Once upon a time there was a young girl. She loved God with all of her heart. She knew that what she wanted to be when she grew up was a teacher, wife, and mommy . She wanted to save the best gift in the world for her future husband. In the innocence that is child-like faith she began praying for her future husband. That he would wait for her. That God would be with him and call her future husband to Himself. She prayed many a prayer. She felt very strongly about this habit. She didn't know who he was or where he was just that he was someone somewhere and God could be with him at this time when she couldn't.
Meanwhile halfway across the country there was a boy. He was in his pre-teen years when a young girl a few years older than him began praying for him. He lived with loving parents and a sister. He had been exposed to church but didn't have a loving relationship with God, his creator.
Throughout his high school years God gave him friends that invited him to church and witnessed to him about God's love. At about this same time the young girl wasn't as young anymore and she hit a somewhat rebellious phase. She still attended church and believed in and loved God but she had reached a point of wanting to do her own thing, her own way. One night while on the internet she began chatting with a guy in a chat room. They chatted about a lot of things and she just really felt a click. There was something about this guy that drew her to him. She was bummed to learn that he wasn't a Christian, but it wasn't enough to stop her from getting to know him further.
They spent hours chatting online and on the phone. They wrote actual letters to each other too. It was all very romantic. She had also been chatting with another gentleman online who was a fellow believer but she didn't feel as much chemistry with him. She knew that HE was the one she should be drawn to but he wasn't.
One crazy day she just knew she had to meet them. She knew she needed to meet the Christian guy before the other one because logically he should be her first choice. So she took time off work, hopped in her car and drove 20hrs or so to meet this guy. She drove all night. She met this man and while he was a great guy the chemistry was no more there in person than it was online and on the phone (despite his awesome southern accent). She drove home though knowing that she had at least given him the chance he deserved. She knew she needed to go meet the other guy now. So she planned a weeks vacation, picked up her 12yr old sister along the way and they headed off to meet this guy she felt so drawn to.
Ironically they met at church (it was a public place!) a church that several of his high school friends attended. She was completely smitten.
Two months later she packed up everything she owned and moved East to be near him while he attended college. Five months later he began a personal relationship with the loving God she had been praying to all of her life. He grew, he changed, she grew and changed. She loved him.
In an intimate (and most perfect!) ceremony, in his parent's backyard, they got married. Ten months later they welcomed their first child. A few more children, job changes, home changes, and heart changes later they still love each other.
The girl has often pondered over the years how God could bless her when she was for all intents and purposes being rebellious when she met this man. But she remembered recently the prayers of her youth. The prayers for her beloved future husband. Those prayers did not return void. Those prayers were answered. Even in her rebellion the Lord answered her faith filled prayers. He had his hand on her husband even all those years. He called her husband's heart to his as she had always prayed.
Now as a mother she will purpose to pray for her own children's future spouses because she has seen that even though it will take a long while to see the results of those prayers, those prayers work. God is faithful. So pray not only for your children, pray for their spouses. You have no idea what kind of difference it might make in the spouse they become for your beloved child.
Make no mistake. This girl doesn't look at her life, at her husband and children, and think to herself "Wow I'm good, I got it all figured out and it was ME that got my life so right." She looks at her life and says in a prayer "Despite me, my flaws, my rebellions, my own issues, God has been faithful to weave things together in exactly the right way to bless my life and answer my prayers."