By Jordan Davidson |
Fall weather has finally reached Texas which means that fall break, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are just around the corner.
As much I adore the arrival of the holiday season, there is an impending sense of dread that comes when I realize that I will soon be interrogated by family members about my relationship status over my mom’s homemade macaroni and cheese.
There’s a lot of societal pressure imposed on young Christian women, especially those in college, to find their husbands early. Whether it’s “ring by spring” during senior year or a “camp crush” that has the potential to turn into something more, Christian communities put a lot of emphasis on young women finding the “right one.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against getting into a serious relationship. I definitely want a boyfriend and, eventually, a husband, but my desires do not always equate to what I receive. Although mostly well-meaning, the influence by my loved ones to date, get married and have children can be really misleading.
First of all, the constant pressure from friends and family to seek out a relationship can be a burden on the boundaries I set for myself. I have pretty high standards when it comes to who and how I date and I’m not going to sacrifice those so that I can fulfill a false obligation in such a short and busy season of my life. Forcing myself to find a potential love interest right now might compromise what I believe should constitute a relationship in the first place.
Second of all, this pressure to date feels like it’s undermining the value that God has placed in a potential future relationship just because it isn’t happening right now. As much as I currently want a boyfriend, the right opportunity has just not presented itself for me. Just because something isn’t happening right this second does not necessarily mean that God can’t do it later in my life. As a matter of fact, I love that the Lord continues to allow me to grow on my own so that when I do enter a relationship, I am more mature.
Third, telling me that I should really start “putting myself out there” so that I can hurry up and get married falsely prioritizes marriage as the most important thing that’s going to happen in my life. Although marriage is one of the biggest decisions and life commitments that I will ever make, it is not my end-all.
I’m making a lot of other important decisions at this moment in my life and, despite the well-meaning probing about my (non-existent) love life by family, friends, and random strangers, I want people to be invested in the things that affect my future in other measurable ways too.
By subjecting young Christian women to date while they are still in the very early stages of young adulthood, we are completely missing the point of searching for the right person to have a beautiful, life-filled, and hopeful marriage with.
What matters most is that I’m getting married to the right person for the right reasons. I want to know and trust who I am going to marry. Unfortunately, seeking out the next person that will go on a date with me and then hurrying into a relationship with seven months left before I graduate probably won’t provide a space for that.
Although it may be difficult for some family members and friends to grapple with, I’m coming home single to Thanksgiving again. And even without a boyfriend, I’m going to be coming home happy, healthy, excited about my future and even more excited about eating all that homemade mac and cheese.
It may seem cliché, but I know that God has a plan. Despite my own desires and my friends and family’s wishful thinking, God will bring me someone when the time is right—even if it’s not before Christmas break.