My sons and I are reading Bob Goff’s book Love Does together. Last night we read about Ryan, a guy so in love he asked a stranger if he could propose to his girl on their property.
After reading, I asked the boys how they think they would propose, if the time ever comes. Both of them, so charmingly certain, announced, “Just like Ryan!” So here’s hoping they meet a Bob Goff in the future.
The recent spate of weddings, in the past two years in fact, has made marriage one of the more popular topics in our home. Hubby and I have often found ourselves talking about our sons’ futures, and the families they might have.
I suppose it’s easy to assume that if either one gets married, because we raised them, they would end up being a good husband. But that’s not true. They are, like us, a work in progress. Many times, we remind them the things they do today become the bricks that lay the foundation of the future. Including marriage.
Mostly, we tell them they are not a checklist.
Neither is anyone else.
I don’t think we’re supposed to live our lives hoping to meet some criteria someone has set. If I want my sons to believe they are unconditionally loved by God, then it follows that I want them to respond to that by reflecting grace toward other people and themselves.
And not by measuring others by some checklist.
This doesn’t mean they don’t have to work to be the best they can be. They do, but not according to the standards other people set.
But there’s also the other half of the picture.
The future wives.
One of the women I look up to once told the teenager-me how important it is to pray for your child’s future mate. Now I know that’s all the rage now, but back then I was given a rare gift in that I got to watch the truth of her words happen in her children’s lives.
Nothing, but nothing, makes something seem so real as watching it unfold, even from a distance.
And so, as I think about the possibility of marriage in each son’s future, I pray for my future daughters-in-law. And here’s what I ask for, so far.
I ask that they, no matter what their pasts look like, be no strangers to God’s healing grace. I ask that they would not only believe in God, but that they would know Him as He wants to be known in their lives.
I ask that they genuinely care about people. And by this I mean a deep and abiding concern, and not a loud, in-your-face, this-is-what-I’m-about, kind of spectacle.
I ask that they strongly believe in duty, that they take ownership of their responsibilities. I ask this because I have learned that our roles in life come with long To-do lists. And this world would be a better place if more people were willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty, whether or not they feel like it. A person who shirks duty every time is a person without a leg to stand on.
I ask that they have a great sense of humor. I seriously believe it will tide them over during those long days when there’s nothing to celebrate and stress is the only thing on the menu.
And mostly, I ask that neither of my sons will end up with someone who has an agenda.
That would make them nothing but a means to an end. And that would equate to living their lives like some poster children for a particular cause.
That would suck.
Because no matter how good the cause is, my sons are more than just a logo and a slogan.
Every person is worth more than that.
So I ask that if they do get married, that they end up with someone who just wants to do life with them,
whatever that looks like,
where ever it takes them.
So many words, words that would only mean something if marriage proves to be a part of each son’s story. I hope so. I want grandchildren.