“I can fix that for you. They have websites now — I can write one down for you, if you’d like.”
A sweet offer….if the person offering to recommend a website was talking about a recipe I needed. Or a book I was looking for. Or information for a research paper.
But she wasn’t.
She was speaking of solving my problem.
She was talking about me finding a husband.
Before I go any farther, let me say that I was not offended by it in the least…..this whole conversation actually made me want to laugh….
Maybe I should back up and set the scene: It’s 8:00 on a Saturday morning, and I am sitting in the middle of the second soprano section of the choir I am singing with in February of next year. I have a younger woman sitting to my right, maybe in her early thirties. I have an older woman sitting to my left…maybe in her late seventies.
Younger Woman is talking to me. Asking me questions about my life in general, and my married status in particular. To be fair, I am one of the youngest members of this choir. Actually, I am the second youngest. The first youngest is a year or so younger than I am, and on the other side of the room. We’ve already run the gamut of questions. She already knows that I graduated in 2014, that I was home educated, that I am 21, that I chose not to go to college in favour of staying at home and learning from my mother, that I am the oldest of eleven brothers and sisters, and that I attend a small baptist church. There really was only one question left to ask. And she asked it.
“So….do you have a boyfriend? Ever been out on a date?”
I explain that no, I do not. And no, I have not. That I am keeping myself and my emotions as pure as possible for said husband, whenever and if ever the Lord sees fit to bring a man into my life for such a purpose.
And then she says what I never expected to come out of anyone’s mouth.
I mean never.
Never, ever, ever.
“I can fix that problem for you. They have websites now — I can write one down for you, if you’d like.”
Like I said….sweet. If she was helping me to find out how long to fry a chicken =)
Before I could un-blush my face and un-stick my tongue to answer her kind question, the older lady to my left answered for me.
Now this lady was prim and proper and looked extremely elegant….and I was taken aback by what she said. And how she said it.
“A husband off the INTERNET! No, she won’t!” (patting my leg) “That’s all right dear, I wouldn’t look online. I wouldn’t marry no INTERNET HUSBAND! Wouldn’t trust one of them to carry my shoe!”
As both women began to talk over and around me about finding a husband online, and the pro’s and con’s of it all, I could only do one thing: focus on controlling the absurd urge to giggle that was rising in my throat.
I didn’t answer. I couldn’t. If I had opened my mouth I would have burst out in an uncontrollable fit of giggles, that I wouldn’t have been able to explain. I would have turned redder than I already was, giggled harder than I would like to in public, and not have had any explanation to give at all.
I should be used to these questions….I have been asked everything from why I am not in college, to why I still live at home, to what I want to do with my life.
The closest question I’ve ever gotten about why I am not married is people wondering out loud how I will ever meet a guy if I am not in college. (answer: if the only reason I am in college is to find a husband, then that is one expensive husband!)
But never has anybody expressed so much interest in fixing my “problem” of still being single.
And NEVER have I had anyone offer to help me run a google search for one =)
So….the million dollar question: Would I ever resort to searching online to find a husband?
First — I must ask myself…..is being single that big of a problem? And I must answer “no” because it’s not. Because I believe with my whole heart that Christ has a plan for my life. Whether that includes being single for ten more years, or getting married in ten weeks, it is all in His will. Christ has a work for me to do, right now and right here. As the catechism I have learned states, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” and I can do that now, as a single twenty-one year old. I can do that if I am single at thirty or forty. And I can do that as a married woman at twenty-five. And for some reason, looking to an online website to solve that problem that is non-existent in the first place seems a little bit like going outside of His will, to fix a problem that wasn’t really a problem at all. Did ya follow that one? ;-)
Second, I must ask myself……why do I want to get married so much that I am willing to fix something God doesn’t view as a problem? I have actually known families who believe that early marriage is the epitome of success for their children. That singleness determines failure. A lower spiritual state. I believe differently……that marriage has nothing to do with spirituality. That marriage is for one purpose alone: to further the Kingdom of God. To raise children in the teaching of God’s word, to work together as man and wife to bring glory to Christ through the representation of the union of Christ and the church that we see through marriage.
Thirdly, what’s wrong with an ‘internet husband’ anyways? Well, I have many possible answers for that one. Ever noticed that you can hide who you really are through online interaction? That your friends in real life sound, look, and act different on the internet? See, you can hide anything you want to online…..especially if you are trying to impress a certain someone favourably. You can’t really get to know someone in the ways that hard work, late nights, and just plain ol’ hanging out together and being friends allows you to. There are too many ways to hide who you truly are….and I have seen many people go through struggle after struggle that never would have happened if they had waited for the Lord’s timing. I have also heard from a friend that internet dating site, courting sites, and just husband-finding site in general deal with your outer appearance. What you look like. What you do. How much money you make. They never get down to the deep questions of who you are. What you think about. What your relationships with your parents/siblings/church family looks like. What your character is. And personally, I would rather marry a guy that has a good relationship with his family, loves little children, is a strong Christian willing to lead his family in the worship of God, with a good character that others can vouch for, than to marry that tall cute guy with the wavy hair and that grin that makes your legs go all weak-kneed (if that’s even a word!) On a different note, I do know of a young couple who met online. They were working on a project editing a book together; neither were looking for a spouse, and they ended up married later that year. Additionally, as a young lady, I am not responsible for finding a husband — I think it is a mans responsibility to find a wife and pursue her. To initiate anything as the biblical head of the relationship and future home. And going google shopping for some man to fit the bill seems an awful lot like being the initiator to me :P
An interesting conversation starter, that one question was. A good thought provoker. A nice laugh in the middle of preparing for a hurricane to make landfall and watching the weather to know what to do…since we are kinda far inland for too strong of a hurricane/tropical storm to hit very often. A good diversion to write about as weather is getting worse and good ol’ Nate makes his presence known by throwing tornadoes in paths that are eerily close to friends homes….And did I mention that I am an introvert anyways? That I have trouble having conversations with those I don’t really know? How’s about that for stretching my 10% extroverted self? =P