The Prayer Team frequently receives requests expressing a desire to be married, or to be re-united with a former love, or for a spouse or loved one to change in his or her behavior towards him or her. Many people struggle with these unfulfilled desires.
Here is my pastoral response for your consideration which I hope will be found beneficial.
(Note: This message applies mainly to those who have freedom of choice of a spouse, rather than arranged marriages.)
Truly, marriage was instituted by God.
(Genesis 2:1) “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
The desire to be married is a natural one. But as with any desire, we will be happier if we first subject our desires to the Lord in according to His unique plan for our life. As Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, “Not my will but Yours be done” (Matthew 26:39). It may be that His plan for you includes marriage, but it may not.
The Perfect Spouse
Often when a person wants to marry, he or she is looking for a Perfect Spouse. The man may request a Proverbs 31 woman. A woman may request “a knight in shining armor” or a minister of the Gospel. This shows unrealistic expectations, for marriage, by design, will reveal flaws and weaknesses. Even the most sought-after and desired spouse will eventually show little idiosyncrasies that can irritate his partner. Both the man and woman are in an on-going state of maturity and becoming Christ-like.
Is it too much to ask for a Proverbs 31 woman or a heroic husband?
Consider that the woman of Proverbs 31 is a businesswoman with her own resources. She has a mind of her own and is able to plan ahead and negotiate. She is no weak female.
A hero has the strength and courage to battle against intimidating forces including his own fear. He may be quick to confront which may seem impulsive or of such perseverance that it might be called stubbornness.
The Real Question
The real question is whether or not the single man or woman with the request is willing to do the work to become a more marriageable partner. For example, if a woman desires to marry a pastor, she may need to consider what kind of temperament and what kind of spiritual fruit she will need to develop. A pastor’s wife needs to develop discretion, patience, and her own strong faith in God apart from her husband.
A man who wants a beauty queen for a wife needs to consider what about him would appeal to a beauty queen and is that enough to make a healthy marriage during the years when beauty fades. Also he may consider whether or not he is the jealous type of man who may notice other men admiring his wife.
Is it too much to ask that my future spouse has never married, or is a virgin, or has no children?
Look at the statistics of your country. How many single fathers and mothers are out there? How many single people have remained virgins? Once you understand that, at least in America, most people have been divorced, reality begins to set in and expectations can be adjusted.
All successful marriages are based on a strong friendship and mutual respect. Strong friendships are based on common interests and simply enjoying each other’s company. With whom or with what kind of person will you enjoy spending every day? Can you relax and be yourself? Are you afraid for him or her to see the real you? Can you trust him or her?
A Specific Individual
You may desire a broken relationship to be restored. You may have targeted one person and want God to fix you up. What is important to understand here is that a person must be free to exercise his or her free will. After all, you should not want to marry someone just because he or she wants to marry you.
You may be suffering from a broken heart due to having been rejected by a former love. The primary issue to be addressed is your own healing, not the return of what once was. It is a time to work through the hurt, anger, judgment, and desperation to be able to forgive and release the one who hurt you to the will of God. If truly the relationship can be restored, it will happen in conjunction with your own healing so that you do not feel the need to manipulate the situation.
Certainly we pray in faith, but it is for the other person to receive the healing needed due to wounds suffered through the break-up, and for ourselves to learn from it and move on past it.
Unfortunately, desperate and hurting believers often enter into what is called “witchcraft praying” in which they seek to impose their will upon another person by calling on spiritual forces. These prayers sound like, “God, make him come back to me”, “God, I claim your promise that no good thing will you withhold from me, so I claim So-and-So to fall in love with me or treat me nicer, etc.”
Let us instead pray for one another as we would like to be prayed for. That may require a more objective and less emotional outlook.
The One True Love
Many people have bought into the fairy tale belief of “one true love”, that is, there is one person out there who is absolutely perfect for you. If that were the case, there could be no possible successful second marriages after widowhood or divorce. The truth is there are many possibilities who would be the “right one”. It is up to you to know what kind of person you are looking for, and develop a friendship while you get to know each other, especially his or her character, and decide if this is someone you want to spend the rest of your life with.
The Lord’s Choice
Many people state they want Father God to choose a spouse for them. After all it was God who decided Adam needed a wife and created the woman and brought her to him. However, that only happened one time. 🙂
Most likely, you will find yourself drawn to a particular person and as you develop a friendship, and begin to trust one another, you discover each other’s values and look to see whether or not this relationship has the potential to work. The Holy Spirit will either bring a reassurance in your heart or you will sense that a caution or a need to wait and see. Some people do have direct revelation from the Lord about who is the future spouse. But in those cases, a strong revelation is given because it will be needed in the days to come when the relationship is tested (as all relationships are).
In the case of restoring former relationships, it is time to step back and reassess your part in the break-up. Sometimes the trust between a couple has been broken so badly, the wounded party is unable or unwilling to open his heart again. Opening a heart takes patience and love without pressure. It cannot be forced.
Occasionally the Prayer Team receives a request from someone in an abusive or adulterous relationship. Please understand that God does not approve of either and neither does He require that we do.
In the case of abuse, it is important that the abused seek safety for oneself and minor children. This may involve the authorities, attorneys, and professional counseling. Without counseling and deliverance, the abuser is not likely to stop, no matter how sorry he is.
In the case of adultery, if genuine repentance has taken place with all adulterous relationships decisively ended, and if wronged spouse can forgive, then healing and restoration can begin, but not until. Again, professional counseling is advised.
Marriage as a Blessing in Life
The Word of God speaks very highly of marriage. Jesus first miracle was at a wedding (John 2).
(Hebrews 13:4) “Marriage is honorable in all…”
(Ecclesiastes 4:9) “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.”
Whether or not a believer in Jesus Christ is married on the earth or not, the Lord is preparing a Bride and a Marriage Supper to anticipate for eternity.
(Revelation 19:7-9) “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”
Prayer for Your Relationships
“Father, I pray for those who want to be married or reunited with a former love or are unfulfilled in their relationship. I pray that we would first of all seek to be mature sons and daughters of God, that we seek first your kingdom, and that all our desires be submitted under Your loving will for our lives. Lord God, You desire that we become lights in a dark place and that our lives would speak of Your love, Your righteousness, and Your glory.
“I pray for healing for every soul who has been wounded in romantic relationships, that Your grace would pour out on every humble heart so that comfort, peace, repentance, and forgiveness be manifest. Give wisdom to know the next steps and help each one prepare to become a better spouse. Give strategy and courage to do what is right no matter how uncomfortable. Renew hope in Your good specific plan for their lives.
“Help them to release unrealistic expectations and trust the leading that you provide. Help each one to see the blessings of friendships already in their lives and encourage each one to seek to be a blessing, to look after one another’s concerns in brotherly love.
“Your will be done in our lives on the Earth in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Again, the Prayer Team is happy to lift up your requests to the Lord and to believe with you for your answers, so do send them in using the Contact form.