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) fiancé. 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?