"So...are you dating anyone?" As a single adult(ish) person, you are already preparing yourself for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays where you'll probably attend church or other events with your parents and be asked this question many times.
It may sometimes get a little tiring responding to that question, and perhaps it's exhausting to be constantly asked if you can be set up with someone. You may be tired of getting bridal shower, wedding, and then baby shower announcements from others, while the days, months and years seem to pass without being any closer to that yourself.
Several years ago, I decided to wise up. I started asking myself why it bothered me to be asked if I was dating someone. Did it bother me because I was jealous of others' happiness? Heavens no! I prayed for others to find someone to share their lives with. And I set people up like it's a side business! Was it because I didn't want to be dating anyone and it annoyed me? Also a negative. I do want to be dating someone. Was it because it brought to the forefront so readily the fact that I was still single? Most likely.
But my perspective changed when I started to look at it differently.
We live in a confused time where the ideas of marriage are ridiculed. We tell women they don't need men in their lives. We tell men they can do as they please. We hear all around us that we are better off building our lives separately and then perhaps coming together if it's convenient. We are told fathers and mothers are not important to a successful family, that children are not necessary, that children can wait, that motherhood isn't really all that great, that marriage is actually a pain, that commitment is for the birds (and not even them really!) and that a life well-lived is a life lived for yourself.
But when people encourage me to get married or tell me they can't wait to see who I'm going to marry, my hope is restored.
When I read awesome blogs about how couples are making their marriages work or how motherhood is wonderful, it reminds me of the ideal I am seeking for. There is much that belittles and downplays marriage and families these days.
I need those who choose to defend the family. So thank you to those who are relentlessly interested in whether or not I've found someone yet because that means you are still promoting marriage.
Thank you to those who still believe in happy marriages
Thank you to those who have beautiful marriages and have shown what love really is.
Thank you to those who have struggled in their marriages, but have shown that commitment and sacrifice and selflessness, supersede prideful ambitions.
Thank you to those who have seen marriages fail or had your own marriage fail, yet still propose it as one of God's greatest blessings when couples work together in faith.
Thank you to those who are barely beginning their marriages and are so devoted to each other that you even forget to talk to your single friends (OK, so that's a half-hearted thank you. Seriously, can't we still be friends?).
There is something remarkable and wonderful about marriage that I don't fully comprehend just yet. But God himself said, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). That is powerful. That is love.
So, at least for me, I don't mind it when you ask me those questions. In fact, please do. And please tell me how much you hope that I will marry someone wonderful. Please tell me how marriage is hard work, but that it's worth it. Please tell me about love and forgiveness in your marriages. Please keep telling me. Please keep reminding me. There are enough nay-sayers in the world. I think we all need some more YAY-sayers.
This article was originally published on Write on. It has been republished here with permission.