Praying for Your Spouse
Yesterday’s blog looked at the “love” passage from 1 Corinthians 13, and I challenged each of us to put the characteristics of love into practice every day in our marriages.

1 Corinthians isn’t the only place I go for advice about love, though. I also look to all of Paul’s prayers for the saints, and I pray them regularly for my husband. I do not pray for changes in his behavior. I do not pray for changes in his attitudes. I pray that he might know Christ. Here are two sample prayers from the book of Ephesians:

17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
Ephesians 1:17-21

16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:16-19

When I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep, I pray these types of prayers for my husband. I place my hand on his back and I ask the Lord to give Phil the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that he may know Christ better. I pray that the eyes of his heart would be opened so that he would see the hope to which he has been called. I pray that he might know the glorious inheritance he has and the incomparably great power that is his in Christ.

Yes, I’ve invested some effort to try to memorize the passages, or at least phrases from them. I made the effort and I pray these types of prayers because I love my husband and more than anything else want God’s best for him. I’m confident that as He comes to know Christ better his life will be enriched in ways that I can’t begin to imagine. Why limit my prayers for him with things I can imagine when God has so much more for him? Why would I want to pray that he would change some behavior that annoys me when God is probably using that behavior to make me more like Christ?

Of course, I’ll receive benefit from God’s answers to my prayers – my life will be enriched as his life is enriched. My life will hold greater adventure as he grabs hold of all God has for him. My life will be more stable when he further embraces Godly wisdom. My motivation to pray for him, however, is my love for him, not what I’ll get out of the deal. Because I made a vow to love, honor and cherish him almost thirty-two years ago. Praying that he would know Christ more intimately is just one of the ways I keep making that same decision every day.

True Love is More about Love than Romance
Well, what started as a single blog about Valentine’s day became so long I had to break it into three parts – and I haven’t said a thing about romance. That’s because true love is more about choosing to love our spouse than sharing romantic dinners while watching the sunset on a beautiful beach (or majestic mountains, if you prefer). The romance is wonderful, but the day to day reality is where we all live.

As I wrote in part 1 of this series, most of it was written on Valentine’s Day while watching schmaltzy romance movies on TV. (My husband was working until midnight.) What strikes me is that the world’s concept of Valentine’s Day is all about hearts and romance and I’ve gone through the whole day without either! But I have something more enduring than hearts and romance. I have a mutual love commitment that my husband and I renew every day. And I have a promise from the Word of God that love never fails. Hearts and romance fail, but love never fails.

(Now I’m off to plan a little hearts and romance! Love will provide the steel spine and unbreakable will of my marriage, but I’m happy to have hearts and romance can add some sparkle to that structure.)

Comments are closed.

© copyright 2009-2013, Data Designs Publishing and Sandra J. Hovatter