Dear single brothers and sisters who are longing for a spouse,
Do you desire to be married, but you’re discouraged because that special person hasn’t shown up yet? If so, I felt like the Lord wanted me to encourage you today.
First, know that I understand the loneliness of being single when you want to be married.
I used to think I would meet my husband in high school or college; date throughout college; and get married right after I got out of college. However, that definitely didn’t happen.
I was not popular with the guys, except as a friend. (Now, I thank God for this, because He was protecting me.) And Mr. Right was nowhere on the scene when I graduated from college, and it wasn’t until quite a few years later that he showed up.
During those single years, I was so lonely much of the time. I know what it feels like to want to have that special person next to you; to long to love and be loved.
I know what it’s like to go to the movies by yourself, to dinner by yourself, and go home by yourself to an empty house.
I get it.
But after I gave my life to Jesus, I also knew that His promise to me was:
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
And the desire of my heart was to marry a great husband. The desire of my heart was not to put up with just any guy. I had a specific kind of man in mind.
As a matter of fact, after I gave my life to Jesus and began learning His Word, I read about Habakkuk 2:2-3, which says:
Then the LORD answered me and said:
‘Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’”
Because of this Scripture, I felt led to write down a list of all the qualities my dream husband would have. So I made that list—and there were about 80 points on it!
My dream husband had to have a good job, an education, had to have made Jesus the Boss of his life. He had to be good-looking; had to enjoy certain hobbies and dislike others, and more!
I was very specific about what I wanted in a husband. But I was still lonely, because that husband was nowhere on the horizon.
However, I knew it wasn’t right for me to “seek first a husband.”
I knew the Lord said that if I seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, then all these things would be added to me … including a husband.
So, desiring to keep my priorities right and have a right heart before God, I began seeking God first instead of seeking a husband first.
It was a daily struggle sometimes.
It was hard because I was so very lonely. However, the more time I spent reading my Bible, praying, and worshipping—both in church and at home—the less lonely I was. I fell more in love with Jesus than I was in love with the dream of a husband.
I still had some terribly lonely moments.
However, as the years passed, those awful moments became less and less frequent. I learned to be wholly fulfilled in Jesus. I made some friends in the singles department of my church, and we would often go out to dinner together—so I had a little bit of a social life.
Other than that, I kept to myself. I didn’t date much—on purpose. I didn’t want to date just anybody; I wanted to save all the pieces of my heart for my husband.
So I kept seeking God. Every time I was lonely, I told Papa God all about it.
I asked Him to comfort me. I cried to Him when I needed to, but He was understanding of my tears. And every time I poured out my heart to my Father about my desire for a husband, He would comfort me as I prayed.
I also learned to pray for my future husband at that time.
I didn’t know who my husband would be, but I knew that God did. I didn’t know his name or what his face looked like, but I knew that my future husband was out there somewhere, alive and breathing the same air I was.
So I began to pray for him.
I didn’t just pray that he would meet me soon, although I did pray that too.:) I also prayed things like:
- That he would be a godly man;
- That he would have a sold-out spirit to Jesus;
- That he would live holy and pure;
- That he would recognize me as his future wife when he saw me;
- That he would be blessed in his job;
- That he would prosper in everything to which he set his hand;
- That he would be safe and healthy; and more.
Every time I prayed for my husband, I could feel my prayers sticking. I knew those prayers were for a specific person, and it brought so much peace and comfort to my heart to pray for him.
Fast forward a number of years, and sure enough. The Lord kept His promise.
I had finally gotten to the point where my longing for a husband had gone away. The Lord had done such a work in my heart that I could honestly say:
“Lord, I believe You’ll bring me a husband because you promised. I know a husband is Your will for me because Your Word promises me a husband if I want one. However, even if You never brought me a husband at all, I will still be content in You. You truly are all I need.”
That was not only my prayer, but it also reflected my real heart attitude. It was a miracle!
But then …
God’s time came, and He fulfilled His promise to me. 🙂
My husband and I met at our church.
We were just casual acquaintances for awhile, but then we both began to feel an interest in one another (each unbeknownst to the other). We began dating on February 23, 2006, and we got married on September 23, 2006—exactly 7 months (the number of perfection) after our first date. 🙂
And by the way. Remember that list of qualities I wanted in a husband?
Yeah … I got every one of them except about 2—and those things were items I had changed my mind about; things that were no longer relevant. So of the 80-something qualities I wanted in a husband, I got every single one that still mattered to me.
Praise God! Only He could do that!
So why am I telling you about all these things? Because:
I know that so many of our precious Presence-seekers are longing for a spouse. We have brothers looking for a wife and sisters looking for a husband.
And if you are among those single brothers and sisters who wants to be married, I want to encourage you today.
Here’s what’s on my heart to tell you:
1. Don’t sell yourself short.
If you desire to be married, God really does have the perfect spouse in mind for you. But don’t sell yourself short while you’re waiting for him or her!
I receive letters and emails from precious readers all the time about this. So many of you tell me that you want a spouse.
But then, many folks also tell me about the things that you’re doing to get that spouse—and they are not things that will work. They are things that cheapen and demean you in your potential partner’s eyes.
For example, many women tell me that they are having sex with and even living with a man who is not their husband, and they are hoping that that person will marry them.
But beloved sister, men desire mystery. Men desire queenliness. Men hate grasping and groveling behavior … and if you’re giving your body away outside of marriage, you’re thwarting your own desires.
Sister, if that man loved you, he would treat you like the queen you are.
He would not use you for your body–and ‘using you for your body’ is exactly what he’s doing if you’re having sex with him and you’re not married to him. He’s using you. I wish you could see how this destroys your value in his eyes.
Not to mention that fornication (sex outside of marriage) is a sin. When we willfully sin—which is what fornication is—then we are not allowing Jesus to be the Boss of our lives. We are not seeking Him first. And that takes us OUT of position to receive from Him.
Jesus loves you too much, and is too good of a Father, to reward our sinful behavior.
If we choose to walk in sin, He has to let us live with the consequences until we turn to Him and put Him first. He lets us go around and around that same dumb mountain, like the Israelites did in the wilderness, when the fast track to His blessing was just to seek HIM in faith and hold close to Him.
Beloved, if you are going around and around that same mountain, my heart breaks for you. I know you’re hurting. You just want to be loved.
But beloved, Papa God loves you. Jesus loves you. The Holy Spirit of the living God loves you so much. Jesus hung on the cross to die for your sins, and He wants to give you so much better. He wants to give you life abundantly—not a death-trap of sin, disease, and heartbreak.
Oh precious one, I pray you would hear me.
If you’re in a sinful situation, please, walk away from it. This is not God’s will for you. And if you are willing, He will help you as you take the steps you need to take to make Him the Lord of your life both in word and in deed.
2. Look for love in the right places, based on the kind of spouse you desire.
You want a godly wife, but you’re looking for her in a bar. You want a godly husband, but you’re looking for him at your friend’s keg party.
Beloved, if you want to find a godly spouse, go where that spouse is likely to be. A godly spouse is not likely to be found in a bar. A godly spouse is not likely to be found at your friend’s Friday night football keg party.
But the odds are definitely better if you begin looking for a spouse in a place that a godly person might frequent!
… which requires YOU to only be in places godly people frequent …
… and why would you want to be anywhere else, anyway, if Jesus is your Lord?
So here’s what I recommend:
Don’t go to church just to find a spouse. No. Go back to Jesus’ mandate: that if we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, ALL THESE THINGS will be added to us (Matthew 6:33).
So get to seeking Him first. Dedicate yourself to Him first—to a one-on-one, face-to-face relationship with Him. And after that, dedicate yourself to His service.
Find out what your gifts and talents are, and put those gifts and talents to use. Serve in your church. Get involved in the choir, or in a small group, or in a special-interest group at your church.
Do what you can to get acquainted with godly people. Make sure your spouse is not your first goal; always serve from a desire to serve God. Do everything as to the Lord, and not as to men (Colossians 3:23-24).
At the same time, however, if you’re looking for a spouse, it’s just wisdom to circulate in the areas where a godly spouse is likely to be found!
What can you do today to position yourself in places where you are more likely to meet a godly partner?
3. Write your vision for the spouse you desire.
Having a specific vision is so important! Even in the process of waiting for your spouse!
So don’t wait. Make a list of all the qualities you would like your spouse to have. Be specific. Things you could include in your list might be:
- A description of your dream spouse’s walk with God;
- His/her character attributes;
- Hobbies he/she enjoys;
- His/her future aspirations;
- Health status;
- Financial status; and
Don’t limit yourself to listing only spiritual qualities.
Sometimes it’s also important what temperature your spouse likes to keep the house! And things like health and financial status are always important. So don’t hold back! Ask God for what you want!
4. Become the person that your dream spouse would desire to marry.
Before I gave my life to Jesus, I was a horrible, angry person. My heart was filled with hatred for everyone. I was so wounded and hurt from a really rough history that I lashed out at people, made fun of people, and was generally just hateful much of the time.
But after I gave my life to Jesus, Holy Spirit started dealing with me about these things.
He showed me the sin and blackness in my heart. He showed me the terrible ways I treated people. He convicted me about the awful things I said.
It was a hard thing.
It was hard to look in the mirror and see reality.
There was no condemnation; God never condemns. Instead, He always shows us the problem; convicts us of our sin; shows us that we can be forgiven; and gives us hope to change. Then, if we repent, He forgives us and changes our heart.
That’s the process I submitted to. I really did want to become like Jesus. So I repented—over and over, for more things than I ever imagined were in me! I cried out to the Lord to change my heart. I hid God’s Word in my heart, so that my thinking could be transformed and renewed.
Getting the hatred and anger out of my heart was a slow process.
God did the work as I clung to Him and just tried to seek Him first, even in baby steps. But He did it. He gave me a great love for people, and He gave me peace and joy instead of anger, hatred, and hurt. He healed my soul.
And if He hadn’t, I can guarantee there is no way my husband would have been interested in me!
This is key: if you want a certain kind of spouse, it’s important to look at yourself and your life from that spouse’s perspective.
If you want a spouse who is well-employed, but you don’t have a job, do you think your spouse is going to be interested in dating someone who doesn’t have a job? Probably not.
If you want a spouse who is sweet and kind, but you are angry and bitter like I was, do you think he/she is going to be interested in someone who is definitely NOT sweet and kind? No way.
If you want a spouse who is physically fit and attractive, but you don’t take care of yourself, you rarely shower, and you don’t try to look your best, is that spouse going to be attracted to you? Again, probably not.
And most important of all: if you desire a spouse who is godly, is that godly spouse going to be attracted to you if you are not seeking God first?
So if you want the spouse God has in mind for you, become the person that spouse would be attracted to.
Become a godly person. Develop godly character. Become healthy on the inside—in your mind, will, and emotions. Take care of yourself and treat yourself with dignity and respect. Do what it takes to clean up your finances.
THAT is what dream spouses find attractive.
5. Begin praying for your spouse now.
I don’t mean “pray to meet your spouse,” although you should definitely do that too! 🙂 But even more than that, pray for your spouse.
- Pray for him or her to walk in purity and holiness, especially sexual purity.
- Pray that God would give him/her wisdom.
- Pray that the Lord would send angels to watch over your future spouse, to keep them in all their ways.
- Pray that they would be hot-on-fire for Jesus, and would love Him with all their heart, mind, and soul.
- Pray that your future spouse would be blessed in their job.
- Women, pray that your husband would love you as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25). Pray also that you would love and submit to your husband as to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).
- Men, pray that you would have a selfless love for your wife, as well as wisdom to lead her.
You may not know who your prayers are for, exactly; but God does. And I guarantee you that you will see the results of your prayers later, after you are married!
Beloved, these are practical thoughts for you to think about, pray about, and act on as the Holy Spirit leads you.
I will post a model prayer for a spouse in the next post, and you can use that prayer to pray in your spouse if the Lord leads.
But for now, I implore you: don’t treat yourself cheaply. Don’t sell yourself short. Seek God first. Write the vision for the spouse you desire God to send you.
And actively focus on becoming the very best YOU that you can be.
Did you find these practical tips helpful? If so, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
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