Gentlemen, your relentless pursuit of God, your Christ-centered love for others and your passionate prayers for your future wife are the most important gifts you can give to her now.
Are you praying for her?
There is a real-life woman out there who faces struggles and victories, hard decisions and deep questions, good times and bad moments. You should pray for your future wife because she needs your prayers. If she could ask you for those prayers personally, she would.
Now some of you are probably reading this thinking, “Of course I pray for my future wife…I pray for her all the time. ‘God, please send me a wife!’ That’s what I pray daily.”
Good start, but I’m talking about more than just praying for her presence. Don’t just pray for her to be here, pray for her to be holy.
“But wait,” you may say. “I don’t know who she is.”
But God does. He knows her name. He knows how you will meet her. He knows the moment you will propose. He knows the exact look (or how many tears) you’ll get in your eyes when you see her walk down the aisle. He knows every marital struggle you will face. He knows how, through marriage, you will learn to depend upon His grace even more. He knows precisely what He has in store for you and your wife.
Unfortunately, all too often, the average guy does not start thinking seriously about his future alongside one of God’s daughters until he actually meets her.
That is sad, both for the guy…and his future wife.
“Oh, don’t worry,” some men say. “When I get married, I’ll go to church, start praying for my wife and do all that kind of stuff. Right now, I just want to enjoy life and have some fun. Nothing too serious, keep it carefree and light. There is plenty of time for seriousness later.” The assumption is that living for Christ is some stale, boring and anemic way of life, separated from excitement and adventure.
Guys, if you think that way, to borrow a phrase from Cool Hand Luke, you need to “get your mind right.”
(Please hang with me for a few moments while we walk through some thick forest together toward the ultimate point of this post.)
When you get married, that is not the time to “get serious” about your life with God. And why on earth would you think that walking with God is boring or uneventful? That’s not even approaching the reality of it all. I can assure you, with full confidence, if you regard a life with Christ as drudgery, then you probably have never been introduced to Him properly. Cultivate a deep and rich life with the Creator right now. In fact, you must do that whether single or married. That’s just obedience.
So don’t buy into the lie that you can live however you want to live until you get married, then you’ll “get right” and follow Him. Marriage is not the motivation to live for God; Christ is. To the same point, don’t believe the myth that when you finally love God in the right way He’ll then (and only then) send you a spouse. By this line of reasoning, if you don’t have a wife now, you just don’t love God enough. That’s misguided advice. A God-given spouse is a gift of grace, given despite us, not because of us. Again, we can never make the presence or absence of a spouse the main motivation for holiness. We must seek Him first and allow Him to provide the rest (Matthew 6:33).
This also means we are not to be consumed with the “hunt” for a wife. Let’s face it guys: we are to be the pursuers, the initiators, the protectors and the spiritual pacesetters for our relationships. That is a good thing, but as you probably know, if we grow careless, this is one of the areas where we can get out of balance. God gave us a desire for conquest and accomplishment, but when we become fixated on finding a wife, exclude all other desires and focus on the “chase,” we are in dangerous territory. Instead, we must be consumed with running hard after our God. He is the priority, not what we can get from Him.
But let me be brutally honest with you: if you don’t love Jesus, you will never love another as He loves. Men, the only one who can truly love like Christ is Christ. This means He must love your wife through you, and He can’t do that if He isn’t in you. If He is in you, your love for her will only grow to the extent that your love for Him is growing. Less like you, more like Him, in every way, that’s your goal, single or married.
If you are growing in your love for Him, then you’ll want what He wants, and He wants certain things for your future wife even now. So why would you not go before Him now to ask Him to give her those things?
So ask Him, men.
Ask in His name (John 14:13).
Ask according to His will (1 John 5:14).
Ask (Matthew 7:7), and keep asking (Luke 18:1-8; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Let me assure you of one thing: if you start praying passionately for your future wife (or for anything else), all the powers of Hell will try to stop you. You will be tempted to distraction, discouragement or disappointment. The Enemy does not want you to pray. He wants you to remain silent, and he wants her, and you, to remain unchanged.
Don’t stop praying.
This is the woman who will share life with you, the one you’ll promise, before God, to love and honor until the end, and the woman with whom you will become one. God tells us to cherish our wives “just as Christ does the church” (Ephesians 5:29). The word “cherish” means literally “to keep warm” (like a mother hen keeps her chicks safe and warm under her wings). You are called to reflect Jesus to your wife and treat her as a precious gift of God. One of the ways that Christ cherished the church was by praying for her (John 17:20-26).
You don’t have to wait until you know who she is to begin cherishing your wife. (And you don’t have to wait to ask her Heavenly Daddy for her hand.)
If you have the desire to be honorable, masculine, Christ-like and, yes, romantic…then be the leader, man up, go before Him, get on your knees and fight for her in prayer even now.
That’s what women want.
How do I know?
I asked them.
I am blessed to have a number of godly women in my life. From my mother, to co-workers and friends, both single and married, I’ve asked a large group of them to tell me what they believe a man should be praying for his future wife, as well as any wisdom they might want to share. What follows, in no particular order (except the first one, which is foundational), are the results.
I condensed the field down to one topic for each day of the month, and I’ve added some scripture references as well for each area. You might want to take some time, look those up, and pray those biblical principles for your future wife (as well as yourself).
A friendly warning: avoid the urge to blaze through the topics without considering the weight of them in order to “finish the task.” Make this personal, and take the time to do it right. It’s real. It’s needed. It’s effective. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16b).
Also, don’t get “stuck” on praying only for the things on the list. Certainly, there are things that could be added, but I know if you are seeking His will for your life, asking for wisdom and are clean before Him, and then begin to pray about some things desired by godly women, He’ll give you some other things for you to pray specifically for your future wife. I find that as I am praying for my own “Miss Pending” (as I like to call her, until I know her name), God continues to deepen and focus my prayers for her.
(A note to the women who might be reading…If you meet a guy, start dating him, and he doesn’t care about God, has a take-it-or-leave-it-live-and-let-live attitude about Christ or does not seem concerned with genuine prayer for you…dump him. Do not pass “go,” do not collect $200, do not try to justify, excuse or otherwise lessen the importance of those things. He’s not the one for you. God has a better choice waiting.)
I’m hopeful that we single guys can learn something more about the prayer support that women need and want…and then take decisive action. Peter writes, in reference to wives, that men should “dwell with them with understanding” (1 Peter 3:7).
Men, you should be a student of what women need, how they think, and more specifically, a student of your own wife.
Consider class to be in session now.
How to Pray For Your Future Wife
1. Her relationship with God
By far, this is the most important thing on the list. Everything else is a reflection of this single facet. Too often we make the mistake of believing that the primary concern in any relationship is what goes on between the two people involved, but the real ground-level work happens, not between two people, but between each person and God Himself. It’s always about us and God first, and then us and other people. Men, you want your future wife to love God much more than she could ever love you. If she loves you more than God, you’ll be an idol to her, and God doesn’t tolerate idols
Not only should she avoid idolatry, but her affection for you depends upon her view of God. Any true, deep and lasting connection to you will only come if she loves God more than she loves you. The love you will enjoy from her is a byproduct of her love for Him. A person can only show true, sacrificial love if she has experienced it.
In fact, her love for you – that true, deep love – will only come if she loves God more than she loves you. The love you will enjoy is a byproduct of her love for Him. Again, this is not primarily about you and her; it’s about God. She must love Him for His sake alone. If she knows Him, pray that He’ll draw her even closer; if she doesn’t know Him, pray that she will surrender her life to His will for her. Every spiritual undertaking requires surrender; marriage is no exception.
If you are having to “drag” her along spiritually while you’re dating, why would you think that a band of gold would automatically change her? I don’t mean that you should only pursue a Bible scholar, but you only want to run after someone who genuinely cares about the things of Christ (and shows clear, consistent evidence of His power in her life). If you are romantically drawn to someone who doesn’t belong to God, or someone who is selfish and careless toward Him, and you are pursuing that person, you are saying, “God, my plan is better than Your plan, and I choose to settle for less than Your best” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Don’t sow those seeds; they grow only bitter fruit.
She loves Him with all that is in her (Luke 10:27).
Her knowledge of Him grows even more (2 Peter 3:18).
God totally transforms her through His Word, and she desires to spend time with Him (Joshua 1:8; John 17:17).
Her heart is receptive to God’s voice, and she is very sensitive to the leading of His Spirit (Galatians 5:25).
She worships God faithfully in spirit and truth (John 4:24).
2. Her anxieties, fears and doubts
Women often get overwhelmed with negative thoughts, and that can be incredibly discouraging. We men sometimes distract ourselves or try our best to ignore those nagging, unpleasant feelings. Women, on the other hand, tend to weigh out multiple concerns and options immediately when they arise, and they can’t help when or how often those thoughts surface. Sometimes they march in like armies, at other times, they move in as stealthy commandos, but however they come, they are bent on damaging her heart.
A pleasant day can be disrupted by a single, random notion gaining unexpected momentum. One woman expressed it this way, “I have a thought, and it seems harmless on the surface. But then, it grows. I begin to ‘what-if’ the idea. ‘What if it doesn’t work out?’ ‘What if they think I am stupid?’ ‘What if I am totally wrong about what I should do?’ Every time I add another ‘what-if,’ my fear grows stronger. Before long, what was once a tiny concern has grown into a potential catastrophe within my mind. Then I am fearful and exhausted!”
These words were spoken by a successful, wise and strong woman. Like most women, her mind sees many potential possibilities in any given situation. It is because of her giftedness to think with complexity and juggle multiple ideas at once that fear finds room to infiltrate her mind.
Your future wife may be fearful of the future, worry about things beyond her control and second-guess (or third-guess) what to do next. At times, she may feel like everything is totally out of control in her life. It’s your mission to pray that she understands and clings to a sovereign God who loves her and wants to show His care for her.
God overrules any worry that arises within her mind (Philippians 4:6-7).
The Holy Spirit controls her and sets her free from fear (2 Timothy 1:7).
The truth so saturates her mind that doubts will have no place to take root (Philippians 4:8).
3. Her calling
Your future wife has a special calling on her life. Granted, every follower of Christ has the mission to make Him known to the world (Matthew 28:18-20). But God also has a specific plan for her for how she will reflect the character of Jesus to others, and He will enable her to accomplish what He intends. He may have told her exactly what He wants her to do in life, but He may be revealing the directions and details of her call a bit at a time. Regardless of how He may show these things to her, God is allowing her to grow in her faith and exercise her gifts along the way.
For any of us, discovering and acting upon God’s leading in our lives is one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking journeys ever. Your future wife feels that same pressure. There may be tears and a sickening feeling when she faces uncertainty about how to proceed. When setbacks arise and difficulties follow, she might question if she is doing God’s will or not. In all these moments, whether in victory or seeming derailment, she needs to stay close to Him and listen for His voice. Do you have any idea what a high honor it is to pray God’s perfect plan for her? Don’t take it lightly.
She seeks God’s will for her life (Romans 12:2).
She is open and surrendered to wherever God leads her (Isaiah 6:8).
She is faithful where He has placed her now, and seeks to fulfill His plan for her in her current place in life (Luke 16:10).
4. Her prayer life
Gentlemen, your desire must be that your future wife is a woman of prayer. You want her to talk to her Father with passion.
Her prayer life should be a concerted effort, not a convenient perk. I’m not trying to be legalistic, but I’m not talking about having a prayer time only during her morning commute while her favorite playlist blasts. With all of the possible distractions of today, drifting attention is the norm. Becoming a person of prayer requires diligence to push through the mass of busyness we all encounter. Where distraction doesn’t work, discouragement will. Perhaps your future wife has prayed and prayed for something and, as of yet, has received no answer. She may feel like giving up. Delayed answers sometimes feel like a “no.” Your desire should be that she prays, keeps praying and then prays more, regardless of how long it may be for an answer to come (Luke 18:1-8).
She should show a lifestyle of prayer—an intimate, ongoing conversation with the Eternal One. Prayer expresses her dependence upon, thankfulness toward and connection to God Himself. Not only do you want her to want to spend time with God, you want her to realize that God longs to spend that time with her. He isn’t bothered by her presence, nor is He frustrated by her coming to Him often; He enjoys spending time with His children. May her first response to crisis or blessing, to confusion or clarity, be prayer.
And besides, what if, right now, she’s praying for you too?
She is dependent upon the power of God through prayer (John 15:5).
God gives her a deeper desire for prayer (Luke 11:1).
She is able to concentrate and focus as she prays (Matthew 6:6).
Prayer is her first, not last, resort (James 5:13-18).
5. Her emotions
When asked about how men could pray for them, many women brought this idea up often. There are highly logical women, just as there are very emotional men, but the tendency is for women to be more in touch with their emotional lives (and the emotional lives of others) more so than their male counterparts. Having emotions is a strength, not a weakness, but there are times when emotions can be deceitful.
Just as we looked earlier at the way your future wife’s worries can rule over a situation, feelings too can be tyrannical, and sometimes they are hard to separate from what is true and real. She needs what feels right to be governed by what is right. Your wife may “feel like” she has been wronged, rejected or insulted when the facts may not bear that out as the truth. Strong feelings can make one very vulnerable, and being vulnerable can be scary. In these moments, it is important that she is able to acknowledge and express those feelings in a healthy way in a caring environment.
Imagine her emotions at times to be like a runaway train that keeps switching tracks. She wants to slow them down to a manageable speed, but often they come too fast and too hard. Moment by moment, the emotions roll, and once one feeling is under control, two more seem to gain ground. God can rule over her emotions and bring her peace.
She does not depend upon what “seems” right to her, but depends upon God’s truth (Judges 21:25).
No bitterness finds a place to grow in her (Hebrews 12:15).
She practices “being still” before God (Psalm 46:10).
6. Her earthly relationships
Relationships are important to us guys, but they are especially important to a woman. Your future wife wants to depend upon and pour into a meaningful, mutual support system of friendships. Her emotional health depends a great deal upon the health of her relationships, including the health of her interaction with her parents. Those particular relationships may be great, fair, strained or non-existent, but whatever the case, they will have a powerful influence on her. We are all part of a large dysfunctional family. The family name is “Humanity,” and the dysfunction is sin. But her smaller family has been marked by our common struggle, the only question is how deeply the effects run.
Divorce, substance abuse, infidelity, fights…all will leave traces that need to be addressed honestly by her. She may need healing from past hurts caused by relatives, friends or other men (and she may not even be aware of the wounds). Pray that God brings healing to her heart.
At the same time, she must be careful that her relationships do not become a replacement for God. A great relationship can change a person’s life, but a great relationship placed in too high of a position can become an idol. Pray that she guards her relationships from this danger by relying upon God more than anyone else.
She may be in a relationship with a guy now just because she’s bored, insecure or lonely…none of which are valid reasons for getting involved with another. And, as uncomfortable as it is to think about it, maybe she is in a deeper relationship now that is not honoring to God; pray that He intervenes and drives a wedge between her and anyone who would lead her astray.
God gives her friends who will help to grow and challenge her as she helps to do the same for them (Proverbs 27:17).
She is careful about the people she allows to come into her life (Proverbs 12:26; 13:20).
She has at least one true, deep, lifelong friend (Proverbs 18:24).
All her relationships would bring honor to God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Before we go to the next topic, there is an aspect of relationships that needs to be mentioned: motherhood. Your future wife may already have children that you will grow to love and support, you may bring your own children into your future marriage or you and your wife might have a child of your own later, thus creating another human who will live with God or without Him forever. If children are a part of your future, understand that motherhood is one of the hardest tasks facing a woman. This burden is made stronger by the incredible bond between a mother and her child. Just as you will be able to bring certain strengths to the lives of your children, your wife will be able to speak, teach and reach a child in specific ways unique to women. Motherhood requires being a diplomat, a counselor, a confidant, a leader and a planner, just to name a few of the many, many roles. Many people may look at a mother and praise her for bearing her responsibilities with grace and skill, but her most-valued praise will come, not from her friends or her neighbors, but from those who know her best: her family (Proverbs 31:28-29).
She would show the compassion and comfort of God as she leads the children of your family (Isaiah 45:9; 66:13).
She teaches your family’s children wisdom that they receive willingly (Proverbs 6:20-22).
She is an example of faith to the children (2 Timothy 1:5).
7. Her speech
Women tend to be more expressive than men. That’s a good thing. But some of the women I spoke to mentioned that they hate when they say things without thinking first. Words have immense power to damage. The words she uses or the ones directed toward her can hurt as much as a physical wound (and the damage can last longer).
Many women have said that they often reach the point where an internal monologue begins. One woman said that at times her brain starts saying something like this, “Stop talking already. You’ve said too much. Hello, mouth, are you listening to me? No, you don’t have to get ‘one more word in.’ Let me go on record in saying that what you are about to say is a mistake.” We have all been at that place. In moments like those, our tongues keep galloping along no matter how hard we might tug on the reins. Those words spoken without thought (or any words for that matter) can never be called back, and we watch helplessly as they stampede along, free of restraint.
Words have meaning, gentlemen, remember that.
Her words drip with grace (Ephesians 4:29; 5:3-4)
Her mouth is controlled by the Holy Spirit (Proverbs 21:23).
She stays far from gossip (Leviticus 19:16).
Her heart produces godly words and that she worships God with her lips sincerely (Matthew 12:34; 15:8).
8. Her insecurities
Society places all sorts of pressures on women. Your future wife gets all sorts of messages thrown at her about how to look, what to wear and the way to act. The world practically screams at her from the magazine aisle, billboards, Internet and television. Not only that, her own heart also whispers deceit to her, telling her she’s not beautiful, she’ll never be enough, she’ll be valued for the wrong reasons, and she’ll never be deeply known and truly loved. Little by little, those false ideas accumulate and seem to give more and more validity to her own insecurities. Those are all lies, of course, but she needs discernment to hear His truth to combat them.
She needs to know and hear that she is beautiful to you, but not only that, she needs to know that God sees her as “holy, blameless and above reproach” (Colossians 1:22). Only when she begins to see herself through the eyes of God will she begin to combat her insecurities in the right way.
She is not captured by the lies of the world (John 16:33).
She knows who she is in Christ alone and finds her value by her acceptance in Him (Ephesians 1:6).
She knows she is truly loved and completely pleasing to God (Colossians 1:22).
9. Her repentance.
Let’s face it: repentance is critical. Your future wife needs to be quick to repent when she is wrong. Repentance isn’t an indication of weakness, but of strength. It takes a strong person to admit a wrong sincerely and humbly. Repentance is no flippant “I’m sorry,” nor is it merely feeling badly about what you did or becoming angry at yourself. It is certainly not a grudging apology for a wrong when what you really regret is getting caught.
Another way to view it is that is requires confession and forsaking. Confession is not the admission that the wrong is discovered, but it is saying the same thing about sin as God does. It is a deep recognition of why the action, thought or attitude is against God’s will, plan and Word. After we confess, we must forsake the sin. We turn from it, leave it behind and strive to walk in His righteousness.
The higher the view of God we have, the more serious our view of sin becomes. You want this attitude to be deepening in your future wife with every day she walks with Him.
She is quick to seek forgiveness from God (1 John 1:9; Matthew 3:8).
She is quick to seek forgiveness from other and offer it quickly as well. (Matthew 5:23-24; Colossians 3:13; Luke 17:3-4).
10. Her beauty
Certainly you will admire the physical beauty of your wife, but you should also be looking at the heart as well. There are many physically beautiful women who have cold hearts toward God. Pray that your future wife would become a woman of true, inner beauty, one whose character is absolutely stunning. She should spend more time preparing her soul than she does her hair. With time, everyone’s physical beauty fades, but her inner beauty is able to continually grow as she becomes more and more like Christ.
A.W. Tozer related, “All things as they move toward God are beautiful.” As you pray for your future wife, ask God to move her toward Himself. Ask Him to transform her into the glorious likeness of Christ and cause His radiance to be seen in her life.
To a man following God, nothing is more deeply stirring, more desirable, and more beautiful than a truly, godly woman.
She pays attention to the hidden person of her heart (1 Peter 3:3-4).
She finds her beauty wrapped up in honoring God (Proverbs 31:30).
She avoids the temptation of basing her worth on appearance (1 Samuel 16:7).
11. Her purity
Men, we know the struggle with the purity of our eyes and our thoughts. It may not be as obvious (or as freely spoken of) as it is with men, but it’s still an issue with women. They regularly face assaults on their purity on all fronts, including their thoughts and eyes.
Your future wife’s mind is a battleground, and her emotional needs can play havoc with her purity. Like men, women’s temptations do begin in the mind, but those thoughts are interlaced with their emotions as well. Satan would love for her to sacrifice her mental and physical purity in an attempt to get love, acceptance and comfort.
In a sex-saturated world, to resist temptation is considered old-fashioned and foolish, but it is God’s will (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4).
(Be aware that “Proverbs 7” women can masquerade as “Proverbs 31” women…for a time. They may talk a good talk, say they value purity, hold people to a high moral standard but run to sexual sin quickly after claiming to seek God’s perfect will. Eventually their true natures are revealed. Guys, give it time to see what kind of woman you are getting to know.) Your future wife needs to stand on the truth that intimacy removed from marriage isn’t true intimacy at all, no matter who tells her it is.
She understands that her body belongs to God because He bought her (1 Corinthians 6:20).
She flees from any and all sexual temptation (1 Corinthians 6:18).
She exercises self-control by being controlled by the Spirit of God (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).
She values the sanctity of sex within the covenant of marriage (Hebrews 13:4).
12. Her gifts
As one of His children, God has given your future wife certain gifts. God gave them to her to glorify Himself through her. One of her greatest joys is to discover and enjoy those gifts by using them to grow others, support the church and bring unity. As she uses her gifts, their identity and strength become more apparent. Your future wife will connect more deeply with the church, worship and serve God more powerfully and know Christ more intimately by the practice of her areas of giftedness.
You might also discover that God has given her gifts that complement your weaknesses. The joy that comes from using her gifts is not only an encouragement to her, but it builds up the entire body of believers, which includes your family.
She discovers and uses her spiritual gifts fully (1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11).
She sees her gifts as important to the building of the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-19; Ephesians 4:15-16).
She finds joy in bringing honor to God through her gifts (1 Peter 4:10-12).
13. Her heart
If her mind is the front line of the battle, the heart is the headquarters. It must be guarded carefully. Satan would take glee in seeing things enter her heart that would later cause pain and loss. Your desire should be that any Trojan horse left at the gates of her heart would never be brought inside, all deceptions fail and every idol set up be toppled.
Because the heart is the source of activity, your wife must take great care with it. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Our hearts affect everything about us. They affect our words (Proverbs 4:24), what we look at (v. 25), where we go (v. 26) and all we do (v. 27).
If your wife consistently loses the battle within her heart, she will consistently lose the battle with sin. Her strength and her vulnerability find their home in that most precious part of her, so pray for it.
God teaches her to guard her heart against anything that would do damage (Proverbs 4:23).
She will have godly desires, given to her by God Himself (Psalm 37:4).
Jesus would be “at home” as He dwells in her heart (Ephesians 3:17).
14. Her singleness
Your future wife may or may not have come to terms with her singleness. It can be a tricky season to navigate successfully. Accepting being single for a time and desiring marriage can coexist peacefully (although usually with a degree of tension). If she is being faithful, as I hope you are too, she can rest assured that her Father has not forgotten where she is or His perfect plans for her. Your future wife isn’t ultimately called to be single, though she is called by God to be single today. Pray she embraces that call.
Christ grows her in ways that she would not experience if she were married now (1 Corinthians 7:32).
She uses her singleness to further God’s kingdom and not waste it (1 Corinthians 7:35).
15. Her wounds
She has wounds. We all do. But her wounds are going to affect you and your family personally. She will need you to provide a safe place for her to express her past hurts and still be loved. Even if she has healed from them, there will be scars left behind. Those old scars, though faded, may hold feelings of condemnation, regret and guilt.
She may relive past mistakes and replay the things she believes “should have been done and said” to remedy the problems or to ensure the hurts never occurred. Sadly, none of us can go back to undo what has been done, but our God is the Healer. He mends the broken, redeems the past and dissolves shame. Men, be an instrument of redemption, not condemnation, to her.
She heals from her wounds of the past (Psalm 147:3).
Christ uses her hurts for His good, though she may not understand how He can do so (Romans 8:28).
She is set free from feelings of guilt (Romans 8:1; Psalm 103:11-12).
16. Her integrity
The word “integrity” carries with it the idea of completeness, soundness and sticking to a standard. Those characteristics should define your future wife’s life. In a world that values “getting ahead” regardless of the cost, your future wife should be honest even when it costs her much. She should not live by situational ethics or change how she speaks, dresses or acts in order to be accepted by those around her. She should be who she is in Christ regardless of her environment, even when being honest and living for Him will extract a toll. That’s how God calls us to live, and believe me, you only want to get involved with a consistently honest woman. Someone who has stories that never quite check out, changes details here and there to make herself look better or has a pattern of dishonesty will play havoc with your mind and your trust in her. Pray that God raises your future wife up as a woman known for her character.
Her life is characterized by integrity (Proverbs 10:9).
She is not a “chameleon,” changing with the circumstances, but she is stable and consistent in all her ways (Matthew 5:37).
She is a trustworthy person (Proverbs 31:11-12).
17. Her contentment
“Comparison is the thief of joy,” said Theodore Roosevelt. He’s right, and your future wife combats it often. Comparison of how things are with what things were, were not, could be or should be can cause a constant sense of loss and pain. She may be looking around at life and grieving over unmet expectations, shattered dreams and fading hopes.
But if she is being faithful to God, seeking Him in all things and has done all she can do, then she is in the center of His will. Ask God to give her contentment in her place in life right now and for her to practice living in the certainty of His perfect will where she finds herself, regardless of the circumstances. The pursuit of fulfillment here will always ache of incompleteness, but the incompleteness we experience here points toward One who is fully complete, in and of Himself, and One who will complete what He started in us (Philippians 1:6).
She is content regardless of where God may place her (Philippians 4:11-12).
She releases control of her life to the care of God (I Peter 5:7).
God helps her find contentment in simplicity (1 Timothy 6:6-8).
18. Her work
Godly women aren’t afraid to exert effort in working, whether outside the home, inside the home or in a marriage. But all women (including singles) can feel overburdened by the demands of work. (Plus it’s made doubly hard if there is no one with whom she can share what happens during her day.) Deadlines can loom large, the officemates may be in conflict and household duties may accumulate to the point of frustration. Let’s face it; the difficulty of work is part of the original curse of humanity. It’s by the sweat of our brows that anything gets done (Genesis 3:18). But we can have a redemptive view of work by seeing it as worship. Pray that your future wife sees her work as an offering to God, as hard as that might be at times, and finds joy in what she does.
She embraces hard work and avoids laziness (Proverbs 31:13-19).
She works for God first (Colossians 3:23).
She works in a way that gives others a glimpse of our future serving God forever (Revelation 22:3).
19. Her wisdom
The word “wisdom” is best understood to mean “skilled living.” You want your future wife to live with a heart of wisdom; your desire should be that she would navigate the world with skill and tact (Proverbs 4:7-9). Her discernment will save her from many potential problems. On a personal note, I pray that God will grant my “Miss Pending” incredible wisdom so that she can lead and guide others and so that she would be my most valued and trusted confidant and counselor.
True wisdom comes only from God, and He wants your future wife to be full of wisdom. His wisdom will show her how to live her life, know Him more fully and be ready for anything that comes her way (Colossians 1:9-11).
She displays winsome wisdom (Proverbs 31:26).
God grants her more wisdom than she thinks possible (Proverbs 2:6-8).
She takes opportunities to mentor other women (Titus 3:2-5).
20. Her endurance
We all want to quit sometimes. She is no different. Maybe she’s struggling with waiting on something important to her (maybe that something is a someone, and maybe that someone is you). Perhaps she wrestles with impatience and has been crying out, “How long, God?” Your future wife may look ahead, see nothing but uncertainty and have a slight (or not-so-slight) sense of panic, dread or despair. But you want her to have hope. You don’t want her to be a woman who gives up easily. Ask God to give her a deeper strength for all she faces.
God is the God of patience (Rom. 5:5). In the original language, “patience” is the word for “steadfastness, constancy, and endurance.” It is the word used for the characteristic of a person who is not swerved from a deliberate purpose or loyal faith by even the greatest trials and sufferings. God is steadfast and immovable in His purposes, and you can pray that He gives your wife the same mindset.
God will not keep her from all trials; pray that He will grow her through them.
She has great patience when working for His purposes (Galatians 6:9).
She waits for God with hope (Psalm 27:13-14; Romans 15:13).
She faces trials with patience (James 1:4).
She looks at difficulty as an opportunity for purification and transformation (Job 23:10; 1 Peter 1:7).
21. Her time
With such a busy life, your future wife will be tempted to overvalue the good at the expense of the best. The hours of her day seem to slip by and the “to-do” list seems to grow longer. With such circumstances, it’s easy to feel like nothing is being accomplished. Pray that God will help her manage her time and prioritize all she must do. Sometimes things will be added to her schedule by others thoughtlessly, at times this will be a minor inconvenience, at other moments this will cause her great stress.
Paul writes that we should “make the best use of the time” (Ephesians 5:16). Your future wife has the same number of minutes in her day as everyone else. Once our time is gone, there is no calling it back. Pray that she spends every moment to the fullest for God’s purposes. Only God can give her the grace to handle everything she faces in the time she has in a way that reflects Him to others.
She learns how to use her time wisely (Ephesians 5:16).
She recognizes that life is short and lives accordingly (Psalm 90:12).
She makes time for God above everything else (Luke 10:42).
22. Her sleep
Many women mentioned sleep and rest often. In today’s busy, loud and frantic world, true rest is a luxury. Your wife needs rest, just like you do. Your wife has stressful moments throughout the day, and you can pray that her evenings are filled with restful sleep and peaceful dreams. After all, she is going to battle for the King of Kings; she needs sleep for tomorrow’s fight. I want her to wake up with a clear head, calm heart and a rested body. And men, the day will come when we will have the honor of praying over our wives before they drift off into sleep beside us. Start practicing now.
She closes her eyes every night trusting that God will sustain her (Psalm 3:5).
Wisdom is a warm blanket of peace for her (Proverbs 3:24).
She enjoys the sleep God gives her (Psalm 127:2)
23. Her service
True service arises from the heart-level. This isn’t doing nice things for others when they are watching, but doing what is right when no one is watching. (Well, that’s not really true; all of Heaven is gazing upon the servants of God.) You want your future wife to desire to serve even when the task is thankless, hidden or uncomfortable. If she is living with true humility, then true service will follow. (If she knows God, she will know herself. If she knows herself, she will know humility.) If she won’t get her hands dirty now, there is a good chance that she probably won’t later in life. If you’re going to serve God, you’ll want someone by your side who doesn’t mind getting some grit under her nails, someone who will walk close through the fire, and someone who is totally loyal in the worst of it all. Sacrifices are messy; pray for someone who will pour herself out on His altar and accept the mess as a beautiful thing.
She follows the example of Christ’s service (Philippians 2:5-7).
She serves quietly and sincerely, even when it’s messy (John 13:12-17).
God would reveal and remove any selfish motives in her heart (James 3:16).
She recognizes she was made by God, for God (Colossians 1:16-17).
24. Her protection
You want your future wife to be kept safe by God, but some physical safety and emotional protection can be influenced by her. She needs wisdom to know how to keep herself out of certain situations that could lead to harm. The boundaries she establishes for her own actions and the actions and influence of others will play a huge role in her protection from all sorts of danger from the world’s influences. Pray that she will be kept safe emotionally and mentally as well. Men, your presence, leadership and love can provide a place of openness, acceptance and affection so that your wife can feel more secure in many areas of her life.
(I also pray that “Miss Pending’s” angels don’t have to work as hard as mine have.)
God delivers her from unnecessary hurt (Psalm 138:7).
She is gentle but wise (Matthew 10:16).
She establishes and lives by godly standards (Titus 2:12).
She is a powerful influence in the world, but does not align herself with it (James 4:4).
25. Her reputation
You don’t want your future wife to be known for dishonesty, gossip, immorality, laziness or contention (Proverbs 12:4). Certainly, there are things in each person’s past that cause shame, but there should be enough of a distance and/or change between the past negatives and her life now. You must desire others to speak well of your future wife. You want her to have great influence. You want her to be cultivating true, biblical respect for men (watch how she treats her dad, brothers and other men she knows, if that is possible). You also want her to be a person of modesty and avoid putting herself “on display” for anyone and everyone. As one of my female friends once said, “What is on her hanger in the closet is a good indication of her reputation in the world.”
Her reputation is first and foremost important to God’s glory, secondly, it is a reflection on her, and lastly, but still of importance, her reputation will become a part of your reputation. After all, it’s very clear that the woman in Proverbs 31 had a significant influence upon how her husband was seen in the community (Proverbs 31:23). That man was who he was, in large part, because of the person she was. Your wife’s disrespect for you can destroy you; her respect for you can help you become the man you never dreamed of becoming. As a good friend of mine says of the woman he loves: “I know, by God using her in my life, that I will have become the man He wanted me to be by the day they throw the dirt down on me.”
She values her good name (Proverbs 22:1).
She holds a good reputation among non-believers and does nothing to harm her witness (1 Peter 2:12; 2 Corinthians 6:3).
She has a genuine, healthy concern for what others say of her (Proverbs 27:21).
She values modesty in a biblical way (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
26. Her joy
Joy is hard to find, and it’s harder to keep. Some people mistake happiness for joy, but they are not the same. Happiness is based upon circumstances, while joy is based upon the internal state of heart, not an external state of affairs. Satan would love to steal away any and all joy from your future wife’s life. But even in the worst possible situation, your wife can have joy. James writes that we are to consider it a joy when trials come (James 1:2-3). Though that seems impossible at times, with God’s help, and trusting in His promises that He is working all things toward our ultimate good (Romans 8:28), your future wife can look past the circumstance to the God holding all things in His hand. Ultimately, your future wife needs an unshakable joy, and that comes from Christ Himself (John 15:11). She can’t “work up” joy; joy is a gift we seek, receive from God and then cling to tenaciously.
She has joy, even in the middle of great difficulty (Hebrews 12:2).
Her belief in Christ, even though He is unseen, brings her visible joy (1 Peter 1:8-9).
Her trust in God’s care for her would bring great joy, leading to pure worship (Romans 15:13; Psalm 28:7).
God gives her moments that cause her to look heavenward and thank Him for loving her so greatly (Ephesians 3:16-19).
27. Her view of marriage and love
There are some things you can learn through experience. There are other things you can learn through careful attention and study. There are things you can learn by God shaping your heart and mind to match His. True love and Christ-centered marriages involve all three approaches. If you neglect any of those three ways of learning, you’ll muddle along through your relationship, and it will never be everything God intends it to become. But now, while you and your future wife are single, you both have the perfect opportunity to learn everything you can about love from the One who loves perfectly. Gentlemen, by seeking to become like Christ, you’ll begin to love and see others like He does. Pray the same thing for your future wife. You can both save yourselves a great deal of pain and trouble by having a biblical view of love and marriage before you enter into it. (To this end, I would recommend that anyone, whether single or married, read some of these great books on the subject.)
And gentlemen, you too should be asking God to give you His view of marriage as well. It took years for me to reach a point where I developed a realistic idea of marriage, and I put my personal view down in writing after I was asked four questions:
“Do you believe marriage will make you more content?”
“Do you have unreasonable expectations for marriage?”
“How do you see marriage as a means to holiness?”
“What do you want out of marriage?”
After consideration and prayer, this was my response:
I know I don’t know all the struggles we will face in marriage or the depth I will need to die to self or the difficulties of each of us being sanded and, at times, rubbed raw by the sinfulness of the other…but I want it.
I want it all.
I want the joys and tears and slammed doors and making up and concerns about the future and the grace of God’s provision. I want dinners growing cold under heavy conversation and prayers offered up sweetly like incense.
I want to ponder paint swatches for the eighth time and not be able to fully grasp an appreciable difference in the exact shade for the living room walls but know that it’s not about the paint or the walls but the lining of a nest and the nest is the home and that is how it should be.
I want to sit up late to rock the baby and fix the dishwasher and change the oil and take out the trash and rotate the tires and go to the store in the middle of a rainstorm to pick up products for her that a single guy never thinks about.
I want to make coffee and rub feet and bring flowers and notice her hair and leave notes and call just to say I was thinking of her.
I want sore knees and lost sleep and tear stains from praying for her.
I want dirt under my nails and grit between my teeth and my tunic flecked with my own blood from wading into battle on her behalf.
I want the tango. Stumbling and tangled and on each other’s toes and pressing into her and she into me and both of us into God. Feeling the small of her back rest in my hand and allowing me, wanting me, to lead and both of us hearing the same rhythm and learning the steps and no longer two but one and being willing to step back onto the floor again and again.
I want to put a ring on the hand of a woman I can look at and say, “Help me become like Christ, and I will spare nothing to do the same for you.”
I want holiness, even through hurt.
I want sacrifice and service and sanctification if it all kills me in the process, and I know it will; it must.
I want her to look down at my hand around her hand and easily imagine nail prints.
There is no other way.
She views love as a choice to seek the greatest good of another regardless of the cost (Ephesians 5:25).
She develops a Christ-like love for others (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
Her view of marriage is not shaped wrongly by poor examples or the world’s view of relationships, but by God’s perfect plan (Ephesians 5:31-33).
28. Her faith
It’s tempting to live life by a formula, but that’s not how God has told us to live. Since His power is limitless, His knowledge is without fail, and His goodness is perfect, God can be trusted completely. Your future wife’s faith will be tested, stretched and grown by what she faces daily. Every moment of difficulty that comes her way is allowed by God Himself to come into her life for the purpose of making her more like Him. When the darkness comes and every earthly thing she has put her trust in seems to fail, she can know there is One who can see through the darkness and is always trustworthy (Psalm 139:12). The growth of her faith and trust are precious to God. You want her to face anything in her life and say, with confidence, “My Daddy has this under His control.”
She lives her life by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7; Habakkuk 2:4).
Her life is marked by a holy boldness (Ephesians 6:8-20).
Her trust in God allows her to rest in any direction He leads (Proverbs 3:5-6).
She places everything upon God and relies upon Him to work (Psalm 37:5).
29. Her submission to God
It is sad hearing someone say, “I am not fully surrendered to God.” It is even sadder when that person is one you love. When a person places limits upon God with regard to what she will do for Him, where she will go for Him or how she will serve Him, you’re hearing a person living in outright rebellion and missing out on His best for her. You must pray that your future wife is practicing daily surrender to God. She should be dying to her own selfish desires, her own wrong motives and sinful actions more and more every day. Just as she should wake up, every day of your marriage, to a man who is more like Jesus than the day before, she should be striving to become transformed into His image as well.
She would seek His will before her own, no matter how much that costs her (Mark 14:35-36).
Her life would display the power of God as she lives a life crucified to sin and self (Galatians 2:20).
She would seek, above all, to live for Him daily (Luke 9:23).
30. Her dreams
Your future wife likely looks toward what is to come with some nervous anticipation, a degree of uncertainty and a helping of excitement. If she’s the kind of woman a bold man of God desires, you can know some things to be true about her. She desires to see God use her in great ways. She doesn’t want to settle for a boring, routine life. She wants the God of the universe to take her gifts, her talents and her heart and pour them into the lives of others so that they can be changed for all eternity. She wants to be spent for His glory. Pray that God will give her the right desires and bring them to pass in His time, in His way.
She views the future with confidence (Proverbs 31:25).
She has godly desires in her heart (Psalm 37:4-5).
She wants God to forge her into an instrument to display His grace and His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).
31. Her blessings
God wants to bless your future wife. He wants to bless your marriage. He wants your relationship as husband and wife to be a blessing to others. He also wants to use each of you now to bless everyone He places in your lives. Blessings don’t end with you; they always point back to Christ. You’ve been praying some incredible things for your wife…as I have for mine. Why not pray a prayer that God will do greater things even still?
Today, pray your version of the prayer below:
“God, Thank you for Your love for my future wife. As much as I will love her, I know You love her even more. You have heard my prayers for her, and You want to bless her life. I know You are able to do exceedingly abundantly above all I can ask or think by Your power at work in us (Ephesians 3:20). So I ask You, if I have asked for too little in my prayers for her, if the things I have voiced are too small for such a God as You, if I have not asked for enough that would fit Your glory, Your plan and Your perfect will for her, then do those things instead. Give her all the things I don’t know to ask You for; grant her blessings unspeakable, gifts incomprehensible and Your goodness beyond measure. Work in her however You desire to make her into a woman who is most like You. Amen.”
Gentlemen, my prayer for you is that you can know with certainty, when she walks down that aisle toward you, that you lifted that beautiful daughter of your King up to His throne again and again in passionate prayer. I pray your marriage is better for you having prayed for it.
In your waiting for your bride, be encouraged that Christ has been waiting on His Bride, the Church, for a couple of thousand years now, but when the time in perfect, He will be united with her. He has a perfect time planned for you to meet your bride as well.
May your life be bold, your heart honest and your love the same as Christ’s.
(P.S. If you have some things you are praying for your future wife that I have not yet included in either of the previous posts on the subject, feel free to use the email on the contact page (or just use email@example.com) to let me know what those things might be (if you like). I would love to hear how you are praying specifically for your Miss Pending and include those thoughts in a future post.)