by Victoria Cumbow
After a long-term relationship ended last year, my heart was broken. It was an amicable parting, or as amicable as something like that can be. After finally handing my heartache over to God, I began to feel the kind of healing and strength that can only come from His hand. In those months, I began to pray about my future and the things I so desperately longed for, like a husband and a family. The closer I grew to God, the stronger my desire for a family became. While I thought my former boyfriend had been the person I’d spend my life with, the Lord made it clear he wasn’t the one.
Through prayer, God’s word, and Christian counsel from friends, I realized what I wanted in a husband and a father for my children. I prayed about what I wanted his heart to look like and what I hoped our relationship would be. Before long, it consumed my prayers. During these months, I began a new study on Philippians and verse 4:19 held my attention for several weeks. The verse reads:
“And my God will meet your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”While I believe praying for a husband was and is the right thing to do, I wasn’t going about it the right way. I was praying for my needs, my desires and my wants. None of my prayers centered around what God’s plan for my life included.
You see, I believe God gives us the desires of our hearts and when we seek Him truly and wholly, he will fulfill those desires. I believe that because it's a promise made in His word. When we pursue His will for our lives daily, our will morphs into His will—which is where the whole “desire” part comes into play. Our desires become His desires. Yes, I want a Godly husband. And yes, my age makes me more anxious to find him. But if I found that man—the right man—at the wrong time, he might as well be the wrong man altogether.
I still pray for a husband, for my husband. Without being sure who or where he is, I pray for him almost daily. As someone who journals, I often write out my prayers to him in a letter to share with him one day. But my prayers for him now are vastly different than they were a year ago.
I pray for the Lord’s will and the Lord’s timing above all else. I pray for a relationship that fulfills His purpose and not my own—no matter what that looks like. I pray for a man that will lead me and strengthen my relationship with God, not pull my focus away. I pray for a relationship where others will directly see the light of Christ as a result. I pray that I will be open and receptive to a relationship that doesn’t fit perfectly inside the box I always imagined it would fit. I pray I can be a wife that encourages, builds up and supports her husband, helping him to draw closer to Christ. I pray for a marriage where God will receive the glory through Christ Jesus, just like Philippians 4:19 promises.
I pray for my focus to remain on God and that only through my relationship with Him will a marriage come. I don’t want it any other way. I pray for boldness and clear direction when I meet my husband, and I pray that it be an encounter so divine that if you took God out of the equation, it wouldn’t be possible.
I love my Lord, and I love Him more than anything else in this life. I want His hand at the center of my marriage—I want it to be His marriage. I’d rather be single the rest of my years than have a marriage that wasn’t handed to me from Christ. All those prayers for a husband were genuine when I first whispered them from my lips. But now, they’ve molded into a love story with Christ as the main character. I want to be His bride; I want my husband and I to be Christ’s bride. I no longer want a marriage for myself, I want a marriage for Christ.
How do you pray for your future marriage, spouse and family?
Victoria Cumbow is a freelance journalist and a communications specialist in Huntsville, Ala. She shares her journey with Christ and life with type 1 diabetes on her website victoriacumbow.com. A native of Tennessee, Victoria's favorite pastime is being outdoors, usually in the company of her two dogs. You can follow her on Twitter at @victoriacumbow.