I remember my peers beginning to date as early as grade school. I am humored by a memory from kindergarten when a student promised to pick me up on his future motorcycle to go on a date. It starts with subtle and innocent interactions whereby curiosity and a crush lead further. For many women, dating becomes a prevalent struggle early on in age. It might have to do in part with the curse we inherited from Eve, that our desire would be for our husband, but the struggle also originates from other sources that vary for each person.
Some of us do not have a good relationship with our father. Ideally, in a father-to-daughter relationship, the father would be the figure to provide comfort, confidence, and the endearment that a young princess needs. But when these are missing in a girl’s childhood, she grows up feeling insecure and hungry for the attention she never received from her father even if her relationship with her mother is good. As a result, she turns to companionship with men for comfort.
To heal our insecurities and void, we must not turn to dating or marriage. We must bring these struggles to God first. Jesus wanted to give living water to the Samaritan woman he met by Jacob’s well. He explained that whoever drinks from this living water will never thirst again. Thinking that she would never have to come back to Jacob’s well to draw water, the Samaritan woman said to Jesus, “Sir, give me this water.” She did not realize that Jesus was referring to something else other than the physical water.
“Go, call your husband, and come here.”
The Samaritan woman then replied, “I have no husband.” Her answer tells us a great deal. For one thing, we can be sure that she did not speak these words with joy. In fact, she might have felt some sorrow and shame because we learn later that she was indeed with a man but he was not her husband. Furthermore, prior to this man she had married five husbands. Thus we see what Jesus was trying to reveal to her. All her life she sought to satisfy herself with men and yet after each husband she still remained in want—lonely, unhappy, and unsatisfied—to the point where she was with a man who was not her husband.
Consider Solomon who had seven hundred wives, princesses and three hundred concubines. Yet what did his heart say in Ecclesiastes? “Which my soul still seeks but I cannot find: one man among a thousand I have found, but a woman among all these I have not found.” Among the multitude of women in his life, Solomon could not even find one that could fulfill his soul. And this was the very man who wrote, “My dove, my perfect one, is the only one” which portrayed the relationship between Christ and the Church as a husband and wife in the book of Song of Solomon.
What then must we take to heart? If we truly want fulfillment—never to thirst again—we must drink of the living water that Jesus spoke of which is the Holy Spirit. Marriage in the Lord is good but it is only temporary and alone cannot fulfill us. Let us look beyond the earthly water that can never satisfy and bring our needs to the one and only God who will wholesomely complete us.
Questions for Reflection
1. Do we feel void and unfulfilled?
2. What can we do to allow God to heal our emptiness?