We fast and pray for God to change our hearts, raise up godly men, and give the gift of marriage to those who desire it.
Lately, my conversations with God have sounded a lot like talking with a two-year-old toddler. With a tilted head, curious eyes and a ceaseless line of questions, He’s always asking me why.
God, I really want to be married.
Why do you want to be married, Jacqueline?
There are lots of reasons!
You know. Companionship. Family. Intimacy. Love.
Mhmm. So why do you want those things?
Because they’re good things! I want a best friend to do life with. I want someone to raise a family with. I want someone to do ministry with. And since you asked, quite frankly I want someone to have a whole lot of sex with. You know, to make up for all these years I’ve been going without.
(I picture God smiling at that one)
Fair enough, Jac. But why?
Because I don’t want to spend my life alone.
Because I don’t! Because I’m tired of taking care of things all by myself. Because I want someone who can take care of me. Because I want someone who can provide for me. Because I want someone who knows how to fix a freaking washing machine.
Mmmm. So…you want a provider?
Well…yeah. Yeah I do.
It usually doesn’t take long for us to get to the bottom of things (“things” meaning namely, my true heart motive). His line of questioning makes a lot of sense, though. Over and over again in Scripture, I see a God who cares far more about our reasons than our actions. A God who knows that the right thing with the wrong heart is actually the wrong thing. A God who does not looks at the outward appearance but instead looks at the heart. (1 Sam. 16:7).
And, when we get to the bottom of things, I have to acknowledge that one of the biggest reasons I want to be married is because I want someone to take care of me financially.
There. I said it.
I know it sounds old-fashioned and anti-feminist. After all, I’m a strong, independent woman who isn’t afraid to work hard and get her hands dirty. I’ve had to handle leases and budgets and repair shops and tow trucks and broken washing machines. And I have no problem being a big girl and taking care of adult responsibilities.
I guess…I just expected a lot of those responsibilities to be temporary.
Maybe that’s just me. But as I talk with a lot of my single friends, especially those women who are in their thirties, forties and fifties, I often hear that same unmet expectation. The ache to be taken care of by a husband. That desire for someone else to shoulder the burden of provision.
The irony is that it’s not just a single woman’s ache.
See, I’ve been dating a pretty phenomenal guy for about nine months, and barring an unexpected intervention, we’re quickly moving toward engagement. He is hardworking, strong, tender, intelligent and he pursues the Lord with all his heart. But the nature of his work means that, if we get married, we’ll both need to work hard, live simply and budget creatively. We’ll both need to shoulder the burden of provision.
But just when my heart starts to protest, that’s when God stops asking me questions and starts making statements:
Jacqueline, Michael is not your provider. I am.
Consider the lilies. See how they grow. They don’t toil. They don’t work. They don’t spin. And yet even Solomon in all his splendor was not dressed like one of these. If then, I clothe the lilies and the grass like this—which is today in the field and tomorrow burnt up, then how much more will I clothe, dress adorn and take care of you, oh dear one of little faith? (Luke 12:27-28)
So don’t worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ I, your heavenly Father, know that you need those things. But if you seek first My kingdom and My righteousness, then all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6: 31-33)
And I will liberally supply your every need according to My riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:9)
His tender voice pierces my spirit, and that’s when I remember that all of us—single or married, man or woman—will never need to shoulder the ultimate burden of provision.
Because our Abba Father, our Jehovah Jireh, our all-powerful Provider with all the riches of heaven and earth at His disposal has already obligated Himself to shoulder that burden.
As we fast and pray this Monday, let’s ask for the kind of childlike, trusting faith that God wants us to exercise, reminding ourselves that He has been, always is and always will be I AM, the God who Provides.
Praying along with you!
Jacqueline has been a part of the FastPray community for years and is guest writer for us this week.