I dated a lot in high school. Actually, a lot is an understatement. There was a running joke in my family about how long this one would last. And if I went on more than one date with the same boy, people said, Wow, Lauren, this is getting serious!
Those poor guys. I was nothing but a hot mess.
Everything changed one night in college, though. I went to a campus devotional and heard the most beautiful interchange with the Lord that had ever graced my ears.
The prayer that came from the lips of this man was different. It wasn’t just Thees and Thous. There weren’t formal words that felt forced and stiff. It was a conversation between the Almighty God and His very humble servant.
I can’t tell you anything particular he said, but that single prayer changed my life.
The next day, I went to my boyfriend’s apartment and ended yet another relationship. For some reason, he asked, If you weren’t dating me, who would you date?
I would date Gavin Pinkston. The words slipped out of my mouth before I realized how blatantly offensive it was to already have someone else in mind. Much less to tell the person you’re breaking up with the exact name of that person.
I won’t go into the saga of how I strategically manipulated my now husband to have an interest in me. It’s a little more than shameful how I ironically started showing up in all the places I knew he would be.
But once I heard a man pray like I heard him pray, my eyes were opened to the possibility of being married to a man who loved God more than me.
I wanted that.
For the first time, I wasn’t dragging someone along with me in my faith. For the first time, I was being made stronger by a spiritual leader that I could trust.
When we had been dating for about six months, I saw that I was in a relationship I might want to last forever. And then I freaked because I realized that I had only let him see the good things about me.
You know what comes next.
The awful tell him everything I’ve ever done so that he doesn’t fall in love with a fake. And that would include all those sweet little boyfriends from high school.
I’ll never forget the night that I shared my darkest, hidden secrets with the man I respected more than anyone I’d ever known. He listened, held my hand, and tears filled his eyes. I felt like I had crucified Jesus right then and there.
We were spending the weekend with his parents, so we went to our separate rooms and I lay there wondering when the breakup would come.
But when I woke up the next morning and walked down the hall, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I took a few more steps, and saw the man of my dreams – on his knees in prayer – about me.
The image will forever be burned into my mind, and the grace that was extended to me in that moment built a foundation in our relationship that’s unmoving.
The whole submit to your husband thing has never been a huge challenge in my marriage. And I’m the most assertive, opinionated, have-it-my-way person there is.
I honestly attribute the beauty of my marriage to the fact that my husband talks to God. I know that he would never ask anything of me that he hasn’t spoken to the Lord about.
We share the same vision and goals for our family because we talk to God about them. When we can’t find the words to comfort one another, we go to our Maker to provide that peace.
Please don’t hear that we have a perfect marriage…does that exist, really?
I can be ready to explode about some marital dispute, but when I hear my husband bring it before God, it seems so unimportant and silly.
He has had his ups and downs. I’m sure he doesn’t feel like a spiritual giant every day, and there are times he needs me to step in and provide a place of strength and encouragement.
But my husband has never forgotten how to pray. Even after 120-hour work weeks or sleepless nights with an infant, he can always approach the Throne with readiness.
I had no idea that pursuing a man of prayer would be the best thing I could do for my marriage.
As I stood brushing my teeth last night, I overheard my husband talking to my six month old baby girl. Eliza cooed and babbled da-da-da and he talked to her about an Old Testament story.
And when I heard him say, Let’s pray, I closed my eyes from the next room and breathed in the beauty of that moment.
How blessed I am to have a husband who knows my God in such an intimate way. How blessed I am to have a husband who prays.