Why I Don't Pray For My Son's Future Spouse

I stopped Praying For My Son’s Future Spouse

I used to pray for my son’s future wife, but I don’t anymore. I stopped when I realized something - I have no idea if he will ever get married.

I don’t pray for his future college or his future career as a doctor because I don’t know or care whether he goes to college. I don’t know or care what he will do for work.  

And I don’t know or care whether he gets married.

In my five years of being intentionally single and navigating American church culture, I have learned my desire to be single gives me an “oddball” label in the culture. Scripture encourages singleness, but Christians tend to look at me sideways.

I have been pitied, frowned upon, and disbelieved. I have had people go to my friends to see if they could uncover the mystery – is she really single on purpose? Is she really happy? Apparently, it’s baffling.

The curiosities don’t come from scripture, or from a Kingdom perspective, because scripture explains the joy of being single and having more headspace to devote to God (1 Corinthians 7).
So, why the questions? 

I think they stem from 1000 little things we do as a culture. I think the ways we talk about marriage (good, defend it, support it) and the ways we talk about singleness (sad, just a season, fix it) send people into a funnel toward marriage.  

Maybe most people would choose marriage anyway, but I bet a lot more would choose singleness if it was presented as a viable choice – a good choice – rather than the pathetic lot of those not lucky enough to find a mate. 

I have one life and I don’t know how long it will last, but I know I’ll look back and it will have been like a breath. Right now, I don’t want to fill any of that breath with a marriage.

I have the great joy of observing my friends’ marriages and it’s cool to see how they partner together through life. But it is also hard, it is work, it takes time and energy. As of today, I don’t want to spend my life and energy on that particular work. 
It is good to be single.  

This is what I teach my son. Marriage is good. Singleness is good. And he has a choice. 

So I don’t pray for a particular person who will someday, maybe, be his spouse if he someday, maybe, chooses to marry. 

Instead, I pray he has great relationships with peers and mentors and disciples, because he will need these to live a fulfilled life. I pray he learns God’s voice because he will need this to live a fulfilled life. I pray he knows the joy of giving everything to God and following Him no matter the cost, because this he will do to live a fulfilled life.

And he’ll know it is possible to live a fulfilled life without a spouse because he’s been watching me do it. 

**Praying for your child’s spouse is sweet and loving and, especially in our generation, your child IS likely to have a spouse. This is what I do because it is reflective of what I value most. This writing is not meant to be a criticism of the practice, but an invitation to examine the purpose. You do you, moms and dads.**