In a recent interview with Essence magazine, R&B singer Ciara revealed that before she met her fiancé, NFL player Russell Wilson, she had wanted “a God-fearing man with a very fun spirit who loves kids and would really, truly care for me”.
And, in her own words, she was very specific about it because she “believes you can have it all”.
Since meeting Wilson, Ciara has referred to him as heaven sent and after his proposal she proclaimed: “God is good”.
Praying for a spouse is something that will be familiar to most single Christians. If they haven’t done it personally, then they’ve been advised to by a well-meaning friend or family member, or read about it on every list of “must dos” for Christians desiring marriage by Christian blogs and websites.
Whether you’re about to do it for the first time or the 50th, these four things are worth remembering when praying for a spouse.
1. The focus shouldn’t just be on your potential spouse
The same things that you pray to God to find in a spouse, should also be the things that you pray to embody yourself. It’s short-sighted to desire a husband or wife who is faithful to God and prioritises him if you don’t do the same. Asking God to make his will clear in all aspects of your life and spending time studying what this means will enable you to become better positioned to ensure that your intentions are rooted in the values of your faith as opposed to those of the world.
2. A husband or wife doesn’t complete you
People waiting to get married aren’t incomplete and neither are those who remain unmarried for their entire lives. You’re not made complete through your commitments with other people but through your faithful and loving relationship with God. Although you should be prepared to work in partnership with a spouse, this doesn’t mean that you should look to rely on them completely for everything. It’s impossible for another person to fulfil your every need but God can do just that.
3. Patience is a virtue
Whether you’re unmarried at 25 or single with no potential partner in sight at 45, it’s so important not to rush into marriage because you’re desperate to settle down. As you pray to God for a husband or wife, take time to also pray for patience. It might seem as though there’s nothing worse than being single for long periods or unmarried at an age when everyone around you is getting hitched or happily married, but entering a union with the wrong person or getting married before you’re ready is.
4. God is not a fairy godmother or Disney genie
It’s important to be mindful that your prayers don’t bear a closer resemblance to a wish list than they do to a deeply spiritual method of communication with God. It’s fine to make requests but listening to what God’s saying is important too. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4) isn’t the equivalent to the Aladdin genie’s “your wish is my command”. Be careful not to discard the first part of the verse: “take delight in the Lord”. Meditate on what this really means. Can you truly delight in the fact that God fulfils all of your needs and is more than enough if you’re simultaneously desperate for the love of someone else?