Dear Future Husband,
Where are you? I’ve waited a long time for you to appear.
Most of my friends have already found love, but I’m still waiting for you. A decade ago I caught the bouquet in a wedding—in fact it more or less fell in my hands—and since then I’ve stood in four weddings and attended probably a dozen more, all while wondering where you were.
Have you been looking at porn?
Don’t worry… I get it. You’re probably bitter because you’re still single too. And you probably stumbled across it in high school, around the time your family got this new “internet” thing everyone was talking about. So porn has been your sexual outlet and your constant comfort since then.
And you’re not alone in that. One study found that 46% of men actively seek out porn at least once a month. And that’s assuming you haven’t been putting yourself in a position to “accidentally stumble across porn” as well.
You know what? That’s okay! I forgive you for what you watched in the past. I even forgive you for when you stumble in the future. Porn is tempting enough as it is, and you’ve probably built yourself a habit around viewing it. Addictive habits like this are very hard to break. So I forgive you for being imperfect. Heaven knows there are things in me that you’ll need to forgive.
I do need you to stop, though.
Because here’s the thing. I’m not sure we’ll ever find each other until you do.
See, you’ve been training yourself to look at women as if we’re a collection of body parts, constructed for your pleasure. You probably know what you find attractive in a woman, and you got that list from porn.
And I probably don’t match any of them. Most women don’t. Even a woman with porn star characteristics won’t live up to your expectations because she’s only one woman, and you’ve been setting your expectations based on thousands.
So chances are good that no matter how hard I try to meet culture’s illusory standards of beauty, you won’t even notice me, simply because I don’t look like those women.
So I need you to stop looking at porn so you don’t see me as an imperfect collection of body parts, but as a daughter of God—a full person, created in His image, just like you were. But you won’t do that until you stop.
“But I need a sexual outlet.” Do you really, future husband? At age 36, I’ve been fine without one. I’ve been waiting for you, saving my sexuality for you, since high school and the days of purity rings and I Kissed Dating Goodbye. But more importantly, I’ve spent countless hours wrestling with passages like 1 Corinthians 6-7, longing for you to appear, and trying to comprehend what it means when Paul says it’s better to remain single as he was—and as Jesus was. See, Paul makes it clear that sex is designed for intimacy and oneness with your spouse. I look forward to experiencing it with you one day! I look forward to that physical and emotional bond we’ll form together. But I need you to stop looking at sex like a biological necessity, because it’s not, and I need you to stop looking at sex as a tool for self-gratification, because it’s not. And we’ll both be miserable in marriage if you continue to treat sexuality that way through watching porn.
So, future husband, that’s who I need you to not be: a self-gratifying porn user. But who do I need you to be?
First, I need you to love Jesus wholeheartedly, and spend time studying the Bible. After all, if you don’t know Jesus, you can’t exactly love me like He loves the church. And that means laying aside the selfish things in your life, like porn. If I can’t trust you to sacrifice the things that are outright harmful to you, how can I trust you to make good but necessary sacrifices for the good of our family?
As part of that, I need you to be honest with me, and I need you to be accountable for what you see and do. I need you to tell me, or at least someone we both trust, when you’re struggling. I won’t need to hear every nitty-gritty detail, and there may be some cases where knowing the details may hurt more than it helps, but I need you to at least not hide things from me. I know I can’t “fix” you, but I want to love you and help you in any way I can, and I can’t do that if you’re not willing to bring your secret habits, like porn, into the light.
On top of that, I need you to live a full life. Have friends! Devote yourself to a hobby. Yes, it’s true that when we get married, our lives will be joined. That’s one of the reasons Paul says it’s better to remain single; marriage complicates things like serving in the church or even, realistically, what to have for dinner. But I am a whole person with hobbies and interests as a single woman, and I will be a whole person after we’re married. I have friends and I have hobbies, and I want you to have them too, if only because we will need a break from each other every once in a while. In fact, I’d love for you to have goals for your work and hobbies that I can support. Are you a writer? Artist? Musician? Woodworker? Gourmet chef? I’d love to at least be a creative ear for you.
So, future husband, please. Please get rid of all the distractions in your life, like porn. Please spend time exploring your town and trying out new things. Please learn to live your life to the fullest. Live life creatively in the image of a Creator God, so we can teach our children, should they come, to do the same.
Don’t worry. I’ll be here waiting for you.
A Marriage takes effort and commitment from both partners and very often while we do have expectations for our partners, we need to look at ourselves and focus on what we bring to a relationship. Yes a potential partner should overcome a porn addiction before entering a relationship but you yourself should also focus on staying away from all forms of temptation.
I’ve met women I thought I might be I treated I but I didnt feel anything, nothing. I enjoyed her company, did some fun activities like dinner out, road trip, festivals, etc, but i was hoping for a happy feeling. I’m guilty of using porn since my wife died 2.5 yrs ago. I succumb to the temptation after being clean. Is it possible to fall in love again like the first time? I dont want to repeat the past again.
The focus here is on HIS problem, not hers. She said she was imperfect. How about appreciate the tremendous humility and grace she shows. The sad reality is that almost all women can now expect to have a spouse polluted in some way by pornography, at some point in his life. While women can have a problem too, there is just no comparison and young women everywhere are going wanting for a non-porn addicted man.
This Autobiography was Very Good and Helpful. Keeping God “First” in My Life helps me to Focus and Keep things Real. I will Continue to Fight the Good Fight of Faith! Porn is Always Tempting but Taking this “Sin” One day at a Time is No Doubt Helping me to Grow Much Stronger in “Jesus Christ ” My Lord and Saviour. God is Faithful and With his Help One day I “Will Be” Living with Him, Through Faith!
‘Dear future husband’… The words linger so sweetly yet so weighty. I pray these words will not cease to echo in my mind and heart. “Dear future wife, you deserve a man great for God and committed to grow in Christ-likeness. I take your words to heart. Thank you.”
I wish I would have read this, and had the ability to comprehend it, when I was way younger. God and I would have been able to completely change my life, the person I’d become, what I would have had to offer others, and the struggles it forces me to overcome. Porn is horrendous and a great thief. The greatest threat to the fabric of society today. However, the hope in this Open Letter is fantastic. It exudes mercy, grace, and love. Thank you for this Open Letter.
I shared this on FB. Very well said. Wayne Watson wrote a song, probably back in the 80’s, about praying for his son’s future wife. This post reminds me of that, of course.
She says “at 36 I dont need a sexual outlet”. Therein lies the problem in so many marriages. Women are not really interested.
This is an untrue generalization that allows men the excuse to look at porn rather than work on their relationships. A woman who says she doesn’t need a sexual outlet is often, in fact, stating that the relationship has no emotional intimacy, and therefore, there is no place for physical intimacy. If you’re really interested in working on the relationship, not for the sake of getting the sexual pleasure you want, but in order to really have a successful relationship, I would suggest John Gottman’s book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. It’s the very best research on successful relationships–and not one of the seven principles involves having sex. The research is clear: sex will not save your relationshiop. Your wife knows this. She needs a relationship. Are you up for that kind of work? If not, don’t be surprised if she isn’t up for what you want, either. Peace, Kay
“At 36 I don’t need a sexual outlet” is a non-sequitur. Your age is not the issue because a woman can often feel more sexual the older she gets. I am 40, widowed and have a very strong sex drive.
And I know a lot of women who are very much wanting a sexual outlet, and they often can be very sexually aggressive. I have cut off several relationships with women who were too impatient to wait for sex after a couple of dates let alone marriage.
On the other hand, I have a very strong libido as well. My wife and I had a very active sex life but sadly was taken from me in a car accident 3 years ago. For my future wife it is very important to find a Christian woman who considers daily sex to be a priority. If she acts ambivalent or dismissive of sex during pre-marital counseling, I will not just let it go and hope for the best once we are married. She will either get her mind right about the importance of sex in marriage or I will find someone who does.
But of course I understand the importance that the emotional and spiritual connection has within marriage but my experience with my wife was that the longer we were married the less of a distinction there was between the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of sex. There were all bound together. The breakthrough for us was after a couple of years when things were starting to slow down sexually we went to counseling and my wife agreed to commit to daily sex and I agreed to her request that I initiate 100 date requests that she wrote on wooden sticks and put in a jar with different kinds of dates on each stick. I had to finish the jar within the year which meant we did two each week.
Our relationship really flourished that year and, ironically, my wife became just as dependent on daily sex as I was. It was definitely a needed sexual outlet for her as much as it was for me.
I appreciate the straightforwardness of this letter! It is a sincere woman’s heart. I have asked the Lord to forgive me for the times that I have hurt my wife which is now my ex. There is victory in overcoming porn, and I give that Victory to my Lord Jesus Christ my great savior! We live in a world now that is saturated with sensuality, open sex, and with no regard to the human body or the soul! I pray for all my brothers and sisters who are going through this trial. Thanks for sharing this letter!
Very good letter. I have struggled to overcome a porn addiction on some level for 10 years. I began seeking help in earnest when reengaging the internet brought my addiction to light, and I, now a Christian, began to feel the horror of what was so familiar to me all my life. About 6 years ago, there was a marked change in my struggle, and I shortly afterwards met my wife. I courted her, and we married, and she has been a constant ally in my struggle. It’s hard on her, but I never hid this part of my life from her. We have a good relationship, but I mourn for the tears I’ve caused her, and I imagine the day I am free of this, I will mourn even more for them. We live in a culture where commonly men are exposed to porn at the age of 7, as I was. No child can be exposed to such things without being altered in their development. It is cruel, and evil. I liken the porn industry to a couple having sex in a bedroom, and noticing a child enter, and inviting him to stay and watch. There is no difference to the child, and no one would expect him to not be broken.
I bring this up because it may be the man you’re waiting for isn’t worthy of you, but God needs you in his life to help him through this battle that he might BECOME worthy. I’m not saying this is necessarily the case, but when I met my wife I didn’t think I was ready because of my struggle. Yet God confirmed in many ways that she was indeed to be my wife. And when I say we have a good relationship… I keep no secrets from her, though I don’t give her all the details. We laugh more than I’ve laughed with anyone else in my life. We play video games together, we watch television, we cook like its nobody’s business, and we engage in ministry. We have great intimacy, and our sex life is full.
And though I cannot claim absolute freedom from sexual sin in my life, without her in my life I would have died years ago. God is good, and most men in this country are now broken in this area, or will be. The porn industry is intentionally making us a nation of addicts… why else would it be free on the internet? Why else would it be nearly impossible to produce internet access without also giving yourself access to porn? I am computer savvy, but locking down my pc so that I can’t access porn is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done on a computer… and I’ve been a competitive gamer for 30 years.
Thank you again, sister, for the article!