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.