Originally Posted by Mike Young February 2006
So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. Ephesians 5:28-30 (NASB)
I believe men could make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others near them by improving their prayer lives. (I, I might add, am not immune from the impact of this statement.) This thought, coupled with the fact that Valentine’s Day is near, produced several ideas I want to share with you.
The first is this; Valentine’s Day is a great time to remind yourself and your wife that you ‘cherish’ her. I once heard Alistair Begg, a Bible teacher on Christian Radio explain that when a couple asks him to perform their wedding ceremony, he discourages them from writing their own vows. He encourages them to discover that the traditional vows are the way to go. To do this, he challenges them to find a word that embodies what the marriage relationship should be, better than the word ‘cherish’. Dictionary.com defines the verb cherish as follows: 1. To treat with affection and tenderness; hold dear. 2. To keep fondly in mind.
Men, if we would ‘cherish’ our wives and let them know that we do so, we would probably save ourselves much heartache.
Secondly, in preparation for the challenge of praying ‘with’ our wives, let me encourage you to practice by making sure you pray ‘for’ your wife. Perhaps as you share some time together over dinner on Valentine’s Day you could tell her how you pray for her, or ask her how you could pray for her. I’ve listed some general ideas below. But don’t be satisfied with general prayers; ask her to help you be as specific as possible.
Could you pray for the following for your wife?
- A God-ward focus throughout the events of each day.
- Confidence in approaching difficult situations.
- Encouragement as she fulfills the role of mother to your children.
- That she would know you find her beautiful and attractive.
- That she would set aside time each day to meet with God in prayer and Bible Study.
- That she would strive to focus on God and resist the temptation to worry.
- That she would have confidence in your love for her.
- That she would be confident in situations where she has an opportunity to minister to others.
- For other Christian women with whom she may develop healthy relationships.
This list is by no means complete. I’m sure you could add a number of other ideas. Initiate a conversation with your wife and ask her about specific items for which you can pray on her behalf. My goal is to get each of us to think about how we might begin praying and/or increase our prayer efforts for our wives.
If more men would improve the quality and quantity of praying they do on behalf of the woman they’ve committed to love ‘as Christ loved the church’, I’m confident that the quality of many marriages would improve.
Check out this useful article I found about Praying for Your Wife at FamilyLife.com.