Monday, November 21, 2011

Praying for My Friends' Boyfriends

I was running through my usual prayer intentions recently when I noticed a funny pattern.

"God please bless Mom, Dad, [insert my six siblings' names], [insert my cousins' names], all my friends... Please especially bless Colleen's boyfriend, because he's been sick... Please especially bless Serena's boyfriend, because he's been having a hard time with school and is getting really tuckered out... Please bless Natalia's boyfriend, since his sister has passed away... Please help Anna's boyfriend to find a job..."

That's funny, I thought. Since when did I spend so much time praying for my friends' boyfriends?

I don't know how it started, that my girl friends began asking me to pray for their menfolk, but I'm glad it has.

When you're single, it can be easy to create in your head a romantic and totally unrealistic ideal of The Boyfriend. The magical person who will ride in on his white horse and solve all your problems. He will be a superhero who never does anything wrong. Right?

His hair will look like that too.
If I ever date again, of course my boyfriend will be my superhero. I mean, I'll definitely treat  him like one. But I also know that he won't be perfect. No matter how much I love him, we will get into fights. No matter how wonderful he is, he will go through rough times.

And so praying for my friends' boyfriends is a helpful little reminder that boyfriends get sick. That boyfriends suffer. That boyfriends struggle with work and school. That boyfriends aren't perfect, but are fallible human beings too. That a boyfriend isn't going to solve all your problems, and that instead, you and he will have to work very hard together to create the kind of life you want. And that, in all honesty, you will have to save the day and be there for him... just as often as he will save the day for you.

I know that I will pray for him after I meet him even more than I pray for him now. And some day when the chips are down and he's reached his hour of greatest need, I'll probably ask my girl friends to pray for him too. Because I know, based on my own experience, that they will be happy to.

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