You scare me.
Yes. I said it. You scare me. Understand me, I already love you more than I’m able to adequately express. But the power and role you will one day have in my daughter’s life can strike up more fear in my heart than I’ve ever been prepared to deal with. You have the ability to help my daughter flourish into the woman she will become, or the ability to crush her. Can you possibly understand how scary that is for a mother?
I pray about you frequently. I have high standards for you, and I don’t mean that to be a daunting thing, but entrusting my daughter under your leadership is likely the hardest thing I will ever do. She’s my baby. She’s my firstborn. Raising her is my greatest joy, and watching her marry you will be the most bittersweet thing I do.
Therefore I pray that you are a strong man of faith. Full of integrity and true character, loyal and honest, brave and intelligent. I pray you are gentle with my girl. I pray you are an amazing father, and that my daughter encourages you in that role. I believe you will be thoughtful and caring, because I believe my daughter will choose wisely.
I’ve been in this marriage gig for a bit, and I know the hard work it is. I know the burden a man has to provide, love and lead his family. I see the fear and uncertainty a man must deal with. I pray you have the necessary skills to lead gracefully and that God is always first in your life.
I’m doing my very best to raise a daughter who will love you wholeheartedly. Who understands that marriage isn’t a fairy tale, but a true commitment, a covenant that lasts far beyond broken rules or broken hearts. One that isn’t to be taken lightly, and something you don’t just give up on. I’m encouraging her independence and leadership qualities, all while hoping to model for her how to respect her husband while maintaining her strength in character.
I’m teaching her how to honor you. I’m teaching her the power her words have over you. She can be a voice that builds you up, or tears you down. I’m teaching her the beauty in being a mother who loves with all that she is. I’m doing my best to give her all the knowledge I can. I know I won’t do it perfectly, I know she’ll make mistakes. Will you handle her with care and grace? Will you gently lead her into resolution and purpose? Will you lead her to heaven?
At the end of your life it is you – you, son-in-law – who will give an account for the way you led and loved my little girl as Christ loves his bride, the church. Will you be given a good account for stewarding her heart with the love and servant-leadership of Christ? Will your children by my daughter find themselves being raised by a father whose life is humble and trembles at God’s word and will for his life?
I’m sure your mother is doing her very best as well. That’s what we moms do. I pray for her as well. That she is given the grace she needs to raise you to be the man you are meant to be. I pray she and I always love one another and can be your biggest cheerleaders. I also pray that your father is a wonderful reflection of your heavenly father so that you will have learned about manhood from a trusted, godly man, rather than fumbling in the dark in your marriage to my daughter.
So yes, son, you scare me. Entrusting you with my daughter will be the hardest thing I will ever do. But I’m choosing to believe you will be the spouse my daughter was called to marry. I’m choosing to pray regularly over your relationship now, however many years in advance, because while marriage isn’t as sacred in our culture as it once was – it IS a truly beautiful, sacred covenant. I long to see the two of you in a true commitment that leads your family to a beautiful, happy ending.
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Roxanne Foster blogs alongside her husband, The Man Foster over at The Foster Parenthood. She is mother to Scarlette Grace and Carsten James, both of which have added a tremendous amount of joy to her world. She is a recovering legalist, and redeemed daughter of the King. Roxanne believes vulnerability is the key to living a life full of true joy and happiness, and aims to bring light to those around her through sharing parts of her world.