No, I didn't get married without telling y'all. (Believe me, when that happens, you'll know! ;) I am sharing a different perspective on honoring your husband... because I don't just want to honor and love my husband when we are married - I want to honor him even before I meet him.
You don't magically become a faithful wife when you slip on a white dress, walk down the aisle, and look down at a sparkling diamond ring on your finger. Honoring your spouse takes work. No one is perfect and no one will ever be the perfect wife. And I am certainly no expert as I've not yet married! But I believe that if you're a woman who is single and desires to be married someday, you have the opportunity to begin cultivating a heart of faithfulness for your future husband and practicing putting him first and loving him.
Faithfulness and honor are precious things - treasures in relationships that are beautiful and sadly, very unappreciated in our society. And I want to encourage you to commit to honoring your future husband - starting today!
At age 13, I gave my love story to God and asked Him to bring "my man" into my life in His time. And I committed to wait for and pray for my future husband, whoever he may be.
I am still waiting today. And I'm not perfect - none of us are, married or single. But there are 3 ways I strive to honor my future husband even before I've met him. I hope you are encouraged and inspired by these in your own journey:
1 // Considering him every day in my interactions with guys. Imagine there's a guy out there who will be the love of your life and make your heart skip a beat every time he smiles at you. Now imagine this beautiful man you love can see you every day. Would he feel cherished, honored, and respected by you in your interactions with other guys? No one is perfect and we will never perfectly love or honor our future husbands. But striving to honor them is so precious and important. Being careful about the things you watch, listen to, read, and wear are a struggle in this society but I daily ask God for help as I try to honor Him and my future man. This also applies to dating relationships. I'm single right now, but when I go out on a date with a guy or have a boyfriend, I try to keep my future husband on my heart - dating a guy does not mean he belongs to me; I try to remember that until I am married, the guy I'm dating may belong to someone else. This is not easy, but in the long run, I believe our future husbands will be blessed to know we thought of and considered them before we met them. Ask yourself, "Would I want my husband doing this/acting this way/doing this physical act with another girl?" Puts it into perspective for me. I desire to be a one-man woman - not just when I'm married, but before!
Leslie Ludy wrote, "One of the greatest ways we can love our future husbands with unconditional, self-sacrificing love is by carefully protecting that precious gift we possess - our inward and outward purity. Purity is more than just avoiding 'the forbidden line' of giving away our virginity. As women, we can pour ourselves into developing inward excellence - becoming a beautiful, whole, undefiled treasure from the inside out. We will have much more to offer our future husbands if we do. It doesn't mean we will always be perfect, but it does mean that we will be headed in the right direction... on a path not of compromise, but of radiant and joyful purity in its truest form." (from "When God Writes Your Love Story"
2 // Praying for him. Praying for your future husband can be one of the most powerful, beautiful things you can do to honor him. Just think - if God plans for you to be married someday, then the man who will be your husband is out there somewhere in the world, and God knows who He is already! (Jer. 29:11) I pray daily for my future husband - for his heart, his purity, his everyday life, for protection in every way - anything God puts on my heart! In seasons of loneliness, this is a wonderful way to remind myself of my commitment and the bigger picture - that I am not just "white knuckling" it as I save myself for marriage but I truly believe it makes for a beautiful love story, and is God's best plan for our lives.
One of my favorite songs ever reminds me of how beautiful waiting, purity, and honoring our future husbands is. It's not always easy, but it will be SO worth the wait!
3 // Preparing myself for marriage someday. Some people start preparing for marriage at engagement, but I think we can actually begin well before we say "I do"! Perhaps I am not picking out china patterns yet but I can prepare in other ways. I recommend reading books on marriage (books that are appropriate for a single person to read) when you are within a few years of marriageable age. Through relationships with friends and family you can work on areas of the heart such as selfishness, being gracious, forgiveness, and dealing with conflict. And even in practical areas like learning how to cook tasty, healthy meals!
We can also prepare ourselves for marriage by working on our hearts. Singleness is a wonderful time to focus on God and on personal growth! It's easy to think, "I want a man who is godly, mature, sweet, kind, wonderful, wise, etc. etc. etc." But instead of focusing on what you are looking for in a man, use the time to grow yourself! What would a man with the character qualities you desire in him want in a wife? Make those your goal.
My sweet reader, my prayer is that you are inspired by this post - to give your love life to the Lord, and to honor your husband - whether you are single or married!
And if you're a married lady, visit the link below and read the perspective of women who are married as they strive to honor their husbands.
**Photo above/credit: photographer Rachel White**