I know it's a long way off (or at least I hope it will be. It seems time is flying by way too fast.) but one day, if the Lord tarries, Ethan and Emma will probably get married.
Not to each other of course. That would be gross.
But Ethan to his wife and Emma to her husband. Whomever they may be.
And what a humongous decision marriage is. Momentous. Life-changing. Challenging. Hard.
My parents were very intentional in their prayers for mine and my siblings' spouses. I remember from a very early age hearing their voices lifted up to our Heavenly Father for His direction in our lives; for His hand on our future spouses. As I got older, I realized how special those prayers were. They made me look forward with great anticipation to who my love would be. What he would look like. What his voice would sound like. How great he would be as a daddy.
So I began praying for him as well. Although at the time, I had no idea who he was.
What's really cool is that shortly after Bob and I were married, I told him I had been praying for him for several years. And that the August before we met (we met in September of 2004), I felt a really strong need to pray for my future husband.
His eyes widened and he said, "Really?".
"Yes, why?", I responded curiously.
"Because that was during a particularly challenging time in my life."
Gives me goose bumps when I think about it.
God is so good.
His Providence is perfect.
I'm so incredibly grateful for those years of praying on my parents' part.
I want to continue that heritage. Of parents praying for their children. Praying for all those important decisions they will make in the far off future. It's never too early to begin. They're worth it. And God isn't restrained by time.
So we will pray.
We will pray that Ethan and Emma will find the love of their lives. That they will each find a spouse who loves the Lord FIRST and ABOVE themselves, for that will produce the fruit of a great marriage.
We pray that they and their spouses will remain pure: spiritually, mentally and physically.
We pray that divorce will never be an option. That they will persevere when things get tough.
We pray that their marriages will be a glorious picture of Christ and the church. That they will serve Him together. Always. United.
But we also pray that they will genuinely enjoy each other. That in their home there will be laughter, friendship, loyalty and love.
And we pray this verse over their union, that it will be their goal as a couple:
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
Because a spouse who is not first a believer and one who is not fully committed to Christ, could very well lead our children from the God who created them.
As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 1 Kings 11:4
Let us pray fervently for our children. For their current needs as well as for their future needs, decisions, desires.
God is a great Father who loves us and hears us.
He is in the future. And already knows the answer.
So let us give Him the request in full trust and faith.
"What higher motive could there be for the husband to love his wife? By loving her as Christ loved the church, he honors Christ in the most direct and graphic way. He becomes the embodiment of Christ's love to his own wife, a living example to the rest of his family, a channel of blessing to his entire household, and a powerful testimony to a watching world."