My precious daughters,
You are so little right now, so entirely captivated by the joys of childhood. It is hard for me to imagine you as young women, grown and lovely and looking eagerly toward romance and marriage! Yet I know that time is coming for each of you, more quickly than I can grasp at this moment. When it comes — when you are beginning relationships and evaluating young men and being swept away in the dizzy excitement of new love — I hope you will remember the things you are learning about men right now, during these years of watching your daddy.
Watch how he loves me. Do you see how he pursues my heart, treating me with gentleness and respect and appreciation and desire? Watch how willing he is to listen to me when he is tired, stopping everything to focus on me and show me how important I am to him. Remember how many times you’ve seen your daddy hold me while I cry, absorbing my pain into himself and giving me his strength in return. And watch carefully how he uses the gift of time in so many practical ways, like washing dishes or doing laundry, to say “I love you”. See how he tells me that I am beautiful even when I feel like a mess, and the way he looks at me that says he really means it.
Remember, also, how he makes me laugh! I hope even when you are grown you can still see that gleam in his eye as he teases me. Watch how he follows me around the kitchen while I’m cooking, getting in my way and not even knowing it because he’s talking so earnestly about something — know that I love that. And see the way he manages to hold my hand even though we’re juggling car seats and diaper bags, and how he kisses me in the hallway for no reason, and how sometimes you can’t sit on his lap during a movie because he’s holding me in his arms instead. Watch carefully…these are the ways he makes me feel romanced every single day, after seven years of marriage and four children!
See how he stays faithful to me, no matter what. As you grow older you will realize how carefully he chooses the movies that he watches, and how consistently he turns away from the scantily clad dancing girls at halftime of the basketball game. Like Job, he has made a covenant with his eyes, and he chooses faithfulness in purity to honor the Lord and to honor me. So don’t listen when they tell you that it can’t be done, that “boys will be boys”. Wait for one like your daddy, who is willing to be a man instead!
Most of all, my girls, watch how your daddy follows Jesus. See how he puts others first and himself last as he seeks to follow Christ’s example of servant leadership. I hope as you grow up you can see clearly how seriously he takes his responsibility before God to lead our family in truth and love. Remember how he prays with you, and reads the Bible with you, and stops to explain the big words and to answer every single one of your questions.
Store all of these things in your hearts, my girls! Tuck each one of these memories away, the snapshots of your daddy loving, and listening, and leading. When the day comes for romance to awake in each of your lives, you will already know what to look for, if you remember the example that has been before you every day, through all these years of watching your daddy.