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To the woman who marries my son
He can't walk yet, but one day he'll choose to walk through life with you. Here are some things you should know. - photo by Burkley Rudd
Before I say anything else, I want to tell you how very excited I am to meet you. You're still in diapers somewhere right now, but soon enough I will have the pleasure of calling you daughter-in-law. Welcome to my family!

Likewise, my son can't even walk yet. He's just figuring out how to use his little voice and grab things. This may be years and years too early, but I realize how many blinks away your wedding day will be, and I want to be prepared. Time will catch me unawares unless I stay ahead of the game.

I promise you that I will have given my best efforts to my son when you find each other. He will know that "husband" is one of the two most ennobling titles a man can gain, the other being "father." He will know that he has no business making a woman a mother before first making her his wife.

From your first meeting, he will be the courteous and respectful man every man ought to be. Doors will be held open, chairs will be pulled out (not out from under you), and the grace and dignity of your womanhood will never be violated.

He will be the willing, strong, and capable provider you need, and do his best every day to give you the things you've always wanted but never had. He will not push and prod you into the workforce if you want first and foremost to raise your children. He will not resist if you want to have a job as well, but what he will do is insist that his children grow up with dedicated, present parents.

He will quickly grow to love your family. He will clearly see where all the things he loves about you have come from, and be profoundly grateful for them. He will be a fast friend to your siblings and a support and help to your parents. He will look forward to seeing them as often as he can. He will laugh and cry with them all your married life.

He will know that belief matters a lot in a time and culture where belief is under attack; you will not be attending church alone. He will encourage the best of your spiritual strength and constantly reach out to God for help in that project. He will refer you to scripture as a compass for your life together, and take his place as the head of the home as you take yours as its heart.

He will have flaws. He will get angry and frustrated and selfish, occasionally saying and doing things he will wish he hadn't. Please, please forgive him and work it out. You will all be the stronger for it.

More than anything else, my son will love you with everything in him. You will be the most magnificent woman in his life. You will be his very best friend, the best decision he ever made. As the mother of your children, he will be filled with reverent awe watching you raise them.

He will never think the word divorce.

He will need you like he needs air.

Wherever you might be, future daughter-in-law, I hope you enjoy the rest of your childhood. When you are both ready, I will be overjoyed to offer my son to you, knowing that he will do everything he can to take care of you.

I pray that you will take care of him, too.
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