Pastor and Crazy Love author Francis Chan answered the question of what makes a boyfriend ready for marriage on John Piper's Ask Pastor John podcast by recalling a time when his older daughter brought a guy home.
He recounted, "My daughter did bring home a guy a few months ago from college and some of my friends asked her, they said 'hey how serious are you with him' and they told me her answer was so weird. They said her answer was 'I just want to hang out with him long enough to see if God answers his prayers.' That's a weird answer but in her mind that was her gauge."
The California preacher went on to describe how in his home, answered prayer is the measure of strong relationship with God.
"Growing up she would see sometimes God would answer her prayer and I'd point it out to her and I remember times I would sit her and … my second oldest down and I'd go, 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's why I want you so badly to just be with a guy who loves Jesus because if you don't you're forfeiting all of this."
Now that she is meeting potential suitors, Chan said his daughter is using prayer as an indicator of faith. He said, "She's spent these 18 years with a dad who prays to God and she would see man, my dad knows God; He answers him when he prays and so now when she's with these guys she wants to know, OK do you really know God, do you really know Him, is it a true relationship with Him."
Prayer, Chan explained, is a good measure of a person's spiritual growth because "prayer is conditional." He continued, "We see in Scripture God often hates our prayers. He says I'm not listening to that; it's a bunch of noise to me. You know, if there's doubting or selfishness or unrepentance, insincerity, it's a lack of reverence."
However, Chan said, "God wants to hear the prayers of those who love Him, know Him, are walking with Him." Additionally, Bible passages such as John 15:7 show that God also answers the prayers of those who faithful to Him.
Chan was featured in this and three other episodes of the Ask Pastor John podcast to discuss You and Me Forever, a new book about marriage and family co-written with wife Lisa. In it, the couple encourages Christian husbands and wives to approach marriage and parenting with eternity in mind.
"The whole idea behind it is sometimes couples can get so wrapped up on things here to where they're not focused on the kingdom," Chan expresses in the trailer.
In a previous episode, Chan told podcast listeners his primary parenting goal is to ensure his six children love God before they leave home and said prayer is an essential part of that aim as well.
Outside of prayer, Chan refrained from issuing any other signs of a man's marriage readiness. "I don't want to get too much into specific actions – that can be almost religious. It's more gosh does this guy, does he really know Him, does he really love Jesus and is he truly known by Him to where that prayer life is so deep and rich."