Dear Future Son,
It's crazy to think that you're somewhere on this big blue planet, right now... maybe in kindergarten like your wife-to-be, maybe in third grade... maybe graduating high school like your future-father-in-law was while I was six. But that's a whole other letter.
You might have a ballgame today after school. Or perhaps your parents have a conference with your teacher. Tonight's the night Abi stays at her grandparents' house. I wonder if you do that, too?
I often think about you, and wonder what you're doing while Abi is coloring me a picture or jumping on the trampoline. Do you have a brother or sister, or a puppy to play with? Do you share a room with someone? Are your eyes green like Abi's, or are they blue? Are you a little pain-in-the-rear about having your teeth pulled like your lady-in-training?
My son-to-be, while I care about these things and everything about you, what I really pray for are the things we can't always see. I pray you are surrounded by loved ones who are affectionate and playful with you. I pray that you are affirmed as the wonderful creature you are every day. I pray you are filled with the knowledge of God's immense love for you. I pray there's a man in your life who models being a man of integrity before your face on a daily basis. I hope you see your dad kiss your mom and hold her hand when they walk through the mall. Or if your parents aren't together, that you aren't basing your idea of romance off of what you see on TV, because that stuff is fake. I pray you see your mom prized like the jewel she is... that you see her doted on and lavished with praise, because the young lady you are going to marry has not only seen ME praised and valued, but she's never known a day of insignificance in her life.
I hope you are learning to open car doors and store doors for ladies. I hope you see that it is your responsibility to pay for your dates, to walk to the door and pick her up, and return her with all of her clothing and all of her self-esteem in tact at the end of the night. I pray that you are learning to guard your eyes and your heart from seeing women as objects of sex and lust. I pray that you are seeing that real men don't participate in activities they would be ashamed of their moms knowing about. And when you mess up, I pray you have a repentant heart.
I hope you realize you have big shoes to fill. Your father-in-law is a man among men. He is not forceful, condescending, or chauvenistic with his girls. We have been treated like the special ladies we are. Your wife is head over heels in love with her daddy, and trust me... she always will be. She has been dated, romanced, and cherished by her father. He holds her hand, lets her cry, and tolerates her mood swings. When he knows it's her hormones making her cry, he has learned the balance of when to step in and when to walk away. You won't figure this out until MUCH later in your marriage, so don't stress because you can't figure it out right away.
Abigail has been trained to speak kindly to you. To value your hard work. To fix your favorite foods and iron your clothes to show you appreciation. She understands that you are the head of your household. However, she comes from a long line of strong women. She is not a doormat, and I expect that if you try to treat her as one, you'll only make that mistake one time.
She is not perfect. She is a clothes fanatic. She isn't a fan of many vegetables (we're working on that). She thinks Cheetos are a dairy product. She grinds her teeth sometimes while she sleeps. She forgets to flush the toilet after she pees. Drama runs DEEEEEEPLY in her veins. But young man, you are receiving the best gift you could have ever received on this side of eternity when you take her hand. If you knew the treasure you will receive in her, you'd find it hard to concentrate on anything else for the next fifteen years or so until she's ready. So, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, whoever you're with... we are praying for you. We love you already.
Oh, and what I pray for you most is that you have a personal, living, breathing relationship with the One who laid His life down for yours. Your wife does. I see her live intimately with Him everyday.
PS. I fully plan on being the next best thing to your mom for the rest of my life. You're stuck with me, buddy. Be thankful. And scared. ;-)