My parents recently visited from Texas for a week. After 35 years of marriage they still hold hands and kiss in public. My mom sits right smack dab next to my dad in the middle seat of the truck while they ride around the farm. It’s cute, sickeningly cute sometimes.

They also still bicker, and disagree, and are inconsiderate towards one another in making plans and decisions. Their marriage isn’t perfect. They haven’t been blissfully happy each and every minute of the past 35 years. But they each look more like Christ now than they did before, a process brought about in part by working through those disagreements and forgiving the inconsiderate choices.

Even though I haven’t been married, I’m convinced that my happiness doesn’t lie on the other side of the wedding rainbow. Would I love to be married? Absolutely! But I don’t expect God’s purpose for me to end there. I believe that the purpose of marriage is holiness, not happiness. And for those of us who are single, God’s got the same purpose for us right now as he does for our married friends.