I have cancer, and it has crossed my mind that I should introduce my husband to one of my friends. She has a daughter who is ill, and she has told me that her income is not adequate to take care of her child.

Since I am dying, I think my husband would be the perfect husband to help her. He is a good man and he loves me, but I want to leave him with someone who will help him when I am no longer around.

Dear Friend,

We are saddened to hear of your illness and of the serious situation that you are faced with. But we can’t help but notice that instead of concentrating on your own difficulties, you are trying to help both your friend and your husband. You must be a kind and compassionate person to be concerned about others more than yourself.

All of us will die someday, many of us sooner than we might think. But you have been given more information than most of us have. You already know what your probable cause of death will be and approximately how much longer you have to live. This is helpful in planning the rest of your days here on earth and in helping your husband prepare for the future.

At first it probably sounds good to think that you have found a perfect woman for your husband to marry after you are gone. But there are several reasons why we believe that this is not a good idea. First of all, both your husband and your friend are very motivated to try and make you happy during the time that you have left with them. Therefore, they might consent to your plan just to make you happy. However, if one or both of them later changed their mind, they would probably feel guilty for not following through with what you wanted. And that guilt might cause them to make decisions that they wouldn’t have made otherwise.

Secondly, you would be encouraging a permanent relationship for all the wrong reasons. Over the years, we have received hundreds of letters from people in desperately unhappy relationships because they married without recognizing the potential consequences of addictions, uncontrolled anger, physical abuse, or complicated family involvements. Many of these people believed that the love they shared was enough to overcome whatever difficult circumstances they faced together or individually, but love alone is never enough. And in this case, you are suggesting a marriage in which love is not even involved, at least in the beginning.

The third reason that we believe you should give up this idea is that your husband is going to need a considerable amount of time to grieve your death. Getting into any kind of relationship before his heart can heal would be emotionally unhealthy for that new relationship.

You obviously have peace about the end of your life on earth and the beginning of your eternal life in heaven. But just as you have trusted God completely with your own future, we believe you need to also trust Him for your husband’s future. Wise Solomon said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”(1) Let God take care of your husband’s future. He has the understanding to make a plan which will be much better than any plan you can imagine.

We wish you health and long life,

Linda and Charles
1 Pr 3:5