In our lifetime, we have to wait for thousands of different things: waiting for an oil change, waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting for someone to text back, or waiting until we’ve saved up enough money to buy a new car or our first home. Then there are some of our most anticipated waits: waiting to get engaged or married. Waiting is a fact of life, but how we wait is up to us. Sometimes waiting feels like a holding pattern. We can feel helpless. At least I can, anyway. I feel like I have no control over the waiting.
When it comes to dating and marriage, I’ve repeatedly seen girls live their lives on hold. Recently I talked with a late-twentysomething girl about her next car purchase. She drove a smaller vehicle but was interested in getting something larger, possibly an SUV. She commented, “Even though I want an SUV, I don’t want to buy it, because what if my husband has one?” I thought, What? She wasn’t dating anyone at the time. This girl was making decisions, or not making decisions, based on someone who didn’t even exist.
For me, I had to get to the point where I had to decide: Do I want to live my life out of a holding pattern or not? You need to make the same decision.
There may be areas of your life where you are living out of a holding pattern and you don’t even realize it. How do you know? If you’ve ever had this thought when making a decision of any kind: “But what if I get married?” That’s an indicator that you may be making decisions based on a future potential rather than a current reality.
Of course, there are some cases where this is okay to do. For example, if you are in a serious relationship, and you’ve mutually agreed that things are moving in the same positive direction, I can understand asking this question when it comes to renewing your lease, switching your health insurance, getting a puppy, or deciding on whether to take that job offer out of state. But if you are completely single with no immediate prospects in sight, I would argue that this is not one of those times to ask yourself that question.
Living out of a holding pattern can cause what you’re waiting on to become what you’re hoping in. That’s a dangerous place to be. The reason it’s so dangerous is because only God can bear the full weight of our hope. No thing and no person can carry that weight. People were never designed to anyway.
When we attempt to put our hope in people, circumstances, or things, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment and disillusionment. Why? Well, let’s say all your hope is in a new job and you get it. But then the company has cutbacks and you’re a casualty. Or you climb the corporate ladder as high as you can go, and then what? What happens to your hope then? You need to find another outlet for it.
The same is true for marriage. God created us for intimate union with one another. But our hope can’t be in marriage, because when it is and we’re not married, it will unintentionally prevent us from living life fully. We won’t accomplish the goals we want to accomplish—or we may not set goals at all. We may not pursue our dreams and instead settle for second or third best because it’s easy and right in front of us. Then we think that once we’re married, we’ll chase after what we really want—in our profession, our travel plans, or our athletic desires. All of this lends itself to putting our hope in marriage. That’s a lot of pressure! Mainly because marriage isn’t meant to be a solution, and if you’re viewing it as such, you will ultimately be disappointed.
So, my encouragement to you if you’re single is to not waste your wait. What are your dreams? Pursue them now! Life’s too short to waste.
If you're single, you understand waiting when it comes to dating, relationships, and marriage. You may even be using dating apps as a tool to help you move along in that waiting process. My book, Beyond the Swipe, will provide you with the tools you need to honor God in your dating relationships. For more information visit my website at www.kristinfry.com.