It's no secret that marriage is on the decline in the United States. The most recent Census revealed that 32 million Americans are now in single households, and that married people are no longer the majority. Some are single by necessity or life circumstances, others by choice or career aspirations. And then there those who are functionally single but married to themselves. Yes, I'm talking about self-marriage, complete with marriage ceremony, commitment papers, and vows. A recent CNN article points to a segment of single people who are choosing to "marry themselves" rather than another person. These are hardly lonely, disconnected people who simply cannot find a spouse. Instead, they are choosing self-marriage to show how happy they truly are as singles. As one woman put it, marrying herself allowed her to see that all the love she needed was inside herself. "I started discovering that the love I need, it's in here," Nadine Schweigert said, pointing to her heart.
As the article states, this is hardly a developing trend. It is doubtful that people will begin seeing "Karen and Karen Are Getting Married!" invites arriving in their mailbox this summer. But before we begin writing these people off as a fringe movement in self-love, we should note that Christians just as easily embrace false notions of what it means to be single.
My mom once told me about a girl she knew in college who would pluck petals off a flower, slowly reciting, "He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me." On the occasion that she would end with "he loves me" she would exclaim for the entire dorm to hear, "He loves me! Jesus loves me!"
Jesus, in her mind, was her boyfriend.
It was not uncommon at my conservative Christian college to overhear girls say that ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more