Destiny In Bloom

A Letter to my Future Daughters in Law

A Letter to my Future Daughters in Law

posted on March 2nd, 2012 / by Marissa Star / 34 Comments

So many times in life we have an end in mind, a desired result. For some things, we don’t have to wait long. For others, we spend half a lifetime dreaming and preparing and hoping and praying that the end will be like what we have seen in our hearts all this time.

Marriage is one of those things.

As a little girl I daydreamed about what it would be like: what he would be like, what love for us would look like.

It is not a weakness in a woman to long for her husband. It is her strength to embrace God’s original design and trust Him to bring the right imperfect person to make her life beautiful and fulfilling, yielding to God’s expression of oneness.

Marriage is God’s design to show us a complete picture of who He is. Early on in Destiny in Bloom’s history, Bob Hamp wrote an article called, “He Looked Inside the Man“. Adam (after God decided it wasn’t good for man to be alone), made in God’s image, fell asleep. God took his rib and made woman. He placed in her all the feminine qualities of himself , leaving the masculine. And when the two came together to be one, they would be fulfilled; because truly they were longing for the opposite expression of God in each other.

I love that. This picture was forever branded on my heart and resonated so deeply within me–that I (all woman) could find God in who my husband (all man) was created to be, and that he would find an expression of who God is in me. (Of course this is my paraphrase; the article is definitely worth going back and reading!)

Now, as a mother of four sons, I realize that as much as I love my boys and in this season have access to nurture and encourage their hearts, there is a key I do not possess. Only one out there in world (wherever she is) will have access to the places in my son’s heart meant just for her. These girls alone hold the feminine expression of God meant to unlock what ‘oneness’ will look like in my sons’ lives.

I remember praying over my two older boys while they were napping when they were just three and four years old. I was praying over their destiny and praying for their spouses, when the Lord began to speak to my heart: I could really love my boys by starting to love my daughter in laws right now.

Of course, I prayed for the right one, that God would protect her while she grew up. But loving her now … what did that really look like?

I rolled what He was saying over and over in my heart, continuing to ask Him, “How can I be a part of the answer to my prayers?”

It was then I realized that the answer was to love them–my future daughters. Yuri and I had to understand that we weren’t simply raising boys, we were raising … husbands. And just like that, our perspective changed.

We have come to honor the fact that as much as we love and adore our children, they are not our possessions. They are passing through our family on their way to becoming who they are called to be, and we get the amazing opportunity to steward their lives while they are with us. One day, God willing, they will be married to their spouse longer than they lived in our house.

So how have we started loving these girls we don’t know?

How do we take what can seem like a good ethereal prayer and make it practical and life producing?

We started by just talking about them (our girls). Acknowledging them before they get here. Talking about how they exist somewhere, or will soon. We pray for them. We talk about what challenges they might experience in today’s culture. We pray that God protects them. We talk about how they are not perfect, just like the boys aren’t. We talk about what “beautiful” will look like on them, and not the outward beauty. We simply talk about them and we anticipate them and we value them–before they get here.

I’ve been known around our house when they boys are getting grumpy about chores to say things like,

“Just do it for your wife!”

“If she loves you and she loves me … it’s a win/win … clean your room for the win/win!”

“Remember she is going to love me because you know how to sweep, do your laundry, and clean up after yourself!”

“Yup. She is totally going to love me and want to come to our house for Christmas!”

They almost always respond with, “Mommmm, stop it!” while they smile and are totally loving it. Of course, I will not require them to come to my house for Christmas, but it doesn’t hurt to make suggestions early.

We talk about restroom manners: it will make your wife love you (and me) if you can get your pee in the toilet, flush and remember to put the lid down … reminding them that it’s truly the little things that matter. With my younger two being five and six … ahem … we are still working on this, thankful we have some more years to love on those girls.

Which brings me to this: why am I writing this in the middle of the journey? I used to think I needed to overcome and have a perfect marriage or perfect children to write or speak about these things. Well, then I realized, that was just never going to happen! Because perfect doesn’t exist and the more you try to squeeze people into “being perfect” the more they resist you, and it comes at a high cost: their hearts toward you.

Honestly, my husband and I are still dreaming and hoping and training. We are in the middle of the journey of parenting a ten, eight, six and five-year-old–all of which are high octane, color outside the lines, live out of the box personalities. We make lots of mistakes. We ask for and give a lot of grace in our house. We pray that the love we give is greater than the correction we need to give.

I have promised them I will not be the perfect mom, My husband tells them he won’t be the perfect dad, and we know they won’t be the perfect child either. We get that. We tell them, “We are not asking for perfection, but we are asking that you live from your heart, being true to what you know is right. In life you will have opportunities to run from a lot of things but you can’t run from your heart. What is in it will always tell you what you really believe and who you really are.”

And then as parents who are also two imperfect people in love, we have to tell ourselves the same thing, both in marriage and in parenting. And, well, we get lots of opportunities to practice what we preach.

Knowing all of that, as a mom choosing to love my future daughters from the middle of the journey of raising their husbands, this is what my heart would say to them right now:

A LETTER TO MY FUTURE DAUGHTERS IN LAW

Dear future wives and daughters,

We love you and bless you, wherever you are!

May you walk with courage to accept and be loved for the real you, even in your youth.

May God give eyes to really SEE you to your parents and other key people in your life to affirm your God-given uniqueness while drawing out your gifts and talents.

May you know value and worth in the embrace of your father’s embrace; and if you don’t have one, may you find a double portion in the arms of your heavenly Father.

May you find the reality of God in His presence that sustains you in dark moments of disappointments, rejection, fear and insecurity. May you find the courage to love and forgive and give when you’re afraid–especially of what people think of you. May who you choose to be even when you fail be what makes you beautiful.

We are waiting for you, and we pray and bless and love you until we meet you.

I’d say to the wife of my oldest son: At ten years old he is extremely honest and loyal. He is a bit chatty, and it gets him in trouble in school because he loves expressing himself and being in relationship. We are working on the ‘in school’ part, but I’m pretty sure the other part is not going to change … I know it will be among the things you love most about him. He loves knowledge, history, facts and being right! (Aw man, sorry in advance he may have got that from his mother.) We are big on the idea that when you blow it, be quick to own it and repent … you’ll have to let me know how that goes. He is going to love going shopping with you (if you can get him out of his own section of the store first). He’ll even pick out your clothes if you let him; trust him–he has a good eye. He can be really hard on himself and doesn’t like to be confronted straight on, but if you go for a walk or clean a room with him, he will open his heart and you will be able to win it with gentle words. We dream about you together. He can’t wait to meet you! Until then, we continue to love you.

I’d say to the wife of my zealot (son number two): Be prepared to laugh so hard until you cry or pee your pants, whichever comes first. I have no doubt it will be his charming wit and humor that will win your heart. He will perform for you and entertain you. At eight years old, he already shows confidence and talent; but more than this, he shows great compassion to others. Be ready for and open your heart up to adventure. He lives hard and feels hard. Because he is a feel-er, there will be need of love and patience while he takes his time to process life. He loves and is gentle with children, little girls especially. He is going to be a great dad. If he ever tries to convince you with those big blue eyes that he is adopted, he is not! I have the stretch marks to prove it! We are waiting for you … we love you!

I’d say to the wife of my foodie (son #3): I’m pretty sure by the time you two get married, you’ll be used to him eating the food off your plate–maybe even used to him talking to it! He is our touchy-feely son, and he will love holding your hand and snuggling. Praise does wonders towards motivating him: remember to tell him how wonderful he is, and he’ll lasso the moon for you. He can be very tough and aggressive in sports, but is very tender hearted in private, like a gentle giant. At six years old he loves video games and it shows great character when he shares the remote … we talk about the day when he’ll share his heart. We love you, and we are waiting for you.

I’d say to the wife of my baby (son #4): He doesn’t let everyone into his world. Once you’ve entered it, the place you hold is very special, just for you. He uses few words, but his “I love you’s” are weighty. He has a quiet strength and leans toward internalizing life. I know that with love, you’ll learn to draw out what he is feeling. He loves his Papa and is a lot like him, a thinker more than a feeler. He is full of adventure and unexpected surprises, but very much likes structure and rules (he’ll be safely dangerous). At five, he loves you–when he is not begging to live at home forever! Can’t to meet you … we love you!

Great Love,

The mother of your husbands

To the reader:

Maybe you’re single, still waiting and loving with your life the one to come. Maybe you’re anticipating your own children. Or maybe you’re a parent, anticipating your children’s spouses. No matter where we are in the process, we are all challenged with how to steward the desire of our hearts. I pray with you for revelations about how to partner with God while you wait. I pray that He would show practical ways to prepare for what’s ahead. I pray for a heritage that is a legacy of great love. Whether you came from a great family or not, our God can show us how to sow legacy into our families.

For those longing for children, I pray that you will see the desire of your heart to love these little people come to pass, and that He would prepare your heart for the personalities that will forever change your life. I pray for miracles for those who’ve known hope deferred, that life would spring forth either in conception or supernatural open doors of adoption as the Lord leads.

In Jesus’ name! In all things, LOVE NEVER FAILS!

 

34 Responses to “A Letter to my Future Daughters in Law”

  1. I LOVE this!! I'm already praying for their future spouses, and include their wives in everyday conversation. I have not gone so far as to write them letters, what a wonderful idea! How special it will be to give them to a future daughter-in-love…she will cherish you for them! Love, love, love this!

  2. Beautiful. I have some letter writing to do myself! What a great idea to share these years with their wives. Thank you!

  3. Beautifully done my friend!!!!

  4. Aw, Ris, sniff, sniff! :) Beautiful as always! Thanks for the encouragement to not only steward our children, but also the other things that He has placed in our lives, including the things we wait for. Love you and miss you!

  5. Love this so much! I dream about and pray for my children's spouses and I'm already studying how to be a godly mom and mom-in-law. I want sooo much to get that right and to truly embrace our future sons and daughters! You have given me an even deeper perspective with lots of practical advice!

  6. Such great perspective! I had never thought of loving a future daughter-in-law TODAY! Well done!!

  7. Touching! Thanks for taking the time to be so personal and transparent. I too am praying, writing, and partnering with God to mold my children to be good spouses, but I'd never think to share it with others.
    Thanks Ris

  8. This is REALLY sweet, Marissa. You will be a fun-loving mother-in-law someday and those girls will be lucky to call you "mom!" You showed us great practical ways to love our children's spouses.

    You know I love the last part(:

  9. So good, Marissa!!! Inspiring and full of truth. Love your heart!!!

  10. As a young girl I used to write letters to my husband and children; now that I am a new mom of a sweet little boy I love the thought of writing to my future daughter-in-law. This whole article is beautiful. Thank you!

  11. Love this, love this! This touched me so much! Thank you!

  12. Thank you so much Marissa!! As a mother of four boys also, this brought me to tears. This so touched my heart, so grateful you shared yours! Blessings!

  13. Marissa, thank you. All parents should read this article. Praying for our future daughters in laws is a seed of what God and we as parents desire for our sons. Teaching them as they grow to be helpmates to their wives and being examples in our daily lives.

    Blessings
    Nadine

  14. Ris, you've done it again! What a beautiful idea … writing to your future daughters-in-law. Boy, you have inspired my heart to do this for my children. What a treasured gift this will be to give to our children's future spouses. To know that they were prayed for, thought of, and loved before they arrived. How many people get to experience that? Love that you shared this with us. I have an idea that you've inspired many future letters.

  15. Oh my goodness, this is Wonderful! I was crying all the way thru it.
    As a single mom of 2 boys, ages 5 1/2 & 4, this hits in the deepest parts of my heart.
    So well said, & such great advice. Thank you!
    Naomi

  16. My sweet friend- this is so right on!!! God has answered my first letter and prayers with our first born daughter! She is almost 3 years married and it's beautiful! He loves her more than I could imagine! I shouldn't be surprised we prayed! He says she was a gift to him- humbly we know:)
    He loves our big, fun, competitive, Jesus loving family that he didn't have! We have four more spouses to add! Yeh!
    Keep up the prayers- they work! Thanks for sharing your heart and letters!
    ❤Angelia

  17. As a girl mama, I say thank you for raising wonderful boys. (and secretly I'm thinking, hmmm how do I get one of those Star boys!)

  18. My sweet friend-so spot on!!! God has answered my first letter and prayers with our first born daughter! She is finishing up her 3rd year of marriage and its beautiful!! He loves her more than I could imagine-I shouldn't be surprised we prayed! He says she is a gift to him-humbly we know as she was so that to us:) And he loves our crazy, fun, big, Jesus loving family that he didn't have! God is so faithful to answer the deepest desires of our heart for our children. Now we have four more spouses to continue to believe for! No doubt that it will be just the right match too!

    Thanks for sharing your letters and your heart! As always, you are an amazing writer!!
    Hugs, Angelia

  19. Wooo. My eyes got really teary with this one. As a soon to be daughter-in-law I can tell you how much this will mean to your future daughters. The first time I went to meet the Spiveys, Mrs. Spivey had a little gift bag waiting for me in the room when I arrived but I didn't open it until before bed. It was a letter to me letting me know how special I was and that she had been praying for me since JD was little.
    It meant the world to me!!!!!

    I adored this one and can't wait to write letters to my children's spouses.
    Love you bunches.

  20. I love it Ris!!! So beautifuly written!!

  21. ok, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Wow….I am speechless…as a mom of boys as well, thisis AMAZING and I am going to do this too! You inspire me, you move me, and you speak to my heart…thanks friend!!

  22. :D Love this.

  23. You're a great mom, Ris! And, your daughters-in-law are going to love you! Thanks for sharing great wisdom.

  24. Ummm, yeah, so I believe in arranged marriages. Let's get together and decide who my Abby can have! ; ) heehee! Seriously, this was SO good! Watching my baby sister go through some rough relational issues with her mother in law, has brought this topic closer to my heart. I'm grateful for the opportunity to readjust my focus and continue praying for my kids spouses and remembering that I have my children for only a small season of their life. They are precious to me as their spouses now will be. Thanks Marissa!

  25. Wonderfully written…and yessssss….we did and still pray for our DiL…for over 25 years now. Our son has chosen another path, and we pray he returns to the God of his youth and upbringing and the JESUS he professed to believe in when he accepted Christ as his Savior at age 10. Holding on to the vision God has for his life…one not involving calamity, is our constant prayer. Yes, still praying for that beautiful woman of God for our son. I said many of the things you are saying now to your sons…believing that HIS WORD through me/us will not return void. Thank you for this reminder…I'll pen letters to her still! Believing in the fullness of time…

  26. Awesome!!! Such great encouragement! As a Mommy of three little future husbands I will cherish this one for a long time! Thanks!

  27. Crazy beautiful. I love how you love your 'mens'. I love how you share it and inspire others. I love that the fact that you are inspiring shocks you. These letters say so much…about love, about faith, about obedience, about character. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Ris, we did this with our three sons who are all now married to wonderful, Godly women. We knew from the beginning the boys were ours to raise but not to keep. And because we prayed daily for the girls who would some day complete our sons, my heart recognized them from the moment I met them. For those of you out there with young sons, start praying for them today!

  29. Marissa…thank you….what a gift this article is….my sons are 16 and 17 years old….and I was just praying for my future daughter in laws…we talk often about them and do pray for them….although neither of my boys are dating anyone seriously at the time…we know they are out there…and need our prayers….I will put this article in my prayer journal….Once again thank you so very much!!!!!

  30. Love this! Great reminders of how to begin now loving, anticipating, and training my boys for these precious women who God has already selected for our boys!!! Thank you for sharing!

  31. loved it. Carin prickett

  32. Loved reading this Marrisa! I have 5 girls and 1 boy and we have been praying for their future spouses since they were babies. Now they pray for them too. I love the thought of loving those spouses before we even know them. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  33. Ris! This is great. I copied and pasted and printed the letter part of the post because the principles there are giving me new ideas of how to pray for my kids' future spouses. Thank you! Love.

  34. I recently wrote on my Facebook status that God was leading me (this week) to really press into praying for our son's wife. Yesterday, while in the car, I was overwhelmed with love for her. I could almost see her long brown hair, beautiful eyes filled with Jesus and a heart to love HIM above all and THEN adoring our Joshua. He is only 14 years old but I've prayed for her since Josh was born. I love how the Lord speaks straight to our heart and gives us glimpses of His design for our children. I also love writing and the inspiration I received from you, to write his wife letters before we even meet!! I'll also do this for our girls…Isabella (9) and Abi (2.5)! Hope to meet you someday.
    Much love, Ruth