Thus far my Valentine’s Day has been full of sloppy baby kisses, romantic texts, and workworkwork. Changing diapers, making meals, cleaning the kitchen, picking up toys, vacuuming crumbs. It never ends. Most days, I look forward to my husband coming home so we can enjoy the babies together, visit and share our hearts, and then rest together. But on this special day, love is in the air! As we begin this 100-day journey together praying for marriage, we thought we’d start with praying for passion in marriages. I read a quote this week by John Piper or Tim Keller or one of those big guys this week that said something to the extent of lust being about what I can get as opposed to love being what I can give. Love is serving, lust is being served.
Before kids, I used to put a lot of attention into greeting my husband when he came home from work. I worked from home and was done by the time he walked through the door, so I made sure to dab on a bit of lipstick, squirt some perfume, make sure the house looked nice, get dinner started, and often have a cocktail in hand to help him unwind. Nowadays, Aaron walks in the door to find a hyper toddler screaming and jumping, toys all over the place, and a tired mommy nursing the baby on the couch. Aaron always greets me first with a kiss, and there are times when I kiss him back, searching my brain to try to remember if I had even brushed my teeth that day.
Where did the passion go? It’s still there, just buried under loads of laundry and Little People. Camouflaged by the lingering odor of dirty diapers. Moping behind heavy eyelids.
And to be honest, love being in the air (whatever that means exactly) does not automatically give me the energy to express my heart—my passion—for and to my husband. I need help—God’s help.
That is our prayer today—passion in marriages. I realize there are a lot of reasons marriages struggle with passion. Reasons more serious and heart-breaking than dirty laundry. Let’s pray that passion—selfless, loving passion—is reignited in our marriages and the marriages around us.
Thank you for joining us in prayer. We know that there are a lot of books and studies about marriage and praying for marriage and spouses, etc. Our 100 days of praying for marriage is special to us because we can do it together—with friends and family—across the miles. Our hearts are united in our passion for marriage and our desire to see marriages heal, grow, thrive.
Please don’t feel pressure to use our prayer requests—these are just suggestions. But if you’re wanting some ideas, we will post as many as we can over the next 100 days. The first group of ideas have come from this blog that I mentioned before. We’ve broken her list down a bit and stretched it. For the first block of days, we will be getting personal and praying for our own husbands as well as the husbands around us. The list below is very personal and how I am praying for my own gift of a man.
Day two: Lies–I pray against lies you are tempted to believe about yourself. I pray that I can help combat those lies and love you in a way that reminds you of who you truly are because of how Christ loves you and how God created you. I pray that I can express to you regularly who you are to me and how beautiful your character is, how delightful your personality is, how perfect your strengths are. I pray that when lies creep into your mind, you will recognize them and ignore them. And on days when you struggle, I pray I will notice and be a safe place for you to confide your fears and rest in truth.
Day three: Worries—I pray against worries that plague you. You bear so much responsibility, especially for our little family, and I pray that you will not fall prey to exhausting worries. I pray that God will give you trust in Him to provide for you and faith to believe that God’s plan is Good, even when we don’t understand. I pray I can encourage you when you are worried and that I will be sensitive to your frustrations. I pray I will have wisdom in knowing how to encourage you.
Day four: Heart—I pray that your heart will be steadfast and strong, that its desires will be shaped by God and not selfishness. That when it hurts, it will find sanctuary in Christ and in the safety of our relationship. That I will recognize when your heart is sad and that I will be sensitive to your pain. I pray that it will grow and grow and grow and love others courageously and effectively.
Day five: Soul—I pray for your soul, that it will always seek God. I pray for days when it is thirsty and weary and dry. I pray for satisfaction and refreshment in Christ and Christ alone.
Day six: Body—I pray for strength and health. I praise God for how he created you just so!
Day seven: Gifts, talents, and abilities—I pray that you develop your gifts and find ways to use them to serve God and others. I pray that you will find purpose in your interests and that you will also find purpose in blessing others with your abilities. I pray that I will nurture your talents and help you find the time and resources to grow them and put them to good use, pushing back the effects of the Fall and bringing beauty into this broken world.
Day eight: Work—I pray that you will work hard, that you will find purpose in even the most menial of tasks. That you will be a blessing and encouragement to your coworkers. That your work product will help others and be a solid contribution. That you will be a light in your workplace. That you will not grow weary and that you will find joy in following God’s early mandate of working and providing. I praise God for your ambition and drive, and I pray that you will be recognized for your relentless dedication.
Day nine: Finances—I pray that God will provide just what we need. I pray that you will be wise in what we are given. I pray that you will be generous in giving to others. I pray that you will trust God to provide and not fear when God’s provision does not look like what we expected. I pray that we will remember that we are simply stewards and that our material gifts are just that—gifts to be used wisely.
Day ten: Rest—I pray that God grants you sound, good, refreshing physical rest. I pray that I can create a home that is conducive to resting your mind and heart. I pray that God will relieve you of unnecessary stresses both on your body and mind. I pray that when our baby girl wakes up to nurse, you will not hear her and will sleep through it.