 thoughts on “I Got Marriage Fever: The Desperate Hunt For A Spouse

  1. Girls are guilty of doing this too. I remember when I was single, my friends and I would discuss whether or not a ring on a guys finger was a purity ring or a marriage ring….haha. Isn’t that ridiculous? But you are right …marriage is hard work. Its a gift- but I wish I would of spent more time working on my character to prepare me than checking for rings. Easier said than done though!


    1. Hah! Oh, purity rings.
      And definitely easier said than done. The pain of loneliness is not easy, but of course, it’s even harder to get involved with a person running opposite of the way you’re headed. Both paths take tons of grace and deliberate wisdom.


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