It’s Springtime, the sun’s out and engagement/wedding season is upon us! I love to celebrate love, it is truly a beautiful thing.

I’m aware that the older I become, the more friends I have taking that next big step in their relationships. It’s interesting to think that the girls who I played ‘It’ with on the playground, the ones I spent countless lunchtimes joking around with in the school canteen, the same girls I pulled all-nighters with at the 24-hour university library, have become women preparing to be married!

As a Christian woman, there is often a lingering pressure to make sure you are not left behind when all of your age mates are pairing up and moving on with their lives. The pressure comes from family members who bring up your relationship status at annual gatherings, or the niggling remarks your mum makes about all of your friends who have successfully ‘secured’ themselves a man. Additionally, it can come from the time constraint you place upon yourself to find someone, which may likely be exacerbated by society’s obsession with Tinder culture.

God does not do well with rivals, therefore marriage must never contend with the Creator of it!

I have dealt with these kinds of pressures many times before, and from discussions with other single friends, it is apparent that I’m not the only one. Somewhere along the line marriage became the ultimate prize for the Christian woman — the epitome of what our womanhood should represent. There is always this emphasis placed on ‘waiting’ as if life as a single person is simply a preface to the bountiful treasures that awaits when you finally tie the knot.

It may sound as though I’m bitter right now, but I promise you, I’m not!  Yes, the husband, two and a half kids and the creation of a brand-new life are absolutely wonderful gifts from God. But it is vital that we do not enable those things to become our idols. In Exodus 34:14 the Lord Himself affirms, “Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” It is apparent that God does not do well with rivals, therefore marriage must never contend with the Creator of it!

With that being said, in whatever season you may currently find yourself (whether single, courting, engaged or married), I want to encourage you to shift your focus. Take some time to give yourself a little TLC. Every so often, make yourself a priority (without neglecting your relationship with God, of course), and remind yourself that your worth, calling and womanhood is neither dependent upon nor wrapped up in whether or not you rock a giant diamond on your ring finger.

Go on. Love yourself.