Happy Valentine's Day!
The sugar-coated, chocolate-covered, giant-teddy-bear-holding-a-dozen-roses day that every couple looks forward to with romantic nostalgia and a bit of chagrin. Ain't love grand?
Of course it is! And we don't need a specific day of the year to necessarily STOP and tell our beloved that we adore the socks off him, do we? Nevertheless, February 14th comes but once a year and we are reminded that all our loved ones, especially our spouses are treasures beyond our wildest imaginations.
As I gaze at my beloved and give thanks for the time we have together, I can't help but let my mind wander to the future, hoping that my girls will be as blessed as I am to have found (or, been found by) a Prince Charming all my own. Times like these, I pray for the handsome devils that will one day sweep my girls off their feet and have them swooning with joy and naïveté. I pray often for my future sons-in-law, and pray that I accept them into our family with thanksgiving when the day comes.
But, lately, as I'm in the midst of changing diapers and putting my toddler in time-out for shoving her sister, and stirring macaroni and cheese for the third time that week, and trying to get that stupid Winnie the Pooh theme song out of my head....sigh...a new thought struck me: Who is raising these Prince Charmings? And so, I started to pray for my future sons-in-law's parents. (You follow?)
I figure, somewhere there is a couple raising a small chap (or, conceiving one soon) that are most likely very similar to us. Even if they are older or younger or live in another country...chances are good that we are experiencing a lot of the same things as new-ish parents in this modern world. Somewhere, some mom is raising my daughter's husband. Somewhere, a dad is being the example to his son that will model the father that raises my grandchildren.
And so, on this love-fest of all days, I give you an unconventional love letter, but one I write with the utmost sincerity - and I hope it will inspire you to write your own!
Chances are good we don't know each other, and even if we do, it's beyond our wildest imaginations that our children will end up together. Nevertheless, we are (as I'm supposing your son is around the same age as my daughter) in the thick of parenthood! It's hard, isn't it? It's not as glamorous as TV commercials make it out to be, and it's much harder than our mother's ever warned us. It's exhausting and unpredictable, and rewarding in the strangest and most unexpected ways - a hug here, a silly compliment there, maybe a smile as they drift off to sleep. But, we are all doing our best to just keep them alive and teach them to be kind and love others well.
I am doing my best to raise a wife for your son. I want her to be strong, but not controlling; independent, but vulnerable; relentless with compassion, while steadfast in the truth. I often question my methods, but seek Jesus to be the ultimate model for how we operate our lives as a family. I love my husband, and I'm so grateful to have a partner in life who helps shape the world for our daughter so that she can know there are men who hold her best interest in mind and what that truly looks like.
I pray for you often. I have grand love for you, and I frequently think about how you are probably somewhere, equally frustrated as you change an ornery baby's diaper, just like I am. I completely empathize with your day-to-day exhaustions! But, I pray they are not too much for you to bear, and when they are - that you seek Jesus to help guide you.
I pray that you put your marriage above your son. So many times, we hear in this world how "our children should always come first" and that anything else is considered selfish. This is preposterous to me! It is silly to think that putting your marriage first and putting your child's needs first are two different things. In fact, they are certainly one in the same! You are raising a future husband, a future father, and I pray that you are modeling a Christ-centered union for him to witness, absorb, and someday reflect.
I pray that you ask for help when you need it. I pray that you have a community of faithful friends that surround you and lift you up with encouraging words. I pray that your physical needs are met, and that the economic stresses of this world are recognized as simply that - "of this world" - and that you are able to place your hope and value in something much greater and eternal.
I pray that kindness and empathy are esteemed in your home. I pray that you are honest and vulnerable as parents, able to admit your faults and be a testimony to your son of what true success looks like. I pray that you are fulfilled in your work and your hobbies, that you are pleasant to be around when you get home from a long day. I pray that you find balance and joy in the mundane things of life - since we all have to do dishes and laundry and clean up after our little rascals, I hope you feel honored in the smallest of tasks. I'm thankful for you providing those small things to my future son-in-law day in and day out. Your provision will teach him to appreciate these same things in my daughter someday.
I pray that you pray for me. I need it! I pray that you consider my daughter's family and traditions and background as you get to know her someday. I pray that you pray for her, and that you are somewhere hoping she is as eager to learn about Jesus as you are hoping for your own son. I pray that you pray for our children's purity and faithfulness.
I hope that you not only look forward to meeting my daughter, but me and my husband as well. That we can worship together side-by-side as our children say "I do". That maybe we can be friends one day, holding hands in a waiting room with eager anticipation of our own grandchild. That we can grow old together as a newly woven family and look back on a life that God blessed so richly.
I'm already thankful for you. I pray for you expectantly, with a grateful heart that God is providing you the grace and mercy that you need as you journey through this life and through the parenting of your son. On this, a day of love and romance, I pray that you feel the unconditional yearning that God has for your heart, that you know and rely on Him alone, and that you feel the presence of my prayers of protection over you both.