A question that has been bugging me lately: Why are we women so in a rush to get married?
I’m a 26 year old medical student and I’ll be graduating at age 30. I was dating this guy…but sadly we had to separate. The event devastated me and I started to seek God more, and trust that this happened in my love life for a reason.
Its been months since the separation, but its still nagging me. Why is it in my mind I’m so obsessed about getting married, when I know its not the time for me to get married and have children right now? I guess, loosing a potential husband caused me to think it more. And my age makes me think about it, but I have a feeling even with different circumstances, many women are desperate to get married. Why is that and how can we stay ‘calm’ about it?
Thank you very much!
Thanks for this great question! I am actually deferring it to someone who I think can give a much better answer than I could. Lisa Marie Hunt is a Catholic youth speaker in Southern California. (She’s also my confirmation sponsor, has known me my entire life, and is basically big sister to me.) The first of her two-part answer is below.
It’s not surprising that when Mary got this question that she sent it my way. I am the “token” single woman in most of my friends’ lives. For most of my 29 years of life this has seemed like a curse, but in recent years I have realized the blessing that God has given me in my singleness, and I long for others to see their singleness as a gift as well!
I would first like to answer why we women (and really people in general) are so “desperate to get married.” This desire—the longing to be married to somebody who knows the most intimate parts of our heart, who sees our strengths and weaknesses and who has chosen to love us despite our unworthiness—is a longing placed on every human’s heart. That longing is on your heart, on mine, on the stranger’s you see in the grocery store, and that married person sitting in the pew in front of you at Mass.
The longing is real and good; we should not dismiss it. The Catechism states that the longing is actually “the desire for God [that]is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God”(27). We desire for God to know the most intimate parts of our hearts, for him to see our strengths and weaknesses and to choose to love us in spite of our unworthiness.
No person, friend, parent, spouse or child will ever be able to fill this longing. And yet, God in His goodness, has given us different ways on Earth to see the way that He loves us and to fill part of that desire. For many of us the spousal love we partake in on Earth will be the closest way we will have that longing filled this side of Heaven.
The problem comes when we let that longing stifle us and stop us from living in the moment that God has called us to.
For the large majority of my life I was stuck. I was stuck dwelling on why I was single when so many of my friends started dating, got engaged and eventually married. One of the blessings of my singleness is that I have a lot of girl friends and with that I am blessed that I will be in my ninth wedding this summer. However, with each wedding comes an even bigger reminder that I am still single… and that most of the brides are younger than me!
As I worked my way through bridesmaids dress after bridesmaids dress (not quite 27… but I still have time!) and continued to grow spiritually I wondered why God didn’t think it was time for me to get married. Was I not holy enough? Not pretty enough? Was God upset with me for something? Did he want me to be a Sister, even though my desire to be a wife and mother was so strong? Was I ever going to get married or would I be stuck as a lonely, old, lady… who couldn’t even have cats because I am allergic to them!?
Then about five years ago I read the very first paragraph in the Catechism: “He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength”. Nowhere in that sentence, or the paragraph that encompasses it, did the authors mention marriage, religious life or singleness.
I had been dwelling on the longing in my heart and thinking it was for a man, when in reality that longing was for Him and my purpose was to seek Him, to know Him and to love Him. If getting married would help me to do that, then Praise God! If becoming a Sister allowed me to do that, then Praise God! And if for whatever crazy reason God wanted me single, then Praise God! That moment was a life-changer for me.
Stay tuned to see how God has been blessing my singleness since I started allowing Him to have control of it!
**Lisa-Marie Hunt is a 29 year-old Catholic convert from Southern California. Her primary mission in speaking is to share Christ’s call to sainthood with youth and young adults. Lisa is also currently an assistant Youth Minister at St. Thomas More in Irvine, CA.