Monday, July 17, 2006

Love is in the air...

If "love is in the air" then what am I breathing???

Rachel and Mike have been married for a week. Hanna and Alan have been married for two days. My cousin gets married in August. Everyone I talk to knows at least a handful of people getting married.

As a single woman with weddings galore I get the usual questions like:

"So, Jaclyn, are you seeing anyone?" (A dumb question when you think about it logically, since I have sight and am usually with them when they ask!)

I try my best to answer their intended question and not the one they really stated, "No, I do not have a man in my life that is pursuing me with the intentions of marriage."

That response usually takes people by surprise because who in their mid-twenties these days is thinking THAT seriously about marriage? Isn't this the time to "find yourself," have fun before you "settle down," "explore" what you want in a marriage partner and establish yourself? I don't think so, but many who ask the questions do!

Therefore, since I am a girl who is boy-less, in the romantic sense, everyone seems to take it upon themselves to "find this poor lonely girl a boy that will make her happy." Most of the options they present makes me want to laugh, not because the young men are not respectable, but because they are not men who meet my standards.

"You'll never get married with your high standards, Jaclyn," those who are filled with unbelief mock. Well, I choose to believe that God will answer all of my prayers because my standards flow from a heart that has a desire to honor Christ. Furthermore, the longer I live and grow in my relationship with Jesus the more intense my standards become. "Don't be so hard on the boys, they are just boys, you know. They will grow up." And for the record: I don't want to marry a man who is still a boy.

Finally, there is a third group of people, not the matchmakers or disbelievers, but those who think I am already married. To whom, you ask? Well, you see, Ben and I go everywhere together. We sit next to eachother, talk kindly, discuss details, giggle, whisper, argue and disagree. I compliment Ben on a job well done; He opens doors for me. Ben is looking more and more mature for his age and I guess I am looking younger and younger for mine.

People ask us all the time, "So, how did you guys meet?"

Ben, as Ben would, loves to have fun with this question. He drags out a long story about how he was in the hospital one day. The first time he laid eyes on me he knew I was the woman of his dreams. And then... the doctor placed me in her arms. It was his "birth" day. People are either rolling on the floor in laughter or extremely confused.

My mom has always affectionately called Ben "Dick Van Dyke." If you know Ben even a little you will agree that it fits him perfectly. As a pair we COULD be called the Lone Ranger and Toto, Batman and Robin or Frodo and Sam. But, noooo....

We are either:
1- Rob (Dick Van Dyke) and Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) Petrie from the Dick Van Dyke Show (pictured above). Rob is comical, mischievous, tall, lanky, has silly facial expressions, goofy, serious when needs to be and tender. Laura is sensible, too serious sometimes, proper and laughs when she needs to!


2- Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables. Matthew and Marilla are an old bachelor and maid brother sister pair who never married. They lived together forever, adopted a firey red-headed orphan named Anne and died happy.

You take your pick at what YOU want to call us, we have a special place in our hearts for both!

So, with weddings all around I take extra time to pray. I pray for my friends who are entering a sacred union. I pray for my parents in their marriage. I pray for my siblings and the people they will marry. I pray that God would continue to fashion me into a woman of Christ-likeness that would compliment a man to the utmost of my abilities. I pray that my earthly Prince would find his satisfaction in and know Christ more intimately.

Overall I pray that God would keep me from believing the lie that marriage is fulfillment and the end goal of my life. It is neither. May it never be that I waste my life "waiting" around for romance or wallowing in self-pitying discontentment. Do not misunderstand me, I would love to marry someday and have a quiver full of children!

It is not my life now... and that's ok. God is life. And He is enough.


Spanish Morning said...

Wow. Pardon me for sending a good friend to read this post! I think it will encourage her! It encourages me...and I'm married! However, for me everyone around is having babies. I can't think of one engaged person. :-P

Jaclyn said...

So maybe it is just the air in Colorado that is causing weddings! Although, I know my fair share of pregnant women too! Except for me it is people on #6, not #1!

I hope your friend reads this post and leaves a comment too!

Kathie said...

Jaclyn, you have encouraged me as well, in several areas. 1)Be sensitive the they young women in our church (althought I don't think I ever have or ever would ask if they had a man in their life)who are unmarried. 2) there are young women (and I assume men) who are content with God alone,but also long for the blessings of marriage and children and 3)a reminder to pray not only for the marriages of my older girls and my marriage but also Hope's future (if it is God's will) husband. I do this on occasion but not consistantly, like I should. Thank you again for being used of God to encourage and prod me :)

Trin said...

Interestingly, I can only think of one person I know that is getting married soon and one person that will be having a baby soon. They're both my sisters :D. The elder (of the two) is having her 2nd child in a little over a month, the younger sister is engaged to be married in December.

Between the two of them, talk often cycles back around to me and why I'm not married (or dating) or who is going to find me that "nice girl to marry". Thankfully most people don't try to dig any deeper after my, "I don't think I'm ready to be married just yet". Granted this worked a lot better when I was still in school, or when I was looking for a job, or when I had just started my job. But the answer is an honest one, not out of the usual fear of committment or love of bachelorhood (I would love to have someone I connected to, to be committed to, to share life with), but instead stemming from an idea I've always had growing up about The Order of how I want to pursue these things. I think I've always been a bit traditional in that I would need to be capable of providing for a family before starting one. And so if I wanted to be sure I had my necessary education and job and home and financial responsibility first, then I should probably not even start the search until those things were in place. Just as I thought I was ready to provide for a family (and thus begin the search), I came to the realization that I was not ready to provide in the role of spiritual leader. So the quest of many months has been to discover what it means to be a godly leader, a man after His heart, and to understand what I believe and why. (the question of course remains of how to know I've progressed far enough along this [I believe] life-long quest, to know I'd be ready to be a good husband/leader).

By the way, I recently found this interesting site, Boundless, which is tied to Focus on the Family and geared toward single men and women.

BenZ said...

I know that one day some other guy will come in and take my big sis away from me. But until that day I'll treasure every moment, even when you ask me to do the dishes, even when I know I treat you ill. Some man will have to earn a lot of respect from me before he can waltz off with my sister. I'll miss you some day and the times we shared, but I'd never trade them!

Katie said...

Hmmm...I can only say the air in the Northwest is alive and well. =)

And my brother and I are married about half the time. The other half we are twins. (I am a year older, and he is six inches taller than I.) If we have any younger siblings with us, they are our children. We must be quite well preserved for our ages since one of our "children" is my fourteen year old brother.

If Paul and Mom aren't there, then Dad and I are married. Since Dad has gray hair and some people still think I'm sixteen even though I'm several years beyond...I wonder how that connection gets made....

And I'm with you on waiting it out for the man who will meet a high standard. I don't need or want a perfect man. But I know that God wants me to want the company of people who are seeking after HIS standards of living.

I love Psalm 112. I kind of think of it as the Proverbs 31 for God's men...and I am willing to wait for that kind of man.

Rachel's Jeremy said...

Good post Jaclyn. And I have to say that sticking to your standards is the right thing to do---assuming they are God's standards! :-)

Katharine, you're right about the NW having some of that "air" too! I've been to weddings every-other weekend it seems this summer. Have one this weekend too.

Spanish Morning said...

Awww to Ben's comment. He'll have to meet my approval as well! ;-)

Galant said...

Many of my friends have been 'picked off' in recent years. Some times I look at myself and wonder - not why am I all alone - but how different my life seems to most other people I know.

I grew up not really thinking about marriage. It was never a great desire of mine and so when I think about it I tend to approach it from a completely different perspective. I wonder, "Am I going to wake up one day with a reality check that everyone else had 'life' understood early and got on with it whilst I lived in a dream world and now I'm far behind"? My outlook on life sometimes seems so 'theoretical'. Yet here I am.

I've thought much about marriage this past year. The one thing I'd say to people is please make the most of it and live it up for all that it really is. It is such an awesome creation and reflection of God, the prospect is marvellous and so daunting yet at other times seems so natural.

Don't let what seems so natural make it so earthly you miss the bigger picture and awe, but I guess also, don't let the awe overwhelm you so that you make it more difficult than the gift God gave us in making us men and women.

And now I feel like going up a hill and meditating! :)

Jaclyn said...

Hahaha, Galant, you make me laugh by saying "picked off." The older I get the more weddings I attend... except mine! :-P

The last year God has taught me just how sacred, beautiful and holy marriage is in His perfect design. His plan is more than we can imagine and we, as His people, have definately lost sight of that. I agree with you when you say, "The one thing I'd say to people is please make the most of it and live it up for all that it really is."

How can we convince the world of the intense love Jesus has for humanity if one of God's ways to portray that love (marriage) is a pitiful reflection among the people who say they HAVE God's love?!?! Did that make sense? One of the reason's I desire marriage is because I have a longing to have a marriage that will stun the world with the love of Jesus.

Yet, lately, my prayer has been (assuming that I will one day be married) that God will make me the most like Jesus that He can without marriage. I do not want to spend my young adult life "waiting" around for Mr. Right, wasting away in impatience. This is the time of my life when I can use my gifts and talents without hinderances of marriage and family. When I get to the point in my relationship with God that marriage is the only way for me to know more of God, then it is time for me to get married. Marriage is not just the "next stage" of life for me... like so many people are trying to say. Marriage is not equal to fulfillment. Marriage is a way that a person can know God more fully. (Just like celibay for some draws them into more Christ-likeness.) Phew... talk about an essay. I did not mean to get off into that, it is just something that I am passionate about and want to see a reformation of marriages among my generation.

So did you go up your hill and meditate? What did God say?

Jaclyn said...

I admire that, despite your desire to be married (or "with" someone) that you are waiting to pursue until you are ready to provide. You are right when you say that provision is BOTH material and spiritual. I DO think that idea is an old one... a Biblical one! It is an encouragement to know that there are young men on this planet who understand the need to prepare to lead a family. Girls too need to be preparing to be wives and mothers. We, as ladies, cannot sit around and complain that men are not being men if we are impatiently tapping our toes and yet not preparing ourselves! God has definately taught me A LOT about that the last year. I need to learn about submission, respect, motherhood, cooking, cleaning, hospitality, giving, sacarifice and changing diapers! If we would take marriage seriously, like what I said to Galant, and realize that marriage is holy, beautiful and sacred, we will do all we can to be prepared to be a display of the sacrifical love that God displayed for HIS Bride.

Anyway, thank you for sharing. It is encouraging to me, more than you can know! I have read some of the material on Boundless. You should read some stuff on the link I have from Ladies Against Feminism. There are articles there for men too!

Ben and Dawn,
My Prince Charming will DEFINATELY have to be approved by both of you!

You are so right! I am willing to wait a long time for a man who meets Biblical standards. I do not want to craft a list of "this and thats" for a guy to impossibly live up to. He will NOT be perfect... good thing, because neither am I, but I want to see that he is striving to be like Christ.

And I too see Psalm 112 as the "Prov. 31" for men! I am looking and will wait forever for a man like that. :-)

Galant said...

Alas I did no hill-climbing and meditating, it's a bit hot right now for that - :(