So… I’m still single, but realize this is my fault–if indeed it is something to be faulted with. Truth be told I’ve had numerous opportunities to put an end to singleness, but something deep within me compels me to wait further, to hold out longer. Or maybe I’m just extremely picky and choosey. Some of my friends would decidedly charge me with the latter. I think age… well, let’s call it maturity… has indeed made me more picky… well, let’s call it more thoughtful… in my deliberations and considerations over marriage and potential women.
There is very little argument to be made in advocating that the wrong relationship is to be preferred over singleness. And since I have come to appreciate and enjoy singleness over the years, as well as shed the idea that it is a “curse” to be “cured” by marriage, my heart is indeed wary over committing myself to a relationship that ends up being a whirlpool that drains life rather than a fountain that enlarges life. I’ve experienced the whirlpool before and I learned a lot… but I would rather not have a repeat.
I also have a lot of considerations the average guy does not have. For starters I am the director of an orphanage of 28 children that I love with all my heart. They affectionately decided on their own to call me “Papa.” I can leave them about as easy as I can strip off my skin and walk away from it. A relationship that would require me to abandon them is a romantic love I can do without and a flirtation I will chuck to the wind a thousand times over. Or will I? Love can be a powerful, alluring and altering force… and not knowing for sure makes me wary to put myself in such a place of decision.
But I must admit my “pickyness and chooseyness” is more than simply a concern over marrying the dreaded “wrong one” or being forced to decide between my orphan tribe and a woman loved. It also relates to selfishness… but not necessarily bad selfishness. Marriage is about learning to share life with another. Singleness, at least contented singleness, is about learning to share life with yourself–and being ok with that. In short contented singleness is about discovering and realizing, “I don’t need marriage to be happy.” I would like to think I have found this to be true in my life (not that I don’t have my bad days and moments of profound, aching loneliness).
Therefore I would never get married because I feel I need it. I would get married because I want it. But what do I want? The sex? The physical intimacy? Sure–that’s part of it, but I’m not so naive as to think that is the foundation for a lasting and happy marriage.
When I contemplate marriage its always within the context of wanting to find someone that motivates me to walk away from singleness and all it’s abiding “selfishness” and find further purpose and meaning in serving their life— in a way that only marriage can offer. It’s no accident that the Bible says when a man takes a wife he is to “love her and lay his life down for her.” Hmm… that sounds like a description of selfless service if I have ever heard one.
And that is the crux of the issue. I have simply not found someone who generates within me the desire to abandone the contentment of singleness and forever unite myself to them as a servant. I think marriage is the greatest challenge and test for a man’s strength, courage and heart… and there is a part of me that loves a new challenge. Yes–there is part of me that yearns to find someone whose very life calls out to me and says, “Here I am–the greatest of all challenges. Come and take me.”
But alas… I have yet to meet a woman who inspires me so. Until then I remain contentedly single.