I’m in love.
There, I said it.
I’m in love with a man who makes my heart do backflips when he speaks to me, who brings me joy just from knowing he’s near, who makes everything else disappear when I look into his eyes. He is strong and gentle and courageous and humble and bold and selfless all at once. He makes me laugh, he allows me to cry, and he’s as present to me in the silence as in the conversation. He passionately defends my dignity. He surprises me on a daily basis. He understand my thoughts before I say them. He’s unafraid of sharing his emotions, and declares his love with confidence.
With him I am known. I am cherished. I am secure.
I know that he would willingly give up his own life for me… because he did exactly that! This one man who has captured my heart so entirely is the same man who suffered the agony of the cross for me.
“I found Him whom my soul loves. I held him and would not let go.” – Song of Songs, 3:4
For too long I depended on other people to fulfil me, but I’ve realised that they never will! They can’t, but Jesus can—and does! Jesus is the only one who can fulfil you, and he will endlessly keep pursuing you until you accept that. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that finding our own “happily ever after” story will bring us true happiness, but in reality that puts far too much pressure on the person we hope to marry, and is likely to mean we’ll be disappointed further down the line.
The sacrament of marriage is a beautiful sign of the Trinity and of our future glory as the bride of Christ, but it is in no way a replacement for a relationship with Christ Himself. It reflects the love of Jesus, but it can’t match it.
In her wonderful book Spoken For, Alyssa Bethke writes:
“God proved faithful. He knew my heart’s desires but also knew how I needed to let him fill my desires first before he placed anyone else into my life… I had idolized marriage for so long that I needed the Lord to break me from placing it above him. That summer the Lord tore down my idol and revealed that he alone was enough. He was my portion, and I was rich to have him.”
The hard truth is that if you think marriage would satisfy you then you’re not ready for marriage. There’s only one who can satisfy you, and He’s knocking at your door asking you to receive Him. He is everything you need, and so much more than you can even imagine yourself wanting. Once you’ve truly found Him whom your soul loves, marriage becomes an added gift rather than the source of your happiness. Marriage isn’t a reward for successfully waiting during singleness. It’s a vocation which is—or may be—a part of your journey to Heaven, and that’s a journey which you’re already on!
That journey isn’t first and foremost with your (future) spouse, it’s with Jesus. So instead of living in the future and focusing on your hopes for marriage, invest in your relationship with Jesus right now—and allow Him to lavish His love on you in return. Know that He is the one who will satisfy you.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Esther Rich has a bachelor degree in Psychology from Oxford University, UK, and is currently completing the Sion Community Youth Foundation Year, working on their youth ministry team. She loves Theology of the Body, Papa Francesco and a good worship band. She is passionate about empowering women to be who they were created to be, and blogs at “For Such A Time As This.”