The end of May, our youngest daughter, Mary, was married to a wonderful young man named Samuel. They met at Bible college where both were mission’s majors. Sam graduated in May. Now they are on staff at our church for about two years, interning and preparing to be sent out by our church, fully supported as international church planters. We are excited to have them here for their training and then to see how God will use them on the mission field.
At wedding time, Samuels’s dad shared with us how he and Sam’s mom had been praying for Mary, although they didn’t know who she was, since Sam was born. We thought how wonderful that was, recalling our prayers for our children growing up. As first generation, born-again Christians, without role models, Steve and I didn’t think about praying for spouses for our children until our first ones approached marriageable age. Before that, we were simply wrapped up in praying for the immediate needs of our children as we endeavored to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4b).
Then when our oldest children reached their teen years, we began praying for future marriages, and we prayed that God would bring each child a godly spouse, according to His will, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). We also asked the Lord for a spouse where the two of them could serve God better together than either could separately. Mary is twenty years younger than her oldest brother, and we started praying for spouses for our younger children when we were for the older ones. So that means she and Samuel had prayer support for their future marriage from Steve and me as well from Samuel’s parents from their infancy.
Here’s what Samuel’s mom told us about she and her husband’s praying for Samuel concerning a spouse as he grew older.
“As Samuel was forming his plans for his future, we prayed for a wife to complement him and be a team with him. We prayed she would love the Lord. We prayed she would be ready serve the Lord in missions (even to the more primitive places that Samuel is drawn to).”
Aren’t those beautiful prayers for a child? We can attest to God’s answering those heartfelt cries in bringing Samuel and Mary together, both of them desiring a life of mission work, even to remote areas.
In one of our married son’s homes, when we are there at family Bible time in the evening, we usually hear him pray for spouses for his children, even though all his children are young. He and his wife are not waiting until their children are ready for marriage to ask God to work toward that end.
Steve remembers talking to a friend and asking him if he prayed for a spouse for his teen-age daughter. He told Steve he had been praying about that since BEFORE his daughter was born.
The spouse your child marries is a big deal in the future of his relationship with Christ, serving in His kingdom, and raising children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. That spouse can either encourage in those spiritual areas, totally derail and undermine them, or simply be neutral, which in the end is probably negative. You know this from your own marriage and from those you observe around you.
Not only will your child and spouse raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, but Scripture tells us that marriage is a picture of Christ and His church. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:31-32).
May I encourage you as you pray for your children that you are sure to include praying for a godly spouse for your children and even praying for that future spouse as well? What are those of you who are grandmothers? Are you are praying these prayers for your grandchildren?