Outside of a relationship with God, the marriage connection between a husband and wife is the most critical relationship in humanity. It was at least the most original relationship (according to the Book of Genesis) and is functionally the most foundational relationship for family and society.
A common misconception that many people have is that as long as we choose the right mate or even treat our mate the right way, then we will not have problems in our relationship.
But the reality is that ever since Adam and Eve fell into sin in the Garden of Eden, every man and woman has had to live in light of their own brokenness, which always results in difficulties, confusion, and struggles in their marriage relationship that was supposed to be a harmonious, peaceful, and beautiful fabric of three strands — husband, wife, and God — woven together (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
But right now, whether you have a new marriage that is still in its “honeymoon” phase, a troubled marriage, or the most normal kind of marriage with its ups and downs, the most important thing you can do as a Christian is pray.
As one writer put it, prayer is “one of the most powerful weapons we have to combat this world and the enemy.” And if you are single, pray that God will lead you to someone that would be the kind of good, godly wife that Solomon describes as “far more precious than jewels” (Proverbs 18:22,31:10).
As a couple, you can pray for peace, patience, strength, forgiveness, and many other attributes of your marriage. A wife can pray that her husband would seek God’s will, be passionate about the right things, be full of integrity, resist temptation, and live courageously. But how can a husband pray for his wife?
Outside of your wife’s specific prayer needs that you may already know about, here is a list of seven relevant and heartfelt ways that you can pray for your wife over the course of your week. This list is based on a helpful summary of Proverbs 31, which is a common passage about godliness and virtue for Christian women.
Ways to Pray for Her
According to God’s grace and through the strength of the Holy Spirit, pray that your wife will:
Praying for your wife about these qualities is not the only responsibility of a godly husband, though. Not only must a husband find ways to lead his wife well in these areas, but according to the same Proverbs 31 passage, he must live honorably with a good reputation among others (verse 23), positively affirm and praise his wife (verse 28), and find ways to allow his wife to enjoy the rewards of her hard work (verse 31).
As the leader of the home, a husband’s attitude about, words to, and treatment of his wife can greatly impact her willingness and success in these areas. A husband cannot be a passive bystander in his wife’s godliness — he must be an active participant.
In fact, Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 3 that servants and leaders in the church must lead and manage their household well before trying to minister to others. And Paul clearly lays out how a husband can do just that in one of the most popular and crucial passages on marriage in Ephesians 5:
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband (Ephesians 5:25–33, ESV).
Praying for Her Is Loving Her
So, husbands: Pray for your wife in these areas. Pray for her, about her, and with her. Let her, your children, and others hear you pray for her. And as you pray, strive to make her “job” much easier by loving her, caring for her, and blessing her as Scripture teaches.
Because no matter what your wife’s response is to what you do, the will of God is for you to love her with an unconditional, self-sacrifice love that never changes. That kind of love, according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 (the “love chapter” of the Bible) is “greater” than any amount of faith and hope you could have (1 Corinthians 13:13).
That kind of love preaches the gospel to a world of broken and selfish relationships that desperately needs to hear it.
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Robert Hampshire is a pastor, teacher, writer, and leader. He has been married to Rebecca since 2008 and has three children, Brooklyn, Bryson, and Abram. Robert attended North Greenville University in South Carolina for his undergraduate and Liberty University in Virginia for his Masters. He has served in a variety of roles as a worship pastor, youth pastor, family pastor, and most recently as the Lead Pastor and Planter of Village Church in Churchville, Virginia. He furthers his ministry through his blog site, Faithful Thinking. His life goal is to serve God and His Church by reaching the lost with the Gospel, making devoted disciples, equipping and empowering others to go further in their faith and calling, and leading a culture of multiplication for the glory of God. Find out more about him here.