This is for young Christian single ladies everywhere devotedly praying for and writing letters to their future husbands (but can just as easily to men):
I have never written a letter to my future husband or prayed for my future husband. In fact, I don’t really like using the term “future husband”. To me, “future husband” is another phrase for “pretend I have a husband even though I don’t because being single is painful”. Let me tell you something—you may want to sit down—God has not guaranteed you or me a husband.
Nowhere in his Word has God promised to give you a husband. He has not guaranteed every virtuous young woman a godly husband and he has not promised every godly man a virtuous wife. Nowhere in the Bible does God promise us a spouse, so why are we throwing around phrases that assume he does? Why are we encouraging one another to live in a fantasy that might not be our future?
There is a passage in James that points out the folly in arrogantly assuming we know the future and encourages us to use the phrase “if the Lord wills” when making plans (James 4:13-17). I think we need to be mindful of this as we formulate our expectations for our futures and God’s will for our lives. At the very least, we can tack on the phrase “if the Lord wills” to the end of each sentence when we talk about our “future husband”. But I think we miss something when we decide to fantasize about a future husband God has not promised us.
1. Instead of focusing on the here-and-now we are living in a fantasy.
2. Instead of cultivating joy we are practicing discontent.
3. Instead of praying for the people who are in our lives today we are praying for someone who may not even exist.
4. Instead of waiting expectantly on the Lord, we are waiting expectantly on a future spouse.
Praying for your future husband sounds cute, romantic, and profound. You can even come up with some lofty reasons for why it’s actually spiritually beneficial (but no Biblical reasons). Ultimately it boils down to a desire to pretend that you are in a relationship and pretend you are married, when in fact you are not. You feel as though your life is lacking in some way and that being married or pretending to be married would fulfill you. Maybe you need to ask yourself the following questions.
Can you be happy remaining single? If you are single right now then God has called you to singleness. He might call you to marriage someday, but if you are single that day is not today and you need to learn how to joyfully serve him while being single.
Allow me to challenge you. The next time you see a prayer list with fifty-or-more-some ways you can pray for your future husband, take that prayer list and apply it to everyone in your life who needs your prayers now—your family, friends, pastors and church leaders, neighbors, teachers, coworkers, etc. Once you are done with this, apply this prayer list to the global church, the advancement of the Gospel, missionaries around the world, persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ, etc. And if you are not exhausted by the time you finish praying for all of the people God has placed in your life and for his kingdom, then you can go ahead and pray for your future husband.
Prayer is a powerful tool. It is the keys to the gates of Heaven and I don’t think we should use it to foster discontentment and fantasies that God has not promised us.
What are your thoughts on praying for your future spouse? Please share! I would love to hear how God is working out his will in your life.