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A reader asks:

I’ve been an occasional reader of your Serious Faith blog for a while and I feel like I always have questions, but I’ve been hesitant to ask because I’m not sure I’ll like the answer.  I’m at the end of my rope on this one, however, and I’d appreciate any insight you have.

I’m 26 and single.  I hate being single.  I want the companionship and support that comes with being in a relationship.  I want someone to love and spend time with and dote on.  I feel that God must have given me this desire, as it is so strong and I’ve always felt this way.  I’ve prayed every night for about a year for God to bring me a wonderful man.  Now I feel like pounding my fists on the ground and asking “Why, God, why, do you give me this desire and not fulfill it?”

I just don’t know what to do.  Do I give up?  I feel like I should stop asking God because it will hurt less if I don’t ask for it and don’t get it, than if I ask for it and don’t get it. How come everyone else can find a husband and get married but I’m stuck out in the cold by myself? My friends say I should lower my standards but I say that’s not a good solution.

My answer:

First, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be married. In fact, it is the most natural choice we have (as compared to entire life of being single). So yes, God gave you this desire. It is completely within His known will for our existence as revealed in the Bible.

God honors our prayers and you can be sure that He hears your prayers for a husband with the assumption you are not engaged in, and ignoring, some obvious sin in your life. This can keep God from hearing and answering. There are actually several conditions for having our prayers heard. Many people have never considered the plain Bible teaching on this before. For more on that, go here.

Don’t pound your fists on the ground. You already know the answer to your own questions.

You know the desire for marriage is a wholesome desire. You know that God has not fulfilled that desire yet, so what does that tell you? We know that God is perfect, loves us and has our best intentions at heart? So if that prayer has not been answered, you know by default that it is not “time” yet for some reason.

The “reason” is the part you have to work out:

  • Does something in your life need to change first?
  • Is there something that still needs to be done or finished?
  • Is there something going on in your life that God knows would frustrate or ruin a marriage?
  • Is there some attitude, expectation, sin or motivation that needs to be worked out or corrected first?

On a practical level:

  • Are you looking for a husband in the kinds of places or groups where a good and godly husband can be found?
  • Do you have some UNREALISTIC standards or requirements for a man?
  • Has God put someone in front of you that you are not seeing because some selfish focus has you looking past or through them?

Don’t give up any standards you have that are high GODLY standards. If your standards are superficial or worldly, then you need to pray and ask God to show you what to change or get rid of.

You should never give up asking God for something until you know full well he has answered and it is time to stop.  Do you really think NOT ASKING is going to get your prayer answered?

Remember, God is in control and all things happen according to his will and in light of his love for us. So if marriage has not happened for you yet, then God has a reason. You know its not God’s time yet for the simple fact that it has not occurred.  Discover that reason. You can. God promises wisdom if you ask for it. (James 1.5)  Have you asked?  Ask God: “Gracious God, you know my desire is to be married which I know is a pleasing thing to you. I’m not sure why you haven’t answered my prayer for a husband, but I know there is a reason. Please reveal that reason to me. Give me wisdom to understand it, and courage to face it. I’m ready to change anything that needs to be changed, including my patience….”

Speaking of asking, what are your questions for me concerning relationships, marriage or life?