This entry was posted by on Tuesday, 9 May, 2006 at

Ten years ago, I promised a girl that I would love her forever. Now it would be just as well if I never see her again.

I was with another girl for two and a half years. I always pretty much assumed that we would end up married, but ultimately, our lives diverged on very separate courses.

Then there was a girl that I seriously tried to marry, essentially (if you will pardon the oversimplification) because I honestly had nothing better to do.

I have also had probably more than my fair share of crushes and unrequited interests. All this time, I was looking for my soul mate, the one who would “complete” me.

Then I found someone who I did not see as perfect, and to be brutally honest, there were doubts about our relationship from the very beginning. Yet, as I had grown older, I started to realize what a serious concept marriage really is. It is easy to make promises of “forever” in high school, as your concepts of time and of life are somewhat limited. I began to fully realize that people were not like puzzle pieces that if and when you find the right match, they just naturally fit together perfectly. For the first time, I saw a relationship as a growing experience, and when there was a problem, I would actually try to talk about it rather than withdraw and brood about how we were not a perfect match. (I say “try” because I was certainly not always successful in this.)

I realized that marriage is not the goal. It’s not that you spend all the time up front finding exactly the right person, and then you just live happily ever after. Marriage is not the end, it’s the beginning. Marriage IS a battle, and it can either be an external battle, the two of you fighting against the problems of life, or it can be an internal battle between the two of you.

I saw the how those unresolved doubts could easily fester and grow into regret and bitterness until eventually the marriage would collapse or explode. The statistics on this matter are far from encouraging, and that very real possibility absolutely scared the hell out of me… but I still wanted to do it.

But hey, so what, huh? It still didn’t happen. Like I said before, I keep wanting my feelings to mean something, but am forced to admit that they do not. Can I really say that what I feel now is different than what I felt before? Of course I can say that- look what I’ve learned- see how I’ve grown… and yet… and yet…

But this time it’s different, I know she’s the one
Well, I say that for all of them

Damn it…

So there it is. This is the issue of which I can not let go. It’s why I’m here.

I was visiting my sister last Christmas, and took to reading some of her books. There was a book called Wicked that I had heard a lot about. Although I had heard nothing but praise for it, I still approached it with deep suspicion, as it’s stated intention seemed to be to reverse the ideas of good and evil. I did not get very far through it before realizing that it really ought to be higher than Harry Potter on any christian’s books-to-burn list. I presume that it isn’t because it isn’t nearly as popular, and it isn’t marketed to children. (At least, I sincerely hope that it isn’t.)

Anyway, I realized that I should not be in such a hurry to get married, as my wife is sure to cheat on me anyway. I considered how if a man cheats on his wife, it’s his fault for not respecting her. If a woman cheat’s on her husband… it’s still his fault for not respecting her. Something definitely seems wrong about that, but regardless, I am certainly the kind of emotionally distant man that would drive my wife away. (And with that realization, I gave up on THAT book in favor of one that really is higher on the books-to-burn list. But now is not the time to say what I thought of that one.)

Later, in my walks to and from school, I would consider how shortly after creating Adam, God declared, “It is not right for man to be alone.” Upon saying this, did He immediately create a whole group of men for Adam to engage in fellowship with? No! He created woman. Did not Jesus himself say,
“Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
If divorce is so wrong, how can a break-up be much better? Does God’s interest in the relationship only begin at the point of marriage?

Where am I wrong in all this?

Yet I am wrong. For as Paul said, “It is good for a man not to touch a woman,” because, “One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife.” However, Paul also conceded, “It is better to marry that to burn with passion.”

I can not help but think of the Ethiopian who, immediately after hearing the Gospel, declared, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” I say, “Here is a godly woman, why shouldn’t she be the one?” But perhaps I should not apply that passage to this situation. For lest we forget, the Ethiopian was a eunuch.

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