Masochism… no no I mean Marriage!
So Tim and Kathy Keller, stars of the PCA (that’s the Presbyterian Church in America for those who aren’t in the know. not to be confused with the Porsche Club of America or the Professional Cricketers Association or the Presbyterian Church in Australia for that matter although I’ll bet Tim Keller is huge in Australia too) came out with a book on marriage called, appropriately enough, The Meaning of Marriage. I haven’t read it. I know the meaning. It’s to constantly DERIDE AND DISDAIN THE VERY EXISTENCE OF SINGLE PEOPLE THE WORLD OVER!!! It is to OPPRESS AND BELITTLE the people who just cannot seem to nab a spouse for any number of ridiculous and mostly trumped up reasons because they are too lame and picky and lazy and…
ok ok I kid. I’m really not that bitter. Um, no really!! But let’s be honest, we singles get pretty tired of married people at times and we get tired of feeling like second class citizens, only one short flight of stairs away from steerage, who get the privilege of dining in first class once in awhile when there is room at the table, made by the absence of first class couples who couldn’t join us, or on some kind of matchmaking expedition.
And if you think I’m overreacting, you might be married.
All that said, I won’t argue that everything the Kellers say in their interview and from what I’ve read in snippets of the book is dead on. There is a lot of wisdom and experience speaking through them and married couples need these resources to regroup and rekindle and rebond and recommit and rethink being a whiny you know what and grow up. Life is hard. being married is hard. Being a parent is hard. Working is hard. Sometimes cutting your food is hard. But you do it if you want to eat or you give up and think about eating tomorrow.
“Never before in history has there been a society filled with people so idealistic in what they are seeking in a spouse…. We’ve removed God and His design for marriage and replaced Him with unbearable expectations for transcendent relationships.”
I think that people who have been single as long as I have know this much more thoroughly than those who got married right after college or shortly thereafter. I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know myself, figuring out what is important to me, being disappointed by failing to achieve whatever idealistic goals I had for myself and for others, and wrestling through just exactly what I believed about God and life and love and purpose. It took what feels like a hundred years. I’m not saying you can’t do those things while married. Obviously you do and you have to. But I think about how much my priorities have changed between the ages of 23 and 33 and now embarking on 39, and I can’t help but realize that the men I dated at 23, 33 and now are all so vastly different there is no way any one of them would have stayed with me through all 3 incarnations of Robin Jester.
Then again, the fact of the matter is that when you are committed to the sovereignty and grace of God, even when you find yourself wavering with every storm that comes, you come to expect that He will give you what you need when you need it and you will do what you have to – to survive, to rebound, and to even flourish and thrive and be better, stronger, faster. God is making us bionic, so to speak. He’s creating and shaping us into the very image of Christ so that we love better and more fully, so that we meet others’ needs, so that we see situations and people’s hearts more clearly and without the lens of selfishness and arrogance, so that we learn to accept what we have and make the best of it and learn to love every moment through darkness and light, pain and sorrow, triumph and joy. And it is all good.
And if you don’t believe that, you might be single. And I feel you. But believe me, brothers and sisters, help is on the way. You may be single, but you are never alone. And we’ll send your take out box down to steerage – check the dumbwaiter periodically…