On praying for a spouse

One thing that I have to get used to with regard to this idea of finding a partner is the idea of praying about your future spouse. I am not the strongest Christian, alas, and for some reason praying for a spouse is something I have a hard time doing earnestly. For my entire adult life, my dad has encouraged me to tell God what I’m seeking in a husband and ask Him to make it happen, because that is what he did and he will be the first to tell you that he was no prayer warrior or bible-thumping Christian in his youth. I understand that God cares about all of our concerns and worries but I always feel strange praying for a husband. Can you believe I’ve even asked why I have to pray for it when others have to beat all the men wanting to marry them away with a stick? It’s like I’m resentful…don’t mind me!

I’ve prayed for good marks in school, or for better job prospects but when it comes to praying for a man who will be such a huge part of my future, I suddenly behave as if my desires in this regard aren’t worthy of God’s time.

I have prayed a number of times, but I always feel like my prayers aren’t good enough, they sound like God, I know you’ve done so many good things for me and I shouldn’t be asking for this one thing but please, please could you send me a good man to love who’ll love me too? You know what I want him to be like and I know you will send me what I need, not what I want (but please could he also have some of the qualities that I want?). Amen.

When I was in Nigeria, I got to see first-hand what is involved in this issue of finding the right spouse. I accompanied my mom, her aunt and my sister to the house of a friend of my great-aunt’s. I thought this was a regular social call but I found out that my sister and I were the guests of honour so to speak. During the visit my sister’s compatibility with the guy she’s been talking to was affirmed and in my case, the woman said she saw me with a tall, dark man. Not knowing any tall, dark men, I was a bit annoyed, but my understanding was that if there was someone that I was interested in who didn’t fit that description, I could submit his name to this lady and she’d pray about it and get back to me on whether there is a future in it. God works in mysterious ways and it’s possible that what this lady saw was not precisely correct. And tall and dark are relative terms, right? If you’re 4’11 and your man is 5’7, you’d consider him tall while to me a 5’7 guy is short.

All of this to say that it’s not enough to meet a guy, go on a few dates and decide Hmm, let’s give this relationship business a try, at least if you’re a member of my family. “We get along”, “He’s a good man” and “I think we’re compatible” are reasons to marry but they are not enough in Yorubaland according to my cousin. She told me that her mom took her to a pastor who prayed over the name of the guy who had shown interest in her. When it was revealed that they would have a good union, that was when she decided to go ahead with continuing to know her (now) fiancĂ©. My mom revealed to me that her mother did the same with my father’s name, and it’s not uncommon for other family members to take the names of potential couples to a pastor to pray on. My great-aunt who you’ll remember from my matchmaking entry takes the name of any guy she tries to set my sister and I up with to God before deciding whether or not to introduce him to us. A male friend consulted with his pastor before deciding to pursue his current relationship.

Since God ordained marriage, it makes sense that those of us seeking that one spouse we will marry and be with for all time would pray that God be instrumental in making it happen. Like I keep hearing lately, we don’t want a marriage that we endure but one that we enjoy and it’s only by shining our eyes well at this stage and taking our desires and concerns to God that we’ll have a chance of having an long-lasting married life.

I struggle with completely surrendering to God as the ultimate matchmaker, and not overthinking matters as I usually do when I’m trying to be in control. I’m working on being receptive to hearing what God wants me to do in various situations, even if it goes against what I want.

Did you pray for a spouse? How did God answer your prayer in giving you what you needed not what you wanted?

17 thoughts on “On praying for a spouse

  1. I understand were you’re coming from but God is indeed interested in every little aspect of our lives. Like you said, he ordained marriage….who back to ask for your husband?

    I’ve been praying about my spouse for about a year now and it’s been an experience. If any guy showed interested I would pray about him before proceeding I’ll would always hear from God…it saves a lot of time and heartache.

    I’m trusting that God will bless me with my husband very soon…until than I’ll continue praying :-)….you should too! The person that you marry has a major impact on your life!!! Thank God that you have family members to assist you.

    • Kudos to you on adopting this practice of praying for a spouse, Blessing. Have you found it easy to hear God’s answer to your prayers regarding whether one fellow is the right one for you or not or do you sometimes end up pursuing a relationship only to find out later that it wasn’t what God wanted for you?

      Amen…He will surely bless you in good time…and I will join you in praying.

      • it is so good to pray and ask God for a husband that’s what i is do i is ask God to be my match maker and bring me a husband and i do ask in Jesus name.

  2. Those that hear are blessed oh…what happens when u pray and pray till ure blue in the face and still don’t know if God is saying yes or no? Things seem to be going well with the relationship but both parties just want that extra assurance from God that yes oh…my hand is in it but nothing. Are they doing oversabi??

    I know people will say God always speaks, we’re the ones that don’t listen but omo me i taya for all these things jare.

    • I know exactly what you mean! I haven’t been praying that much but I still wonder how one knows that one is really on the right path for them, the path that God wants them to be on! I know people will just say that I should listen harder I guess.

      It sounds like a platitude but all I can say is we have to have faith and as long as we’re praying God won’t lead us astray. That’s my philosophy sha…and we must always ask ourselves if we’re really listening to God or just making our wishes into what we think God wants.

  3. You took the words right out of my mouth. I’ve also been praying for God to send me a good man to love who’ll love me back, but somehow it never feels as powerful as when I pray for a job or health for my parents, etc. One question – when people pray about someone to ask God if he’s the right one, how do they know when God has answered them (as in, go ahead and date him coz he’s the one I’ve chosen for you, or run for your life, this guy is a skunk)?

    • This is definitely a recurring theme, this idea of “how do we know when God has answered the prayer?”. Maybe I should invite some married godly women here to tell us how they knew the answer to that question!

      I’m glad I’m not alone in feeling like some categories of prayers are stronger or more important than others.

  4. Nice post GNG. Reminds me of my mum who started us or rather tried to start us on prayers for our future spouses from primary school. My sister and I did not take her seriously!!
    Your post addresses a lot and even though you are in CA, your family is a very typical Nigerian family.

    I did not pray for a hubby until my hubby asked me out. I really was not interested then but one thing I did not want to do was to marry someone that God did not want for me. I was honest about it and truly told him that if he said NO ..that would be it!

    When you talk of praying, I did not spend 20mins any time praying for a spouse and I think its important to realise that God is not like the ‘uninterested guy up there’ who is keen on placing us with someone in whom we have absolutely no interest. Like a funny joke my mum tells over and over, a man after ‘praying’ for a spouse ‘encountered’ a lady who (i dont know how he knew) was supposed to be his wife and in his disappointment uttered…”God now, after all my prayer & fasting, na this one you see give me”. Thats so ‘UN-God!’

    I have to be honest, I did not have a written list or any I had mulled over 10hours a day, and there were some things I saw (not life-stopping) which I did not really like but 4 years down the line I can only say “Thank you Lord” cos only He could have seen /and can see what no one else can see.

    Do not allow fear or …? to prevent you from speaking with God.
    A short word uttered and heart-felt to our Heavenly father is sufficient. He knows what we need and don’t dread what or rather whom He will bring your way. It’ll be the nicest package ever and when you ‘open the contents’ you’ll only be able to utter ‘Thank you Lord’!

    I hope this doesn’t sound like ‘preaching’.

    PS: About people ‘seeing’ or ‘praying’ for one, thats why I said your family is very Nigerian. I do not see anything wrong as long as you do your own praying and are convicted that ‘he’ is the way to go…’cos when tough times come, we need to be able to stand on the truth of our convictions and on what we receive from God to stand. No ‘woli’ (prophets) would be around to tell you what they ‘saw’ or ‘heard’.

    Much love.

    • Wow…thanks for this comment, Toyin. These are just the words I needed to hear.

      It reminds me that on the few occasions I would pray for something related to a boyfriend or husband, I’d just pray that my feelings would be reciprocated, or that he’d notice me, instead of praying that God reveal to me if this is who I’m meant to be with. The situation with your husband where you are so thankful to God really drives home the fact that God gives us what we need, not what we want, because He knows the future and what will prove beneficial for our lives.

      I wish you and your husband all the best as you move forward and keep God at the centre of your marriage. I’ll definitely take your advice and remember that God already knows what my concerns are so I can feel free to bring my prayers to him when I want and in the way that I want.

      Your post script is SO TRUE!

  5. Like you GNG, I can’t undertand why I have to keep on praying whilst like you said there are those who have to beat men off with a stick

  6. Just like you, this concept is a bit difficult for me, moreso because I do not regard myself as a very spiritual person (Lord help my soul). I feel like evn when i pray, I am probably not going to hear what HE has to tell me… It is all just so confusing to me. My mum doesnt believe in all that taking name to someone to pray howver, I ran into this lady one day who told me that she saw that I should not rush to go into marriage just because my friends are or something like that….. I got even more confused! I remember one time my mum asked me the ideal age I woud want to get married, and I told her that if I felt ready by 18years, I would get married…(I didnt get married at 18…lol) but this woman’s revelation just ended up confusing me even more! What did she mean by it? Was she hinting at the possibilty of me marrying late? Should I turn down a proposal from an “ideal” man just because co-incidentally, my friends happen to be getting hitched at that time…I am still working on my r/ship with the Supreme One. Hopefully, some day sooner than later, it will all make sense

  7. great post. i totally understand how you feel. even though my mom always urged us to pray for/about our spouses growing up, i never really knew how to pray that prayer when i was single.

    the one thing that i DID do was to pray that God would help me to be the type of woman that my future husband was looking for (i.e., remove any negative/unattractive aspects of my personality, etc.). just felt more tangible to me that way.

    i’ve been married for three years and my husband and i have know each other 7 years. but, i actually spent the whole first year after we met convincing myself of how much he WASN’T the right one for me.

    the one good thing about that is because i was so doubtful about the possibility of us even being together, i didn’t turn into THAT girl who is always trying to get too serioius and move the relationship to the next step before the guy is ready to. we just hung out, no pressure, and had fun together( but, not that kind of fun).

    my husband is not nigerian, so once we officially started dated (after about a year of being friends) i still had misgivings because our families were so different. since nigerians can be a bit, er…”snobbish” at times (just keeping it real), i just couldn’t see it working out well.

    long story short, four years later, the year we ended up getting married we were having issues and almost to the point of breaking up. we decided to take a marriage preparation course at our local church and it was so eye-opening about God’s plan for marriage.

    it was at this point that i really started to pray about my future husband. like toyin said above, i don’t care how many prophets or aunties and uncles, mommies and daddies have prayed over your union. until you do it yourself and have that peace, any little problem in your marriage is gonna have you doubting yourself and running for the door.

    i usually hate praying for signs, but i have to say that God ended up showing me a big ol’ neon light sign that convinced me that this man (and not someone else from the past) was the one for me.

  8. Hi GNG,

    Pls believe me wen i say ur decison to open this page (just dicovered it) has been a great blessing to me.

    I think am walking in your shoes concerning the spouse issue.

    A numba of times i have felt very insecure, my self esteem below zero (if it can be quantified).

    Your page has somewhat brought to the light the fact that am not alone in this ( i think).

    Thank you.

    PS- is there a blog or on line club where single ladies can talk freely about their issues?

  9. Hi GNG,

    Please believe me when i say ur decision to open this page (just discovered it) has been a blessing to me.

    I think am walking in your shoes right now. Been tru phases of very low self esteem ( a ground zero if it can be qualified that way) for reasons i cant seem to put in words.

    I now know am not alone (am guessing, cos our cases might differ).

    Tanks babe and keep up the faith/prayers. i would too.

    ps- pls is there a blog or online club for single ladies where they can vent…………………?

  10. Be anxious over nothing…seek first d kingdom of God and everything will be added to you….. praying is hardwork dt needs to be done…trying to avoid persevering in prayer is a recipe for disaster..Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV) 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
    8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
    …for me as a guy I discovered this text..Prov 19:14..Houses and wealth are inherited from parents but a prudent wife is from the Lord…Prayer is a personal responsibility..you can not outsource it..so if you are considering praying for a spouse…do it right, if not you can as well..toss a coin.

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