Friday, April 30, 2010
"You’re gonna make a great wife one day.”
I can still smell the hydrochloric acid I was swirling in my beaker where I stood titrating in the chemistry lab when I heard those words from a boy in my class. I was a freshman in college, and Wes was a junior. We were in the same chemistry lab, and both of our lab partners were absent that day. It was fate.
I stood there speechless for at least 5 minutes. If I remember right we messed up the titration and had to start over.
Today, I have no idea where Wesley is (come to think of it, I don't even remember his last name...). While the modern, urban woman in me can easily scoff at the blatant, misogynistic quality of a boy telling me I’d make a good wife, the 17-year-old girl in me still turns a little red in the face.
Six years later, his prediction has yet to be tested. At 23, I’m still very much single. But I’m not the only one.
Tonight me and my brilliant friend Jane had a long talk on the way to our end of the year dinner. We were discussing things we have been learning about ourselves and we both realized that God has been showing us what healthy relationships really are, and how we have a role in getting there.
I told her how I didn't realize how afraid I was of getting divorced until I sat through a presentation about it in my family life cycle class. I told Jane about how I have several acquaintances whose engagements, and marriages have recently come to an end, and being that hurt terrifies me. Jane, who is one of the wisest and most beautiful (inside and out) women I know, told me that to be loved, is to take a risk. We went on to talk about how independent we are and how needing others is an unfamiliar feeling.
But this isn't just me and Jane. It would seem that marriage has been places on my generation's collective back burner. Individual success seems more concerned with their individual professional development, rather than their emotional achievement. And what fickle things emotions are.
I have always considered myself a pretty loving person. But, after several recent interactions with others, I am realizing that my heart is not always open to being loved in return. Perhaps this is because I am just now beginning to learn how to accept God's love for me in spite of all my flaws. Perhaps it is because I have been hurt by other relationships.
Wading through my share of emotional carnage, I find myself admitting how much I really do need all the people in my life that love me. My parents, professors, friends, mentors and roommates who love me teach me what it means to live a life like Jesus would. As for Wesley's comment, I'm not so sure I would make a good wife. Like I said, I'm still learning how to be loved, and how to quit being so selfish. John the Apostle wrote, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” May the Lord continue to teach me (and Jane and all the others like us...) sacrifice and perseverance when it comes to loving and being loved in return.