I could tell my husband was going to be a great ‘helper’ from the moment we met. All through our dating relationship, he was always there to give me a hand with anything I needed from moving out of my apartment, to fixing my car, to sewing the handle back on my broken purse (yeah … he did that), to helping me load the dishwasher after small group was over and the plates had piled up. And now that we’re married and have two kids, I value even more that attitude that has carried over as he serves and loves me and our children, as we work together to build the family God has called us to build.
God calls us to serve one another, and especially within the context of a marriage (Genesis 2:18). But the thing about being a servant is—it’s not necessarily about WHAT you are doing, it’s about the attitude you have WHILE doing it.
Marry a helper, someone who you can serve and love wholeheartedly, knowing that they will also serve and love you in return.
I knew that John would make a great prayer partner one day because he was a man of prayer while standing alone. We made it a point not to pray TOGETHER early on in our relationship, but we always prayed FOR one another. I was certain that I was being lifted up in prayer, and we supported each other in this way during our time of friendship and dating.
Now that we’re married, our prayer life is one of the most intimate parts of our marriage. We can come together, bearing our heart and soul before Jesus with all vulnerability, and we can do it hand in hand and heart to heart, and it’s something we try to do every day (Matthew 18:20). There is great power in prayer, and there is no greater blessing than being married to a prayer partner who will fight for you on their knees when times get tough and life gets hard. Like the old saying goes, a couple that prays together, stays together. So marry a prayer partner.
About four months after I met John, he was accepted into a medical school program in a state halfway across the country. It was right around that time that our friendship was moving into a dating relationship, and I remember very clearly a friend of mine (who had just broken up with her med-school boyfriend) said to me: “Don’t ever date a med student, because life will always be about them and their career.” Talk about a serious warning.
Step by step in our relationship, I saw a man who was just as interested in what I was doing as what he was doing, a man who valued my life and calling, and took my needs into consideration to the best of his ability. And even though our relationship has required us to move all around the country following his career—he has always kept my needs his #1 priority, doing everything in his power to invest in our relationship, but also, to invest in ME. As my life and ministry expanded into writing, blogging and speaking, he’s always supported me, encouraged me, pushed me and worked alongside me to make sure I was living out the calling God had placed on my life. He’s my advocate, and my #1 fan (and I’m wholeheartedly and completely his #1 fan!). Marry someone who prioritizes you!
LOVER aka “Your Boo”:
This article wouldn’t be complete without the piece that ties all the rest together. Marry your lover: someone you will choose to love day in, day out, for the rest of your life. Marriage is made of so many strings of attraction that tie you together, from the physical, to the emotional, all the way to the spiritual. And when those three things combine, it translates to the beautiful connection that pairs people together for life. So marry someone you can love, but also, someone who knows how to love you in return.