No matter what phase of life you’re in, there is pressure all around you. It goes something like this:
If you’re single, you’re constantly bombarded with the question “Are you seeing anyone?” If the answer to that question is no, it’s then followed up by, “You better not wait too long, the clock is ticking!”
If you’re married, all you hear is “When are you going to have kids?!” And quickly after you give birth to your first child, you’re asked, “When are you going to have another?!”
Geesh, people… Enough is enough! Can’t we just live our lives?
I’ve personally felt pressure by so many people in my life when it comes to singleness. Family, friends, and everyone in between. Even if I only see them once a year, the first comment to come out of their mouth is “So ya found the one yet?”
No. No, I haven’t. And can you actually act like you care about me and not just my relationship status?
Ok, sorry…rant over.
The last few blogs, I’ve shared about my desire to be a wife and a mom, but that just isn’t something that God has provided yet. It’s been an incredibly painful year wrestling with God about these unfulfilled dreams and desires. In the midst of the pain, I’m choosing to believe that God is good, even if He never fulfills this desire for me. And more often than not, that’s been a really difficult choice to make.
From a young age, we’re taught to compare ourselves to everyone else around us.
Every single day we’re bombarded with messages from society that we just aren’t good enough: You aren’t skinny enough, pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough, and the list goes on and on.
For most people, it’s a battle every stinking day to believe what the Bible says over what society says. Many days, I fail to do that. So when someone you love makes a pressure-filled comment about something you so deeply desire, it just affirms that you aren’t living up to their expectations, and it rubs salt in an incredibly deep wound.
You may desire to be married, to have children, or to receive a new job. But unfortunately, you’re not promised that any of those things will ever happen. And if those things don’t happen for you- THAT DOES NOT DEFINE YOU.
Here’s the thing; your identity is not dependent upon what has or has not happened in this life. As a follower of Jesus, your identity is wrapped up in Him. And in Him, you are made whole.
After reading this, maybe you realize that you ‘re the one pressuring someone in your life. And if you are, please, please stop. You never know what that other person is facing. If you’re pressuring a married couple about when they’ll have kids, maybe they’re struggling with infertility – a deeply personal issue that is incredibly painful, and possibly something they don’t want to talk about.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad to ask how they’re doing or what they desire (if you’re on that level with them), but please care about THEM more than you care about that THING.
And if you’re the one feeling pressured regularly by friends and family members, I encourage you to speak up and share how that makes you feel with them. Just the other day I had to have that conversation with my mom. I let her know that I desire to be married more than anything else, and that when she makes those comments, not only do I feel like I’m disappointing her, it just makes me feel pretty crummy about myself too. It was awkward and uncomfortable, but definitely worth it.
With the whole world fighting to tell me I am not good enough, that’s the last thing I need. And it’s the last thing you need, too.