Dear Future Husband, I’m Not Waiting


Dear Future Husband,

I’m not waiting.

Did you freak out a little bit? If you grew up in certain American Christian subcultures, your mind probably jumped to that awkward night in youth group where all the girls and guys were separated for “the talk.” Chances are you came out of that night with some sort of purity resolution document to sign, or maybe a purity ring. (Can I get an “amen” from the 90s and 00s youth group kids?!) Yeah, you probably think I’m talking about sex—because we’ve been well conditioned by church culture to think about “sex” when we hear “waiting” in the context of dating and relationships. But that’s not what I’m talking about today.

I’m talking about life. Real life.

Because somehow, that “waiting” mantra—and regarding sex, it is a good one—has bled over into how we think about unmarried people. Particularly unmarried women, like me.

The overwhelming message single women hear in church is that our lives don’t start until we get married. That’s when we can start having children. That’s when we can do things in ministry. That’s when we can serve on boards and write books and see the world and start our real lives.

It’s time for that lie to be stopped dead in its tracks. It’s time for that lie to stop being told and being heard. Because it’s a lie; it’s not true. And it’s not worth perpetuating or listening to.

So I’m here to tell you today, future husband, that I’m not waiting for you.

  • I’m not waiting for you so my life can start.
  • I’m not waiting for you so I can move out of my parents’ house.
  • I’m not waiting for you so I can start mentoring young women.
  • I’m not waiting for you so I can travel and see the world.
  • I’m not waiting for you so I can serve on boards of ministries and organizations.
  • I’m not waiting for you so I can write the books swimming in my head.
  • I’m not waiting for you so I can have a voice about significant decisions in my church.
  • I’m not waiting for you so I can have dinner with other married couples.
  • I’m not waiting for you so I can get involved with organizations and community events.
  • I’m not waiting for you so I can love my nieces and nephews.
  • I’m not waiting for you so I can build relationships with and mentor students.
  • I’m not waiting for you so I can lead a ministry, head a new idea, or wrangle my dreams.
  • I’m not waiting for you so my life can start.

My life has started, and I’m doing stuff. Stuff I can’t wait to tell you about if and when you do show up. And if and when you arrive, we’ll do many things together, new stuff and old stuff. Because when you get here, my life isn’t going to just be starting. It’ll continue on just as it is now. Sure, it will be different because you’re going to add a whole new dynamic. But your arrival doesn’t mark the beginning of my life. Your arrival marks the beginning of our life.

And you know what? Then tenth grade youth group will pay off, and the waiting I really am doing for you will come to an end.

But until then, my life is still happening. And so should yours.

Carry on.

Until we wed,
Emily



About

Emily Gehman is a Storytelling Coach by day, freelance writer by night, and follower of Jesus at all hours. She works with AUHENTIK Magazine, writes at emilygehman.com and tweets @emilygehman. Emily has eight nieces and nephews and is in a long-term relationship with her dog, Rockwell.


  • Great article, Emily!
    Tami

  • Tim Ridolfi

    Well said. Keep living.

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