Guest Post: If Only I Had a Spouse

Our friend Heidi has written a guest post for us this week. We’ve been blessed by it and hope you will be too.

On Monday, we’re fasting and praying for God to do a work in our generation to raise up men, sanctify women, and give the gift of marriage to those who desire it.

Have you ever had those days or maybe it was one of those weeks, months, or years when things just kept happening and your internal response was “if only I had a husband/wife this would be so much easier?” I’m walking through one of those ‘funks’ right now and it’s got me doing a lot of thinking.

We all have those seasons of life – whether we’re single, married, divorced, dating, etc. If only–fill in the blank (my kids were older, my wife hadn’t left me, I’d have a husband, etc). These seasons come about for various reasons but it’s typically during times when life has hit a rough spotor twoor three. That’s where I’ve found myself the past week or so – walking through some rough spots and finding myself saying “if only I’d have a husband this would all be different.”

Two weeks ago my check engine light came on in my car, no big deal, last time that happened it was something very minor. Oh….but this time….this time it was a big deal, it was a very expensive fix which turned into me trying to sell my car and unexpectedly going through the process of searching for a new car. It’s been a stressful and, at times, overwhelming process. I’m a single female which means looking for a new car is a very vulnerable feeling for me. I don’t know much at all about vehicles – other than if they look nice and if I like the color (oh and if my feet can reach the pedals). It brought up a lot of feelings of inadequacy inside of me. Feelings I didn’t want to face and feelings that I wish would just not exist. I found myself saying If only I had a husband I wouldn’t feel so inadequate because I wouldn’t be making this big decision all on my own and having to carry the burden of it myself.

Is that truly the case? Is the solution that I need a husband? Not at all – but I so quickly go there. Maybe my husband wouldn’t know the first thing about cars either, maybe he would be just as overwhelmed at the idea of having to look for a new car. God’s Word doesn’t say that when you lack wisdom to wait until a husband shows up at your door. His Word says that if anyone lacks wisdom we are to ask Him and He will give generously! So often, at least for me, I fail to see how God provides this in my life. I ask Him, I tell Him how inadequate I feel, and I definitely remind Him that a husband would really help this situation but I fail to see His provisions if they don’t line up with my ideal in the situation.

He provided generously for me, but did I fail to see it as I focused on my “if only I had a husband” funk? He provided a coworker who treats me like a little sister, a coworker who knows a whole lot about cars and was able to provide me with much wisdom and insight as I made this decision. He provided an amazing father in my life who was willing to go test drive cars with me so I wouldn’t feel as vulnerable. He provided exactly what I needed – and amazingly it wasn’t in the form of a husband.

The car was the most recent issue in my “if only I had a husband” funk. The past 2 years I’ve been walking through some very trying and frustrating health issues. The past 6 months have been an extremely tough journey as I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and have been very actively treating and battling the disease. If you’ve ever walked through health issues as a single person you know how quickly the “if only” concept rises in your mind and heart.

I’ve said “if only” many, many times over the past few months. If only I had a husband to come home and hold me in the strength of his arms when I feel so weak and drained. If only I had a husband who could remind me that it’s ok and we’ll get through this together. If only I had a husband who could be a soft place to fall when I feel like my world is crumbling around me and that I can’t go one more step.

God’s answer to my “if only” concerning my current health issues hasn’t been a husband – much to my disappointment. His answer has been amazing friends who check in on me to see how I’m doing and to remind me that they are praying for me, a job which allows me to be flexible with my hours so I can attend the many doctor’s appointments, a mom who is that soft place to fall when I just need to cry and whine and get out all my frustrations. God has provided me strength in my weakness by carrying me every step of every day through the physical pain, mental inabilities, emotional burden, and the many, many days of wondering when it’ll all be over and I’ll finally feel myself again.

As I’ve pondered the “if only” concept that I so quickly resort to, I’ve come to the conclusion that when I say “If only I had a husband then….” it really is a slap in God’s face. Without actually saying it, I’m saying “God, You are not enough and You are not taking care of me. You are not providing for me in the way I need provided for.” And that, my dear friends, is the farthest thing from the truth. Would all of my problems be fixed if I had a husband? Would my car not have had issues? Would I not be having to purchase a new car? Would my Lyme disease be gone? No, no, and no. A husband can’t fix or change any of these situations.

I’m not saying it still wouldn’t be nice and a blessing to have a husband, that true best friend, to walk with me through these tough times but what I am saying is that Christ IS enough. Until I recognize that and stop saying “If Only” I will not be able to get out of this funk and actually see who God is and how He is walking with me through these trials.

Let me leave you with a challenge to change our wording when we are faced with the temptation to say “If only I had a spouse.” Let’s instead say “If only I would fully trust God and recognize His provisions in my life.” Join me in changing our perspective and being ever so grateful for the many ways God provides – ways that we so often take for granted.

Lord – forgive us for assuming that a spouse will make these trials in our lives easier. You know the desire of our hearts is to be married and to do life with a spouse, You designed us that way and You created us for relationship. But, Lord, we never want that desire to become stronger than our desire for You and our dependence on You.

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17 Responses to Guest Post: If Only I Had a Spouse

  1. Rhonda says:

    There is another danger to that “if only.” One that my husband and I both fell into. Not only did we believe we would be best friends and live happily ever after, we (without realizing it consciously) were believing that our hurts/wounds would be healed by our relationship and that the other person would make us feel happy and loved all the time. Only God can heal our wounds. Only knowing the truth of who you are in Jesus Christ will make you feel fulfilled and joyful. No one in this world can do this for you. If you are single, pray that God will teach you to be content where you are at, b/c if you are waiting for contentment to happen when you are married, I can assure you it won’t happen. In fact, it is a sure way of having an unhappy marriage b/c it is unfair to expect another person to do what only God can do for you. And if God has given you the desire to be married, he WILL give you the desires of your heart!

  2. Lyn says:

    This protracted singleness thing . . .it’s not that God isn’t providing, but that He allows the sins of other people to impact our lives. Rampant promiscuity, porn use and broken men who just wanna play their XBox and not bother to get tied down is the ‘reason’ why so many of us single Christian women are wondering ‘when?’ and as the years go on ‘if’ it’s ever going to happen.
    I told a friend the other day that this singleness thing is kind of like trying to fix a toilet that just won’t flush. I’ve cleaned it, renewed all the parts, decorated it – you name it. But it still won’t flush.
    Well, if the problem is in the sewer system itself, no amount of improvement is going to help that toilet flush. Crude, but I think it gets the point across. So many of us have agonized wondering when God will think we’re ready and prayed and self helped our minds out until we’re resigned enough maybe to God’s will when the problem is systemic failure at large in the way people interact with on another in our modern culture. It’s just broken, folks.

  3. Charmaine says:

    Um, God provides a coworker who treats you like a little sister – that in NO WAY eases the pain or lack of not having a husband. If God provides such wonderful gifts why not provide the thing that’s missing rather than a substitute? I can see you’re trying to be thankful for what you do have, but its not the same thing. The bottomline is God hasn’t provided a husband and nothing but a husband can fulfil that role. Just like hungry people need food and giving them a rock won’t alleviate their hunger. .

  4. Katy says:

    Beautiful! Something I felt as a single and now feel as a married woman (with different “if onlys” of course…)

    On a practical note, I think it’s so important that Christians help meet those more gender specific roles for each other. My brother in law helped pull my car out when it was stuck in the mud and I had guy friends who helped me load up a moving van. I would help my male friends prep for a party or pick out gifts for their moms, sisters, etc. Even as a married woman, when a friend needs my husband to help moving furniture, I encourage it. I answer dating advice questions for our single male friends and often send them home from our house with a plate of cookies or leftovers. Singles don’t have the built in “opposite gender” person to help with life, so we, as a church, should definitely help out!

    As a single, when I would say “if only I had a husband”, I started to realize I did have other people God placed in my life. Rely on God, His provision and His people. And, certainly, be his provision to others!

    Praying for your ladies! And thanks for the reminder to NOT think “if only…I had a job, a baby, family lived nearby, more friends, etc”

    • Heidi says:

      Thanks for that encouragement – and I so agree with you that as believers we need to support each other in any and every way we can – whether married or single. God has gifted us in different ways so that wen can help in each other’s weaknesses and truly function as the Body of Christ!

  5. Deb B says:

    You beautifully captured one of the struggles of my heart, one I’m sure many of us face. Thank you so much for not only capturing this but also providing some hope, encouragement and helpful advice. I was truly blessed by this!

    • Heidi says:

      So glad it blessed you! May God continue to encourage you and remind you of HIS love for you and His amazing provisions!

  6. Neelam says:

    Beautiful. Thanks Heidi. Will be praying for healing for you and that godly husband for you (and the others on this list as well). But you are right, He is more than enough. To God be the glory.


  7. HD says:

    I had similar “If only” thoughts. This past weekend I was pulled over by the police for not having my car inspected as well as registered according to PA law. I said, “If only my dad was alive, he would of noticed.” But I also secretly thought “If I had a husband he could help split the load & would remember such things!” Realistically I know that is not a certainty. My Easter goal is to walk like a woman who trusts in God and believes in a Risen Christ. Thank you for such poignant thoughts to fast.pray with today and with a community. Heidi may your recovery from Lyme disease be sure and steady!

    • Heidi says:

      Trust…..ugh….what a big struggle so many of us have. I’ve found that so often when I get in the funk of ‘if only’ it often comes down to a trust issue. It’s a lack of my trust in God to provide exactly what He knows I need in the way He knows I need it. What a great Easter goal – praying that He continues to draw you near to Him and teaches you to trust Him more each day!

  8. jane says:

    well.. I can see how you would love to have a husband.. but you are sorta making up what he will be like when/if you get one. There is no guarantee he will know anything about cars – mine doesn’t, so when we get our next car I will be on my own to work it out (actually I will call on my dad!). Some guys really struggle with knowing what to do when a wife has a serious illness…. some even leave (although hopefully not a godly one). He also could be working shift work as a DR and you may hardly ever see him – so it would still be your mum and friends attending appointments etc. with you – there are just no guarantees of what he will be like and what will happen. But it’s so easy to think ‘if I had this then..” we all do it in so many areas. I do it in the area of church – “If I just went to a better church I wouldn’t struggle with knowing Gods love, or with a particular sin etc etc .’ So hard to just be grateful for what God provides, in the way He does provide.

    • Heidi says:

      You are so right – which is what I meant by saying that so often we think the answer to our problem is the ‘if only…..’ – but it isn’t. The only answer is God and trusting that He will provide exactly what we need. It’s something we so easily get caught up in and then miss the amazing work God is doing in our lives.

  9. Rachel says:

    Fantastic writing that hits home this week. Thank you!

  10. Veronicachris says:

    Dear Guest blogger, I feel and hear you. Have been for approx 4 years # where is he ( my husband). There is a family with baby next to me right now…and I wonder. C

    • Heidi says:

      The waiting can be hard – but getting to a place of realizing that whatever is we are waiting for won’t fix our problems, struggles, or frustrations is a very important place to come to in our walk with Christ. Only He can fill the void – the rest is just added benefits.

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