It’s Worth the Fight

My butt hurt. I was sitting on the most uncomfortable bleacher that bleachers have to offer, listening to a guy I didn’t know talk to 1,200 high schoolers about…sex. For a nerdy high school sophomore, this was adolescent awkward at its best. The presenter spoke all about dating, marriage, “true love”, etc. which I tended to tune out at 2:00pm on a Tuesday afternoon. Of all the seemingly annoying explanations, one point did strike a chord with me – “my future spouse”.

I had never thought about my future spouse. That afternoon I began thinking, “What will she look like? How will I meet her? What will make her laugh? What will I like about her?” These were all strange thoughts for me at that moment in time. The presenter continued, telling us all that our future spouses were worth praying, waiting, searching, and sacrificing for. As a 16 year old who could care less what this guy had to say, that random Tuesday, I agreed.

Abstract Ideas

You may have heard the “future spouse” idea before, or maybe this is your first time hearing this. Regardless, it’s a good thing to think about. Saying “yes” to your future spouse now can make it easier to say “no” to temptations, trials, and tribulations as they arise. The concept, however, tends be fairly abstract. Just think for a moment…out there, somewhere, somehow, someway I am going to marry a specific someone that will bring me joy and happiness here and will ultimately guide me to heaven.

It’s worth it

A little over a month ago I asked this “future spouse” that I abstractly thought about my sophomore year of high school to marry me (woah). She actually said “yes” (double woah). All of the prayers, sacrifices, searching, and waiting that I committed to since that Tuesday in high school has become one of best decisions of my life. Especially now that this flesh and blood, holy knockout of a woman named Emily literally IS my future wife.

Maybe this is too simple, or too obvious, but I can at least write from my recent experience and say that my future wife was, and continues to be worth saying “yes” to. Saying “yes” to her 12 years ago has made saying “yes” to her now an incredible reality. For those of you on or even considering the lifelong journey of chastity; the blood, sweat, and tears are worth it, and I believe they will continue to be worth it for the rest of my life. Love is worth choosing in the great fights of our lives. It’s the fight that makes it great. It’s the fight that makes it heroic. Ladies and gents, be in it for the long haul. Your spouse is worth this fight, and this fight will transform your life.

Sincerely,

Emily’s Future Husband (Pete Burds)

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PeteBEver since his re-version to Catholicism through a high school youth ministry program, Pete has used his five loaves & two fish for the sake of building the Kingdom. Through storytelling, retreats, and writing he has proclaimed ​Christ’s freedom to thousands. He’s the Campus Minister at Saint Thomas More High School in Milwaukee and the Director of Evangelization for Arise Missions (arisemissions.org). Pete is a ​wanna-be philosopher, has a mild obsession with the band Switchfoot, and because of Christ, finds himself living a life greater than his dreams.

 

 

19 Comments

  1. This is fine, but what if you are not meant to have a spouse? What if you are in your 40’s and have never had any prospects of marriage, and see no prospects in the near future? What happens to those prayers? Who are you really praying for? And can God really lead you to true love when you are old? This is all great advice for the young and young adult, but us older, middle aged adults need support and comfort as well. There is nothing for us out there, literally and figuratively. I wish this would be addressed.

    By Dianne Gustowski | 3 years ago Reply
    • Something worth remembering, Dianne, is that, while we are not all called to marriage on earth, we are ALL called to marriage in heaven. So, to your question, “Who are we really praying for?”, the answer is Jesus, Himself, the ultimate gentleman, bridegroom of the Church. Love that is true is Christ-centered so, if you focus your love on Him, whether a spouse is in His plan for you or not, you can trust that the love you give and receive will be true. Keep on praying for He delights in you!

      By Ally Rod | 3 years ago Reply
    • Also Dianne, there are four vocations in the Church, marriage, priesthood & religious life tend to get most of the attention. Perhaps because everyone starts out single and many from their are called to other vocations the single life as a life long vocation is overlooked. Those who are not married and committed to serving Christ through their spouse and children first or priests & religious and committed to serving Christ through their communities and dioceses have a special call to serve the world. By being neither attached to family or community they are free to go where they are needed and when they are needed. They move between groups and locations. Perhaps their is a special ministry they are called to be more involved in than they could be in another vocation or perhaps their are friends or family they dedicate their time to. Singles are called to serve the world and to pray for the world.

      By Katherine | 3 years ago Reply
    • Dear Dianne, thank you for speaking up. Obviously, only proportionally few are called to the single life. That perhaps makes those who remain single many times altogether forgotten. It is indeed an area that needs much urgent attention especially in our times. I have had to debate it with some ministers. What was sad about it was that two of them, Church ministers, didn’t even believe (or understand?) the very idea of a single life. For some singles are simple people who are yet to find a spouse. But to define all singles by that criteria is clearly an error that shouts out for correction. Even in cases where this were the starting point, it is possible that it could perhaps be only the very decisive sign for some. So that absence of a spouse becomes a providential way some actually discover their call to live a single life, i.e. by what secular language calls ‘accident or chance’. Others object that it is a selfish life. We could say many words about this. But the bottom line is, for those called, it is a vocation just as missionary or evangelical as any other. And for those not called to married, consecrated or clerical life, entering into it is just as selfish and whatnot as any other inauthentic way of life. We need to be thankful that even by the sheer unfolding of events the single life is finally beginning to get more and more attention. I got my decisive awakening to recognise it when I stumbled across a book by Susan Annete Muto: Celebrating the single life. I believe it is a good grapple with the crisis of the single. I certainly would recommend it. I gave out my copy to a single lady hoping to get another but since then I’ve failed to find another. I don’t even know whether it is still in print. Meanwhile singles can always sift the very good literature that is now abundant on chastity in the context of marriage, consecrated and clerical life and I’m sure they’ll always find much that they can apply to their state. In the instance of Pete surds’ article, of course, a single can redirect that prayer to thanksgiving to God for which we always have reason, or the grace to live their chastity with purity of heart, the grace to equally offer themselves in their own manner to the work of evangelisation, the grace for those who as yet are unable to accept the reality of the single state to come to accept it as an equally genuine state of life or for some other wholesome purpose.

      By Yosev u Cighan Yosev OCD | 3 years ago Reply
  2. Thank you! While I’ve been convicted about praying for my future spouse for a few years already, it’s encouraging to hear from people who have been there.

    By Laura | 3 years ago Reply
  3. Facebook linked here, but to comment: Been there, done that. Educated myself, used a condom and now I have prepared myself for a more stable future and healthy relationship.

    Why in the world would I be stupid and want to enter that portion of my life unprepared? That’s just asking for a divorce and a poorer quality of life.

    By ZM | 3 years ago Reply
    • Although I think education is important, statistically having sex and living together before marriage actually has a higher likelihood of divorce than abstinence (look it up:). I never cared about chastity or who my future spouse would be– until I met him. I knew I wanted to marry him and he was all about chastity.. To the point where he did not even want to kiss until we’d been together six months, so we’d know our relationship was not based on just physical attraction. We were able to sacrifice for each other through our dating relationship, that now we’re able to Continue to sacrifice for each other in our marriage. I believe that in being true to our chastity committment while dating, we affirmed that we have the strength to be true to our commitment of fidelity to one another in marriage. Every time you “use a condom” you also use your sexual partner. I’m glad to say in waiting to marry my husband, I have no unwanted sexual memories or partners to be reminded of.. And I have peace knowing my husband does not have a history with girls who weren’t me. I love our marriage more than words.. i love that we still delight in one another :))) i cant imagine a more stable/healthy arrangement.. I believe what would make our relationship unstable and unhealthy would be potential stds (condoms dont block them all) or comparing each other to past partners, or being consumed with jealousy toward the people one another had slept with. You mention preparedness– I assume you mean able to perform sexually? Well, honestly, as we were both virgins, at first it was difficult to be intimate. But you know what we figured it out… TOGETHER. A little time of struggle and now years of sexaul satisfaction. And you know, I’m glad there was a learning curve… Because it means he learned with ME and not with some former girlfriend. It means he brings me pleasure that no on else has ever come close to. I’ve had no greater joy than a peaceful, baggage-free selfless union with my amazing husband. I praise god that he waited and was an example to me of how to live in order to experience true commitment in our relationship.

      By Tj | 3 years ago Reply
    • Unprepared how? Sexuality is only one facet of marriage, and I have always had the attitude that if things are working outside the bedroom then somehow we will get through most any hardship. Not waiting for marriage is no guarantee against divorce or a “poor quality of life.” I thought that would be obvious, by the numbers.

      It’s been said many times, but insanity is doing the same thing again and again while expecting different results.

      By enness | 3 years ago Reply
      • ZM, the idea and practice of Abstinence comes from the fact that men objectify women. The idea of sex is naturally for the purpose of procreation, any outside use of that is a desire for pleasure… Now, that is not to say that sex is meant to be un-pleasurable, but rather that if pleasure is your main focus then you are not really doing it for your significant other. Now, it has also been proven in studies that selfishness in relationships leads to divorce, so if someone goes into a relationship still seeking their selfish desires, then they are going to get a rude awakening a ways down the road in that marriage. A good example of this would be to ask your parents how quickly they realized their selfishness when they had their children! Personally, I still struggle with purity, but the thought that I know that my future spouse would want me to be all hers drives me to keep fighting for HER. This is not to say that I am better than anyone, but rather that I am still weak, but as a Man seeking to do the best I can for my future spouse and family, I know it’s worth the fight… And, one more thing to consider… The last focus of marriage should be sex. Notice that when a marriage is struggling, the sex-life of that marriage quickly follows, this is because it is something that comes from a successful expression of marriage through loving one-another as best as possible. That selflessness is what can bring two people so close together that they can spend their whole lives together, happily.

        By BPM | 3 years ago Reply
  4. Hi Dianne, I’m in the same situation I understand what your going though, my life has been the same experience. I will say a prayer for you, God bless. And to everyone who contributes to this blog thank you for all that you share, I’ve seen how misguided people are, young and old in their interpretation of relationships and what love is. The world needs great examples of the way Christ has taught us to love one another, God bless everyone.

    By Joe Rodriguez | 3 years ago Reply
  5. Diane, I truly believe if God has put a desire in your heart for a spouse, then He will follow through. You may have spiritual blockage (spiritual warfare) though. I would contact a priest who deals with such matters and ask his guidance and advice and prayers. I was in a similar situation and people would tell me that perhaps God’s will was not for me to be married, which I thought was cruel if I had always prayed for Him to guide me and influence my thoughts and desires. He was in control of my desires and had given me that desire! I had to do go into spiritual warfare which entailed the following – daily communion, daily adoration, I fasted on bread and water on wednesdays and Fridays and said psalms (esp psalm 92) every day along with the daily rosary and novenas. I had deliverance prayers said over me, and I had one said by Father Therrien in Lapeer, Michigan. I hope some of this is helpful to you and I pray it does not stress you out, I just want to help because I know what it feels like! Also, go to our blessed mother and talk to her as if she really was physically in font of you – and do it persistently until you see movement in your situation! A good priest to contact and read his book is Father Yozefu B. Ssemakula- his book is called “The Healing of Families”. God bless you!!!! Psalm 37:4

    By Emm | 3 years ago Reply
    • Sorry, I spelled your name wrong

      By Emm | 3 years ago Reply
  6. Congratulations, Pete 🙂 great article!

    By Emily | 3 years ago Reply
  7. Aw man!! What a blessing!!! I am definitely waiting for the little lady that is crazy enough to take me as her husband! Ah thank you my brother for this blog…reminding me to keep it pure! God bless you!!!

    By Noe | 3 years ago Reply
  8. True Story
    My non Christian friend began practicing our faith after falling in love with a Catholic Girl. Their relationship didn’t work out as her parents objected. He was terribly in love with her and so was left totally devastated after the break up. But he continued to grow in spiritual life praying Rosary as often as he could, spending time with Jesus in the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel and attending the Holy Mass (lamenting about their break up as well). One day, while praying he felt some one talking to him. He could clearly identify that it wasn’t his thought but some one who was clearly communicating with him. The voice said that he will get suitable companion. The voice (Jesus) asked for the qualities he expected from his future spouse. My friend began to give a list. One, she should be a virgin, two, a doctor three, from his own caste as he didn’t want to offend his parents four, — cm height six, — kg weight and so on…Jesus continued to hum (in agreement) after hearing each demand. Finally, just before winding up the conversation, Jesus said that she’ll be short tempered. My friend said he can handle that. After-all he is going to get the girl with all the qualities he asked for. Few months later he met a girl (that too in a Catholic Church) where they knelt down and prayed before getting acquainted with each other. He told me that this girl is the one Jesus had mentioned earlier. He is happy to have married this girl and at the same time regrets to have agreed to accept her hot tempered nature. She always keeps him on his toes and grills him about trivial issues.
    Happy Ending. May the Lord bless them with many kids and lead them to Heaven.

    By Manu Mathew | 3 years ago Reply
  9. CONGRATULATIONS Pete!! God bless you and Emily. We miss you out here in CO.

    By Erin | 3 years ago Reply
  10. Manu, LOVE the true story. It gives me hope that one day Jesus will speak to me. Thank you do sharing. Praise The Lord!!

    By Gracie Guajardo | 3 years ago Reply
  11. This was really great for anyone to read, but especially a teenager. Thank you.

    By Anna | 3 years ago Reply
  12. I really like the idea of chastity as being a continuous yes to your future spouse rather than a cascade of no’s. To me this just exemplifies how Chasity is an act of love! God bless you and your future wife by the way 🙂

    By Hannah Pavalko | 3 years ago Reply

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