I get it!
As you inch further along in age, more and more of your friends get happily married. It’s easy to get impatient, desperate, or cynical.
It’s easy to let the desire for a spouse and children dominate your prayers.
But what else can you DO?
Here’s seven ways to get ready for a husband that don’t just involve begging God for one (no shame).
1. Pray for your husband
What?! Didn’t you just say this list goes beyond prayers to meet your future spouse?
But of course you’re still going to pray for him. Don’t just pray to meet him, however. Pray that wherever he is right now, God is taking care of him. The mysterious “future husband” will become less of an idea, and more of an actual, imperfect, flesh-and-blood person that God has on his own path in life. He could probably use your prayers. So start being his teammate right now.
2. Follow God’s Calls in Your Life
The more we follow what God is asking of us as single women, the better our sense of ourselves as individuals becomes, and the more likely we are to attract men we’re truly compatible with. Think about it; let’s say you grew up in the northeast but you’ve always liked the idea of living in the Pacific Northwest. Go for it—you’ll have an adventure and then maybe meet a man who loves the mountains and rainforests as much as you do!
3. Don’t Panic-Discern Religious Life
It’s possible to assume you’re called to marriage, yet one day begin to desire to explore a religious vocation. This is good and healthy. It’s important to truly discern your vocation, since it is part of your path to sainthood.
Religious vocations are extraordinary callings— a call to begin your Heaven united to Christ here on earth.
However, sometimes we panic instead of discern. Just because you’re not married or engaged by the age you anticipated, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re supposed to be a nun. It doesn’t mean you are being wildly selfish.
Give vocations their due and don’t freak out. God wants to take care of your heart. Let Him be in control– not you.
4. Don’t Force a Relationship
We’ve probably all been there…you go on a few dates with a nice Catholic guy, but you aren’t feeling it. Maybe there’s no attraction developing, your value system doesn’t coincide, or your personalities clash. Essentially, deep down you know this isn’t “it.” But then you imagine your friends and family scrutinizing you and wondering “what are you waiting for?! He’s nice and he’s Catholic, what else do you want?”
You start to rationalize. “Do I really need to find him handsome? Do I need to be excited to see him? Do I care for him?”
When in doubt, ask Christ to reveal to you if you have any fears holding you back from being with Mr. Right.
BUT if you’re praying and being honest with yourself and you just aren’t into him… listen to your gut. Marriage is for life, and even if he’s perfect and he’s mad about you, he deserves a woman who will delight in him. Dragging someone along just to have a relationship is not loving and no foundation for marriage.
And you know what? You deserve to marry someone you love too.
5. Make an Act of Hope
And since that day probably will come, you can show your husband how happily you prepared for him.
6. Meditate on Heaven
Love the people in front of you (including yourself). St. Francis de Sales tells us that we learn to love by loving, and it’s true that living charitably now will help you be a more virtuous wife later.
But it’s not just about that. It can be easy to think that we’re still single because there’s something wrong with us, that we’re not ready, that if we frantically conquer our faults God will reward us with a vocation.
But it’s not the case.
We’re absolutely in God’s hands, on His time. The more we can open ourselves to His love now, the better off we’ll be, no matter what our state in life is.