Over coffee my friend L and I were discussing the myriad of weddings she was in and how often people asked/pressured/judged her for not having a +1…yet. It’s very much a desire of her heart, unfortunately bruised by well-meaning, yet subtly judgemental comments. Here are a few of my favorites:
- “You know dear, the bible says if you delight yourself in the Lord He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Subtext IF you REALLY delighted yourself in the LAWD you would already be a +1).
- “It happened so quick for me. Just when I stopped looking there he was.” (Stop looking so desperate dear and he’ll magically appear.)
In the interest of science, I googled how many books/blogs, etc. related to this subject. I started with men: how to become a husband/pray for future wife…there were FIVE total. Women praying for their future husbands/becoming a better soon to be wife/get a husband…I stopped counting after SEVEN PAGES of links. It’s a clear cultural signal to women.
How often, as women of faith, do we focus on how we AREN’T enough? We focus on how to be a better mother, a better wife, a better soon to be wife or a better singleton waiting to become a wife. The message is clear: we aren’t enough without a +1.
In one of my favorite passages of scripture, Jesus meets a woman at a well. This violated every cultural and religious norm of the day (Jesus as rebel…my favorite!). He asked her to get him a drink and to go and get her husband. She told him she didn’t have any. In response to her honesty , He gave her one of the greatest revelations in scripture-a promise that we would never be thirsty again when we are a +1 to Jesus. (John 4) The woman went on to transform her city with this powerful message. Note, she didn’t go on to get married THEN transform her city.
I know Adam and Eve were commanded to be fruitful and multiple thereby setting the precedence that all should have a +1. So then, what if the +1 isn’t around anymore, there isn’t one, right now, or ever?
My friend, KL, from Montana (sounds so cool to say that) is a writer, on staff at the largest churches in her town, an actress and the fiercest, fairy of awesome you could meet. She recently posted this on her FB page:
These are two talented, smart, beautiful inside and out women who both were considered lacking because as Christian young women the most important thing is to find a husband. They are somehow considered less without a +1.
For L, KL, and every one of my ovarian sisters I want to tell you something: YOU ARE ENOUGH. Just as you are. In your sweats, crying over Gilmore Girls reruns. Working out at 4 a.m. so you can sparkle through your day. Suiting up for the job. Driving your son to fly across the country to start a new life. You are enough for God. You are enough to me.
This week let’s pinkie swear (because that’s what girls do…boys do the spit in the palm thing…seriously…ew.) Let’s pinkie swear to be a little kinder to ourselves and our sisters. Let’s ignore the messages subtle and loud that try to tell us we are not enough.
I’ll close with a quote from L that made me laugh so hard I had to pee. “Timothy Keller’s podcast won’t help me meet my husband!” No, a podcast won’t do that. But maybe if we focus on here and now, we’ll get to meet ourselves and realize we are more than enough.