As a young teenager, I made a commitment to wait for God to bring my future mate. I committed that not only would I keep my body pure for my husband someday, but I would also guard my heart. For me, this meant that my teens and twenties were focused on serving in the local church and other ministries rather than temporary dating relationships.
Waiting was much harder and much longer than I would ever have imagined. I thought that if I did all the right things (kept myself pure, served in ministry), then surely God would reward me with a husband. My heart’s desire was to be a wife, mother, and homemaker. Sometimes I would see God give these blessings to others who had not waited on His timing or not been faithful to serve Him, and I was tempted to feel resentful. God was breaking me of a prideful spirit that thought I could control His blessings by my obedience. I had to learn to walk with God out of true love for Him, not out of expectation of a reward.
I kept waiting. Twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven. People would say things like, “Once you are content being single, then God will bring the right person.” But I found that contentment was a choice, not a feeling. Contentment did not mean that the desire to be with someone went away. Contentment also did not mean that that someone would magically appear.
When I was twenty-nine, a friend introduced me to a man in her church and we began casually dating, often in groups of friends, and talking on the phone every day. I thought that at last this was the one that God had for me. He was a Christian and my parents approved of him; we had some pretty significant differences in our beliefs, but I thought we could work through those. When the relationship reached a turning point, I prayed fervantly that God might work in his heart to see me as his future wife; instead after nearly a year, we broke up, and my heart was broken.
The days following were some of the toughest that I have ever been through, but God poured out His love and grace on my aching heart. Through all the tears, the loneliness, and the unanswered questions, He helped me to turn to Him in deeper dependence than ever. I wondered, “What now?” God planted a little idea in my heart, and I began a specific time of 40 Days of prayer and fasting for my future husband. My best friend (also single and wanting to be married) and I kept each other accountable as we studied and prayed through the books of Ruth and Proverbs. We also fasted from all sugar and a few days we fasted from food entirely. At the end of those 40 days, I felt a new confidence that God was going to answer my prayers for a husband. But I also had grown so much more in love with Christ than ever before!
What I didn’t know was that 300 miles away, God was working in the heart of a young man and causing him to take steps that would enable us to meet. After the 40 days, I continued to pray intensely and fervently for God to either take away my desire to be a wife and mother or to answer it. Though I had been praying for my future husband for many years, I had never felt such clear direction that this was what I needed to pray for as I did then. Once a week I would fast and pray; often I would just pour my heart out to God about this burden.
That spring, Christopher and I met. From the very beginning, I was amazed at how many similarities we had in family background, interests, and beliefs. Never before had I met someone who matched me so well in every area. As we talked, I learned that he, too, had been waiting and praying for God to bring someone to him. He had been lonely and longed for someone just as I had. Over the months that followed it became clear that God had been preparing us over these many years, for each other. Christopher wanted to do things the right way from the beginning. Even though I was thirty-one years old, he still asked my father for permission to date me and later to marry me. During our dating, he gave me a beautiful silver ring from Israel with “I am my beloved’s” inscribed on it in Hebrew. He had bought this a few years earlier in hopes that someday he would meet a girl to give it to; turns out, it fit me perfectly. Most of our relationship was long distance, so we spent a lot of time talking on the phone and sending emails and letters. The distance protected us from physical temptations and allowed us to learn a lot about each other through deep conversations.
When it came time to plan our wedding, my father was out of a job and my parents couldn’t afford to give me the wedding that they wanted. We watched in amazement as God provided. Time after time, the people that Christopher or I had been serving or serving with in ministry turned around and blessed us. It became almost a game, seeing God provide in every little detail. Our wedding weekend was beautiful and perfect and I felt that my Heavenly Bridegroom was smiling down on Christopher and I and blessing our day.
It is wonderful to have saved myself sexually for my husband and to know that he did the same for me. It adds a great level of trust and closeness to our marriage. It is wonderful to have no regrets from the past. Even more, I am thankful that I waited for God’s very best, and that He protected me from making a second-best choice. During the years that I was waiting (and especially during the 40 days) I kept a special journal where I wrote down thoughts and prayers for my future husband. It helped me to remember that I was waiting for someone, not just waiting to wait! Just before our wedding, I gave that journal to Christopher and it meant so much to know that he truly was an answer to each of those things that I had prayed. We enjoy married life so much and have only grown in our love for and understanding of each other. We have a beautiful baby girl, and we often think that she would not be here if we had tried to shortcut God’s plan. During the times that are challenging, we think back over what God has done and it helps us to keep the right perspective and to rely on His faithfulness!
–Mrs. Jennifer Hunt
Ask or Think Ministries