Pride & Paradox

On Mondays we fast and pray for 1) women to see where they need to change and to change, 2) men to be Spirit-led leaders, and 3) marriages for those who desire to be married.

If there were an Amy-version of the 7 deadly sins, I’m pretty sure procrastination would be on the list.  Example: I have a midterm this week.  Things I have done this weekend?  Hosted an impromptu movie night, made chicken pot pie from scratch, did multiple loads of laundry, got my car inspected and had a 3-hour conversation with a friend.  Oh, and sort of studied.  Basically, I would much rather do things that make me feel like I got something done…which usually does not mean studying.

And I’ve been doing something similar about being single.  Instead of doing the hard work of living right now in grateful obedience…I just want to fast forward to the part where I feel successful.  And for me, that part is called being married.  I tell myself that I would be so good at being married and taking care of a house and cooking food and building a relationship with my husband.  And of course, when I imagine myself married, I wouldn’t still have a sense of failure or a sense of having hard work to do. (Rachel put a dent in that silly notion!)

But the lies run deeper than that: I had to admit to myself that one of the reasons I wanted to get married was that I thought I wouldn’t need God so much if there were a ring on my finger.  That if I were married, I would be good at it and I wouldn’t have to be so dependent on God for every thing that came my way.  I would finally just do life with my obviously flawless spouse.  (Crazy, I know.)

And then it got worse…what if the reason that I wanted marriage so badly was because it was, perhaps, the pathway to something I idolized even more?  Something named me.  My success.  My identity.  My purpose.  My pleasure.  My evidence of being loved.

So essentially, I wanted to be married because I thought I would be good at it and because I thought it was about me and because I thought I wouldn’t need God so much that way?  Well now, that ain’t pretty.  I’m going to have to agree with Paul: “Wretched man that I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?”

(Side note: can we take a moment to celebrate the fact that Jesus already died for this ugly prideful mess and that His love isn’t dependent on me (I John 4:10)?!)

The truth is that I will always need God because of who I am and who He is.  Sheep always need a shepherd.  Sinners always need a Savior.  I need Him because my heart is hard and proud and looks for ways to run from Him (Isaiah 53:6). I need Him because my salvation depends on His character, His finished work, His plan (Hebrews 11:23). I need Him because He loves me.

So, paradoxically, I want to thank God for this season of singleness, however long it lasts.  (Talk about words I never thought would come out of my mouth.)  Somehow He is using my singleness to show me my heart and then show me His grace.  He is teaching me dependence, even against my will.  Protracted, unexpected singleness is not an easy road, but He is good.  And that is more important.  Now I’m going to go study for that exam.

In His Grace,

Amy

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11 Responses to Pride & Paradox

  1. Lauren says:

    Amy this was a fantastic, honest post and I can so relate! I too am a major procrastinator, slowly submitting to the Holy Spirit in this area:) I also idolized marriage thinking that my life would be perfect with the diamond ring, loving husband and sweet children. But like you I realize that we are made perfect and complete in Christ alone! Praise God for His everlasting patience toward us and the Holy Spirit wiling us to live this life in submission to and for His glory. Blessings – Lauren

  2. Amy says:

    so grateful for you too! what is a weekend without some colorful colors??

  3. Melody says:

    Procrastination is my middle name! (like actually). Good luck on your exam!

  4. Kristi says:

    This is something the Lord has been trying to teach me this year. My pastor taught on marriage in January and said (my paraphrase) marriage for selfish reasons was not a reason to get married. In other words, if marriage is to make me feel better about myself, to feel loved and accepted, or some other reason, then it’s not a good reason to marry. To quote one of your other commenters, “Ugh.” The Lord has subsequently been trying to show me that He is what I’m really seeking–His Love, His Acceptance–and He is enough. I’m still trying to digest that and submit to His timing for it all. Good post.

  5. Rachel says:

    Thank you for this piece, Amy. So much of my own desire for marriage is infected with impatience–I want to “fast-forward” things, as you say.

    What you’ve written here is a good reminder to slow down.

  6. smvernalis says:

    Great job, my friend, as always. Ugh, for all of us.

  7. Andrea says:

    Amy! This post was right where I am this week. Wow…just thank you for your honesty and helping me to see in a new way that I feel like a failure because I am looking to all of my glory or lack there of 😦 There is peace in remembering that I am not the glorious one, but I am made glorious alongside of Christ. Thanks so much.

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