A Tradition to Help your Marriage
by Travis Bookout
Since I have been married, every night before going to sleep, I take my wife (Lauren) by the hand, I say a prayer, then give her a kiss. We always mention several things during this prayer. We always thank God for our marriage and pray that we continue to grow in our love for each other. We thank God for the church that we work with and pray for growth and strength in the congregation. We always pray for Lauren’s sisters and their spiritual wellbeing. We pray for several by name who have fallen away. And we thank God for the hope and salvation we have through Jesus. These are staples in every nightly prayer.
We also add various things as they come up, prayer requests, concerns, blessings to give thanks for, etc. But this is one of the most important traditions in our marriage. It has helped our marriage in many ways and I would encourage any married couple to do this. Especially the husbands. Take the initiative. Take your wife’s hand. And lead her in prayer. Here are a few reasons why:
It Reminds You of Your Priorities
This reminds us every single night what is most important. Sometimes we are tired. Sometimes we are busy. And believe it or not sometimes we have arguments. But we always make this a priority. Do you know what helps solve an argument faster than anything else? Taking your wife by the hand, thanking God for her, your marriage, your common salvation, and then giving her a kiss.
Do you know what the important things are? Your faith, your relationship, your marriage, your family, your hope, and your salvation. These things are far more important than some point you are trying to prove. We don’t go to bed angry (Ephesians 4:26). We go to bed thankful.
It Strengthens your Marriage
Not only does this prayer help in conflict resolution, but it will strengthen your marriage in many other ways. Because of this prayer, we go to bed at the same time (nearly) every single night. We also communicate, both with God and each other about the most important happenings in our lives. From what I have been told once or twice, communication is somewhat important in a marriage. The best form of communication in a marriage is when you talk with each other, and then talk with God.
My wife sees me praying for her and her family every night. She sees me praying for our marriage, our faith, and our church family. She loves me because of that. And I love being able to lead her in that prayer. I know that she supports everything I am saying and is praying to God through my words. That is a big responsibility, but it makes our marriage strong.
It Solidifies your Faith
Prayer has a lot of benefits. It is encouraging and relationship building when I know someone is praying for me. It relieves stress to be able to formulate into words my thoughts and struggles and offer them to God. But the greatest benefit of prayer is not what we do while praying, but what God does while answering. God answers prayers. One of the best ways to test that is with a consistent and persistent prayer life.
He often does so in ways that we could never predict or imagine. Sometimes even while He is answering them, we don’t see it. Then years later, we look back and realize, “Oh, I see what happened there.” If you are not a Christian, that might sound extremely cliché or corny. But if you are a Christian, you know what I am talking about. We have had prayers answered. It has strengthened our faith and our confidence in God. God really does listen and really does care. Taking advantage of that fact alone will help any marriage.