Last week, in part one of Five Prayers for Your Husband, we discussed the word “dedication”. I don’t know how God used it to affect your life, but it was both a wonderful reminder and a humbling challenge to me to focus on praying for Adam in a way that is eternal and not self-centered. Although I can’t say my desires for him are wrong, I have been challenged to desire his life to be less centered around his dedication to me and more centered around his dedication to God.
As I pray every morning and throughout my work day for this man I love, I find myself focused on another important area: faithfulness. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, the word “faithful” means:
1: full of faith
2: steadfast in affection or allegiance :
3: firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty :
4: given with strong assurance : <a faithfulpromise>
5: true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original <a faithful copy>
I don’t have to read very far through this definition to find a few things that stir my heart immediately in the area of my husband, his love for the Lord, and his love for me.
Marriage is by far the second most-important commitment one will ever made in life (second only to a spiritual decision to follow Christ). Although the world we live in has cheapened marriage into something that is easily tossed out with divorce and re-attained in relationships made without commitment, marriage was intended by God to model the unending commitment made between Christ and His bride, the Church. This commitment is one made through the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary and continues today and on through the marriage supper of the Lamb and into the great union in the new heaven and new earth. Yes, the love in the marriage of Christ and His bride is unending.
Continuing in this growing understanding of marriage as a picture of Christ and His Church allows us to understand in a deeper way what this word “faithful” means.
Over the years, the church has proven to be an unworthy lover. Much like the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, we have found ourselves distracted by the promises of this world, divided by the frivolous concerns of an unappreciative people, self-consumed and presumptuous, self-righteous and unforgiving. However, 2 Timothy 2:13 tells us something very important about the character of the Groom, Jesus Christ:
If we are faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny himself.
His character, His very being, is faithful, unwavering, “steadfast in affection and allegiance”, “firm in adherence to promises”, loyal.
Yes, you cry! That is what I want in a husband! I agree. I want that too, and I believe that is a righteous desire. However, as we talked about last week, understanding our roles before the Lord as an individual and applying these character traits to our life-purpose as His child first and foremost is the key to a successful, faithful marriage relationship.
If we look at the heart of faithfulness, we realize that it is, as the definition says, the heart of remaining “true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original.” So, if I desire for my husband to understand and act in Christ-like faithfulness, the focus of his faithfulness should not be me but Christ. I cannot expect him to have Christ-like faithfulness if his standard is my sinful, self-centered, never-satisfied heart. I am not Truth nor am I the Original example of faithfulness. If I want him to be as faithful as Christ, then I first have to seek for him to be faithful to Christ and in doing so, his love for me will be faithful, as Christ’s love for His bride is also.
Understanding this, here are five areas we can see demonstrated in Scripture in which Jesus Christ demonstrates faithfulness. These areas will direct our focus as we pray for our own husbands to model the faithfulness of our Savior:
1. Faithfulness despite temptation – Matthew 4:4
2. Faithfulness to the Word of God – Matthew 12:15-17
3. Faithfulness in obedience – Phil. 2:8
4. Faithfulness to care for His bride – Romans 8:34
5. Faithfulness to keep His Word – Acts 1:11, Rev. 19:11-12
How can you pray for your husband to demonstrate these same character traits? In what areas is he struggling with the most and in what ways could the example of Christ be a focus in your prayers for him?
*Here’s an Idea*
This week I challenge you to pray through this list for your husband. Then, I beg you to take a look at your own heart to see how your love for the Lord resembles the heart He desires for the Church to have for him. Is that the kind of heart you demonstrate for your husband and more-importantly, for the Lord?