As Catholic singles, the encouragement to “pray for your future spouse” is a beautiful reminder. But how often do we really pray for our future spouse?
Pursuing an intimate friendship with Christ is something to invest in as a single person (and continue when you’re married!). While you’re discerning your vocation to marriage though, how is your prayer life? Are you praying for your spouse?
She’s a real woman, who faces temptations and struggles throughout the day. She has good moments and hard moments. Even though you don’t know who she is or what she looks like yet, God does. He honors your prayer.
If you’re a single Catholic man, we encourage you to pray for your future spouse, remembering that she is a woman created by God! Shift your focus away from praying that she appears in your life and instead will her good through prayer. “Don’t just pray for her to be here, pray for her to be holy,” writes Dustin George.
In this blog post, we’ll be discussing:
- God’s marriage plans that he has in store for you
- What attributes to look for in a future wife
- Your future responsibilities as a husband
- Catholic daily readings for you to pray with
God’s marriage plans for you
Although the plans can seem a little murky during a season of singleness, God has incredible plans in store for you. Scripture tells us that those plans are “full of hope”. Remember, if you’re called to marriage, your wife is a real person. Similarly, if marriage is in God’s plan for you, he has a particular marriage in store. He knows the number of hairs on your head, and he knows the plans he has stored up for you.
In prayer, ask him to help you trust those plans. It can be easy to take the steering wheel away from the Lord and manipulate things to go according to our own plan. But, by returning to a consistent prayer life, we can surrender to the Lord’s plans in our life (and in our future!).
Husband and wife are to become one
Back in the very beginning, God had marriage in mind. After the Lord created Eve out of the rib of Adam, Adam woke up and exclaimed, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!” The author of Scripture goes on to explain that this is “why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.”
You may not be able to become one flesh with your future wife until after the wedding is complete, but you can strive to become of one heart and mind now. Pray daily to the Lord so that he can help you become of one heart and mind with him and his plans. Then, pray that your wife can walk along a path of holiness, becoming of one heart and mind with the Lord, too.
What attributes do you look for in your future wife?
If God calls you to the vocation of marriage, what qualities are you looking for in your future wife? Before meeting each other, your criteria for your dream lady may have looked something like this:
- She’s beautiful (maybe a little bit shorter than yourself), and the body of a Hollywood actress would be great.
- She has a great laugh and encourages you to find the funny parts of life, too
- She’s smart, a good conversationalist, and can engage in debates about current events
- Adventurous and daring, she’s willing to step outside of her comfort zone
- She shares your taste in music and loves all the songs that you do
- Your family would love her (and her family loves when you stop by)
- You want the same things in life together, and if you shared a faith, that’d be awesome
Conscious or subconscious, the qualities and attributes you’re looking for in a future spouse influence the women that you’ll be interested in and ask out on dates. But looking back on that list, there’s something that’s missing. While the list emphasizes the way that you’d love to find her attractive, there’s very little on the list when it comes to values and shared beliefs.
If you want to prepare yourself right now for the romance of a lifetime, make sure to define your own values and qualities. What does the best version of you look like? By identifying your own values, goals, and dreams, you’ll be able to find shared meaning with someone. The happiest couples are those who create shared meaning in their relationships. So looks, interests, and family of origin will look different for every couple. But if you have an end goal in mind together as a couple, the areas you don’t agree on will look a lot less scary.
Make sure you’re doing your part, too
Defining your own values and goals also helps you make sure that you’re not forgetting yourself in the process. It’s easy to desire a long list of qualities and characteristics from your future wife. But what about yourself? What qualities and attributes are you sharpening in your own life in order to become a better future husband?
Right now, as a single Catholic man, is a great time to dive deeper into your relationship with Christ, family, and friends. It’s also prime time to start kicking bad habits to the curb and embracing a holy, healthy lifestyle.
What does the Bible say about your responsibilities as a husband?
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish,” Saint Paul writes in his Letter to the Ephesians.
Men are called by Christ to love with a crucifixion type love. How did Christ love his bride, the Church?
He died for her. He took on the weight of her sins, allowed himself to be nailed to a cross, and died for her.
So, too, Catholic men in a sacramental marriage are called to die to themselves. Perhaps you won’t be asked to physically die for your bride. But the Lord will provide daily opportunities for you to die to your selfish, self-centered desires. How are you preparing for these miniature deaths today as a single man?
How Scripture fits in
If you’re looking for a concrete way to pray for your future wife, look no further than Scripture. God’s word lays out many of the attributes and characteristics of good, holy men and women.
Incorporating Catholic daily readings into your regular prayer life is a great way to stay close to God’s word and to allow Him to speak to you.
Ask the Lord to help you achieve these qualities and values in your own life, then pray for your future wife, too. Your prayers can be a source of encouragement for her on the path to Heaven, especially on the days when the call to holiness is challenging.
Below are several Catholic daily readings that you can incorporate into your daily prayer. Be sure to bookmark this page to come back for reference!
5 Bible verses about marriage for her
If God were to put together a list of a good, holy, Catholic wife, what would he say? It turns out that he’s already made that list, over and over. He inspired the authors of Scripture to write about the qualities of a beautiful, godly woman. Here are five Bible verses about marriage and holiness to meditate on when praying for your future wife.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5
“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated. It is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,” Saint Paul reminds the Corinthians in his first letter to their community.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that love is that warm, butterfly-like feeling that bubbles up in your stomach. But true love requires sacrifice. Authentic love that wills the good of the other has no room for jealousy or rudeness.
But don’t just stop at these two verses of Paul’s letter. Spend time reading over the entirety of the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians. Then, after you’re finished reading, replace your name for every time Paul writes “love”. Can you say that you are patient, kind, selfless, humble, kind, and slow to anger? Reading through Scripture in this way can reveal areas of your life that you can continue to surrender over to the Lord.
“With all my heart I seek you; do not let me stray from your commandments. In my heart I treasure your promise, that I may not sin against you,” the Psalmist writes.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and laughs at the days to come. She opens her mouth in wisdom; kindly instruction is on her tongue,” the proverb reads. When you’re praying for your future wife and her holiness, pray specifically for these traits that the author of Scripture writes about.
The world encourages women to be the opposite of the woman written about in Proverbs. Our culture may encourage her to laugh, but only if its at the expense of others. Gossip and jealous remarks are seen as normal in a culture that has lost it’s focus on God. Pray that your future wife rejects the lies of today’s culture and instead pursues the heart of God.
“I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace,” Paul writes in his Letter to the Ephesians.
Similar to Paul’s words to the Corinthians, this Scripture passage is a good reminder to live in a manner worthy of our vocation. If the Lord is calling you to marriage, take a minute to evaluate your life and see if your actions match that call. Then, pray for your future wife so that she can live in a manner worthy of her vocational call, as well.
“Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law,” Paul writes in his Letter to the Romans. When we love each other, we reflect the love of God into the lives of others.
Pray that your future spouse is loving others in her life right now well. Whether that’s family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers, pray that she fulfills the call from the Lord to love one another.
Preparing yourself for marriage is just as important as choosing the right person
Remember to pray for strength for yourself just as much as you pray for your future wife. While you are praying for her to grow in holiness as a woman of God, she may be praying for you to become the man that God has created you to be! Take active steps in your daily life to become that man.
1 Peter 4:8
“Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins,” Peter reminds the Church in Scripture.
Willing the good of your future wife doesn’t have to wait until you meet her, or discern a vocation with her. You can actively and intensely love her today through your prayers and preparation of yourself!
If you haven’t started praying for your future wife, start today! But remember, this shouldn’t be a prayer petitioning the Lord to introduce this woman into your life right now. Instead, let your prayer be a prayer of daily surrender to the Lord and his plans for your future marriage. Pray that your future wife strives for holiness, and then continue to strive for holiness yourself, too!
Don’t use just any online dating service: go where other Catholics gather. Sign up for a free trial account with Catholic Singles today.