When I was a teenager, someone gifted me with the book Preparing to Be a Help Meet by Debi Pearl.
The more I read, the more I was fascinated…the book basically dissects the three main personality types of females and males and then tells you which ones do or don’t go well together and why. I knew who I was and I knew what kind of man I wanted.
What I really loved about the book is that the primary focus is not on getting married, but on preparing yourself for marriage. This book revolutionized the way I pray for my husband. It made him real. For the first time, I really began to consider that most likely, somewhere out there is a man that I am going to marry one day, and right now, he could be facing anything. He needs my prayers now just as much as he will when we are actually married. Beyond that, these are the moments that are making him who he will be when we meet, fall in love, and come together as a team. The people he’s with, the situations he’s in, the opportunities he has, the challenges he’s up against, his daily walk with God. These moments are the blocks that are building his character and his life. I need to be praying him through the process of who he is becoming.
What I have not been as diligent in, is seeing myself that way. Sure, I pray that I will become the wife my husband needs. But in a moment of sheer honesty, I don’t know that I’ve done the best job of becoming her. What I mean by that is, I’ve been so consumed with God giving me a godly husband I think I’ve taken a bit of focus off of just becoming godly myself. The only thing good in us is Jesus, which means that we don’t become good by trying harder and focusing more, but by giving more of ourselves over to Him. Becoming godly isn’t simple. It’s not just something you wake up one day and decide to do. It is a lifelong process. And I am in it just as much as my husband is in it.
Recently, one of my closest friends made a statement that has been continuously challenging me:
How do we expect to get what we’re praying for when we’re not becoming what we’re praying for?
Let that sink in.
I’m not saying either one of us has been pining around…in fact, far from it. We’re fiercely independent, deeply involved with ministry, adventurously living life to the fullest, and radically in love with Jesus. We are beyond content. We are overflowing with authentic joy and thankfulness for this sweet season. At the end of the day, we wouldn’t change a thing.
I’m just saying that I think if I spent as much time praying for who I am becoming as I do praying for prince charming and all that I want him to be, I’d be different. My future marriage would be different.
Because the entire point of marriage is the gospel of Jesus Christ and if that has truly changed me, it will change my marriage and my marriage will change the world.
So, let’s start here friends. With ourselves. This may be the one case where it’s okay to focus in there so that we can be more effective everywhere else.