Friday, October 28, 2016

4 Reasons to Reconsider Praying for Your Future Husband


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): 

Please stop. 

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.

Here are the problems with praying for your future spouse, writing him letters, etc:

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.

If God never gives you a husband, would you still love him? Is your love for God dependent on whether or not he gives you what you want? God has a plan for your life and it’s a good plan, but it might not be what you want. It might be a lot more difficult and trying than you expected. God is more concerned with your holiness than he is with your happiness. "This is the will of God: your sanctification" (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13, 4:3). He wants you to come to him with your desires, but he does not owe you or me anything.

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. 

18 comments :

  1. I have thought this for years but never met anyone else with the same opinion! Sometimes I've tried to warn some ladies of the dangers with praying for/writing to a future God might not give, but most don't seem to understand. I am concerned that many of them may become embittered towards God if he does not fulfill the desires they have convinced themselves are His will.
    Anyway, rant over. Thanks for sharing Dani! It's encouraging to know there is at least one other woman who agrees with me! :)

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    1. Lydia, I have felt this way for a long time as well. But the older I have grown the more I realize how this thought process can be damaging, especially, like you said, when we're tempted to grow bitter toward God for not giving us what we want.

      Thanks so much for sharing! It is always encouraging to hear from you. :-)

      Dani xoxo

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  2. I have heard of pray for/writing to your future husband before. While I like the idea of writing to your future husband, it's not something that I have ever done or really thought about doing. I agree with what you said about God calling people to singleness now and, if we are meant to, marriage in the future.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Megan! It is a romantic idea, isn't it? But I don't know how healthy it really is, especially if it's distracting us from what God has called us to do now.

      Dani xoxo

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  3. I'm not a Christian but I have heard about people praying for their future husband before. I think you have raised a good point about not making assumptions about what the lord has planned.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Carlyn! I think it is so important for Christians to be consistent when we interpret and obey His Word, the Bible.

      Dani xoxo

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  4. This was a very thought provoking post. It was especially challenging for me to be thinking about the people who God has placed in my life now, and to be praying for them, instead of someone who may or may not be a part of my life someday. Thank you for this post!

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    1. Bethany, I am so glad you found this blog post encouraging! That is definitely the challenge for me as well. ;-)

      Dani xoxo

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  5. This is true and I agree. When I was younger I wrote letters to my future husband but they became more of a god then anything. I used it as a way to play "pretend marriage" in a way. We can't be 100% certain we're going to get married. At the same time I'm not against praying and writing letters to your Lord-willing future husband if that's what you feel let to do.
    Thoughtful post Dani! ♥

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Kara! While here is nothing wrong with wanting to get married someday, I think we have to stop and ask ourselves, "What's the point to pretending I am married now?" And if marriage is God's plan for our lives, I think we can trust that he will prepare us and that we don't have to do anything extra, like pretend we are married now, in order to be ready.

      If you feel led to write to your future husband, i would still urge you to ask yourself, "What is the point of this?" And then to do your best to love, serve, and pray for the people who are in your life already. Honestly, in my opinion, that is the best preparation for marriage, just loving the people God has put in your life as best you can. :)

      Dani xoxo

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  6. God called me to singleness for 25 years and gave me grace to be content while waiting and preparing for my dream of marriage and a family of my own to come true. Desiring a good thing that isn't here yet doesn't have to be coveteousness. I'm glad you're happy where you are, but am also happy my parents and grandparents prayed for my future husband (and they would always add, "If that's God's will for you.") from my birth until my marriage to a man so well suited to me he could only be from my Heavenly Father who loves to answer prayer.

    Enjoyed sitting with you today!

    Love,

    Hannah

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    1. P.S. My husband caught more of the spirit of what you wrote, and echoed the sentiments in it.

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    2. Thank you for sharing, Hannah! I probably could have added that desiring and praying for a husband is not in any way wrong and that God does want us to bring all of our desires to him. Like you said, there is nothing wrong with desiring a good thing. But I still think we need to be careful with our expectations and how tightly we hold onto our desires. Ultimately we have to be willing to leave everything in God's hands. :)

      Thanks again! It was good to see you all the other day. Hopefully the next time I see you, I won't be as sore in the face. ;)

      Dani xoxo

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    3. <3

      And I'm sorry for not reading more carefully.

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  7. This is a really good point. I feel like Christian women are pressured on a general basis to find a husband and find one fast, like we can't be a proper Christian if we don't get married and have kids. I'm 23 and I haven't even had a boyfriend. I'd like to experience one, but I really don't mind being single. I think this is more than just praying for a future spouse or not. I think this is the pressure of the Christian community.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Victoria! You made a good point as well. The church should promote marriage and godly families, but we need to be careful that we're not making it an expectation.

      Dani xoxo

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  8. I do feel that society places an unwarranted pressure on people to find a spouse. I think that leads to people "settling" due to that pressure, which can in turn lead to unhappy marriages. You always make me think...

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    1. Thank you for sharing! Romance and marriage is so often marketed in secular and Christian culture alike as being the key to happiness (or for Christians, the key to holiness as well ;) ). Marriage is a good thing, but I think we definitely have a tendency to idolize it too much.

      Dani xoxo

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