Stop it. Halt the prayers for a sec.
You’re probably thinking, “Tooobbbiii…where in the world could this be going?”
Don’t worry…keep reading and I’ll tell you why you should stop praying…at least in the way you are doing it and in the state you are in.
Now…let’s have a SERIOUS conversation. This is not going to be very comfortable..but I do it in love…so that the veil over your eyes will be lifted.
Many singles are on the FAST TRACK to a cycle of relationship and marital frustration and they don’t even know it.
You know what’s even more sad?
It’s not even the frustration that can come from CHOOSING the wrong person. (At least in that case you can point a finger at the other person as the problem – whether that is entirely true or not). It’s the frustration that comes from BEING the wrong person…even though you are a believer.
Yeah, that’s the one that will eat you up from the inside until it bubbles up to the surface…and there is no one to point the finger at but yourself.
Oh! You’re a decent person? You’re a “good” Christian? You were brought up in a “Christian home”? You’ve dated a bunch of people who did not just meet your “Godly” standard? (Note the finger pointing there) or maybe because you’ve read tons of books and attended seminars and your halo is size XXX?
Why are even believers struggling in marriage?
Oh, you don’t think your “Christian” friends/church members are going through issues because they look united with the Trinity on Sundays and their Instagram page is a stockpile of romantic photos and can serve as a dictionary of pet names?
I know you can tell the passion in my voice and are wondering where that is coming from. I’ll tell you.
I have met too many young …wonderful children of God who sabotage the joy in their own future marriages by not dealing with what needs to be dealt with, especially before marriage, and my heart breaks conversation after conversation.
It’s like they did not realize that there was more to preparing for marriage than just reading books, praying, and attending relationship seminars.
Here’s the real deal.
There is a deeper layer in us all…underneath the surface, that has the thinking, the past (unconscious) pains, the tools, brokenness, the healing and the grace of God we all have and need to have the marriage we want….and most people never explore this deeper layer.
I see many people (yes…even believers) waiting till they “meet someone” or are “serious” with someone before they start getting serious about marriage preparation – (MIND BLOWN). That’s like waiting till after high school graduation before you start preparing for college.
So …why should you stop praying for a spouse?
Because without working on yourself. I mean truly digging…excavating issues…retraining your mind…healing from issues, your prayers CAN’T really be answered.
Why? Because that prayer is very selfish. We are asking God to give us a well-formed believer who he loves, and who loves him….who will minimize our relationship frustration and make us feel like our marriage is Heaven on earth….WHEN WE CAN’T REALLY RETURN THE FAVOR. Not because we don’t “want” to but because we have not been adequately “prepared” to. (And God loves his other kid just as much as he loves you).
Read this Bible passage S.L.O.W.L.Y: (Parentheses added)
James 4:2-3: You covet (want) but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.(motives)
You see, when we ask God for that great marriage or spouse,
ON THE SURFACE (In a nutshell) it sounds like:
Lord, please give me a marriage that honors you. Give me a great spouse that loves you and honors you, work in me to be a good spouse, too.
HOWEVER, UNDERNEATH THE SURFACE, what you are really saying is:
Lord, please give me a marriage that honors you (Even though I have not worked hard enough to deal with the deep issues in me that may work against that very goal). Give me a great spouse that loves and honors you (Even though my Christian pride will not allow me to think for a minute that I may not be the best person for someone who actually loves and honors you and I may frustrate that person -and myself- to the point where our home dishonors you), and work in me to be a good spouse, too. (Yea..I can’t really think of —no sorry—I don’t see myself as that terrible —becuase its too much work, too painful, too unChristian, too unbecoming of someone who has been in the faith for as long as I have—and I have compartmentalized my deep flaws into secret rooms in my mind and threw away the key. So use your God eyes, locate them and without really involving me and breaking me down or bringing them to the surface, go into my past…my mind, my deep self, and heal me of those things and replace them with equipping for a good marriage…and then just give me peace when the right person comes).
I’ll let that sink in for a sec…
Am I saying God doesn’t listen to prayers? NO. Our father in heaven is eager to hear from us and is eager to answer us in this area. But we need to work with him. We need to take responsibility to look within…
We have to submit to God to show us how to translate all the information we receive on relationships into actual transformation so that we are better prepared for his promises. So:
Stop “just” praying for a good spouse…pray for transformation. Pray for God to develop you and help you BECOME a great spouse. Pray AND work on yourself.
If you are single, dating, courting, engaged or even newlywed and have not already, stay tuned for something amazing that is coming down the pipe.
In the meantime, start making yourself a priority in this area and allow God to start breaking you down. Share this with unmarried believers and your young adult groups.
Please comment on this article if you’re ready to start taking these steps!
Tobi Atte is a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, motivational speaker and the writer behind IJustMetMe, a lifestyle website for young adults who need a good dose of daily inspiration to tackle tough life issues. Tobi is also the creator of the new online marriage course Ready for Forever, the author of the book How to Make Sure Your Values are Aligned: A Guide to Avoiding Relationship Frustration. For more on relationships, motivation, fresh perspectives on faith, personal improvement and more, read/learn more at www.ijustmetme.com, watch him on YouTube HERE and download his free e-book HERE.