When our youngest daughter was born, the first thing my husband said when he saw her was “she looks just like my sister.” The second thing he said was, “Oh God, we have to pay for three weddings.” While I do agree that we will need to pay for their weddings, I’m not concerned. My mother and I have coordinated several beautiful and even lavish weddings for family and friends, both efficiently and economically. My concern is not at all the wedding but the marriage. With that in mind, here’s what I have to say.
Dear Future Husband,
I don’t know that we have met yet. Perhaps we have, perhaps not. You may be someone my daughter has known for years or someone she has yet to meet. Regardless, you don’t know her like I do, nor have you walked in my shoes, so allow me to give you some advice. She is not a princess, though she may think she is, and as far as you’re concerned, that’s how it should be. Treat her as such, as someone who is to be honored, respected and revered. In return, she will treat you the same way.
Tend to your marriage like it s a garden. Weed out mistrust, judgement, defensiveness, and fear. Prune back any hurt that grows there (because it will), and water the good seeds you plant – your hopes, your dreams, and eventually your children. Let the sun shine on it every day through your love by complimenting, helping, and most important, talking; and don’t be afraid of the rain and storms. Welcome them, too, as ways to strengthen your marriage. Clean up the fallen branches after the storm clears, or they will clutter your lives. Because there will be storms, and there will be things to clear away, but by working together, you can weather anything life hurls at you.
Most of all, trust that God has brought you together and that He will guide you. Go to Church together, pray together – at meals, at bedtime, in good times and bad. Make your faith the foundation upon which you build all things, and know that with God, all things are possible.
Whether you are in your twenties or just barely into your teens, remember that any girl you meet could be the one, my daughter, but that there will only be that one. Don’t fall prey to the norms of society. Every girl you date will be someone’s wife, but perhaps not your own. Keep that in mind in everything you do. Would you do “that” with someone else’s wife? Would you want someone else doing that with yours?
In the end, all I want is your happiness, all of you, my three daughters and their husbands. Shower each other with love, strive for your dreams, encourage each other to reach for the stars, and always be there for each other no matter what. Know that their father and I are here for you. Even now, I love you all.
Amy Schisler is an author of mystery and suspense novels. Her first book, A Place to Call Home is in its second printing and may be purchased in stores, online, and through ibooks. Her previously published children’s book, Crabbing With Granddad may be purchased in stores and on Amazon.