My Independent Ways

I wonder sometimes if I’m not married because I’m too strong and independent. Hahaha. Like that’s a thing, right?

No, but seriously, I do love my independence. And I wonder sometimes if that makes me less beautiful to men. Here are some of the things that I don’t need to share right now:

  • Bank account
  • Bathroom
  • Bed
  • Car
  • Closet space
  • Weekend plans

I used to live with my family of seven kids and two parents, and we had a house with only one shower. So I greatly, GREATLY enjoy the freedom now to not share when I don’t want to.

In fact, the idea of losing my independence in a relationship kind of scares me. Relying on someone else to support me while I’m on maternity leave? Eek. Putting the toilet seat down and picking dirty man-underwear up off the floor? No thanks. Learning how to sleep on only one side of the bed (instead of rolling all over the whole thing)? LAME.

It’s not that I don’t share at all. Living with two other women, and living in a Christian community, I definitely give of my time and money, and lay down my preferences and demands. Often.

And it’s not even like I haven’t shared those things listed above; I lend my car and let people use my shower and defer to church activities on weekends.

The point is, I can choose to share or not share; invite or not invite; communicate or not communicate. Because I’m a strong, independent woman.

My roommate and I were talking about this a few weeks ago – about how neither of us is the boss of the other, and how hard it will be to give up some independence to our future men. We’re just so used to making our own decisions, fixing our own problems, and fending for ourselves that it’s super weird to think about being any other way.

However, what we didn’t discuss that night was the fact that we ARE actually fully dependent on someone – but not on a community or a man or even each other. We depend fully on God for, well, everything.

Colossians 1:17 says, “He [God] is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (NASB). Throughout the Bible, there are verses saying that we exist and live and thrive only because God is the One who holds the world and our lives together. (See Romans 11:36, Psalm 62:7, Ephesians 3:20, Psalm 73:25, Luke 12:22-28, Psalm 145:18-19, Isaiah 26:4.)

If it weren’t for

  • God the Father, I wouldn’t have a job or a bank account or weekends free – or even breath to enjoy those things.
  • God’s son Jesus, I wouldn’t have a church or hope for a future beyond death – or even this blog to talk about these things.
  • The Holy Spirit, I wouldn’t have any hope of understanding the Bible or appreciating the work of Jesus – or even caring about living in a way that points people to Jesus.

I know that to the non-Christian world, dependence on anyone but one’s self (or perhaps one’s family and close friends) is seen as a negative thing. To be wholly dependent on someone else means that you’re a baby or sick or in need of a nursing home. It’s considered mooching or begging, and it’s generally looked down on.

To Christians, though, our weakness and inability to do anything apart from God is seen as beautiful. The logic goes like this:

  • We cannot be a part of God’s family by ourselves because we are sinners, separated from God by our very nature.
  • Jesus is the most beautiful person to ever have lived, because He
    • Is the Son of God
    • Selflessly laid down His life so we could be adopted into God’s family.
  • When we don’t rely on Jesus to make us part of God’s family, when we try to get there on our own (or just don’t flipping care), we are separated from the beauty of Jesus. BUT, when we rely on Him, when we depend on Him for everything – including, but not limited to, salvation – He clothes us in his beauty and makes us not only acceptable, but also beautiful, to God.

So while I want my future man to notice and be attracted to my “strong, independent” personality, I want even more for people (including my future man) to be attracted to my dependence on Jesus. Because, in Him – and only in Him – can I ever be beautiful.

In the meantime, though, I’ll keep taking my own car for oil changes and spending my own money on new dresses and nail polish. Because I can.

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