February 23, 2012

The Truest Example

Dear Isabel,

Time has never sped by as it has since you came into our lives and there are still so many lessons for you to learn from me before you go out into the world, all on your own. They are important ones, and I worry that all the years you will spend under our roof will not be time enough for you to understand just how crucial some of them are for your life.

This is one of them.

You asked your daddy just the other night, at only six years old, who you should marry. I know you wanted a name, and baby, one day you will know it. But for now here is what I want to bury deep in your heart so you keep this lesson close by as you search for him and wait for him to find you too.

Marry a man who loves God more than he loves you. Only by knowing his first love will he be able to love you when you are most unlovable. And you will be, often.

Marry a man who understands how deeply he has been forgiven. Only that understanding will allow him to forgive you big and small. And you will need it, over and over.

Marry a man who is truly humbled by his faults and keenly aware of his virtues but who is keenly aware of your faults and truly humbled by your virtues. Only then will he understand how you complement each other. And you will both need the reminder, many times over.

Marry a man who is your equal in intellect but who is not threatened by yours. Only then will he push you to think and grow and to challenge yourself and him. And you will become his best sounding board and he, yours.

Marry a man who understands your dearest passions and supports you as you pursue them. Only then will you feel encouraged to fulfill the calling God placed in your life. And you will need him to cheer you on when you are ready to give up, for you will.

Marry a man who thinks you are beautiful and who will tell it to you often. Only then will he see your beauty when your hair turns gray and your skin sags and the lines plague your eyes. And you will crave those words from him more than you can imagine now.

Marry a man who knows his True Citizenship. Only then will he see as countrymen and women all fellow humans, and work for the good of everyone regardless of race, nationality or creed. And together you will extend your love for your neighbor far beyond what you can see from your backyard.

Marry a man who does not “help” you with the chores or “babysits” the children but rather shares on the chores and spends time with his children. Only then will you be true partners in the journey, even if you stay at home and do most of the chores and spend the most time with the children. And you may.

Marry a man who thinks the role of a father is crucial in a child’s life. Only then will he work his hardest to be the daddy your children deserve. And you will never feel alone in the overwhelming task that it is parenthood.

Oh, baby, there is so much more I want to tell you about the man I dream for you that words fail me. But words are not the strongest tool in my hands and so I’ll leave you with this: keep your eyes open, baby girl.

Keep your eyes open and your ears ready.

Because nothing I can tell you will show you what a godly man looks like, acts like, sounds like, prays like, and loves like better than living in this house. 

Because you see, Isabel, I practice what I preach…

Happy birthday, Matt. You are a precious gift to me and to your children.


I Live in an Antbed said...

What a beautiful tribute! And such wise counsel!! Your children and husband are blessed to have you!! :)

Beitagrubb said...


Kathleen Jaeger said...

Wonderful tribute! Wonderful example for your daughter to follow. Love it.

heather said...

She has the best example to follow!

Debbie said...

This is one of the best, best posts I've ever read. You express so BEAUTIFULLY what I have tried to teach to my own girls. I am going to show both of them this post because I love your way with words. The way you ended it make my heart sort of skip in my chest if you know what I mean.

And I practice what I preach too. You described my Sir Lotsa Hair to a "t".

Clearly, my blog friend, you are a woman most blessed.