Please God, can I have him?


When I was in high school, I listened to a college boy tell a story about his college girlfriend. He said that when he looked across his Bible class and saw her for the first time, he prayed “Please God, can I have her?” Then they started dating and now, fifteen years later, I can confirm that they got married and had babies and are one of those families that James Dobson and the like focus on with books and radio shows.

I wanted that.

So every boy I thought was attractive or interesting or smart was the object of my prayer: “Please God, can I have him?” And rather than give me just one of the boys I prayed for, God gave me pieces of a couple. Over time that taught me that I could find something I liked in pretty much any male but none would be perfect. Patched together all of those boys would be the perfect hero: kind of like when all the transformers would unite into that one really big robot. But the guys I chose to date were more Bumblebee than Optimis Prime. Most would result in a prayer at the end, “Sorry God, but please don’t make me keep him.”

Tonight at a youth event, I listened to a high school boy talk about whether or not he should ask out this girl he likes. He said he’s been praying about it and he wants to ask her dad for permission to date the girl first. (I’ll wait while you “Awww.” It’s the right response.) He’s afraid to talk to the dad, though, so I gave him a deadline.

“Talk to the dad by the 15th or I’m never talking to you again,” I told him.


“Don’t do it and find out.”

If this happens between this boy and this girl, it’s going to be adorable. That’s the kind of relationship I wanted in high school and never really got.

It’s a different kind of fairytale. Real life is  not a chick flick or chick lit. The protagonist female is not a helpless princess in distress.But girls still deserve that kind of brave, scared attention. I always knew that. I always knew that I didn’t need someone to complete me but I did want to be the girl worth the guy’s leap of faith.

All the other times I’ve asked “Please God, can I have him?” and God has answered with something like, “Um… I think you’re settling Sara. Just wait a little longer.” This time feels different. Cool.

About SaraBSutter

I serve as the pastor of United Presbyterian Church in Goldfield, Iowa. My husband Steve and I are excited to be in a friendly small town and look forward to the years ahead. In addition to nerdy church stuff, I love reading books, writing, good coffee, cats, and football.

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