So, I had an appointment with the bishop yesterday. It was great. He's really supportive of me, and complimentary on how in spite of my life's challenges I've chosen to follow the spiritual influences in my life more than the worldly ones.
While chatting, we started talking about the possibility of marriage in the future. He's not pushy at all about it - which is nice. He told me that he wasn't trying to force anything onto me, he just wanted to give me some food for thought. He gave me some advice that he gives to all of the 30-something single guys in my ward, but with the understanding that the application had some slight differences than with your typical straight guy.
He told me about another 30+ year old guy that he had worked with while he was the bishop in a previous ward. This guy came from a family of 10 kids (he was the fourth). They were active in the church growing up. When he was a teenager his dad cheated on his mom, and through continuing marital problems they eventually divorced and his dad left the church.
This guy had horrible fears of commitment to marriage. He had been dating the same girl for a few years, but wouldn't take it any further. He had a major case of the "what ifs". What if she does this? What if I do that? What if this happens? Blah, blah, blah. He could not get over the hurdles to be able to make a commitment.
One day my bishop was chatting with this guy about all of those issues, and asked him "Do you love your dad?" He responded in the affirmative. "Do you love your mom?" Again, a yes answer. "Do you love your siblings?" Yes, a third time. Then asked an interesting question, "If there was one thing you could change about your family, other than getting your parents back together, what would it be?" He thought for a moment and replied, "Nothing. I love my family. I love the relationships we have with each other. I wouldn't change a thing."
The bishop then went on to say that just because the relationship between his parents didn't work out, that didn't negate their family ties. If his parents, back before they were married had thought would if we have marital problems and end up getting a divorce and acted on that by not at least attempting their marriage, none of those children would have been born into that family because that family would not have existed. He wouldn't exist as he did with the family relationships that he had.
The bishop said that he talks a lot with the other single guys about not getting hung up on the what if it doesn't work stuff. Give it a try. If it works, great. If it doesn't, you followed the Lord's plan and tried. Just be sure you are trying your best and not putting in a half-hearted effort. And in the process of it all, you will create a family. Your family.
So, I thought about that advice yesterday afternoon. Lately I have kind of given up on marriage. Well, it's not that I have written it off completely, I just have kind of felt that I've done everything I can. I've dated my brains out, but I just haven't ever felt that special link with someone. I've been mentally preparing myself to live alone the rest of my life. I'm open to marriage if the opportunity presents itself, but I'm not actively pursuing it anymore.
His story caused me to open my mind a little to the thought of pursuing it again. Who knows. Maybe something will come of it.