Did Getting Married Compromise What You Could Do With Your Life?
- Thursday, July 12, 2012
Editor's note: This article originally appeared on the Good Women Project. Used with permission.
“Did you ever wrestle with the feeling that you could do more for God as a single woman even though you knew you had the desire in your heart to be married and have a family? How do you feel about that now that you’re married?”
Our second year of marriage, I read a book popular among young, single Christian women. It was part of a small group curriculum, and I was asked to be the “married woman” in the group of teenage girls.
By the third week of the study, I’d thrown the book across the room no less than five times.
There’s this pervading lie in some Christian circles that you need to do all your ministering, all your mission trips, all your education before you get married because once you’re married, your primary service will be to your husband.
And while I agree with part of this statement, I do not agree with all.
It wasn’t until I married my husband that I became fully aware of just how much I am capable of as a woman.
I enrolled in graduate school after I got married. I wrote my novel after I got married.
And a huge reason for both of these accomplishments is the belief my husband has in my dreams.
We push each other. I made him enroll in culinary school. He constantly asks me if I’m writing. I won’t let him pack his guitar into the closet. He plays songs he knows I won’t be able to stop from singing.
Also? Since marrying him, my sense of adventure has skyrocketed.
Our first year of marriage, we spent Christmas vacation in Biloxi, Mississippi at a hippie commune in order to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina. We spent days tearing down walls and clearing houses of mildewed and moldy belongings so residents could start over. At night, we slept on the concrete floor with strangers and showered in a make-shift shed out in the parking lot. If you looked up, you could see the stars while washing your hair.
Our third year of marriage, we traveled to San Diego for Invisible Children’s Africa is Not a Country conference. That summer, because of friends who felt like family, we packed our bags and traveled to North Carolina for a youth camp focused on social justice. At night, we’d gather with our friends, the atmosphere electric with hope, and talk about community and what it looks like to change the world. We didn’t really have money for either of these trips, but we went anyway, and it made all the difference. Why?
Our fourth year of marriage, we heard about this thing Invisible Children was doing called The Rescue. Because we knew what it looked like to take risks and breathe life into each other, Russ quit his job and flew to Boston where he drove the Rescue Riders to Harrisburg and then to Richmond and finally, to Chicago. They called themselves the Beast Coast Rescue Riders and I watched on the live feed as my husband sent me pictures of senators and dance parties and Gavin Degraw and cupcakes from Oprah’s best friend, Gail. They ended their trip in song and dance, all in the name of love, and landed on the big O’s set – stealing ten minutes out of Hugh Jackman’s interview. And even though I wasn’t with him because of my responsibilities at work, I was with him because we never leave the other person behind. And two days after he got home, we packed up all our belongings and moved to Austin – the biggest step of faith we’d taken together so far. We didn’t know anyone and we had no idea what we were doing outside of Russ’ classes at Le Cordon Bleu, but we knew it was right and true because it was an adventure and made us feel alive.
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