When I was in high school and college, one of the things that I battled with constantly was the idea that I wasn’t “good enough”. I battled this in almost every area of my life. I saw myself as decent, but not great at pretty much everything. The things that I did care about (sports for example) I worked my tail off to become great. But I never saw myself as arriving at greatness.
Nowhere was this more true than with the opposite sex. I was constantly in the friend zone with the girls that I liked. I thought I was physically not attractive enough. Later I thought I wasn’t making enough money. The list goes on. One of my go to thoughts was, “I’m just not good enough.”
Now to be sure there was some self victimization here. “Poor me, I’m not good enough.” “I’m sorry I’m not good enough for you.” Etc. Barf! But it was deeper than that.
I think a lot of us, if not all of us, often feel this way. We see ourselves as not enough of something. Not smart enough, not strong enough, not attractive enough and so on. As a guy, this creates a cycle because if I carry myself as not enough, I won’t be confident and therefore I really will be less attractive to women.
But, there’s a flip side to the “not good enough” when it comes to singleness and dating. That is when we rule people out because of certain not good enoughs. She’s not quite pretty enough. He’s not quite mature enough. I’m not attracted enough. I’m not old enough or ready enough. On and on it goes.
We especially send this message to women. No guy is good enough for the prize that is the woman. Any guy who is married gets the “how did you get her – you married up.” But women face this in other ways, just not from the pulpit or the pen.
Today I want to lay some serious truth on all of us. Are you ready? Buckle up.
Truth one is this: None of us are good enough. Just own it. We all have flaws. More than that, we all have sin. Both men and women sin pretty much constantly. Hence the need for a savior.
While that’s true in life as a whole, it’s also true in dating and marriage. You don’t become good enough to earn a spouse. Lots of terrible people get married. It’s sort of funny but it’s true. The flip side of the coin is that you aren’t entitled to a spouse either. If you don’t think you’re good enough to earn one you’re right. If you look at the terrible people getting married and think that you are better than them and therefore are owed one, you’re wrong.
Another angle is this: No one is good enough for you. This is a real problem especially for younger folks. I was there. The idea that there is THE ONE. The idea that there is some magical person who doesn’t sin and loves or respects you perfectly is a myth. You’ve met lots of people who have most of the qualities you say you are looking for yet you weren’t attracted to them. You’ve met others that you were attracted to that didn’t have the qualifiers.
More truth. You aren’t ever perfectly ready for marriage. You aren’t perfectly mature enough or hot enough or stable enough. You haven’t learned enough, don’t have enough knowledge or wisdom.
You also aren’t enough for another person and no one is enough for you.
But here’s the good news; none of that disqualifies you from marriage.
Marriage you see is a choice and a covenant promise. It’s a decision to choose another person even though they aren’t good enough. It’s a decision to imperfectly love an imperfect person in an imperfect world until we die an imperfect death. If you want to go Ephesians 5: Men it’s a decision to imperfectly love an imperfect woman and ladies it’s a decision to imperfectly respect and imperfect man . . . for the rest of their life.
If you get married you will let your spouse down . . . repeatedly. You will be let down by your spouse. . . repeatedly. What makes marriage awesome is that you stay. Read that sentence again.
That is also what makes it a picture of the Kingdom. God, who is the only perfect person, chooses us. We let Him down repeatedly. He stays. We’re not good enough to be chosen. We aren’t entitled to a spot in the Kingdom. But God says I choose you anyway. And I’ll choose you again tomorrow knowing that you’ll screw it up then too. Marriage is meant to point us to that truth. That’s a large part of why God instituted it.
Good article on marriage and I agree with all points. It’s important for people to know this.
When i was younger I also believed I wasn’t good enough for marriage. While I did have a lot of growing to do that false belief largely came from the environment I was raised in. Now I know the growth will continue in and out of marriage.
I think people are always not perfect when they marry, HOWEVER (and a big however) people do need to work on their maturing often times PRIOR to even dating in order to be successful once married. If you are a complainer, someone who doesn’t regularly read your Bible, a perfectionist, compare yourself non stop to others, etc….YOU NEED TO GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER. Self-centeredness and those other things will RUIN a marriage. I’m not putting it lightly either. Some people really need to get their act together before they date someone or they are not “marriable” at all.