We’re back with guest Francis Chan who joins us from San Francisco. Francis and his wife, Lisa, wrote a new book, You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity. Francis, you have five daughters, so one day you’ll be dealing with suitors at the door, if not already. There seems to be a shortage of godly young men for a variety of reasons that probably include porn use and video game addictions. On the Ask Pastor John podcast, we get a steady stream of emails from young women who want to know: What should I expect to see in a young Christian man to signal that he’s ready for marriage? How would you answer them?
My daughter brought home a guy a few months ago from college, and some of my friends asked her, “How serious are you with him?” And they told me her answer was so weird. They said that her answer was: “I just want to hang out with him long enough to see if God answers his prayers.” I mean, that is a weird answer, but in her mind that was her gauge.
She lives with a dad, she spent these eighteen years with a dad who prays to God, and she would see how her dad knows God. God answers him when he prays. And so now that she is with this guy she wants to know: Do you really know God? Is it a true relationship with him?
Because growing up she would see that sometimes God would answer a prayer, and I would point it out to her. I remember times I would sit her and her sister down and say, “Look, you guys, you see the way God answers Mom and Dad’s prayers. And when it comes time for you to get married, that is why I want you so badly to just be with a guy who knows and loves Jesus, because if you don’t, you are forfeiting all of this.”
And so in her mind, it is really about this relationship, and I guess her answer tells me that she feels you can tell a lot about a person by how he prays and whether or not God listens.
Truly Known by Him
Because prayer is conditional. We see in Scripture God often hates our prayers and says, “I am not listening to that. It is a bunch of noise to me,” if there is doubting, or selfishness, or unrepentance, insincerity, or a lack of reverence. God wants to hear the prayers of those who love him and know him and are walking with him.
And so for my kids, I think that is the picture. I don’t want to get too much into specific actions, because that can be almost religious. It is more: Does this guy really know him? Does he really love Jesus? Is he truly known by him to where that prayer life is so deep and rich?