Praying for a Child’s Future Spouse, and Why I Don’t Do It

By Veronica

Among my friends, it is common for parents to pray for the future spouses of their children. Even when a child is a baby, mom or dad may pray for that baby’s future husband and wife. They pray that the future spouse will make good choices in life, that they will be prepared to be a good husband or wife. I am sure that some of you do this. It can be a very moving thing, not only as a way to spiritually support this unknown stranger, but also as a way to prepare oneself to welcome the prospective spouse into the family when you meet him or her.

But I don’t do it. The idea of it troubles me. It troubles me because I do not want to confuse my dreams for my children with God’s plan for them.

Not everyone gets to be married, no matter how much they want to. Not everyone gets to stay married, no matter how much they want to. And sometimes people never want to get married, or even shouldn’t.

I love my husband, and I still think (and he will tell you) that marrying him is the smartest thing I ever did. But that does not mean that my daughters will walk the same path I have. I am troubled by the practice of praying for my daughters’ future husbands because it seems to be assuming something I should not assume.

One of the dangers for Christian parents like myself, parents who believe that God is personally active in human life, is that we can confuse our hopes for our children with God’s calling. Distinguishing between the two is crucially important both for our ability to relate to our children as adults, and for our own spiritual lives. If we cherish too hard specific dreams for our children’s future, it starts to sound like we are dictating terms to God.

I pray for my children’s character. I pray for their futures. I pray that they will triumph over the hard challenges of life. But as part of my own spiritual practice of parenthood, I don’t pray for their spouses.

I will do that if or when they have them.

You can find Veronica blogging at Toddled Dredge.

27 Responses to Praying for a Child’s Future Spouse, and Why I Don’t Do It
  1. Tonggu Momma
    April 21, 2009 | 7:32 am

    Wise, wise words Veronica.

  2. Stephanie
    April 21, 2009 | 7:36 am

    Wow. I love this perspective and I think I am right there with you. And have people around me that do this, and I just don’t know how to respond (so I don’t.) Thank you for saying it.


  3. Julia
    April 21, 2009 | 9:18 am

    This is such a great thought. The church often treats/views single people less than ideally and I think a lot of us (me included) need a more godly attitude toward marriage and singleness, especially regarding our children.

  4. bea
    April 21, 2009 | 9:25 am

    I was just thinking about this the other day. I too find the practice moving, mostly in terms of the preparation of the parents to accept and love that person when/if he/she comes along. But I don’t do it, either, though I think may reasons may be the opposite of yours. Mostly it seems a bit too deterministic to me. It seems to make our lives more a matter of guessing the right answer than making wise choices.

  5. Cyndi
    April 21, 2009 | 10:02 am

    You make a good point. I haven’t really looked at it that way before. I do this, but not often. I think I will be more mindful of God’s will in their lives from now on.

  6. Sarah at themommylogues
    April 21, 2009 | 10:57 am

    I think this is an important point. Marriage is not in the plan for everyone, and I don’t want to push it on my kids. On the other hand, when I got engaged to my husband his Godmother embraced me and whispered “I’ve been praying for you since he was born.” And I have to say that notion still gets me misty. So I think I will pray for my children’s futures, that they will lean on God and follow his will, and that God will put special people in their paths at the right times (whether that is a friend, a roommate, a mentor, a spouse, etc).

  7. Hannah
    April 21, 2009 | 10:02 pm

    That’s a really interesting and well-thought-out perspective, Veronica, which I really appreciate. I haven’t made much of a practice of praying for my children’s future spouses, since I’m just trying to be faithful to pray for them! You make an excellent point about not presuming we know God’s plan for the particulars of their lives …

  8. Kelly
    April 21, 2009 | 11:02 pm


    I’m always a bit taken aback when someone expresses such predetermined prayers for their children. It’s the same as praying for safety. It seems wiser to me to ask for safety but pray for God’s omniscient and loving will.

  9. easy child parenting
    April 26, 2009 | 5:18 am

    Before we conclude that Praying for a child’s future spouse is out place,let’s first look at these:1.What is Prayer?
    2.Why do we Pray?
    3.Why do the Parents who Parents who pray,pray?

    I am neither a Priest or a reverend gentleman but I will say that I am a christian in the real word of it.

    Prayer can be said to be the process or an act of asking favor from someone or a being.

    We as Christians pray to God through Jesus Christ for favors,protection and that His will supply us our daily need.

    However the scripture and even the Jewish traditional setting views the Parent as the custodian of their child.

    Laying upon them the great task of raising that child and bringing them up in the way of the lord which the Parents is to held accountable to on the day of reckoning.

    Its true that everyone is not meant to be married but the scripture,the scripture upheld that.

    However that same scripture also said that fornication and adultery is a grievous offense against the eternal majesty,God and that if you can’t keep yourself single and holy for God alone,you’d better get married.

    So I don’t think that Parents who do Pray that their child is doing something out of order.They are doing their work as sanctioned by God.

  10. Yamile
    April 27, 2009 | 12:28 am

    I don’t actively pray for my kids’ future spouses, but sometimes, when I learn about an abused/neglected/disturbed kid, I pray that my children’s future spouse (if there’s one in the future for them) may have a happy childhood. My youngest brother, cherished and loved by anyone and everyone who meets him, is married to a girl with serious issues, and it breaks my heart to see my brother and his kids suffer. I just hope that my kids, who are so loved, may find someone who will love and take care of them too.

  11. Beck
    April 27, 2009 | 8:36 pm

    My eyebrows are up in my hairline at the idea of praying for a future spouse. Reaaaaally? The closest I’ve come to that is to be bemused when a little friend of my son’s announced to him that God had picked him out to be her future husband.
    “MOM!” he said to me, v. horrified. “Is there anything I can do about this?”.

  12. […] for my own mother, here are links to my last two 5MFP posts: Praying For a Child’s Future Spouse, and Why I Don’t Do It and The Moment I Became Mommy. digg_skin = ‘compact’; digg_window = […]

  13. Emmanuel
    May 26, 2009 | 6:33 am


    There is no harm in Praying for them . If your child becomes a Eunuch it`s still OK. In the beginning He created them Male and Female and Blessed them. It is then a normal thing for the majority to get into marriage. The best thing may be to ask the Lord about your Child`s future like the wise Parents who asked , ” What manner of man will He be ????

  14. prayerwarrior
    August 23, 2009 | 4:39 am

    Praying For The Children, & There Family. that Live On Same Road where I Live. For there Salvation In The Name Of Jesus Christ. I Pray God Will Bless There Health, Home, School, Work, Healing Blessing. In The name Of Jesus Christ, i Pray God Put Joy, Love Peace & Forgiveness in There Heart, In The Name Of Jesus christ. I Pray They Stay in School to, In The Name of Jesus Christ. & Pray For President Barack Obama. Pray Gor The Jews & USA.

    In God We Trusts

    But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” 1 Peter 4:7

    Pray For bipolar For Healing In The Name Of Jesus Christ
    I Pray For All Family Have a financial Healing In The name of jesus Christ

    Pray For teens, depression sadness, youth teenagers, girls , boys… Prayer of Children for their Parents . Pray For neighbors, & Childrens parents
    1Pe 4:16 Yet if [any man suffer] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God
    Pray for Africa In The name of Jesus Christ
    Prays for President Obama and Wife, & Children’s and his new administration. Your efforts will work powerfully in our nation.
    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, I Pray For Peace For USA. God Bless Jerusalem, God Bless USA. In The Name Of Jesus Christ I Pray. Pray for neighbors,& teens, IN GOD WE TRUST
    FATHER GOD SEND REVIVAL, AND LET IT START WITH ME” Pray For Our Youth & Young Adults.In The Name Of Jesus Christ
    A family that prays together stays together.

    Please Pray for Street Bullies In The Name Of Jesus Christ & Pray For Schools
    Pray For The Family Live Be side me & Around me. Bless There Home & Work & Shool. Bless There health to, & The One’s who do not know Jesus As There Saver Salvation will Get Saved In The Blood Of Jesus.

    Prayer of a Mother whose children are no longer at home. In The Name Of Jesus Christ

    I’M PAYING FOR YOU AND OTHER PEOPLE AROUND ME Prayer for families is the very foundation that keeps a family unit together. Have you heard the phrase “A family that prays together stays together”? The concept is true – a family that has their focus on praying to the Lord Jesus Christ has a foundation that may be shaken at times, but it will withstand all that comes against them.
    I Pray for In The Name Of Jesus Christ, For ¦Overcoming Anxiety, Worry and Tension
    ¦Bitterness and Resentment
    Pray For In The name Of jesus Christ…. •Frequent sadness, or crying
    •Decreased interest in activities
    •Persistent boredom; low energy
    •Social isolation
    •Low self-esteem and guilt
    •Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
    •Increased irritability, anger, or hostility
    •Frequent absences from school or poor performance in school
    •Poor concentration
    •A major change in eating and/or sleeping patterns
    •Talk of, or efforts to run away from home

    “There can be miracles when you believe…For with God nothing shall be impossible” Luke 1:37

    Dismiss all anxiety from your minds. Present your needs to God in every form of prayer and in petitions full of gratitude. Then God’s own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7


    If My People, Which Are Called by My Name, Shall Humble Themselves
    Then Will I Hear From Heaven

    Leviticus 26:40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
    41 And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
    42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.

    Prayers for Justice and Peace

    I Pray for In The Name Of Jesus Christ

  15. prayerwarrior
    September 17, 2009 | 5:26 am

    In God We Trusts.

    Praying For The Children, & There Family. that Live On Same Road where I Live. For there Salvation In The Name Of Jesus Christ. I Pray God Will Bless There Health, Home, School, Work, Healing Blessing. In The name Of Jesus Christ, i Pray God Put Joy, Love Peace & Forgiveness in There Heart, In The Name Of Jesus christ. I Pray They Stay in School to, In The Name of Jesus Christ. & Pray For President Barack Obama. Pray Gor The Jews & USA. In The Name Of Jesus Christ I Pray
    Father we trust you to take care of our students when they are out of our control and under the influence of others in our schools.
    The Savior said, “Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your [families] may be blessed” . By praying together, families can grow closer to Heavenly Father and to each other and invite the Holy Ghost in the home. In The Name Of Jesus Christ
    Pray For Our Childrens. PLESAE In The Name Of Jesus Christ
    Prayer for Employment
    You govern your creation, O God,
    and bring it to perfection by the work of our hands.
    Hear the prayers of your people who ask for work
    that will enhance their human signity
    and promote the upbuilding of your kingdom.
    Enable them to provide for those confided to their care
    either by family ties or by charity we owe to one another
    for the betterment of human life.
    We ask this blessing in the name of Jesus
    who laboured with his own hands while he lived on earth.


    Prayer is the key that opens your day to every blessing. It also is a lock that closes the night to keep you safe while sleeping. So what you have to do is “use your key all the time.” Smile! It will make you look better. Pray, it will keep you strong. Love, it will make you enjoy life.
    “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14; see also 15:16; 16:23-24, 26)

  16. Sonya Schroeder
    August 31, 2011 | 11:26 am

    I am going to disagree here, I do pray for my sons future wives, that is if that is Gods plan for them. Praying for our children’s future spouse is not dictating terms of Gods plan for our children, it is preparing them that IF God does chose to aline them with a spouse they will know that God sent the spouse and be ready. The world is filled with so much confusion today that if we are not helping our children be prepared, if God has marriage in store for them, we are setting them up for a failed marriage.

  17. MOMMAOF4
    September 9, 2011 | 4:51 pm

    I do not understand your concern by the petition… I pray for the vocation of my four boys. If it God’s will that their vocation be that of marriage, then why not pray for their wives. I also ask the Lord, to help us raise holy, zealous, hard working, decent men, for their wives. However, “Thy will be done”, Amen. At the end, it’s all about the will of God, not mine or my husbands. He has a plan for us all and a purpose…. However, He does give us a promise,: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.” John 16:23

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