Skip to main content

“I Wish My Husband Would Pray with Me More” – Part 1


The poll results have been very interesting from the questions I asked last week. I am so thankful for so many women (and men) answering my questions. It helps me to get a much better feel for what is going on in your prayer lives and what we may want to discuss together here. 🙂

After 297 people answered, here are the results:

  • Does your husband ask you to pray with him (other than at meal times)?

Never = 41%   Rarely = 27%   Sometimes = 13%   Daily = 7%   Often = 7%   Other = 4%

  • How often do you pray alone?

All throughout the day = 47%  Daily = 37%   A few times a week = 13%   Rarely = 3%   Never = 0%

  • Do you wish your husband would initiate prayer?

Yes!! = 87%   It doesn’t matter to me = 7%   Other = 4%   No = 2%

  • Does your husband ever ask you how you are doing spiritually?

Never = 61%   Rarely = 18%   Sometimes = 13%   Often = 4%   Every day = 2%   Other = 2%

  • If your husband doesn’t pray with you, are you able to be content in Christ alone?

Often = 37%   Always = 31%   Sometimes = 23%   Rarely = 4%   Other = 3%   Never = 2%

  • What is the most intimate activity with your husband – in your mind?

I value emotionally connecting/sex/prayer equally = 36%   Emotionally connecting = 32%   Sex = 18%   Prayer = 12%   Other = 2%

NOTE about the women who answered my poll questions:

80% of their husbands are Christians, 10% say their husbands are not believers in Christ, and 8% are not sure.



I think that a lot of us go into marriage as Christian women believing that our husbands should pray with us and read the Bible with us in order to be “spiritual leaders” in our homes. We hear that a lot and, truly, these are VERY GOOD things. It would be awesome if married couples and families all pray and read the Bible together.

But – reality is that for the vast majority of Christian wives (at least who read this blog), husbands are not “leading” in these particular ways.

Should we really use joint prayer and Bible study as a measure and score card to rate our husbands’  spiritual leadership? Should we try to force our husbands to pray and/or read the Bible with us? Should we be upset if our husbands don’t want to do these things with us? What do we do if we want to pray with our husbands and they are not interested?

Before we write off so many husbands as spiritual failures, I think it may be important to look at a few observations from Scripture that somewhat surprised me as I researched this week:

  • I am not aware of a passage that features a married couple praying together just with each other in Scripture – perhaps someone can find a reference that I have missed?
  • I am not aware of a specific command for married couples to pray together or for husbands to initiate prayer with their wives. Again, maybe someone can find a reference that I have missed.
  • In biblical times, people didn’t have copies of Scripture in their homes, so there would not have been any Bible reading at home for anyone – privately or as a couple or a family. Jewish boys and men heard the Old Testament read in the synagogues. New Testament believers heard letters from the apostles that were read at house church gatherings from time to time. (How blessed we are that we can have the entire Bible in our own homes and we can read it whenever we want to!)
  • Enoch, Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses  apparently prayed alone based on what is recorded in Scripture.
  • David and Solomon apparently prayed alone.
  • Daniel prayed alone in his upper room three times a day.
  • All of the prophets prayed alone – from what I can tell from Scripture – and were given revelation by God in private.
  • Hannah prayed alone for a child – and God blessed her later with Samuel.
  • Mary prayed alone in Scripture. She did praise God to her cousin, Elizabeth, out loud.
  • Joseph, Mary’s husband, always received instructions from God privately.
  • Jesus greatly emphasized private prayer in His teaching and by His example – He also gave us a warning about sinful motives in public prayer. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:5-6
  • Jesus also gave instructions “When you pray,  do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Matthew 6:7-8  So we can see that prayer need not be long and drawn out to be effective.
  • Believers are commanded to “pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17, which appears to me to be a command to pray privately in the heart. It is surrounded by other commands to be thankful and joyful. It could involve praying with others, as well.
  • The church is encouraged to pray together and there are many instances of corporate prayer in the Body of Christ – particularly in the book of Acts. Some of the prayers of the apostles during these gatherings are recorded.
  • There is the promise: “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Matthew 18:19-20  I think this is a wonderful encouragement for us to pray with other believing women, with groups at church, and with our husbands and families.
  • Jesus often went off to pray alone. Yes, He gave the disciples The Lord’s Prayer (or The Model Prayer) as an example of how to pray in Matthew 6. (Please note how short and concise it is.) And He did pray in front of them at times – briefly – before performing miracles, but it wasn’t really “praying together” in any of the gospel narratives that I can find. Most of His praying seemed to be done in seclusion and in private – or He was praying to God out loud in front of His disciples and other people. I don’t see where Jesus and His disciples sat around holding hands taking turns praying out loud they way we tend to expect to do today.  
  • Married couples are commanded not to withhold their bodies from one another, but to be available to each other sexually – except for the times they agree mutually to abstain from sex in order to focus on prayer. But I don’t see where this prayer is necessarily joint prayer. It may be private prayer.
  • I find no record in the New Testament of any of the disciples praying with their wives. To be fair, they may have privately prayed together – and it may just not be recorded.

I also want to look at the prayer life of one of the most revered Christian men in recent centuries concerning the topic of fervent prayer – E.M. Bounds. He prayed alone. He prayed for hours and hours most days – usually from 4am-7am, sometimes getting up at night and wandering around town to stand in front of people’s homes to pray for them. Everything I can find recorded about his prayer habits are that he prayed alone –  unless he was in a room spending the night with other pastors – even then he prayed alone, but out loud – and they all heard him.  He led prayer together with a group of men from his church for revival for the town. Perhaps he prayed with his wife? I don’t know. I haven’t seen any reference to him praying with his wife.

Of course, there is no prohibition on married couples praying together in Scripture – and I believe there is plenty of support for prayer among believers that would mean that a couple praying together would be a very good thing. I am the biggest proponent of couples praying together if possible!


We hear so much in our Christian culture today about husbands “being the spiritual leaders” in the family and all that they “should” do. Obviously, God delights in His people’s prayers. Prayer is an amazing gift from God!

Prayer in marriage could be a very good thing – provided that both spouses’ attitudes are honoring to God and they are both willing to pray together. That would be wonderful!

But – I would like us to consider – is there a biblical model that commands husbands to specifically do all of the things that we believe they are supposed to do as “spiritual leaders”? Is it right for us to resent our husbands or get angry if they don’t initiate prayer, ask us how we are doing spiritually, and read the Bible with us? Maybe our husbands prefer to pray in private, which is – arguably – the most important kind of prayer. Maybe they can observe our attitude, words, and actions and tell how we are doing spiritually, so they don’t feel like it is necessary to ask how we are doing? There may also be issues of differing personality types or issues of tension/disrespect in the marriage that may play into the dynamics here that we will touch more on this coming Thursday.

Where do we get our ideas about what our husbands should do? I wonder if our definition of “spiritual leader” may need revamping?

Are we possibly condemning, criticizing, or resenting our husbands unjustly? Are we building up bitterness and resentment against our husbands because they aren’t meeting our expectations, when perhaps these things aren’t even spelled out in God’s Word? A believer not praying privately is a big problem. But is it necessarily wrong or sinful for a believing married couple not to pray together if they are praying privately to God? Could a husband be a godly leader even if he doesn’t pray with his wife or read the Bible with her? (We will be looking at 1 Timothy 3 to see the qualifications for the men who are to be spiritual leaders in the church in the next post to attempt to find some answers to this question.)

Here are some sobering thoughts:

– Our cherishing bitterness, a critical spirit, contempt, hatred, and/or resentment in our hearts or allowing disrespect to fester against our husbands in our hearts WOULD be clear sin.

– Our trying to take control of the marriage and family would also be clear sin.

– Our using joint prayer and Bible study to judge our husbands’ spirituality could be sin.

– Our attempting to find spiritual security in our husbands’ spiritual activity with us rather than in Christ would be sin.

Wouldn’t the enemy love to get us to sin in our hearts and to destroy our marriages and families over the issue of prayer? Wouldn’t he love to use an issue ‘this spiritual’ to create division, heartache, pain, and destruction?

Some questions I would like for each of us to ask ourselves no matter what our current situation with our husbands:

  • Am I willing to lay down my expectations and focus on my own walk with Christ, my obedience, my faith, my responsibilities, my time in God’s Word, my sin, and my prayer life?
  • Am I willing to allow God to work in my husband’s life as He sees fit, and accept him for who his is without trying to force him to do something? Will I do this even if it takes a lifetime, and even if my husband never prays with me?
  • Am I willing to lay down my dream of my husband praying with me? Is it possible that this dream of him doing certain spiritual things for me could be an idol in my heart that I hold above Christ and from which I expect to find contentment, security, fulfillment, and happiness?
  • Am I willing to be content in Christ alone and in my own times of private prayer?
  • Perhaps I can pray that God might provide a godly woman prayer partner for me to pray with? But even if He does not – am I willing to be content in Christ alone? Am I willing to acknowledge that He alone is enough?

The key, after all, to prayer – is not our husbands’ presence – but God’s presence! As long as God hears our prayers – that is the most important thing of all! It is God that we all most desperately need, not our husbands!

Even if my husband prays with me three times a day for 30 minutes at a time, if I am looking to my husband to meet all of my emotional and spiritual needs, I will never be satisfied. I will always want more. My husband praying with me is not the most important thing. It would be nice – yes, of course! And it would be a good thing for our marriage IF we both are in right standing with God and we both have right motives. But me having time with Christ privately and time in God’s Word privately is critical. THAT is what I can’t do without. Christ is able to always be completely connected with me spiritually and emotionally (unless I am cherishing sin in my heart). He can meet my deepest needs every moment. He will never fail or disappoint me. He alone is my true need! Christ is my husband’s greatest need, as well.

Jesus is more than sufficient for me!

In Part 2, we will look at reasons why husbands may not pray with their wives and the many benefits and advantages of  private prayer. Next week, we will look at Scripture’s definition of a spiritual leader.

Additional Resources:

Ways Husbands Lead That Wives often Don’t Notice

Why a Husband Struggles to Pray with His Wife

– The Blessing of Having a Husband Who Won’t Pray with His Wife

– How to Make Your Husband an Idol

– My Husband Is Not a Good Enough Spiritual Leader

– Ways to Empower Your Husband’s Leadership about Church Stuff

71 thoughts on ““I Wish My Husband Would Pray with Me More” – Part 1

  1. Thank you for this post April. As you know this is something I have been struggling with.

    I haven’t bought the topic up with my husband for quite a while now and out of the blue the other day he asked if he could pray with me 😊 That was amazing and I was overjoyed. Although it was just that once I appreciated it so much. I am looking forward to Part 2!!!!

    1. Learningwife,

      I thought this might be a blessing to you. 🙂

      What a wonderful gift! I’m so excited that you got to pray with your husband. I know you cherished that time together greatly. 🙂

  2. Thanks a great deal for the post,this is a very critical area for us as women.
    I think we should have added a question that will help us to know how many of our respondents’ husbands are Christians because a non christian man will likely not pray with his wife. Also, I think a question on the nature of job/career of our respondents’ husbands is important for a good evaluation because some men are scarcely with their families and as such hardly gets the opportunity to pray with them even though they may want to.
    I still feel that couples should try as much as possible to pray together because a lot of things seem to take shape in my family when we pray together.

    1. Evelyn,
      Those would be great questions to add. Thank you for the ideas. 🙂

      I agree – I am a huge supporter of husbands and wives praying together. I think there is much to be gained if we do pray together – but my prayer is that wives whose husbands do not pray with them might be greatly encouraged as they look at Scripture and press on with private prayer.

    2. Evelyn,

      Another thing I was thinking about is how difficult it is for people to find any time for prayer and Bible reading these days with our insanely busy schedules and how if someone has to choose between praying together with his/her spouse vs. praying privately – it is probably better to choose private prayer and Bible study. In my mind, at least, that is where the most powerful spiritual growth comes – when we get alone with God.

      1. Thanks a great deal. I perfectly agree with you. We will appear before God not as ‘couples’ but as ‘individuals’ so we should try as much as possible to build our personal relationships with God- this should be a priority. We should try to pray as couple/family too but we don’t need to tear ourselves apart if it doesn’t happen, we can rather keep asking God to make our desire come true. Thanks once again.

  3. Nathan Hale,

    I really appreciate your willingness to share your masculine perspective as a believer in Christ! Thank you!

    Several things really stand out to me about your comment –

    1. You hear a message from your wife that you are not spiritual enough if you pray privately.
    2. If your wife pressures you verbally to pray with her – it is a turn off for you.

    I think that the messages you are hearing may be similar to the messages other believing husbands hear when their wives pressure them to pray together, as well. This is going to be very helpful information, I think, to wives. Our putting pressure on our husbands about these things is not going to inspire our men to want to pray with us more. I would love for husbands and wives to pray together if at all possible – but I especially appreciate insights about things that might turn a believing husband off to prayer.

    There have been many times I have asked my husband to pray with me, where I didn’t pray and just let him pray. My hope was that he would feel more comfortable without me praying out loud, too. Then he wouldn’t have to worry about me praying too long or something. Plus, I tend to cry when I pray out loud – and I didn’t want to overwhelm him with my emotions. Not sure if that is similar to what your wife was thinking or not?

    1. April is encouraging wives to be content, rely on the Lord more than our husbands, and balance things out by giving a male perspective. Unfortunately, your wife will probably still long for you to pray together as a way of feeling close and the more grace and kindness you show to her when she doesn’t deserve it could have a big chance of softening your heart. If you want to, you could ask her to write down a list of her prayer requests, you could say prayers short, simple and sweet, “Change us Lord, help us to be humble, give us your grace and mercy, and send your holy spirit. Help us to remember to serve each other.”
      Saying to your wife, “You are a blessing to me!”, especially when she least deserves it will shock her and melt her heart. If it doesn’t, keep trying. Those are my suggestions. God bless you!

      1. Janis,
        True – that is my goal, to help wives extend grace and understanding to our husbands.

        And it is also true that most wives desire to pray with their husbands, or for their husbands to pray with them. The results on my poll said that 87% of the 300 wives who were surveyed would like their husbands to initiate prayer with them.

        Thanks for this encouragement for our dear brother!

  4. i have never desired for my husband to pray together because i enjoy my time alone with God and consider it very private. it has never bothered me that we each have our own time with God. i have always felt that was perfectly normal. but i am a person who is very shy about praying in front of others which is natural considering i am a shy person. i could understand that it might bother women who feel it is important. but i have never felt like it made my husband any less of a spirtual leader. he shares things with me that he has talked to God about and i do as well. i share things that i have asked for help from the Holy spirit. we just prefer to do it separately.

    1. Monica,
      I love this! I like how y’all are a team and share things but pray privately and both respect each other’s faith and prayer life. This is a beautiful way to work together, it seems to me. Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  5. I am actually quite glad my husband doesn’t want to pray out loud together. The few times we’ve done it it’s been painfully awkward. It’s such an intimate time with God. It’s really hard for me to pray with anyone else one on one.

    1. Stephanie,
      I think this is probably an issue for a lot of people. It is an area where I believe we can give grace and room for different preferences. Thank you very much for sharing.

  6. This is so good, and so important to remember to go to scripture for EVERYTHING. It is so easy for a wife to take something good like a husband praying or reading with her, and make it an idol or an expectation, when God doesn’t even command it!! Then we are looking to what We want not what God wants for our marriage!! Satan is so tricky and I personally feel he attacks woman first because we are more easily swayed by emotions or feeling or personal wants, we woman have to be on our guard at all times! Praying privately and for our husbands and families, and building our relationship with Christ first and foremost so the devil can’t get in and have a foothold.

    I am thankful for this post!! Great reminder for myself, and I have found myself in the pit of “my husband is not spiritual enough he doesn’t do this or that” 🙁 and it is a bad place to be!! I am so glad for blog posts like these to always remind me my eyes are to be pointed upwards towards Christ at ALL times !:)

    Praying for every sweet wife, husband and marriage today❤️

    1. Learning Wife,
      THANK YOU for praying for all the wives and husbands here and for their marriages! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

      I’m so thankful we can pray with each other here and that we have the privilege of private prayer. God is so very good!

      Yes, Satan knows our weaknesses and our tendencies – as well as our desire for emotional/spiritual connection with our husbands. As my mentor shared with me, “Your desire will be for your husband,” was part of the curse. And of course the enemy would love to use anything – even the issue of prayer or Bible study to create a big chasm in our marriages.

      My prayer is that we will focus our desire on Christ and find all of our needs met in Him alone!

      I’m so glad this post was a blessing to you, my beautiful sister!

  7. Ps I did want to add, that I do love praying out loud with my husband and other believers. I tried something not too long ago when my husband told me he was struggling with something and to pray for him, he didn’t say with him but I did “30 days of praying over my husband” .. and every morning before he got out of bed I prayed a quick prayer over him, for God to help keep him from temptation and to bless his day! He told me he loved it!! And he felt a difference in his days and it made him stronger. I almost wished he would have realized how great it made him feel and then do it for me!! But he didn’t and that’s ok:) I used to get so sad when my husband would leave for work in the morning, but now I get excited bc it means time alone with me and God!! 🙂 I am so so thankful for what He’s doing in my heart❤️ I have a long way to go but I love seeing and feeling the difference God is making in my heart regarding my marriage.

    1. Learning Wife,

      Love this! I like how you decided to pray over your husband when he asked you to pray for him. What a blessing that he shared how much it helped him. 🙂 Prayer – done with right motives and the power of God’s Spirit – is SO POWERFUL!

      I totally understand your excitement now to be alone – even though I definitely didn’t used to be excited about time alone. I feel the exact same way – I can’t wait to have my time with God!

      How I praise God for what He is so clearly doing in your heart, your husband’s heart, and your marriage! WOOHOO!

      1. Lol thank you April!!! Your words have greatly effected my marriage and myself and my walk with Christ. I do praise God for you and your life and your testimony! And how it’s blessed my life and my husbands life. (He has no idea everything I’ve learned from this blog) if so he’d probably want to give you a big hug!!☺️

        1. Learning Wife,

          I’m so thankful God has somehow blessed you through me. What an incredible honor and privilege. I can’t wait to hug both of your necks one day! Either here on this earth, or in heaven!

  8. I love how you did this blog! I am glad you didn’t just assume husbands and wives should pray together but looked for examples in scripture.

  9. The church I grew up in stressed very strongly that a good spiritual husband and/or father should study the Bible with his own family every week, for at least an hour, which was to be opened and closed with prayer. Although I no longer belong to that church, mainly because of all it’s man-made legalism, it’s funny how that idea still lingers. Thank you, April, for pointing out that nowhere in scripture does it say a husband MUST do this! My husband prays with me occasionally, usually when we are facing a great challenge, and before meals sometimes, but does not want to on a regular basis. Yes, I would LOVE it if we prayed more together, but I respect him very much and this doesn’t lessen that. Thank you for this very scriptural review of the topic, which helps put prayer in its proper perspective.

    1. Elizabeth,

      Yep. These suggestions or teachings in the church definitely do linger in our minds. And the thing is – having a family Bible study can absolutely be a wonderful thing – so can prayer together. But – it is interesting how we can take these good ideas and turn them into judgments and condemnation and accusation of sin if we are not careful. I think this falls into the area of personal convictions that we were talking about a few weeks ago.

      I’m glad that y’all do pray together at times. But I am also glad that you are able to respect him even when he does not pray with you. That will lead to a healthy marriage and spiritual life for you both, I believe. 🙂

  10. I absolutely LOVE this! My husband and I read it together and I apologized to him for setting up expectations for him that set him up for failure.
    Thank you so much for your wise words! 🙂

    1. Jenna,

      You are most welcome. I have had to apologize for my expectations to my husband a number of times, too. I’m really glad you did that. How neat to read this together. I pray your husband will feel more freedom in Christ to lead as he believes God desires him to. I pray that God might richly bless your walk with Christ and your husband’s as well. 🙂

  11. April, I commend you for doing such a great job tackling Biblically a very important topic such as this. Great job! Much appreciated!

    1. Eliza,

      Thank you for your encouragement. I know this post is going to challenge a lot of our preconceived ideas and expectations from our Christian culture – but perhaps it will help to usher in greater peace, harmony, and unity in our marriages and greater freedom for our husbands to lead as they believe God desires them to.

      Much love!

  12. That our desire shall be to our husbands, to control him, etc, began in the garden at the fall of Adam and Eve is kind of a “whoa” to me; it’s a reminder that it’s part of the sin that exists in all of us, despite all the pyschological explanations that abound. Certainly our particular life issues and experiences nuance the expression of that sin in various ways, but its still the same old thing.

    It’s a bit of a shock in a way to realize how many of our “sacred cows” in the church are man made or cultural Christianity.

    Here is my two cents worth in prayer:

    Lord Jesus,

    There is the sense these days that Your return is not far off and we want to be ready when You appear and be found “so doing” as You have commanded. Lord Jesus, I pray we would be made ready and able to stand, and that You would cause Your Spirit to move upon us, to remove idols and sin from our hearts and to bring about deep repentance and consecration. Purify our hearts Lord and cause us to be able to give up any unclean thing or hidden hurtful way that we have cherished all these years, to our hindrance and that of the gospel. Lord I am asking for revival that is genuine and real and that truly brings deep and lasting change and reality, so that others will see it and want to have what we have. For those of us who have committed sins that have offended others so that they do not believe the gospel, I ask Lord for your mercy, and humbling grace, that our witness would be restored. Lord Jesus, I ask also that You would continue to lead and guide April and to keep her safe from the enemy’s schemes.

    In Jesus name, Amen

    Thanks very much April for this reality testing post, very helpful 🙂

    1. Patricia,

      I really believe God inspired me to research Scripture this past week about this topic to see if I could find examples of married couples praying or husbands praying with their wives – it was surprising to me to realize that I couldn’t find this in the Bible. Not that we shouldn’t pray as married couples – but – yes, I would say this could easily be one of our “sacred cows” today in the church. I have never heard anyone question whether husbands should pray with their wives and whether that was even part of godly leadership. It was just an unquestioned expectation.

      THANK YOU for praying with me and with all of us about this issue. May God open wide the doors of freedom for us and our husbands to release us from manmade expectations and rules and to just serve God humbly, wholeheartedly, and joyfully as we extend grace, understanding, and acceptance to our husbands and others who have different preferences or convictions.

      Much love to you!

  13. I didn’t do the poll because my husband is not a Christian so it is a very sore point for me, as I can’t join in with this kind of discussion. So I doubt many wives like me did the poll anyway, so I would assume most of the respondents had Christian husbands.
    I find it amazing, reading these comments, on how many different ‘types’ of Christian marriage there are, and how none of them seem to be remotely like the ‘rosy ideal’ I have had in my head for years, of what I was missing out on!! So this has been helpful to me in reminding me not to make an idol out of my desire for my husband to get saved (and then we can have this perfect Christian marriage!) That said, I desperately want him saved and it is a source of great pain to me that he is not.

    Please pray for all the wives out there who don’t have Christian husbands. Our biggest struggle is not whether they are praying with us, but whether they will even be in heaven with us! 🙁 I don’t think many people realise how painful and difficult this is, to be ‘unequally yoked’ and not be able to share the most wonderful and important thing in your life (i.e. Jesus!) with them.

    I agree with April, personal time spent praying and in God’s word is more important than anything in our spiritual walk, and building our relationship with Jesus should be our greatest priority. I also look forward to my husband leaving for work each day, so I can have time with God! 🙂

    1. Sunshine,

      My heart just grieves with wives whose husbands are not believers. I cannot begin to imagine how heavy the spiritual weight must be at times – wondering when/if your husband will receive Christ. I pray that you and my other dear sisters in this situation might be able to lay all of that heavy weight on Jesus’ strong shoulders – because it is much too heavy to carry on your own shoulders.

      It is absolutely possible to make a godly marriage or a certain type of Christian marriage or a certain type of spiritual leadership into idols in our hearts. It’s also possible to make an idol out of wanting our husbands to be saved, as well (My Secret Idol).

      How I pray that we might all release our expectations and that we might fix our eyes on Christ alone, abiding in Him, fellowshipping with Him, and trusting Him to do the “heavy lifting” in our lives. I pray that you and our other sisters whose husbands are unbelievers might rest peacefully in God’s love and sovereignty and that His Spirit might flow freely from your lives to bless your husband and that you might find rest for your souls and the joy and peace of God that passes all understanding – even in the midst of the trial.

      I’m glad that this post was a blessing – and a reminder – that just because a husband is a believer doesn’t mean that he will do all of the things we as wives might want him to do. It’s interesting how many of the lessons we learn as believing wives – whether our husbands are believers or not – are so very similar.

      Much love to you!

    2. At this point in the day, so far 85% of the wives’ husbands who answered the poll are believers, 8% are not believers, and 7% of wives are not sure if their husbands are believers or not. I will update this in the next day or two.

  14. This post, which was very helpful by the way, made me think of another issue that I’ve dealt with…. having the expectation of spending quality time together with my husband (preferably) initiating that. That expectation was very painful and cost me dearly….. until I started thinking about it logically- as you and I discussed before….

    While there are husbands that DO initiate quality time (and that’s wonderful), many don’t. When I look around me at my circle of sisters, cousins, friends, etc., most of them do not have a husband that initiates time together. They’re usually willing participants, like my husband, but they aren’t great at getting the ball rolling.

    Also… this post made me think… are there any bible verses about “A husband shall spend quality time and have date nights with his wife”? Not that I know of- right off the top of my head. Of course I haven’t dug in and researched it but I don’t recall any bible verses along those lines. There are bible verses commanding husbands to love their wives, be sacrificial, etc but not to specifically have dates or quality time. (none that come to my mind, anyways).

    Therefore… in light of that, it’s another spin on this topic. This expectation may not even be based upon biblical counsel.

    Time together is a good thing! We know that date nights are fun. 🙂 But the expectation of expecting your husband to take the initiative to plan wonderful dates is unrealistic, at least for a lot of wives.

    Anyways, just another way my thoughts took me after reading this. It’s a really good thing to adjust your expectations where you can! It gives you greater happiness and contentment.

    1. A Fellow Wife,

      Great point! There are a lot of things in marriage that the Bible just doesn’t specifically address. And there are lots of areas where we can give grace when we have different ways of looking at things. I think we have to be really careful with our expectations. I know I do!! 🙂

      Love this! Thank you for sharing!

  15. Hello April!

    I asked the question on another post about why Christian husbands do not pray for their wives. I so enjoyed the poll and the post. Thank you for exploring this topic!

    I would like your input on something. When I read the results of the question:

    •If your husband doesn’t pray with you, are you able to be content in Christ alone?

    Often = 37% Always = 31% Sometimes = 23% Rarely = 4% Other = 3% Never = 2%

    The percentages of the women who answered often or always, a combined 68%, communicated to me that, though this desire for martial prayer wasn’t being fulfilled in the way the wives would prescribe, the majority of those who took the poll weren’t cherishing sin in their hearts over it ( Spiritual Pride, or “cherishing bitterness, a critical spirit, contempt, hatred, and/or resentment in our hearts or allowing disrespect to fester against our husbands in our hearts” and so on.)

    Perhaps, I’m wrong? I would love your response. I greatly value your wisdom and look forward to understanding more on this topic.



    1. Autumn,

      I was really pleasantly surprised about how many wives said they were able to be content without their husbands praying with them. We have had some discussions about this on my blog in the past. I don’t know if that is why the numbers are so high, if it is somewhat of a personality thing (some women maybe prefer to pray alone), or if God has simply been doing amazing work in these wives’ hearts. But I was thrilled to see those results.

      The reason I bring up bitterness and resentment is for those wives who are struggling to be content – and because I know this struggle personally and how easily bitterness can take over when we believe we have the right to specific expectations. Even though there were 31% of 300 wives who said that they are always content – that means there is a majority of wives (69%) who do struggle with discontentment over this issue at least sometimes if not daily.

      Also, there will probably eventually be thousands (possibly even tens of thousands – if it is like some of my posts) of women who will read this post who didn’t participate in the survey, but who will google something about wanting their husbands to pray with them because they are upset that their husbands don’t pray with them. My guess would be that the number of women who are discontent over this issue in the church-going population at large would likely be higher than the results on my survey. The women who read this blog tend to be very committed to Christ.

      Bitterness is so very toxic. I want to address it – even if it was a very small percentage of the women who needed to talk about it – so that those who are holding onto it might recognize it, repent from it, and find healing and freedom in Christ. I don’t want to see this issue continue to be a stumbling block for even one of my sisters. Extreme bitterness over this (or any issue) can quite literally destroy a marriage.

      Much love to you!

      1. Autumn,

        Oh! PS:

        The reason I decided to write this post was because I heard from so many wives just last week who were really upset about their husbands not praying with them. That is what prompted me to begin to study in Scripture to see what I could find about the topic.

  16. I have been married 22 years this year, and became a Christian after 10 yrs of marriage, if that’s what you are asking. So I didn’t choose to be unequally yoked!

    I was convinced my husband would soon ‘see sense’ and become a believer instantly, but it didn’t happen….
    ….and since then I’ve had times of despair, times of hope, times when I blamed myself (bad witness, etc!) and times when I’ve blamed him (stubborn, apathetic, disinterested!)
    I’ve also done things like praying every day during Lent with the children, (while he was out) and fasting, and praying over him at night while he is asleep. (which I still do quite often)

    Now I have given it all to God, only in the last six months, and am trusting Him for my husband’s salvation. And I am working on being a respectful 1Peter3 wife, hopeful of one day “winning him without words”.
    I have also managed to let go of my resentment towards him for not believing, because I have realised that it is God’s job to draw my husband to Himself, as Jesus said in John 6:44, so I just have to trust and wait!

    Thank you April for your kind words, encouragement, and prayers for our non Christian husbands.

  17. April,

    I had a christian boyfriend in my early 20’s who loved the Lord very deeply. He was a great guy. He was very talkative though, and that wore me out. I didn’t understand temperment differences, and he probably didn’t either. I recharge when I’m quiet or alone. He was energized by interacting a lot.

    He questioned my love for God because I didn’t always want to pray outloud together. Sometimes in general, I just wished he didn’t talk so much because he tired me so.

    I wonder if some men just don’t feel the need to pray outloud because they don’t have a need to vocalize like a lot of women.

    I can tell you it doesn’t feel good to be questioned about how dear the Lord is to you based on this issue.

    1. Julie,

      I really value your perspective here. I do think there is a difference in personalities and temperaments that comes into play. I think extroverts probably prefer praying out loud or enjoy praying in groups – and I would imagine that more introverted personalities would prefer private prayer. I think your observations may be really helpful for many wives.

      Thank you very much, my sweet sister!

      1. April,

        Thank you for this post, as I agree it’s an important topic. I appreciate the time you put into praying, studying the scriptures, blogging, and then the time consuming commenting afterwards. I’m so thankful for you. The Lord regularly uses you and other who comment to humble and encourage me here.

        1. Julie,

          You are most welcome. God has laid this topic very heavily on my heart in recent weeks. I am amazed to see what He is doing – I sure didn’t see it going in this direction. I’m excited to see if we can learn more about how our brothers in Christ pray and how they think. I believe that as we understand their masculinity and their perspective better – we will have much more grace to offer to them – and the Body of Christ as well as our marriages will greatly benefit.

          Thank you for praying for God to accomplish His work here. I’m so thankful that God uses this blog and the community of believers here to bless you. 🙂

          1. It’s always my joy to pray for you and your ministry. You have a special place in my heart, as well as the ladies God leads here.

  18. Woohoo, Sister! I know that will be such a weight off of you, your husband, and your marriage.

    My prayer is that God might take both of you MUCH deeper with Himself and continue to conform each of you to the image of Christ. I believe you will find so much freedom as you depend fully on Christ rather than your husband. I pray that He might also cause you each to have a much more vibrant and rich private prayer life and that you both might know Him more and more! 🙂

  19. Some other thoughts, as apparently I’m talkative this morning…..

    For the women whose husbands don’t pray with them and they wished they did, or whose husbands are unbelievers, I see that as a tremendous opportunity and God appointment to learn firsthand, the sufficiency of Christ. Rejoice and be thankful for God’s purposes through the pain and pray you not waste it.

    Disappointment can be seen as a call to greater personal prayer too, using the disappointment as a reminder to pray for our husbands’ needs instead of focusing on what we wish we had. We already have everything we need for life and godliness.

    1. Julie,

      You have shared some really powerful concepts in these last few comments – would you consider allowing me to use any of them anonymously in the post Thursday?

      Much love to you, my dear friend!

          1. You’re welcome and feel free to correct spelling, grammar, etc….as in, out loud vs, outloud….; )

  20. So far, with 100 women responding, 81% said their husbands are Christians, 10% said their husbands are not Christians and 10% were unsure about their husbands’ salvation.

  21. April this is a little random, but this post got me to thinking about the topic of church. Have you ever studied what “church” meant in Biblical times vs. what it means today? For instance, we can feel guilt if we don’t go to church enough, but what does the Bible really say about going to church once a week (or more for some denominations)? We’ve placed unbiblical standards on prayer in marriage and I’m wondering if we’ve placed unbiblical standards on attending a church service on an at least weekly basis? I personally absolutely love to go to church. It does something supernatural in me to be around the family of Christ. But I know women whose husbands don’t go on a regular basis, and maybe we don’t need to get so upset about it?

    1. B,

      I don’t think that is off topic at all. 🙂
      My understanding is that most New Testament believers met in house churches. Some met every day. Some met on Sundays. I don’t know that there was a standard meeting schedule for all of the various churches. I am pretty sure that we have added a lot of things to Scripture in many areas – and we need to be careful with that. Not that it is wrong to do things a certain way – but I think it is important to be mindful about the difference between commands of God and manmade ideas – as well as to remember the difference between biblical principles and preferences or personal convictions.

      There are probably a lot of things we wives don’t need to get so upset about – that is my suspicion, my friend!

  22. Married when I was 19, I’m now almost 43 and was saved 14 years ago (so saved about 10 years after I was married, too – similar to Sunshine).

  23. A thought I had last week regarding praying together is that, since we are one flesh with our spouse, we can feel confident that as we pray alone, God hears our prayers in reference to that reality? As a believer with an unbelieving spouse, God says that my spouse is sanctified and my children because of my belief. I can’t say that I fully understand this spiritual mystery, but I claim it by faith and thought that this might comfort or encourage some of those who are praying alone – the idea that they are one flesh with their spouse and are representative of their spouse, too, in prayer.

    Not articulating myself very clearly here. Maybe someone else will be able to add to this. And, if someone already mentioned this previously, I’m sorry! I haven’t read all comments. 🙂

    1. Jennifer,
      I think you are articulating this thought very well. It’s easy to feel like we are “missing out” if our husbands don’t pray with us or don’t have faith or are struggling spiritually or are unsaved – but if we have Christ – His power is flowing through our marriage. And His power is flowing in our husbands’ lives as we pray for them. He loves them dearly. These are men for whom Christ died and men He desires to come to Himself. How amazing that God allows us to be His partners to accomplish His purposes in our marriages.

      Much love to you!

    2. Hey Jennifer!
      Thanks for this, I had honestly never thought of my praying alone in these terms before, but it does make sense, now that I think about it!

      Also, someone once told me that that verse about our spouses being ‘sanctified’ can actually mean ‘set apart for special purposes’ so I have always felt and believed that my husband is blessed by God JUST BECAUSE I am following Christ, even if he doesn’t know it! i.e. perhaps God is giving extra attention to our spouses, for our sakes? Is it wrong to believe that? I hope not! 🙂

      Much love

      1. Sunshine,

        Your husband should be greatly blessed by being in your company and by experiencing your godly, Spirit-filled example. Your influence in the home and marriage are a powerful tool God may use to draw your husband to Himself. And your prayers are powerful, too. I pray along with you for your husband’s salvation. We know that is God’s will!

        1. Thanks April for your constant faithful support and prayers for all of us.
          Sorry my other comment below got split up from this one, so it doesn’t make sense now! I’m not very good at this blogging business haha! 🙂
          God bless you and your family x

  24. Beautiful post and wonderful insight! I love the scripture you shared on prayer. Thanks April, for taking time to do this research and helping women know the most important thing is praying alone. It’s the only way Jesus commands us to pray (Matthew 6:6) and Jesus got up early to pray and begin His day. There are other verses on prayer, yet I don’t know of any verses that command a husband and wife to pray together. I’m wondering if it would be okay to share my personal testimony on here, yet I’m afraid it may be long. So I’m just praying Christ shines through me, and that He is glorified.

    When I was single and in my mid twenties, I began to believe major lies of the enemy~ I was super insecure about the way I looked, and I believed lies of lust. When I was either 25 or 26 I disobeyed God and got breast implants. The lies of lust and sexual sin made me believe even more lies. My sin and disobedience led others to sin and disobedience. A year later, I was so sad and missed God so much. I began to get up early and pray and read the Bible and began to desire God more than anything. He guided me to remove my breast implants and I was glad to, as I was so repulsed by lust and began to love true beauty and purity.

    After obeying the Lord, by dressing modest, and being filled with Him, and not allowing lustful thoughts to enter my mind, I began to pray that if the Lord had a plan for me to marry that him and I would make love the way it was intended from the beginning. The Lord said that is only possible when you are free from all hints of lust. So, I don’t remember if I ever prayed for a spouse, yet because of my past with lust and wanting nothing to do with lust, I prayed things like “God heal me and my future husband from all lies of lust and all lies about body image”.

    I met my future husband when I was 30, and we married when I was 31. It was really important to him that we pray every day, and especially pray that God protects our marriage. So, it’s been over 8 years of marriage and I don’t think we’ve missed a day of praying together. Yet, I learned something after being married a few months. I still need my time with the Lord every single day. He is the One I cannot live without. My deepest prayer time, the kind when I sometimes weep and I’m on my face and knees is when I’m alone with Him. That is what fills me. His Word fills up my soul, His Holy Spirit speaks so tenderly to my heart and satisfies me. For those who want to pray powerful prayers for their husbands I would recommend praying Scripture-based prayers daily. You can do this straight from the Bible, and/or use a book, I pray Scripture-based prayers out of Stormie Omartian’s books daily~ “Prayer Warrior” and “The Power of a Praying Wife”.

    One of my dear friends/mentors is an author of Christian books and her husband has been a pastor for many years, yet her and her husband do not pray together on a regular basis. She speaks about this in her books and she is so satisfied with the Lord alone. God hears the cries of our hearts, and no good thing will He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Psalm 84:11). May the Lord bless this “Peaceful Wife” ministry that is helping me and so many other people.

  25. By ‘extra attention’ I mean that God is perhaps watching over them, bringing them extra chances to hear His word, perhaps meet other Christians, etc etc. I don’t mean blessing them materially or anything like that

  26. Eliza,

    Yes, there are many women here whom God is changing! Quite a few share what God is doing in their lives. Many more never comment – but I can’t wait to hear their stories one day in heaven! I’m so beyond thankful for the work of God’s Spirit here among us. To Jesus Christ be all the glory, praise, and honor! 🙂

  27. Reblogged this on Peaceful Single Girl and commented:

    What God showed me in the past week about this topic is something SO significant that I believe all of my single sisters need to see it, too. If you desire to be married at some point in the future, this is a must read!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: