[Guest Post by Jessica Dickson – I just love her heart and how she speaks truth over her singleness. When I read this I couldn’t help but want to post it immediately. If you struggle with viewing marriage as an idol — be encouraged!]
I have a confession — Marriage is my idol.Was my idol. The worst part? It took me forever to realize it. I thought if I wasn’t perfect, nobody would want me. Few knew, but I hated myself. I thought I needed someone to love me and tell me I was okay. My mind set up a prison that I guarded. It was inconceivable that anyone could love me. God did restructuring in my heart in 2009 that set me up to receive love. Through a series of events, He showed me my need for change. I was 24, living with fists clenched tightly. Things would go wrong without me in control. My pride whispered and shouted — so I took the weight of the world on my shoulders. Everything went wrong. I was in graduate school. Things at work got crazy. There were cancer diagnoses, sickness, and death. Life swirled, and I spiraled. Cried. Panicked. Cried more. Was anxious.
When I contemplated taking my life, it was time to make a change.I packed my pride and went to counseling. Through laughter and tears, I was broken there. God broke my Superwoman complex, speaking truth in love through my counselor. What I believed about God and others changed also. I left with confidence in myself that came from understanding who God said I am — unchanging because of God’s unchanging love and grace. Now I never have to doubt my beauty or that I am wonderfully made. Fast forward to last year. I was praying in church and God said: marriage is my idol. It won’t save you because I already did that. As tears streamed down my face, I was confused. Hearing the joys and struggles from married friends, with counseling, had broken my expectations that it would fix me, I thought. These thoughts came subtler. Though I believed the good things that God said about me, I also believed something else. Another lie — that a man would validate (prove the accuracy of) my worth. But who could prove the accuracy of what God says? God is truth; His word is true.
Recently, I’ve learned the beauty of having my value as a woman affirmed (upheld as true or supported).Do you know the difference? Your value is God-given. No father, mother, sister, brother, boyfriend, friend, or anyone can give you worth — but only help you discover God’s truth. Now I make healthier choices — letting go of a man I had feelings for when he wasn’t into me. Deciding that a “friend” with no loyalty no longer deserved to speak into my life. Standing in what I know to be true, contrary to circumstances. This process is not without tears. Saying goodbye to people whose actions and voices contradict the words God sings over me in His goodness is not for the weak. It’s for those made strong by His strength. It’s why Jesus didn’t give in when tempted in the wilderness. He knew what was true because He knew the source of His identity — The Lord. Jesus had nothing to prove when challenged to save Himself from temptations. And neither do we. Nothing. Ever. Not that we’re smart or beautiful or light or heavy enough, love-able, or anything. You and I are uniquely made in the image of God. Handcrafted with deep beauty. Graven on the palms of God. Dearly loved. Strong in our weaknesses. Here for a purpose.
You reflect God’s glory here. If the people and things in your life don’t scream your value to the world, they don’t need prominence if they don’t agree with God.You can love them. Pray for them. Point them to Jesus. But don’t look to them for your worth or believe their words or deeds that attempt to devalue you. Now I walk in love, victory, and peace because I know God, who was, is, and will always be. My worth will not be more priceless, nor life more precious.
If I get a husband tomorrow, I will be no more valuable than I am right now.God will remove idols from our hearts, but when He gives us the opportunity to destroy them, we should. Your idol might not be marriage or the white knight; but, whatever is can be put in its proper place by a true picture of who God is and what He says about you. No person or circumstance can steal your identity in Him.
Jessica works in Student Affairs at a small college in Daytona Beach. Her background is in counseling, and her heart is for people to live emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy lives. She loves cooking and eating delicious food, BodyCombat, being off Facebook indefinitely, prayer, and reading. You can find her on Twitter @jessicaddickson.[Photo: Thomas Leuthard via photopin cc]