To the Woman Who is Soon to Marry My Son

To the Woman Who is Soon to Marry My Son

{My sec­ond son is get­ting mar­ried in about a week. This let­ter is to his fiance, but maybe it will speak to oth­ers as well. After all, mar­riage and mothers/daughters-in-law have been around since the begin­ning of time, and will con­tinue until the Lord returns.}

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22

My dear, I want you to know that I love you. I deter­mined long before I met you that I would love you. And my heart is over­joyed to find that it is an easy thing to do. In every­thing we do and say and live through our lives in the future, my hope is that you will always remem­ber this and keep it in the front of your heart and mind.

Thank you for lov­ing my son. And for lov­ing me. Thank you for the thought­ful­ness you put into the words you say. And the way that you say them. You touch me deeply with your kind­ness towards my son and our fam­ily. I pray that this will always be so. At any rate, we are off to a great start!

Over the years to come, you likely will see into our lives in ways that few ever will. You will see our strengths, but I am sure it is our weak­nesses that will stand out more. Be patient with us.

You will see the areas where we are more prone to sin. You will see the places we try to hide from the wider world.  You know, those places of vul­ner­a­bil­ity and heartache. Be gen­tle with us.

And as we see those areas in your life, my heart hopes that we will also be patient and gen­tle with you.

I’m sure my son will not only tell you of the joys, the highs, the tri­umphs in our lives, but he will share the low points, the places where we failed. We all have those, you know. We like to pre­tend that we don’t. But we do. Like most Chris­t­ian par­ents, we desire to raise our chil­dren well, in the love and nur­ture of the Lord. But like all par­ents from all times, we are still deal­ing with real life: exhaus­tion, bills, impa­tience, sin. And so, it doesn’t always look like that shiny brochure we imag­ined when we got mar­ried and started hav­ing kids: the one that pic­tures per­fectly dressed chil­dren, a “House Beau­ti­ful” home, a sophis­ti­cated wardrobe that fits on a slen­der body, and a per­pet­u­ally happy husband.

Unless it’s the one you find at the bot­tom of my purse, with crumbs ground into it, pen mark­ings, smudges. If that’s the brochure you have in mind, then we’re good.

I have found that the trick is to keep our eyes on Christ, not on our crum­pled brochure. Why is it that we cling so tena­ciously to the ideals we man­u­fac­ture in our minds? Don’t we know that that isn’t real life, even as we pour over Pin­ter­est and Face­book, with all the happy ideas and smiles?

Mostly, we have had an incred­i­bly happy life together, rais­ing this son who will soon be your Mis­ter. He is tena­cious. He is faith­ful. He is gen­er­ous. He is stub­born. He is not eas­ily swayed. But, when he is in, he’s all in. You never have to doubt his com­mit­ment. He loves deeply, with every­thing that is in him. He is ten­der and soft, in that hard, rugged way. But, I think you know all of that. Be care­ful with him. Your words have great power to build or to tear him down. Never for­get the power you have.  Proverbs 14:1 teaches us that “The wise woman builds her house, but the fool­ish pulls it down with her hands.” Yes, and yes. Try to grasp that con­cept. I’m still try­ing to grasp it after 25 years of mar­riage. It’s a huge thing. I am still baf­fled when I learn how strongly my words have impacted my hus­band. Both for good and for bad. Be quick to repent and apol­o­gize. We have noth­ing to gain by stub­born­ness. Only days, months, years to lose to bit­ter­ness and strife. Choose the good. Choose the joy. Choose the love. Choose ten­der­ness and com­pas­sion. You’ll be blessed so much more with those.

I look for­ward to watch­ing the two of you make your life together. You will have strug­gles, but those are great oppor­tu­ni­ties to unite your hearts as one as you work together to get through them. You will have vic­to­ries. They may be small, like get­ting the tod­dler to eat his veg­eta­bles;  they may be great, like buy­ing your first house or tri­umph­ing over sin through the power of Christ in you.

And I will be here cheer­ing you on. Encour­ag­ing you in your role as a wife. I want you to suc­ceed at being the best wife you can be to my son. Because I believe it will help him be the best hus­band to you. And every­one wins. For gen­er­a­tions to come.

It is not my desire to be that med­dling mother in law in the mid­dle of your lives. My desire is to come along­side you, offer­ing encour­age­ment. And advice when asked. If I seem aloof at times, it is likely because I am try­ing to give you space. You are always wel­come into my lit­tle world. But I will try never to pre­sume a cen­tral spot in yours. My door is always open to you, or my tex­ting phone, whichever the case may be. And you two are always wel­come at all fam­ily and hol­i­day occa­sions. But, we will never have expec­ta­tions that you will be there. I pray that you never feel any pres­sure from us in these poten­tially dif­fi­cult mat­ters. We will take great joy for any and all the times we have together. And be thank­ful for those times. And under­stand­ing when it can’t be so. At least that’s our heart in the mat­ter. I pray the Lord will give us strength and per­spec­tive that blesses you in your marriage.

I no longer have an alle­giance to my son. I have an alle­giance to YOU: the two of you as one flesh. I love you as though I bore you myself — because my son loves you and has cho­sen you for his bride. It’s a won­der­ful bonus that I like you, too. God is so good.

So, my dear, wel­come to the fam­ily. I think my son has done a won­der­ful job in choos­ing a wife. I pray that he is the hus­band to you that you need:  for com­pan­ion­ship, love, your per­sonal sanc­ti­fi­ca­tion, and grow­ing in matu­rity in the Lord. He has had an excel­lent exam­ple in his father.

I love you.


photo credit: Sierra Candler

This blog post is shared over at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.



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