A godly man will be faithful to his wife even though he doesn’t have one yet.
I ran across this anonymous quote the other day, and it got me thinking about what it means to be faithful to your future spouse. Is it limited to emotional and physical purity, or is there more you can do while you’re waiting for marriage?
Remaining abstinent before marriage and having appropriate physical and emotional boundaries with the opposite sex are big ways to be faithful. But there’s more you can do spiritually while you’re waiting that will benefit your future marriage.
1. Pray for him or her. This helped me keep my hope for marriage alive even when I got discouraged, and it helped me channel some of that hope into spending more time with God praying about my desire for marriage. What do you pray about for a person you might not have met yet and whose experiences you know nothing about?
Some of the things I prayed for consistently were my husband’s walk with God and his spiritual life. I prayed that he was a Christian and that if he wasn’t saved, that he would come to know Jesus. I also asked God to surround him with a good group of friends and Christian mentors.
In marriage, you will spend a lot of time praying for your spouse. Starting to pray for him or her now is good preparation for becoming a praying husband or wife.
2. Cultivate a positive mindset of marriage. This means talking with mentors and elders in your church and asking them to pray for you and your desire for marriage. If you’re not already, start studying Bible passages that discuss marriage and work to understand the roles of husbands and wives as defined in Scripture.
Marriage books I read to get a better understanding of marriage and the importance of including others in the search were Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help it Happen by Candice Watters and The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller.
3. Avoid the negativity that sometimes surrounds marriage. This means not participating in jokes that demean marriage and making sure your comments about marriage are positive. When you meet your spouse, he or she will take you more seriously if you have a godly perspective on marriage.
If you’re known to crack jokes like “Woman, make me a sammich!” and talk about the marriage covenant like it’s a prison sentence, potential marriage partners might have second thoughts. This sounds like it’s geared toward men, but women are at fault, too. There are plenty of jokes about the stereotypical lazy and incompetent husband. What man wants to marry a woman who doesn’t trust him to lead and won’t encourage him to take on his responsibilities as a husband?
Those might seem like harmless things, but what do they do to your perspective on marriage? Do they take away some of the holiness of the marriage relationship? Respecting marriage as holy and good is a great way to remain faithful to your future spouse.
What are some other ways you can be faithful to your future spouse while you’re waiting?