As we get ready to meet another new year, and as our three sons continue to take purposeful steps into adulthood I decided to share with you what has been written in my heart for years. Feel free to share, if these thoughts have been written on your heart too.
A letter to my future daughter. Not a daughter by birth or a daughter by blood, but a daughter by love. As you prepare to begin your life with my son, there are a few things I think you should know. This man you love has had a life filled with prayer, teaching and observation. Matt and I have worked purposely to help prepare him for life, for love and for you.
From before the day our son was born, Matt and I have prayed for Gods hand to be on him and for Gods love to be rooted deeply in his heart. We have prayed that God would make him a man with strong Christlike character. We have prayed that God would keep his heart soft and sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. We prayed that God would surround him with strong and Godly men and women who would love him, encourage him, hold him accountable and spur him on to greater and greater God centered things. We have prayed that God would direct his steps and bless the work of his hands. We have prayed that God would give him passion and purpose.
With the words we have spoken, and with the way we've lived out our faith and our love, we have been teaching him every day. It was our investment in him while he waited for you to arrive in his life at just this right time.
- We taught him about choosing and living out a relationship with God and not just practicing religious rituals.
- We taught him about investing in people in lasting and meaningful ways.
- We taught him about personal sacrifice for the good of another.
- We taught him to never be afraid of hard work.
- We taught him that the best and most satisfying things in life are very rarely "things".
- We taught him that seeking forgiveness is a part of life, and should not be delayed when necessary.
- We taught him that extending forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and others.
- We taught him that honest and deep friendship is where lasting love is rooted.
- We taught him to respect marriage and to value only God above his wife.
- We taught him that some things are only meant to be shared with his wife.
- We taught him that it always takes two people to fix a relationship when it's been harmed.
- We taught him that sometimes there is no "try" - only do, and do, and do until it's done.
- We taught him that lasting love takes effort, commitment, and forgiveness every day.
- We taught him that in marriage, your spouse is your best friend. It's been taught that he should always be your biggest supporter, your most trusted friend and your wisest counsel ~ and we taught him that you would do the same for him.
- We taught him to honor God and you, his spouse, every day - on purpose - with his words, his thoughts and his actions.
- We taught him that in a God-centered marriage there is no room for selfishness or pettiness.
- We taught him that in a God-centered marriage it isn't 50 -50 instead it is 100-100-100. 100% of husband and 100% of wife devoted 100% to God and to each other - always. Anything less that 100-100-100 will always fall short.
You should also know that from the time he was born we have been praying for you. We have prayed that God's hand would be on you and your family during your childhood, your teen years and in your adult life. We have prayed that you would be sensitive to God's direction and call on your life. We have prayed that you would come to know Jesus as your own personal Savior and friend. We have prayed that you would be treated with the dignity and respect that you deserve. We have prayed that you would be cherished and loved. We have prayed that you would see that beauty of how God created you ~ you are His creation and God doesn't make junk. We have prayed that there would be special parts of your heart that you saved to share just with our son ~ for the rest of your life.
We have been praying for your marriage for a very long time. We pray that God would be the center of your marriage and that you would each follow the example of love and sacrifice that Jesus taught. We pray that you will both flee temptations that seek to destroy your union.We pray that you would be stronger together than apart. We pray that strong Christian marriage mentors will come along side you in the early years as you learn what it is to not only be married, but what it is to stay happily married. We pray that you will seek God first in all things, and that you will be of one heart and mind when God does prompt you.
You are the one our son has chosen. You have his love and you have his heart. Our son is not perfect ~ but you know that already and you love him still. We are not perfect either - and it doesn't take long to figure that out. But we look forward to learning to be a part of your life. Be patient with us, and extend us a little grace; we are learning just as fast as we can. And now we know the name of the girl who has filled our prayers for so long. Welcome to the family...