My son likes to talk about and pray for his “wife.” He’s only four, but we’ve had a number of conversations about my future daughter-in-law.
Here’s what I know about her so far, according to his description.
- She’s just like me. (awwww!)
- She’s going to be best friends with his sisters. (awwww!)
- She’s going to live with us forever. (He cried when I tried to explain she might want to live somewhere else. He is certain she is going to WANT to live with us forever. I’m uncertain of his certainty.)
- She currently lives in two nearby cities. (Vacation home? Divorced parents? Can’t make up her mind? I don’t know why she has two homes so close together. To each his own.)
- Her name is “Poinsettia.” (Um. Okay?)
He sometimes asks me where she is and what she’s doing, or why he hasn’t met her yet. It prompts me to think about her. To wonder those same things. Where is she? What’s she doing? Have we met her? Do we know her parents?
As a daughter-in-law myself, it’s made me think about my husband at this age. What conversations might his parents have had with him? What might they have been wondering about me?
Little did they know that I was growing up just a few miles away, a couple years older than their son. Little did they know I was being raised Catholic, while they were Evangelical Christian. Little did they know I would lose my father at age 12, while they were taking my future husband to little league games. Little did they know the path I was walking with no knowledge of Christ, as they were prayerfully guiding their son toward adulthood and eventually marriage.
I wasn’t raised in a Christian home and my parents (presumably) never prayed for my future spouse, not the way most evangelical families pray for their children. That they would grow up to have a strong, Christ-centered marriage. That they would come to know the Lord at a young age. That they would blend well with their family. That this unknown person would love their child well.
But as someone who was prayed for, even when I wasn’t Christian, even when I didn’t know about these kinds of prayers or the desires in the heart of a Christian mother or father, I have a little different perspective. I am so incredibly grateful for the prayers of my now mother & father-in-law, and I can see how they were used to protect and guide me even when I didn’t know Jesus or have any “Christian influence” in my life.
My son’s number 1 request is that his wife is just like me. What if she is? What if she is just like I was as a little girl? What prayers might she need? How can I support her right now, before I even have the privilege of meeting her?
She may not be from a Christian family. I’m not. She may not accept Jesus at a young age. I didn’t. I can pray for those things, but I find myself drawn to “even if He does not” prayers like those of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. My God CAN bring my son a wife from a strong Christian home, a girl who has obediently and steadfastly loved and served the Lord her whole life. But. “Even if He does not.” How might I pray then?
Here are 5 things I pray for my future daughter-in-law
Sweet girl, where ever you are I pray that God will protect you as you grow. That you will be kept safe as you find your way to Him. I do not know if your parents know Jesus or if you have any Christian friends or family, but until you come to know our Lord as your Savior, I pray He will protect you and your heart as He guides you into His family.
For a knowledge & trust in God
Future daughter of mine, I pray that whether or not church or Scripture is part of your childhood, that you would sense God. That you would be drawn to Him and see Him working around you. That you would have Christians coming into your life from all sides showing you His goodness, and that even before you accept Jesus as Lord, seeds of knowledge and trust in God would grow in you.
For a good husband
Dear one, I pray that this boy of mine would grow into a fine husband for you, just like his father before Him. I pray that his father and I would be good instructors in the ways of a strong, loving, supporting, hilarious marriage. That our boy would learn the habits of studying his wife and loving her as she needs to be loved, and that you would be blessed by a kind, funny, encouraging man when you two become one.
For kind, loving sisters
Oh girlfriend. I so hope that my daughters are prepared to love you well. I pray that these two identical firecrackers would make room in their hearts for you even now. That you would never feel like a third wheel, but like a missing piece of the puzzle. I pray that the three of you would have adventures and laughs and most of all, love and acceptance of one another. I pray I can model that kind of female friendship with my sisters-in-law, so that my daughters look forward to it their entire lives.
For a welcoming, encouraging mother-in-law
Sweet baby girl, most of all I pray that God prepares me to love you. I pray that I grow into a woman you choose to befriend. I pray that I let go of my son slowly over the years, so that your union with him is a seamless and joyous one that my mama heart is prepared for. I pray that you know even now deep in your heart that I love you. I’m waiting patiently and working diligently toward the day when I can love you well in person. But for now, I will love you by preparing myself to welcome, encourage, and love you well when you join our family. Hugs to you, from afar, Poinsettia! (please, Jesus, don’t let that be her name.)