I’m really tired of hearing men’s prayers about their future wives.
These are the prayers that, more often than not, sound like a fairy tale. I mean they do pray for the right character traits. They pray for a wife who is a Proverbs 31 woman. They might even go down the list: how she is a hard worker, how she’s equipping herself to be a wife, to be a mother, etc. I don’t have a problem with them praying for what their wife looks like (if they have their priorities straight). But I do have a problem with how they figure they’ll get to her.
I’m fortunate to live in a big city and attend a young-adult-and-single ministry that meets every Tuesday night, where there’s at least 3,000 people in attendance. It’s awesome. So there are plenty of choices. Yet many men remain single … and my female friends are doing online dating. Why? Because the men aren’t asking the women out.
It’s a head-scratcher for me because I see a solid girl who fits perfectly with Joe Churchgoer’s prayer. So when I point her out, I often get this:
Me: “What about her? She leads her Bible study group.”
Joe: “No. I don’t think so.”
Me: “What about her? She’s been serving here forever. She’s really committed.”
Joe: “Nah, probably not.”
Me: “Um okay, what about her? She’s in leadership and serves the homeless on the weekend.”
Joe: “Yeah man, I don’t think so. I don’t think I’m supposed to meet my wife like that. I think the Lord will draw me to her.”
What? I’m often confused by that. There’s a plethora of females; they fit your prayers, so what’s the deal?
The deal is that it’s not the beautiful story they figured the Lord has for them. When I ask how they’ll meet their spouse, they say something like this: Joe and Sally were both in a coffee shop. He was reading Galatians and she was reading Ruth, and while they were both reading, they both reached for their cup of coffee and ended up touching hands. They look up from their reading, they smile, and they laugh and realize they have much more in common. One year later they’re married, and isn’t it awesome how God orchestrated that?
Yes, it is. But that’s not how it works.
I mean, it can work that way, but that’s not the standard. Someone onstage shared that beautiful story on how God put two people together. And when we hear that story, we want it too.
I pray for my wife, and you should too. It’s important that you pray that the Lord guide her, refine her and keep her safe. But oftentimes men’s prayers are more about a beautiful story than about finding a wife. I’ve been around the same large community for a while, so when I pray for my wife, I don’t hear God say “Wait for me.” I often hear Him say, “Pick one.” Because in reality, men are the initiators, and we really don’t need to wait for a wife. Yes, we need be ready for marriage, but when you’re ready for marriage, you don’t need to wait … you need to act.
So as I walk with my Lord, I notice what’s important to Him. And a lot of times, what’s important to me is not important to Him. I’m pretty sure a neat story is not on His priority list.
Stop thinking about your first day of marriage, and start thinking about how you will lead your wife for the rest of your life. The neat “how you met” story only serves to show how you got to your first day of marriage. And it’s foolish to make your prayers about the beginning of the really good story, and not to focus on the entire story — the way God works in and through your marriage.
So men, don’t use prayer as a stall tactic. If you’re healthy enough to date and you see a girl who is also healthy enough to date, ask her out.
In the end, every marriage centered around Christ is a beautiful story.