Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

Marrying Yourself?

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2012 Jun 01

Posted by Jim_Daly May 31, 2012




Straight from the files of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World:

Writing in the American Prospect, Samhita Mukhopadhyay suggests that a growing number of people, especially women, are deciding to marry themselves. Here she quotes an individual named Sasha Cagan about such cases popping up around the country:

The choice to marry yourself takes the coming-of-age ritual to a new level. It's not just about getting towels or diamond rings or attention. The common theme in most of the stories that I hear is a commitment to take care of oneself as one hopes or imagines that a lover would. Women also frame self-matrimony as a unique solution to the problem of women sacrificing their own needs in a relationship. Marry yourself first, they say, before marrying anyone else.

Ms. Mukhopadhyay editorializes:

For Cagen, self-marriage can be a radical act not only in self-love, but a statement about the roles women are put in within traditional relationships.

In concluding her essay the writer offers high praise for such women, qualifying their decision to marry themselves as “quite courageous.”

If the whole thing strikes you as very peculiar you wouldn’t be alone. My friend, Dr. Brad Wilcox, is a marriage researcher out of the University of Virginia. He calls the development “nonsensical” and notes that a person who does “self-marry” is still single – regardless of what he or she may think.

Of course, he is right.

Beyond the peculiarities, though, there is a sad reality woven throughout. According to the author’s analysis the reason people are marrying themselves is because they feel incomplete as single people, and therein lies the fundamental problem.

Marriage is a wonderful institution and assuming you marry wisely, it can make for a wonder-filled life. But marriage shouldn’t define us.

Only our faith in Jesus Christ can do that.

In fact, it’s entirely possible for a single person to have an equally wonderful life as a married person, assuming they’re allowing the Lord to define them as opposed to their status as a single person. Different, yes, but still wonder-filled.

It is true that the Lord places certain desires on our hearts, and for many single people that wish is to be married.

But (and I can’t even believe that I’m writing this), marrying yourself is obviously not the answer.

Marrying yourself isn’t “courageous.”

Marrying yourself is just plain weird.

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