A lot of my friends are getting married these days (or have done so in the past few years). It's a funny thing to watch your friends go from bachelor to husband. Every time one of them checks with his wife about a spending decision or time commitment, I make fun of him for being whipped.


But secretly, I've got a lot of respect for that. Just don't let the word get around.


It makes me think about how different my life would have to be with a spouse. I really like my freedom. Last week, I decided I wanted to become a snowboarder. I didn't have to negotiate with anyone else when I bought some gear and spent my Friday night on a mountain hill in Southern Michigan with my buddies. And when I spent my entire Saturday on the couch nursing my bruises, no one protested. One time last year, I decided on a Wednesday to go to Belgium on Friday. The only person I had to consult with was myself.


I love being single. I really do. Way too many guys my age think life doesn't begin till you're married, as if matrimony is the Promised Land of guiltless sex, clean laundry, and constant companionship. As for me, I'll take the freedom as long as it's there. But I'm also realizing that, ­as a single guy, I can go days or even weeks without having to sacrifice for anyone at all.


It's one thing to choose to do something nice for someone else. You buy a buddy a meal. You clean up the dishes your roommates left in the sink. But it's a whole different world to be committed to putting someone else before yourself in everything. Of course I'm not suggesting that marriage equals instant selflessness, or that spouses have no freedom. But I'm sure that marriage affords a unique opportunity for growth.


I'm learning that there have to be a few people in my life who matter more than me. There have to be some needs that are more important than my own. It's hard to identify with Jesus when He lived and died for the people He loved and I spend all of my money and time on myself. 


Are you single? I'd love to hear what this looks like in your life.

Married? What have you learned?