I prayed for my wife (or future-rib, as I like to call her) every single day since I was 13 years old. Actually, it was more like 12. I can’t exactly remember. They all jumble together. I should’ve been a devout journaler back in the day. I’d know exactly what day it was and have an entire page of horrible calligraphy to prove it. But when I was 12/13, journaling had another name. It was called keeping a diary. And unless you were Indiana Jones with a full-fledged whip and an affinity for uncovering the greatest archeological secrets known to mankind, keeping a diary would have gotten you beat up. Thank God for peer pressure! Regardless, it was around my pre-teen years. I made a decision that I wanted to have a great marriage. I had (and still have) no idea what that meant. I did recognize that being a great husband didn’t begin when I finally got to put a ring on that finger and say “I do” and then get to make wonderful, life-altering, worth-the-wait, sloppy, awkward virgin love. I made a decision to not only keep my penis to my self, but to also pray for her and our unborn, tall, atheletic, brilliant, nerdy, hilarious children. And pray I did.
Some days, it was more a full on prayer meeting. Turn off all the lights, make the room freezing cold, & pace (or if I was really feeling it, kneel) and “cry out to the Lord” (#stuffChristianssay). Other days, when I actually had a life to live and wasn’t being over-saved, I’d throw up a little “Yo Jesus, bless my wife & my kids.”
Oh it was definitely romantic. I couldn’t wait for the day when I finally could look my radiant, phenomenal, beautiful wife in the face, after spinning her around and tell her, “Sugar Honey Darlin Sweet Thing, I prayed for you every day since puberty.” For all you girls currently swooning over my majestic imagery, I’m sorry. It’s a gift.
Then one day my Know-It-All Heavenly Father (its not sarcastic cause He really knows it all…), dropped some Heavy Revy on my heart. That’s “Heavy Revelation” for those of you that were spared ever learning Christianese, which you should drop to your knees and thank & praise Him for having grace upon your soul for never having to learn. Jesus whispered to my heart such a beautiful statement. “I have her prepared, it’s you that needs preparation.” AHHHH SHOOOT!! PREACH JESUS PREACH!
After Jesus highlighted my need to grow into the man that He has called me to, I shifted my daily prayer. No longer was I praying that God was hook me up, but that God would hook my wife up. With a man of character & integrity. Free from the chains of sexual addiction and lust. With a man of financial wisdom. That wouldn’t lead our family into a pit of debt & despair. With a man of gentleness & kindness. Who would love her and treat her like the precious treasure she is. Most of all, that her Heavenly Father would bless her with a man that passionately & deeply pursued loving and knowing Jesus. I stopped praying for my wife to be all that I wanted and began to pray that God would work in my heart and prepare me.
That was also the day I stopped praying for her and starting trusting God that He knew what He was doing in the context of who I would share my corny jokes with for the rest of my life. If you feel God leading you to pray for her as well, by all means, she’s going to need it.
If you’re looking for a good one-liner or a deep spiritual point that will blow your spiritual mind, go to seminary. I’m not that smart or that deep. I can leave ya with this little Chick-fil-a nugget: When you ‘re in school, the teacher prepares you for the test. Then you take the test. The better you prepare for the test, the better you do on the test. BOOMSAUCE! I know, I know. Call me the Apostle Andy. Look for my newest letter to the Corinth Church, coming to a book store near you.
Seriously though, work on you. Don’t text people when you’re lonely. That’s not working on yourself. Don’t try settle for whoever will give you attention. Please, please, please find out who you are. What you like, don’t like. What fills you and what drains you spiritually, emotionally, mentally, & physically. If you need more practical things to do to prepare yourself, go find a married person that has a successful marriage (aka there’s healthy fruit, usually in the form of great children.) Find that married person, take them to a local coffee shop (Starbucks is for business meetings and wasting good money on horrible coffee). Once at this local coffee shop, order something for yourself and for the love of God, pay for the other person. You think you’re broke? Try having kids (not speaking from experience, just observation). Ask them questions and let them be honest with you.
I hope my lack of prayer for my wife inspires you to pray for yourself (insert witty comment here).