We’ve prayed that our sons would mature into men of integrity; men who never compromise their values to gain the favor of the world. We’ve prayed that they would discover their purpose in life and the passion to fulfill it. The losses of life can devastate us when we have to face them alone. Ecclesiastes 4:9 tells us that when two people and God are tied together they will not be easily torn apart. So, we’ve prayed that they would find a godly woman who, like them, puts God first and their interests before her own. Someone who will stick with them through hard times, listen to their concerns and encourage them to fulfill their God-given dreams. Well, God answers prayer. Our son proposed to his girlfriend of eight years about a year and a half ago. Neither of them wanted a big wedding until one of her friends invited her to a wedding convention. How can anyone resist the idea of having a dream wedding after seeing all the possibilities? Plans started shortly after that ‘illuminating’ day, and didn’t end until the day before their wedding, July 28th. Watching them plan and organize every detail of their wedding for almost two years has been an exercise in stress management.
I think it’s foolish to splurge a small fortune on wedding gowns, rings, and entertainment, if nothing has been set aside for essentials. Too many couples spend tens of thousands trying to create a fairy-tale event that lasts longer than the marriage. People get caught up in the celebration event, failing to understand what the union is really about. The world has gone mad pursuing sensual pleasure, even encouraging our young children to learn safe sex. Abstinence has become a ridiculous notion of the past, and uncontaminated innocence has almost vanished. Most individuals don’t want to stand out as odd. Even some Christians bend to popular opinion and yield to their own selfish desires instead of sticking to God’s guidelines.
However, some rare individuals keep their focus on God and avoid the pitfalls that most people fall into. In general, society thinks that a single person who is not sexually active must be goofy, prudish, unappealing or sexless. My son and his bride are intelligent, multi-talented, attractive and charming 27 year olds. For over 17 years we have witnessed our sons’dedication to doing what is right in the eyes of God. This also holds true for his bride. In spite of the many temptations that were purposely paraded in front of them they saved sexual intimacy for marriage. This sort of moral integrity is almost unheard of nowadays, and in this perverse world it is something that people laugh at. They should be highly praised for their commitment, because it is harder to do what is right than to give in to whatever feels good.
I’ve never known a bride more worthy of wearing white or two people with better reason to celebrate the sacred union of matrimony. No one present could doubt that these two were meant for each other, and on the right track. Our son’s face lit up when he saw his bride-to-be for the first time in her gown. He never took his eyes off her. She was the most beautiful bride I’d ever seen. Innocent beauty is breathtaking! She glowed with excited anticipation as she walked (giggling) toward her grinning future husband. It is hard to explain the tenderness, pure love, and deep respect they displayed for one another. Yes…I cried, but I wasn’t alone.
Someone later told me…‘Now momma, don’t cry. You haven’t lost a son, you’ve gained a daughter.’ I agree. I love my daughter-in-law, but miss having him around. I miss hearing him laugh uncontrollably with his brother, at the most ungodly hours. There is a sense of loss knowing that he will not think of coming to me first when he needs advice or comforting. I’ll miss our family talks during meals and watching‘B’movies together. But, everything has its season. When the time comes to let them go we need to trust that God will look after them on their journey.
Children are gifts to be cherished. We have to show them by example that we believe what we preach. Our love should be unconditional, never suffocating or permissive. Children need the freedom to express themselves, but within boundaries that carry consequences if crossed. Parents are supposed to cultivate little people into healthy, productive adults who are capable of taking care of themselves and others.
Our main objective as Christian parents is to establish a solid foundation on which our children can build their own lives—with Christ as the cornerstone of that groundwork. His life is the only one that totally exemplifies the moral principles God expects us to follow. With these foundational building blocks our kids have the essential tools needed to make wise decisions for the rest of their lives. Proverbs 22:6 tells us to teach our children right from wrong, and when they are grown they will still do right.
If we raise them Gods’way we will have the privilege of watching them grow into honorable men and women who will make this world a better place.