By Jasmine Baucham
Marriage is not promised to you.
This thought, meant to refocus my mind on the providence of God, often made me quake. Because I’m what’s commonly known as a control freak. And the fact that the duration of my singleness was something so extremely and obviously outside of my control scared me to death. I wanted to be married. I desired it more than I was often willing to admit, and, though it was hard for me to confess, I feared that I would always desire something that would forever be out of my grasp.
I desired it for all the right reasons, I knew. I didn’t have a fairy tale vision of what it meant to find true love. I knew marriage was work and that the lifelong calling of wifehood and motherhood wasn’t going to be as easy as putting my feet up while Prince Charming recited breathless sonnets. From watching my parents, though, I knew that I wanted to dive into that beautiful relationship that emulates the one between Christ and His Bride, to reflect to a lost and dying world the light of servant leadership, joyful submission, and loving sacrifice.
And, yes, I wanted to know what it was like to be in love!
But there was something else I didn’t want to admit: my fear, my need for control, was a trust issue. It was something that couldn’t be erased by matrimony or any other desire I was clinging to. I wasn’t afraid of being alone so much as I was afraid of the fact that I couldn’t “fix” my status, that it was something the Lord had to take control of.
My fear was the symptom of a far deeper issue: I was sometimes so anxious to emulate the relationship of Christ and his Bride through marriage that I wasn’t living in the reality of my status in that actual relationship with Christ. He was already leading me, and I was already called to submit to that leadership… even if it meant waiting for marriage. Even if it meant never getting married.
In my fear of never getting married, I would often forget the vastly more important marriage feast of the Lamb, and the broader calling of serving him. In my fear of never being a bride, I would often forget my vastly more important status as part of the Bride of Christ. In my fear of never falling in love, I would often forget the greater love that drove my Savior to the Cross.
I would forget how tenderly the Father cared for me, and how beautifully that care had been displayed through the death of his Son. And instead of seeing his providence in my singleness as a further act of love, I sometimes viewed it as punishment -as capriciousness. I traded the infinite, divine wisdom of my God for the finite, humanness of my desires.
That’s what fear does, sometimes. That’s what fear is: distrust of an all-wise God who always has my best interest at heart. And, on this journey towards the more important marriage feast, as I’m slowly learning to release my viselike grip on my own plans and my own timing, I’m consistently reminded that, when I fear, I’m trading the beauty of things eternal for the myth of transient fulfillment.
Marriage is not promised to you.
Not on earth, no.
But, through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, the marriage feast that seals your status as the blood-bought daughter of the Lord of the universe cannot be thwarted. And that’s what gives us the strength to deny present fear for trust that our Groom has our best interest at heart, whether earthly grooms follow or not.
Jasmine is the oldest of Voddie and Bridget Baucham’s eight children. She is a homeschool graduate, holds a BA in English Literature, and is currently pursuing an Master of Arts in Religion. Jasmine currently serves as a sixth grade teacher at a classical/university model school in Houston. She is the author of Joyfully at Home, and loves living at home where she continues to learn from her mother, enjoy her siblings, assist her father and others in research, and will begin studying at Reformed Theological Seminary this summer.
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