Boys on the side

I’ve been praying for the boys. All sorts of boys I don’t even know, from six to sixteen to twenty-six. This strategy is new, a fresh twist in my prayer life for good reason: The girls need back-up.

For years they’ve come, young women who struggle with boys. They’ve cried over finding one, trusting one, keeping one, leaving one. There have been worries, jealousies, regrets, insecurities. And so we, the girls and I, spend hours discussing the Father’s plan. His perspective. Then later, when frantic texts reveal a new boy crisis, my varied prayers sound something like this:

1)    “God, please help her see this guy’s true colors. He manipulates her, Father, and she puts up with it over and over….Let her find worth in You. Give her the strength to walk away, once and for all.”

2)    “Father, your timing is perfect. Being single for now is a blessing, a sweet season to fall in love with You. Help her cling to You and realize You are all she needs. Give her peace and purpose in being alone.”

3)    “Your way, Lord, offers protection from guilt and consequences. She’s in this mess for one reason, choosing the wrong road. The wrong boy. Give her hope for a new path, one that brings forgiveness and joy.”

On and on they go, prayers on behalf of these girls. They need all they can get; it’s a modern-day disaster in boyland: If only more daddies stuck around, showing daughters love and acceptance. If only songs and billboards weren’t so sexual. If only reality shows were, well, real. If only more guys were spiritual leaders, following Biblical truth. If only….

And so it’s a new day, a new focus: I’m praying for the boys, these soon-to-be men who will either stand for the LORD or choose rebellion. I’m asking for dads who’ll model God’s view of manhood, one that includes hard work, humility and respect.  I’m begging for more young men who desire God over impulse or selfishness. And for girls to appreciate boys who already do.

Until then, though, until these masses of boys become men—men of Holy God—then girls who are the settling kind will settle. And girls who aren’t will be alone. Seems like a lose/lose for women, doesn’t it? Everything they want rests on the boy. Or does it?

If you’re a young woman, please hear me: Happiness is not in whom you do or don’t date. Only one relationship status matters, and that’s the one with your God. Learn to trust Him, those big, strong arms of protection. Learn to hear Him, those loving whispers in the quiet. And learn to love Him, the one who’d die for you (In fact, He already did).

Jesus as the main thing. The satisfying Savior. That’s my prayer of the moment for every boy and girl, man and woman. I’m asking for passionate focus to honor God and serve others. And for the girls, I’m praying for hearts that beat with His, love with His, laugh with His: Confident young women as beautiful brides of Christ.


“Your maker is your husband—the LORD Almighty is His name—The Holy One of Israel is your redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth….

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 54:5, 10


5 thoughts on “Boys on the side

  1. Stacey says:

    Ava! I am joining you in praying for young boys on up to adult men! The Lord put it on my heart some months ago to begin praying for pure eyes for the men (husband and son) in my family. Great word today!

  2. Diane Banks says:

    I love it Ava….With boys all around me in my house and having 5 grandsons has made me stay in prayer for years. One day they will become a husband to a girl that I want to be a Godly woman too. Today, these kids have so much put in front of them that can make or break who and what they will become. Prayer is needed for all these kids…. Then we have Queen Bee granddaughter, and I surely pray for her to find a Godly man and be a Godly woman. We have watched her over the years stay in God’s word and stand for Him. See how lucky I am …. I get to pray for male and female partners for their later years.
    To have the boyfriend/girlfriend is so very important to teens…

  3. Lindsey says:

    Thank you so much for these words! As a single girl in my mid-twenties that spends lots of my time mentoring high school and college aged girls, I can relate to this on so many levels. This past week, on three different occasions, I had girls sitting in my living room crying over a guy. It continues to break my heart. I love the idea to proactively pray for the guys and it’s something that I will definitely incorporate the next time I have a crying girl…so, probably sometime this week!

  4. leigh says:

    if it’s true that God is no respecter of persons, maybe He sees everyone as the color yellow.
    not blue. not pink. yellow.
    meaning… his heart breaks evenly. his loves pours exactly. i would venture to say that his sacrifice was genderless: not reflective of the experiences, prejudices, or orientations of one sex more than the other
    my love could never see my daughter more gorgeous than my son and that’s just me. uneven me…

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