When I look at my son, I see my baby. I see the sweet boy who twirls my hair when he is sleepy, the boy who loves to dance in the rain, and play in the dirt. I see the baby we brought home from the hospital in a blizzard in early March 7 years ago. I see the child that is my greatest joy, my greatest pride, and my biggest source of frustration.
But the fact of the matter is, I am not raising a boy. I am raising a man. A man that will one day leave the nest, have a job, and become a husband and father…two of the most important jobs on the planet. Am I raising him to excel at these jobs? Each day I am gifted with my son, and as his mother, it is my job to ensure that when he is grown he is equipped with the skills to go out into the world and thrive.
Maybe it seems silly that I find myself wondering about the woman my sweet boy will one day call his wife when he is just 7 years old. Silly or not, I do wonder. I find myself thinking about what she will be like; will she have a tender heart, like him? What are her parents like? Are they raising her to love Jesus above all other things and people? Is she being cherished, loved, nurtured, and enjoying her childhood? Will she be strong enough to understand my boy, and gentle enough to love him when he is struggling? More importantly, I wonder what type of man he will be, what type of husband and father he will be.
So, with that –
To My future Daughter-in-Law,
There are a lot of things I want to tell you, and while they won’t all be covered in this letter, I think it is a good start. I don’t know you yet, but I think about you, and pray for you often. And even though I don’t know you yet, I love you. I love you because my son will love you, and you will love him. In so many ways you are going to take my place. My sweet, silly, sticky fingered little boy will be a man, and no longer will it be me he kisses goodnight, or snuggles up with on the couch. No longer will it be my hand he is holding when he crosses the street. It will be yours. I will no longer be the most important girl to him. You will be. He will find peace in your arms, and he will look at you and adore you. He will share his dreams with you, his fears, his happiness. He will no longer seek comfort in me, but in you. Someday, the heart that beats against my heart when I hold him, will beat against yours.
I pray that right now you are being loved well. Just as my son is everything to me, you are everything to your parents. I pray you are being taught what a gift you are, and that you are confident of your worth. I pray you are delighted in, cherished, and treasured. I pray that you are upheld and believed in, encouraged to dream. I pray that you are being taught to love yourself well, so that you are able to love others well. I pray that if for some reason those around you are not showing you how special you are, you can look to God and see the truth. That you know that God see’s you as a princess. I pray you are not afraid to use your own voice, but are able to speak in such a way that encourages and lifts, yourself, and others. I pray that you speak this way to my son. That you speak life into him, and into your marriage. Men need to be lifted up, and respected.
I want you to know that I am raising my son the same way, and to see you the way God see’s you. I want you to understand that you will not complete my son, and neither will he complete you. God is the only one who can complete us and make us whole, and I hope you are being raised to seek Him first, and to love Him above all else. If both seek God first, than together you will have a solid foundation. You will be a partnership, a team. You will edify each other, and together you will be stronger than you are alone.
I hope that you love him well. That you are playful, and silly. That you make him laugh. I pray that you are strong enough to support him, and gentle when he is hurting. I am not a perfect mother, and I make mistakes. He is not a perfect person either, he will make mistakes, you will make mistakes, and I pray that you both are able to see past those mistakes, and love each other through them. The world we live in is messy and screwy. I strive to raise him to see past and through all that, to be in the moment, with family and friends. I ask you to be on board with this. To encourage it, and to live in the moment with him. To take advantage of opportunity to build one another up.
I promise you that I will not try to come between the two of you. I will let you in, I will welcome you, and I will love you. I am teaching my son the value of treasuring the heart of a woman. To protect it. He has quirks, and little habits that one day you willknow better than anyone else. Encourage that, encourage him to be himself, I am encouraging him to do the same for you.
I am raising my son in a way that he will know how to be strong, and gentle. Courageous and fearless, but humble and able to ask for help. I am teaching him to lead, but also to be able to be apart of team. I am teaching him that to be the best, we must first serve others. We are called to love each other, and to do what we can to serve one another. I pray that he leads you and your children well, that he will understand how honorable his role as a father and husband are, and that he fills these roles, living with integrity, humility, honor, and faithfulness. I pray that he will always serve you, and you him. I pray that in times of trouble, you hold each other, but turn to God. I am teaching him to know who he is in Christ, and in himself. That he always follows the dreams God gives him, and that nothing and no one, even you will stand in his way. I pray these things for you also.
I am working hard to raise my sweet boy to be independent. To be able to make decisions, and lead. I am teaching him that I am his mother, and no one else can fill that role, but that it is important to have other women in his life, and to know how special they are. I want him to cherish his relationship with me, his aunts, his grandmothers, and especially with you. I am raising him so that he will never forget that you, too, are someones daughter and granddaughter, and that before you belonged to him, you belonged to God and to your own parents. I promise to plant seeds in his mind and in his heart, seeds of love that will grow and spread. I promise that even though you love to do things for him, that he will know how to do dishes, cook, do laundry, and clean, so that he will help you, and you never feel you are taken for granted, because he will never expect you to do it all alone. I promise to teach him how to love you when it is fun and easy, but also when it is hard, and your crying and sad. I will teach him that it is normal for women to cry, and the important thing is that he comforts you, and stands with you through it.
I pray that you embrace each other each day, that every day your love for each other grows and over flows. that the life you build together is strong and centered on Christ, and that you pass the loves and the work on to your own children. Life is hard, and though I am working to teach my son to choose to love people, instead of needing them, there will be days that he does need you, and you will also need him. I pray you are there for each other. I pray that each day you spend with my son is spent well, and that even when things feel like they are falling apart you can rest easy knowing that we both love you, to the moon and back.
We have a lot of time before I meet you. So until then I will pray for you, and for your family. I will pray for your relationship with Jesus, and for your heart. And when I meet you, and my son loves you, I will love you even more than I already do. One day you will not be some faceless girl on my heart, neither will you be the girl who married my son. One day you will become my daughter.