(Available on Instagram: @prayingforyourfuturewife and @prayingforyourfuturehusband)
A while ago, I wrote the post “How To Pray for Your Future Wife” here on my blog. What started as my own prayer list turned into something more. The response was overwhelming at the time, and it still stands as the most-viewed and most-shared post on the site. Since the original posting, I have received emails from numerous countries and have partnered in prayer with others across the globe who connected with me because of how God used that single post. I am deeply humbled by the encouragement, the stories and the prayers that you, the readers, have shared with me.
In my original post, I encouraged men to remain sensitive to God’s leading when He gave new prayer topics personally applicable to each individual situation. Taking my own advice, I began praying in new ways in addition to those mentioned in the first “How To Pray for Your Future Wife” post. Most of these 31 “new” prayer points were the result of the prompting of God during reading the Bible, some came from listening to the struggles and concerns voiced by women I know, and some arose during my own prayer times. So, in the same vein as the post that started this journey with the readers, I invite you to step into the deeper waters of prayer for your own “Miss Pending.”
But before we begin, can I ask you a personal question? It is a question that has been pressed upon my heart as of late…
If God said “yes” to all your prayers, would your character be able to bear it?
I addressed this in more detail with regard to prayer in general in a recent post, but applying it to prayers for your future wife (and mine as well), perhaps I could ask it like this…
If God said “yes” to all your prayers for the development of Christ-like qualities in your future wife, is your character deep enough, strong enough and godly enough to be the best husband for her?
In other words, are you the right kind of man for the kind of woman you have been praying for?
I don’t speak of perfection; that is impossible. But we do need a serious understanding of what is required by God from a man to lead a family and love like He does.
The kind of woman you pray for is not looking for a person who just does the right thing when everyone is watching, but a person who stands for the right thing when no one is around. She does not desire a man who just goes to church, but a man who worships well in public and in private. Her husband must not merely own a Bible or know some truth, but her husband must treasure, depend upon, live by and hunger for God’s Word.
So, join me in this: when you pray for your future wife, make sure you ask God to show you how He wants to change you to be the man He has in mind. Because as you place the priority on becoming the man He desires you to be, you will become the right kind of man for your future wife as well. Not only that, when God chooses to bring her into your life, He will use her to further create the likeness of Christ in you, and He will use you to the do the same for her. Your marriage will be for the sanctification of both of you; you will help each other become more like Christ.
If you long for the woman of your dreams, start by making her the woman of your prayers. If you want to be the man of her dreams, start by praying about your own character.
How to Pray for Your Future Wife – Part 2
- Her worship of God
To be struck with the majesty of a view, the importance of an event or the weight of a moment can be overwhelming. Words fail, breath becomes shallow (or held altogether) and thoughts frantically try to keep up with the reality unfolding before you. But to encounter God in a fresh way makes all other experiences pale by comparison. Nothing else compares with being awestruck with the Creator. When we gain a deeper understanding of His glory, a better grasp of His goodness or a clear view of His holiness, we are often overcome with the fact that He is God, and we are not.
When we seek to know God, and He reveals as much of Himself as we might be able to handle in the given moment, our correct response will be worship. In our awe, in the light of His greatness, we praise Him for who He is and all He has done. In the Psalms, we find the beautiful statement, “For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised” (96:4). The greatness of our act of worship reflects the magnitude of the object of our worship.
Your desire is that your future wife worships well (and that is her desire for you). Even now, she may sing to her God (whether or not she thinks she has a good “singing voice”) knowing that He loves to hear one of His children with praises on her lips. Since her private worship will shape her public worship, seek prayers on her behalf that her home itself will be a special place of praise for her, even when she is there with God alone. Not only in her home, but pray also that her heart is a sacred space for her worship of God. Knee-bowing begins with heart-bowing.
She offers herself up as a living sacrifice to God as an act of worship to Him (Romans 12:1-2).
She worships God with reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:28-29).
She gives God praise, even in times of difficulty (Acts 16:25-26).
Her external praise arises from the deepest part of herself (Psalm 103:1).
- Her gratitude
It is hard to be thankful when things aren’t going well, but tremendous power resides in giving thanks in difficulty. When life is overwhelming for your future wife, and it seems like every moment is a struggle, saying, “thank you” to God can be an easily-forgotten practice.
But it is in the gratitude that she can find peace when all things seem to be going awry. In the giving of thanks, for all things, she can focus on God’s faithfulness, goodness and grace. Even if there are things that she does not possess yet, dreams she has not seen come to fruition and outstanding plans still lingering and longing for completion, your future wife can focus upon the things she has been given now and give thanks.
As she looks to present blessings, her gratitude can also look ahead. Your future wife can have gratitude for those things not yet present but look ahead with hope. In other words, based on God’s promises, she can look forward and give thanks “in advance” to all He will do in her life.
Gratitude is a normal part of her prayer life (Philippians 4:6-7).
She strives to be thankful in all things knowing that is the will of God for her (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
She gives God thanks for the victory given to her through Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).
- Her surrender
Turning over our plans and dreams to God can be a difficult act of surrender. Our clear ideas of what happiness, contentment and peace look like can easily override the concealed, yet better, will of God. Your future wife likely wrestles with surrender just as everyone else does. To relinquish our wills to the will of God is necessary, and to learn how to surrender, we must look to Jesus.
Christ sacrificed His body, His physical life, and shed His blood, but we must never ignore the fact that He also sacrificed His will. His sacrifice was voluntary. He surrendered to the will of the Father. So then, the Cross was not just the surrendering of His physical life, but the surrendering of His very will. For a follower of Christ, self-sacrifice is never offered as one of many options; it is demanded as a necessity.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the externals, the trappings and the appearance of Christianity that we don’t focus upon our wills and what is going on inside of us. Like Christ, we must approaching a holy God surrendering our physical lives, but our personal wills. Your desires, your glory, what you believe is best—you sacrifice all of it for His desires, His glory, and what He knows is best. That’s not legalism, that’s living a crucified life. Pray that your future wife understands this key truth and continually surrenders to His will for her.
She is willing to lay down all her plans for His (Matthew 26:39).
She “takes up her cross daily” to follow God (Luke 9:23).
She surrenders to God by depending upon the power of Christ in her (Galatians 2:20).
- Her focus
She feels it. The battle for her attention. Sometimes it is a subtle tugging at her heart and mind that lures her, gently at first, from the place God is leading her. At other moments it is a full onslaught of distraction. Your future wife goes to war every day to maintain focus on what really matters. In the middle of these struggles, her focus must be upon God first and foremost.
Even when she is seeking God, the temptation may be to believe, as we all do at times, that if she just does the correct thing, then He will make everything easy from now on. But we must not use God as merely a means to an end. Though the Bible calls us to lead holy lives, the object of leading a holy life is not so that we might “get blessed” by God, but that we might know Him and make Him known. God Himself must be our focus, not what we can get from Him. We must put Him first, and then He takes full responsibility to meet all our other, lesser needs.
Putting Him first is an act of faith. Putting Him first is an act of understanding His position and our own as well. Putting Him first is an act of worship.
We will seek Him first only when we believe that He is better than anything else.
She will seek “first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33)
She will do God’s will, and trust His plan, even when it the sacrifice required makes no sense from a human viewpoint (1 Kings 17:12-16).
She will set her mind on the things of God (Colossians 3:1-2)
- Her transformation
God never changes, but we change constantly. No one remains static. We do not remain indefinitely on a plateau of growth; there is always movement in one direction or another.
God wants to do something today in the life of your future wife: He wants to make her like His Son. Jesus took on our image to redeem His image in us. She is made in the image of God, and now He is moving her toward His likeness even more.
Let me put it another way: He desires to reclaim His glory in her through His relationship with her.
Paul writes to the Corinthians: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
This transformation takes place over time as believers grow in the faith and knowledge of Christ; “put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:10).
While believers are now becoming increasingly more like Christ, only at the final unfolding of God’s redemptive plan will we fully bear His image. At the culmination of God’s redemptive purpose for the universe, He shall transform believers into perfect image-bearers. This is the ultimate destiny of all who are in Christ (Romans 8:29).
Her mind is transformed to align with the thoughts of God (Romans 12:2; Philippians 2:5-11).
She presses toward the goal of becoming like Christ (Philippians 3:12-14).
She seeks purity because of her hope in Him (1 John 3:2,3).
- Her love for His Word
The main tool that God uses to speak to us is His Word, the Scriptures: the Bible.
Often we make the mistake of viewing the Bible as “just another book” when nothing could be further from the truth. Scripture is not empty, cold, and lifeless words on a page, but is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is both alive (living) and effective at producing change (active). The living and active word is such because it is spoken by the living and mighty God; He works in us by His Word (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
Pray that your future wife does not make the mistake of approaching the Bible from a strictly academic viewpoint. Some view reading the Bible simply as they would any work of literature or a history book (though a mix of literal history and metaphor, some would say). It is read often as something that gives comfort to the reader, without any lasting or real change in that person’s life. To reduce the Bible to these stereotypical views is to rob oneself of the richness found within the covers. The Bible is not a collection of fairy tales and old myths, and it isn’t something that can be treated as a lucky charm that we pull out and wave away our troubles. It is, instead, the very words of God Himself.
When your future wife reads the Bible, God speaks to her. He speaks to her personally and practically. This is why it is so important for her to saturate her life with the truth of scripture (Colossians 3:16; Psalm 119:11). The Bible holds great power to transform; God uses it to effect change. Your future wife will not change by getting into the Bible, she will change when the Bible gets into her.
God will speak to her powerfully and accomplish His work in her through His Word (1 Thessalonians 1:5; Psalm 19:7-8).
God convicts her, exposes anything out of line with His will and gives her a deeper understanding of herself by His truth (Hebrews 4:12).
God transforms her and shapes her into His likeness (John 17:17).
She is faithful to do whatever He desires, commands and leads as He reveals His truth to her (James 1:21-26).
- Her idols
Your future wife faces the temptation of idolatry on a regular basis. Our culture encourages it. Whether possessions or titles or even relationships, any or all of these things can become idols in her life easily. But another real and subtle danger exists with the idols of the heart (Ezekiel 14:2-3).
The idols of our hearts are often difficult to identify and hard to dethrone. We hold our idols close, and our lives grow tightly around them. We reorder our thoughts to accommodate our idols. We mistakenly give them validity as they creep into more and more areas. We search for Bible verses to back our false notions while ignoring the context or passages to the contrary. Soon, the idols seem to be a part of us. When our hearts intertwine with our idols, an attack on idolatry feels like an attack upon our lives.
Nothing and no one is worth your future wife’s worship other than God Himself. God leads to life, but every idol leads to meaninglessness (Isaiah 44:9-19). Your prayers can give her strength to recognize the idols that arise before her and to reject them as worthless things by comparison to the value of God.
She will pay careful attention to her heart, so that she will not be deceived (Deuteronomy 11:16).
She will not fall into the idolatry of the world around her (Deuteronomy 12:29-30)
She will flee from idols as soon as she recognizes them as being such (1 Corinthians 10:14).
- Her loss
Seasons of loss can be difficult to walk through. Whether losing a position, the changing of friendships or the death of a loved one, loss registers with us in a way that few other things do. The painful void opens up, and instead of taking the time to process what is missing, we often try to fill that space immediately. Rarely does that turn out well for anyone involved.
Your Miss Pending will have loss. Things will turn south when she was hoping they would move in a positive direction. Friendships will dissolve. People will pass away. What is important is that she can sit with her emotions and sort through them with God’s help. Now you, like I, would like to keep your future wife from all loss, but realistically that is not possible. Loss will come; the hurt will be strong.
But she is not left alone and without help. The One who knows more about loss than anyone else will walk with her through that season of darkness and uncertainty. The ministry of God to the aching heart here is a preview of the restoration to come (Revelation 21:4).
Even when her heart fails, she relies upon God’s strength (Psalm 73:26).
She knows the comfort that comes from God (Matthew 5:4).
She senses the closeness of God during her darkest hours (Psalm 34:18).
Someday, she can use the comfort given to her by God to offer help to another (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
- Her forgiveness
When your future wife is hurt, it can be difficult for her to move past the pain and experience healing. The only way to begin that process is to do the hard work of forgiveness. Few find that an easy thing to do. In forgiving, we are trusting God to deal with things. We have faith in Him to act as He sees fit and leave the working to Him.
Forgiveness and trust are two different things. One may forgive completely, but never again fully trust the one person who committed the wrong. There are always consequences for any action, and actions that harm others will cascade for some time after the fact and may damage reputations and relationships permanently.
Our near-sighted sin seldom takes the future into account. Though we may be cleansed of our sin, forgiven by others, still we must bear the consequences of our actions. Most often that remains the hardest part of all. Your future wife will face the need to forgive others who have hurt her as well as seek forgiveness from those she has hurt. But we also release ourselves. There’s an old saying that when one opens the prison door of forgiveness, he finds that the prisoner he sets free is himself. Again, we must trust God when we forgive — it is an act of faith.
In forgiveness, we free ourselves from the pain, release others from ourselves and give room for God to work as He pleases.
She will not seek vengeance, but will leave room for God to work as He sees fit (Romans 12:19).
She offers forgiveness as God does (Colossians 3:13-14).
She does not allow bitterness to find a place in her heart (Hebrews 12:15).
- Her uncertainty
When your future wife faces uncertainty, it will be easy for her to panic. But though the temptation to have a meltdown is strong, her confidence in God can bear her through.
Your future wife may, like you, go to God and want to know what the future holds. We want to know where we will live, what kind of job we will have and who exactly we will marry. God never promises to give long-range details about our lives, but He does promise to lead us in the right direction if we are dependent upon Him.
Though we do not understand all things, God has no limits in His knowledge (Psalm 139:6). His understanding is infinite (Psalm 147:5), He knows all things (1 John 3:20) and His knowledge is perfect (Job 37:16). He sees everything (Proverbs 15:3) and knows everything we do (Proverbs 5:21), including our thoughts (Psalm 139:1-2; 1 Chronicles 28:9). He knows what will happen in the future just as clearly as the past, and He knew the past just as clearly when it was future (Isaiah 46:8-11). Because God knows everything and knows everything about us, we can fully trust Him and His knowledge even when our understanding fails (Matthew 10:29-31).
If your future wife grasps the truth of who God is, what He knows and what He is capable of doing, she will rest easy in His sovereign care.
When fear comes, she trusts fully in God (Psalm 56:3).
She does not worry, but instead seeks the peace of God (Philippians 4:6-7).
She trusts that God’s plans for her are good (1 Corinthians 2:9).
- Her obedience
Your desire should be that your future wife wants to be obedient to God. Please understand what I mean by that statement. This is no cold, rigid, lifeless and legalistic approach to obedience, but a freedom that comes within the loving boundaries that God establishes for His children to keep them safe, give them joy and lead them into a life abounding with the knowledge of and fellowship with Him (John 13:17).
Your future wife’s obedience to God will be based upon her love for Him. John recorded Jesus stating, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (14:21). If she loves God, she will follow Him (John 14:15).
Her outward obedience should reflect her inner obedience. Her internal and external lives must connect and match. God desires for her attitudes and her actions to be perfectly joined together into a seamless, unified wholeness of heart, for through her obedience, she will make her Maker known to others (Matthew 5:13-16).
She lives out His commands in a way that most accurately resembles Christ (John 15:10).
Her obedience to Him deepens as she abides with Him (1 John 2:3-6).
She shows her love to God and others by obeying His Word (1 John 5:1-5)
- Her loneliness
Being single can be lonely. Even when your future wife is surrounded by friends, she may feel alone or separated from others. Without great care and directed thought, loneliness can lead to all sorts of attempts to meet the need for friendship in all the wrong ways. Your Miss Pending does need friends and support, both now and when she is married, but during times of loneliness, she can find a deeper connection with God than she might have ever experienced before.
Think about it: God doesn’t need anyone, and by nature of His being, couldn’t need anyone. If we need some help, we can ask. There is always the possibility that you and I will need someone, but that possibility does not exist with God. To think so is to limit Him. God doesn’t need anyone, He was perfectly happy before we were created, and He doesn’t need our fellowship. If you think on this long enough, with a sense of human pride, your feelings can be hurt. But the reality is this: we were created for Him (Isaiah 43:7). Only a God who needs no one can supply our need for companionship perfectly.
In the midst of her loneliness, your future wife can know that she is counted as significant by, and has the attention of, the only perfectly self-sufficient, fully-independent Being in existence. That means something.
God shows His grace to her in times of loneliness (Psalm 25:16).
She trusts that God is always with her (Deuteronomy 31:8; Matthew 28:20).
She knows that nothing will ever separate her from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39).
- Her impossibilities
God is calling your future wife to obedience, to greater things and to experience His goodness in new ways, but she might well hesitate because she can’t see the end He has in mind. In fact, she may view what God is asking her to do as an impossible task. This is why she must “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). When what we perceive to be the likely outcome of a situation and what God says about our circumstances seem to run contrary to each other, we often panic, worry or scheme.
Fear, anxiety and manipulation are all indicators of a heart relying upon itself. Where circumstances meet the will is the proving ground of faith.
God sees all things (Hebrews 4:13; Psalm 33:13). When His truth or what He tells your future wife to do conflicts with her view of reality or seems altogether impossible, she must trust His view and avoid making decisions based only according to the things she can see. For us to see a work that can be done by God alone, we must first see a work that is impossible for a human alone.
When she responds to God in the “impossible” moments and trusts Him to do what only He can do, she will see Him work in unimaginable ways, and those moments will increase her faith.
She does not seek to handle things as the world does, but looks past the seen things of earth to the unseen things of God (2 Corinthians 4:18).
She commits all she does to God (Proverbs 16:3; Psalm 37:5).
She relies upon God power working through her in her weakness (2 Corinthians 4:7-9).
- Her witness for Christ
People often use excuses to avoid doing something uncomfortable. Sometimes people do the same when it comes to speaking of spiritual things to others. These individuals think, “I’m not gifted that way, so I am excused from telling others about Jesus.” Or maybe they worry that they will be viewed in an awkward way or face ridicule if they mention God.
But all followers of Christ are directed to tell others about Him, whether it is comfortable or not (Matthew 28:18-20). We stay inside our comfort zone because of fear. We fear the unknown and are frightened by the response of others. Jesus gives us an incredible example of stepping from a comfort zone. He left heaven, assumed the role of a human and died for us. He shows us the pain and the glory of moving from what is “safe” to what is sacrifice. Pray that your future wife does the same.
She sees telling others about Christ as partnering with Him and other believers to see lives changed for eternity (John 4:36-38; 1 Corinthians 3:5-9).
She is ready at any moment to explain why she has hope in Christ (1 Peter 3:15).
She depends upon the Holy Spirit to give her the power to share with others (Acts 1:8).
- Her refining
No person is immune from the pain of a broken world. In some cases, it may be nothing more than a disappointment or an inconvenience: a rainy vacation, a flat tire at rush hour or a missed birthday party. But those things are light compared to other, more serious pains. When times of major struggle come, we often try to shake free and run the other way. Granted, if the pain is avoidable and unhealthy, we do well to move from it, but sometimes in trying to lessen the hurt, we lessen the purpose of the pain. God uses painful seasons in the lives of His children to teach us about Himself, to develop character and to shape us into the likeness of His Son (Isaiah 48:10; Proverbs 17:3).
Throughout the Bible, we see these glints of the meaning promised on the other side of pain…
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statues” (Psalm 119:71).
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame…” (Romans 5:3-5).
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
The pain your future wife will experience is nothing like the pain that Jesus experienced, but at the same time, her pain holds great potential for transformation into His likeness. Like nail prints in His hands, our deepest wounds can bear the greatest weight of glory.
She will develop endurance as the times of testing come (Romans 5:3-5).
She will be patient as her heart is tested by God (Proverbs 17:3).
She will come out of the refining purified and more like Christ (Malachi 3:3; Job 23:10).
God will use His truth to purify anything false in her life (Jeremiah 23:29).
- Her flesh
Your future wife faces a great enemy: her flesh. From a biblical viewpoint, the “flesh” can be described as the habits of the old people we were before we began to follow Christ. According to Romans 8:12-14, we must put to death the areas of our lives controlled by and related to the flesh. God crucified the old person (who we were before following Christ) on the Cross, we now crucify the flesh. But, inherent in the word “crucified,” is the idea of not simply killing the flesh, but the condemnation that results in the death as well.
The only way to accomplish this is to by the power of the Holy Spirit working within us. Paul writes, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Galatians 5:16-17). Only by keeping in step with God’s Spirit within her will your future wife consistently win the ever-present battle with her flesh (Galatians 5:25).
She recognizes and lives out the reality that she is a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22-24).
She shows the fruit of the Spirit in her life (Galatians 5:22-23).
She readily sees sinful desires for what they are and deals decisively with them (Galatians 5:24).
- Her brokenness
We usually apply the phrase “hardness of heart” to those who are cold and unfeeling. These people refuse to budge emotionally, and we may even say they have no feelings; nothing moves them. Hardness develops when a person sees the work of God, hears the word of God, or knows the will of God, and refuses. This is not the kind of heart that you want your Miss Pending to have. Your desire is for her to be tender and sensitive to God and His leading.
The tender heart is one of brokenness. True repentance is always accompanied by brokenness over sin. When you repent, God does not intend you to continue in the sorrow over the sin for which you have been forgiven. What should continue is the attitude of brokenness. This attitude recognizes our indebtedness (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), our weakness (2 Corinthians 4:7), and our inability to accomplish anything of eternal worth apart from His power (John 15:4-5).
Your prayer should be that your future wife knows that those broken in humility rise in praise.
She brings a humble spirit and heart to God as her sacrifice (Psalm 51:17).
She remains close to God by maintaining humility (Isaiah 57:15).
She experiences great blessings of life through her humility toward God (Proverbs 22:4).
- Her peace
As you read through the Bible, you will find that the peace given by God is precious and that life is full of would-be peace-robbers. Peace is more than just the absence of conflict. It is used in the Bible to convey the idea of “wholeness.” God offers His followers tranquil minds and confident attitudes in all the circumstances we might face, and with that, the promise to bring us to a place of completeness and stability both now and in the future.
You can pray that your future wife experiences the peace that comes from Christ. Jesus promises, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). The peace that Jesus gives is the peace that Jesus has. He gives us His own peace. Even in adversity, we can remain confident in this fact because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). His peace is eternal, based upon His relationship with His Father and provided to us through His sacrifice. That is the peace that your future wife can enjoy today.
She enjoys the results of peace due to godly wisdom (James 3:17-18).
By practicing the principles of God’s truth faithfully, she experiences the blessing of the presence of the God of peace (Philippians 4:9).
By offering up her prayers of dependence upon Him, her heart is guarded by the supernatural, unexplainable peace of God (Philippians 4:6-7).
She fixes her mind set upon God, and in doing so, knows His peace (Isaiah 26:3).
- Her provision
We all have needs, and some of those needs are physical. Some people try to downplay the physical needs of others simply because they are not spiritual. We should seek God first, but that focus does not make our legitimate physical needs any less serious. God, in fact, knows all about our temporal needs and promises to meet them as we trust Him. The church at Philippi sent funds to Paul, and the sacrificial gift had cost them. Paul promised them, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Your desire is for your future wife to trust in the goodness and grace of God as He provides for her needs. God is more than capable of supplying anything and everything she needs (2 Corinthians 9:8). She may desire more physical blessings than she possesses at this moment, and God may well commit more things into her care, but she can rest in the knowledge that it doesn’t matter how much she has, but how she views what she has in light of the God she knows.
She does not become consumed with worry about her physical needs, but instead, exercises faith in God’s provision (Matthew 6:25-34).
She looks to the sacrifice of Christ as being proof that God is gracious and loving (Romans 8:32).
She practices contentment with the gifts of God and relies upon His strength (Philippians 4:11-13).
- Her stewardship
Your future wife can experience a deeper walk with God when she trusts Him with her finances and gives to His work. I am not speaking of God being under an obligation to bless someone with temporal blessings just because she or he gives to His kingdom’s work. Can He? Of course He can, but it’s not a “one-for-one” forced arrangement. But God does bless us spiritually because God blesses giving. He even challenges His people to put Him to the test to see how He will bless them (Malachi 3:10).
The reason for this is simple: God blesses obedience. We don’t give with the primary motivation to “get,” but we give because it’s the right thing to do.
And let’s face it: everything belongs to Him anyway. It is His creation (Psalm 50:10-12). What can we give back to Him that does not rightly own anyway?
You can pray that your Miss Pending is generous in her giving back to God, knowing that He “loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
She gives generously, sacrificially and willingly where there is a need (2 Corinthians 9:6-9; Proverbs 19:17).
She is faithful to give to the work of God (Malachi 3:10).
She is blessed by her giving to God in ways that increase her faith (Luke 6:38; Acts 20:35).
- Her self-control
We all are tempted to become angry at times and allow our emotions to run away from us. Not only can we hurt others when we lose control, we place ourselves in danger from even more negative influences (Proverbs 25:28). The Bible warns us often of the danger of reacting by impulse instead of responding in wisdom (Proverbs 14:16-17, 29; Ecclesiastes 7:9). There are times for the right kind of anger—holy, righteous anger against certain things standing against God. But even that kind of anger should be dealt with quickly as it can “give place to the devil” and allow him an opportunity to lead one astray into the wrong kind of anger (Ephesians 4:26-27).
You can pray that God will help your future wife slow down her response to negative things that come her way. In fact, one of the characteristics of God Himself is that He is slow to anger (Psalm 103:8). To react to a person or a circumstance quickly through sinful anger will not produce or reveal God’s righteousness (James 1:19-20).
She seeks to show the love of God when she is wronged (Proverbs 17:9; 1 Corinthians 13:4-5; 1 Peter 4:7-8).
She shows discretion and wisdom in handling anger (Proverbs 12:16; 19:11).
Her trust in God allows her to put aside her anger (Psalm 37:7-8).
She is “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19-20).
- Her boldness
We live in a fear-filled and fearful world. The evil world system works in a focused manner against those who follow Christ. If the world can convince a child of God that there is no power to stop the tide of sin, no hope for changing anyone and no voice louder than the critics trying to drown the truth, then the result will be the silence of the believer. But we know that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). We often live like God is not a God of power and become fearful of what humans might do or say to us (Proverbs 29:25), but that is no way to live as a follower of Christ. The fear of man is always an indication of forgetting God (Isaiah 51:12-13).
One consistent pattern found in the book of Acts is this: when believers were filled with the Holy Spirit, they were bold in their stance for God. The same is true for us today. The Holy Spirit bears witness to God (Romans 8:12-17). If you are filled with Holy Spirit, then you will be controlled by Him. If you are controlled by Him, the Holy Spirit will bear witness of Jesus through you (through your actions and words), and He will show His power through the boldness in the midst of your weakness.
She will be bold in her profession of Christ to the world (Ephesians 6:18-20).
She does not have a fear of sinful humanity (Hebrews 13:6).
She stands her ground and displays majestic bravery because she is a child of God (Proverbs 28:1).
- Her encouragement
Discouragement is one of the primary tools Satan uses to waylay a believer. Not only does your future wife need encouragement, but she can be an encouragement to others also. The source of all lasting encouragement is God. In fact, He is referred to as “the God of endurance and encouragement” (Romans 15:5-6).
Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, not only to teach us and give us power, but to give us comfort as well. For those who follow Him, we are offered encouragement from the inside-out. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).
By the power of the Holy Spirit working in us, God “comes alongside” to comfort and encourage us. We can then offer others the same comfort that has helped us through our own difficulties. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Your future wife can be an instrument of encouragement for hearts that need the comfort known in and by Christ.
She finds encouragement in the hope found in Christ (Hebrews 6:17-18).
She is encouraged by the faith of others, and her faith encourages others as well (Romans 1:12).
She encourages others who know Christ with the trust of an eternity spent with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11).
- Her compassion
This seems obvious. Who would not want to share life with someone who has a heart of compassion? But allow me to let you in on something I have discovered: I know of very few single people who mention compassion as a trait they pray that their future spouses possess, but I have heard many married people speak of how they wish their spouses were more compassionate.
Compassion is not just “feeling sorry” for someone, nor is it a surface-level patronizing of a painful situation. In the Bible, compassion is feeling along with another, not just with a fleeting emotion, but with a deep, gut-level connection with another. Throughout the Old Testament, God is shown to be compassionate (2 Kings 13:23; Psalm 79:8; Isaiah 63:7), and throughout the New Testament, Jesus shows compassion just as His Father does (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; Luke 7:13).
Your future wife can develop a heart of compassion toward others and offer that graciousness to others. Compassion is a trait the display of which depends upon being around others and sharing their hurts. When the trials of marriage come, you will both need and want compassion from each other. Not only should you pray for her heart of compassion, take some time and pray that God develops the same kind of heart in you as well.
She welcomes the compassion of God as one of His beloved children (Psalm 103:13).
Her outward display of character reveals a heart of compassion (Colossians 3:12).
She shows compassion as she forgives as God does (Luke 15:20).
- Her confidence toward God
Satan would love to silence the prayers of your Miss Pending. He will attempt to create in her a sense of shame, fear or doubt to keep her from drawing near to God. Satan also actively pushes her to throw away any confidence she might have in Christ in the midst of difficulty (Hebrews 10:35). Not only that, her own flesh (that sinful remnant of the old person she was before Christ) recoils at the idea of being humble before a holy God and will try to convince her to stay as far away as possible or will attempt to persuade her that she can do enough by her own power to deserve God’s audience. Your future wife’s confidence toward God will be key in defeating these tactics, and her confidence must be rooted firmly in the person and work of Christ Himself and not in any merit that she might hope to earn or naturally possess.
As one of His children, she has no need to shrink back or cower down before God, but can approach Him humbly, reverently and yet with great boldness. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). The reason she can have such utter confidence is because of Christ’s sacrifice (Hebrews 10:19-23). She can go directly into the throneroom of God Himself with complete assurance that He will receive her as one of His own.
She holds onto the confidence that comes in knowing that God hears her prayers and will answer them according to His will (1 Peter 3:12; 1 John 5:14).
She boldly goes into His presence because of the sacrifice of Christ (Ephesians 2:18; 3:12).
She is fully assured of the wisdom and knowledge found only in Christ (Colossians 2:2).
- Her stillness
Chances are, if your future wife is like most people, she finds herself busily attempting to dig herself out from the numerous tasks of life piled upon her. The responsibilities of a career, a social life and church can seem never-ending. The “to-do” list grows to multiple pages. Each hour of each day of the calendar fills. Someone might ask, “What do you do in your spare time?” Her response could be, “Spare time? What’s that?”
The busyness of life can override the stillness we can enjoy in the presence of God, but our stillness in the presence of God can indeed override the busyness of life. Pray that your future wife knows this fact.
She may become so busy making and carrying out her plans that she misses God in the process. He’s there, and she could shuffle about under her load and miss moments with Him. Since every worthwhile relationship takes time, your desire is that she intentionally makes time for her relationship with Him and enjoys Him in the stillness.
In the stillness, she learns things about God that she did not know before (Psalm 46:10).
Her quietness before Him is an act of great trust (Isaiah 30:15).
She quiets her soul before God and enjoys the simplicity and sufficiency of His presence (Psalm 131:1-2).
- Her teachability
To be teachable is to open oneself to the best that God gives and to follow Him without delay or doubt. When it comes to Christianity, all believers should be lifelong learners.
In order to be transformed into the people God wants us to be, we must allow God to use what He says is true to correct our thinking and to change our minds. We can’t change this by trying harder or attempting to do everything by ourselves. Instead, God must work through us to accomplish this. We must allow Him to work in us without fighting His will.
We can learn of God’s truth through affliction (Psalm 119:71). We must depend upon the promises of God in order to learn contentment (Philippians 4:11-12). But we are also to continue living by the light of the truth we have learned (2 Timothy 3:14). Our learning is a process that never ends because not only do we learn about God here, on earth, but we will never stop learning about God for all eternity. He is so great, so infinite and so far above us, even as we will know Him and be known by Him in a perfect way, we will never grow tired or weary of discovering the depth of His goodness, holiness, greatness, justice, grace and love (1 Corinthians 13:12).
That kind of learning will go on for all eternity as we will never be able to fully comprehend the splendor of the God we serve. But you can pray that your future wife knows God as well as she can on this side of Heaven, that she listens to godly teaching that takes her deeper into her understanding and that she seeks wise counsel at critical times in life. Her teachable spirit here can be practice for all she will learn of God throughout eternity.
She does not ignore instruction that will help her (Proverbs 13:18).
She understands the value of godly advice (Ecclesiastes 4:13).
She follows in the way that God instructs her (Psalm 32:8).
- Her desert times
The dry times are the hardest. You have likely been through desert seasons of your walk with God. Before those dry times, you would read God’s Word, pray with fervor and experience God in such a “real” way that you thought you would never lose that passion. Excitement filled your heart because you knew that God had something personal and specific waiting for you each day. Others saw it too and commented on “the change” that God brought about in your life. You saw growth measured in days, not years.
Then, you seemed to slow down. It happened gradually. At first the slowing was nearly unnoticeable, then it became clear. It seemed harder and harder to maintain the connection with God. Your times of personal devotion seemed stale, so you slacked, or stopped. But you were so parched, so dry and so in need of hearing from God. You had to keep moving through that spiritual desert one weary step at a time.
Your future wife will go through the same kind of seasons. There will be spans of close intimacy with God punctuated with desert wanderings in valleys of dry bones. She is in good company, as we find the Psalmist penning the words, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1-2).
In times of spiritual drought, she can know that God will sustain her, and even when He seems far away in the desert time, He is still drawing her closer to Himself than she may know. She too, will be able to echo the words, “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:11).
She depends upon God’s promises as she goes through the dry times and not lesser things (Matthew 4:4).
She draws from the goodness of her salvation in Christ to quench her spiritual thirst (John 4:13-14).
She seeks God diligently when she finds herself in a desert season (Psalm 63:1).
- Her identity
Sometimes we base our identity on the wrong things. We may base our value on possessions, and feel better about ourselves when we get new things. We might base an identity on relationships or upon our abilities. The problem with those ideas is that when we base our identity on something that is changing or able to be lost, when those things are no more, our attached identities follow. We can all fall into the trap of thinking that our identity is wrapped up in something important when, in fact, that “important thing” can never give our lives true meaning. Your future wife’s view of identity is directly related to her beliefs. The real value of any person comes from God Himself. If a person has an incorrect view of God, that person will have an incorrect view of self.
The way we live, the things we say and what we believe are all connected to who we are down deep in our hearts. We may sometimes act differently, or we pretend to be something we are not, but we can never escape who we are. If we want our lives to be different, the change must happen inside of us first (Romans 12:2).
In short, you do not lose your identity when you come to Christ. You gain a new one (Galatians 2:20). When you put on Christ, you put on who you are intended to be, to fulfill the purpose for which you were created. You lose the sinful person as the “old you” dies (Romans 6:6) so that you might become who Jesus desires you to be. You only find your true identity and worth in Christ. This is the reality you desire your future wife to understand and the truth in which you want her to live.
She gives God praise for both creating her and adopting her into His family (Psalm 139:14; Romans 8:15).
She does not depend upon earthly things to establish her identity (Colossians 3:1-4).
She knows that she is special to God as one of His people (1 Peter 2:9-10; Ephesians 2:19).
- Her decisions
Making choices can be hard; making God-honoring choices can be even harder. When your future wife makes decisions, she will need great wisdom to make the best choice in any given situation. She should know that her life is not her own and that without God she cannot hope to plan in the best way (Jeremiah 10:23-24). She can approach her plans trusting that God has already established the intended course for her life (Proverbs 19:21).
She can do a few things to ensure that her decision-making can bring honor to God. First, she should seek the wisdom and the knowledge revealed in the truth from God’s Word (Deuteronomy 4:5-6; Matthew 7:24). Secondly, she should ask for wisdom from God as He promises to give to those who seek it (James 1:5). Your future wife can seek wise counsel from other godly people (Psalm 1:1; Proverbs 11:14). And she should look to make decisions based, not upon sinful motivations, but in line with the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:16).
If she will do these things (and you can pray that she does), God will use those wise choices to build her faith and increase her wisdom.
She makes decisions with the intent to please God first and foremost (Galatians 1:10).
She seeks wisdom from God (Proverbs 2:6).
She trusts God to direct her in the right way as she honors Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).
She makes choices that glorify God and that allow her to be thankful to Him (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17).
- Her waiting
Most of us hate waiting. We wait in line, we wait in traffic and we wait for the next stage of life to come. In our waiting, we can become impatient. Perhaps your future wife is worried in her waiting and is tempted to run ahead of God. Sometimes she, like most of us, will direct her impatience at God Himself.
Even though we wait, He is still at work. It can be especially hard when we wait through a difficult time, but even then, God is building endurance in us (James 1:3-4). In our times of waiting, God’s Word reminds us to place our trust fully in Him and depend upon His faithfulness and allow God to establish the standard for our desires (Psalm 37:3-4). We do these things while we “wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7). Since God can send His Son to earth to accomplish His divine plan at the perfect moment (the “fullness of time” according to Galatians 4:4-5), then God can place us in the right place at the right time to be a part of His perfect plan. Waiting will reveal how you and your future wife view God.
She quiets her soul and waits for God alone to respond (Psalm 62:1).
She recognizes that God is good to those who wait for Him (Lamentations 3:25-26).
Her strength is renewed as she waits patiently upon God (Isaiah 40:31).
Her heart is encouraged while she is in her season of waiting (Psalm 27:14).
Gentlemen, I have prayed for you, your future wives and your marriages-to-be with every step in writing this post. When the time is right, and you are both prepared, He will bring you into the exciting, challenging and life-changing blessing of marriage. May it be used in your life to the fullest to show Christ to the world and bring great glory to Him.
My continued prayers go with you,
(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.)