Singleness

Letter To My Future Husband

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Okay, maybe I’m a really big jerk, but I just have to ask, what if you never get married?

Ahhhhh- singleness and the Church.

I remember being encouraged to write letters to my future husband. It came up multiple times throughout the 6 years I spent in my church’s youth group. I remember thinking that sounds nice and romantic and fairy-tale-esque. And then I remember thinking, what if I never get married? What if there is no future husband?

Gasp.

What a horrible thought, right? A young Christian girl who believes that she may not get married?!

There were primarily two reasons for my thinking, one healthy and the other not so much.

On the one hand, I knew a few single older women. There were a couple of women in my church who were in their 80’s and had been single their whole lives. I had a couple of Sunday school teachers who were single and in their 30’s. Even as I got older, 3 of my favorite women and role models in my church were in their mid to late 20’s and, oh my goodness, were single!

On the other not-so-healthy hand, I didn’t have a very positive view of men and of dating or marriage relationships so you can bet your grandmother’s wedding ring that I did not want to get married.

Irregardless of my personal issues, I think the Church does an awful job (generally speaking) of “dealing” with singles for a few reasons. There are often these ideas endorsed by the Church that:

  1. One cannot be sexually fulfilled unless you’re married and having sex.
  2. Marriage is God’s ultimate design for human relationships.
  3. Females are not worthy contributors to the church (and potentially society) unless they’re married.

Paul speaks very highly of singles in 1 Corinthians chapter 7. It seems to me that the Church has lost this view of singleness.

32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

I’m sure there are many other reasons that Churches struggle with singles. What would you add to the list? If you’re single, what’s your experience been like in the Church?

Bringing it full circle, what do you think about the idea of girls writing letters to their future husbands?

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14 thoughts on “Letter To My Future Husband

  1. I’m struggling with this very issue right now. I always believed that I would get married and have a family and now at 32, I feel like an absolute failure because I’m not/haven’t. I’m really struggling with my faith and belief and prayer and God and everything because of the way that Christianity promises/values marriage.

  2. Before I met my husband, I became alright with the fact that I may never get married. I know, it is easy for me to say now that I am married, but those really were some of the best times of my single life. I wasn’t focused on waiting on the one, but acceptant of the fact that there may not be any such thing as “the one”.. I didn’t call Jesus my husband, but I did know he was all I needed to live this life and no husband was going to ever fulfill that need.

    One thing I will add to that, I certainly prayed God would give me a husband, because I still desired one, but was willing to be content in whatever situation he was preparing for me (Phil 4:12). Thanks for you post! 🙂

    • I think when you’re single and you’re focusing on getting married or finding a husband it can be hard to focus on God and on his calling on your life for the present. Your life doesn’t begin when you get married. Your calling doesn’t begin when you get married. I sometimes think women in the church forget that.

      I love that you acknowledged that you still had the desire to be married! That desire inside of us is definitely good, it’s just not one that is guaranteed to be fulfilled 😉

  3. I also just realized I never really answered the questions. I have noticed in past churches I have been to that they too often promote the idea of there being “the one” somewhere out there. Not only does that take their focus off of Jesus, it places it impossibly on a future husband, I have seen marriages that have been difficult because they had all their hopes and dreams placed on their future husband, and when he failed to be perfect things got rough.

  4. reasons two and three are the ones the Church gets confused the most. Jesus even says that in heaven we are not married, it’s all about Him there, so there must be some reflection of that in the Church. John Piper has a GREAT section on singleness in his book on marriage. I reviewed it on my blog earlier this year. check it out.

    • Hi Brad! Thanks for your comment. I like that you brought up the fact that we will not be married in Heaven and that there must be some reflection of that in the Church. I will check out your review of Piper’s book! Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. As someone who began to write letters to her future husband in 6th grade, encouraged to do so no doubt by some well-meaning Sunday school teachers, I’ve come to think that this practice is a cover-up – a band-aid for lonely people who don’t like to admit that they are lonely. The point of writing these letters, as I’ve heard it communicated, is for that future husband to know who you were when you were younger, different, etc. and how you’ve come to be the person you are today. The core reason for writing is to make known who you are and to be known for your inner thoughts and character. If I want to be in an intimate relationship where I am known and loved (regardless of whether I will be married someday or not), I want to write letters to someone who already is HERE and DOES know me and wants me to know him. (None of that “Jesus is your boyfriend” crap. Just the “Jesus is the only one who can fulfill those deep longings inside or outside of marriage” sense.)

    • Oh the “Jesus is my boyfriend” line- always so interesting. The point in writing these letters you communicated intrigues me. Why wouldn’t you just tell your boyfriend/fiance/husband about your younger self? I suppose having hand written letters to give to him would be more romantic 🙂 It always just seemed to me to be a way to get girls thinking about marriage and having a husband and preparing themselves to be good wives.

      • Or to get you focused on getting married at a young age so that you would be “taken care of” and the church wouldn’t have to “deal with” another single person. It feels a little like manipulation, even though I’m guessing youth leaders just see it as a way to redirect those budding sexual urges of middle-school aged youth from the here and now to the future. Delayed gratification = good, but so much focus on the future seems to just set us up for disappointment.

      • I hear you. I don’t mind helping students think about their futures, who they want to become, or teaching them delayed gratification, but practically guaranteeing them a spouse and telling them to focus on becoming a good future wife/husband is no way to do it!

  6. I have written occasionally to my future husband. Mostly in college. It has been a few years now since the last one. I haven’t thought much about it until reading this post. A few thoughts:

    – I didn’t think of the purpose of them being so that he could know me when I was younger. More that one day he would appreciate the journey I’d been on and that I loved him, prayed for him, and longed for him for so long. To give him the gift of the love I had for him before I knew him. To let him know he was special. A long-hoped-for answer to prayers.

    – I haven’t written in a long time I think because in these past few years I’ve been more content in my singleness than ever before in my life. And while I still long for him, somehow writing to him feels like waiting for my life to start. That’s stupid. I’m living my life in Christ right now.

    – If you read my blog, you’ll understand that recent events have disturbed this contentment. But instead of running to my future husband through a letter, I really don’t want to think about him at all. I want to be content again. And for that I need to run to Jesus, as many above have said.

    – Whether I will write any more letters remains to be seen. Right now I probably won’t. I do think that praying for him is a good thing, but I don’t want my hope to be in him. I want it to be in Jesus.

    • I like the points you bring up. It’s interesting though that you say that you haven’t written these letters in the past few years because you’ve been more content in your singleness than previously in your life. I think that we should be content in our singleness- just as married people should be content in their marriages. If being content caused you to think less about having a husband and therefore you wrote fewer letters to said future husband, I wonder if writing these letters just feeds our discontentment with being single and isn’t a healthy thing to encourage young girls to do.

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