Your biggest concern my darling daughter about attending your cousin’s wedding, was having to watch him kiss his bride after vows were exchanged. You asked us as we were driving to the ceremony “If you had to watch them, you know mum…kiss?” That made your Daddy and I giggle. So you closed your eyes and scrunched up your face when they leaned in and sealed their promises. I giggled and grabbed you for a cuddle, embracing your innocence. I looked into your sparkling blue eyes and wanted to bottle you right there and then, for time passes so quickly. Did I not just push you out into this crazy world, my legs trembling as I birthed you that Spring morning. I can still smell the vernix and see you opening your blue eyes for the very first time. I welcomed you to earth and felt overwhelmed with love for you, this baby girl who I had prayed so desperately for as a young twenty-four year old.
You tell me that a boy in Grade 5 ‘likes you.’ My heart beats that little bit quicker, not yet, your are too young for all of that, but as a Mama I know it will come – You will grow into a woman one day, and the very thing that made you close your eyes and scrunch your nose up, will in fact make you feel giddy and excited. It will stop you from sleeping and concentrating on your tasks. And when you find ‘the one’ He will look into your blue eyes and you will connect- a soul connection that will see you to your death. I know, I felt is when I was a girl of seventeen. Take heed my daughter, listen and watch your daddy as an example of what love is, of how a husband should treat his wife.
I was fooled by movies and tabloids into thinking it was status, money and power-the big house and the flashy car but they are a lie. For I know many people with all the material possessions in the world but who live the most empty lives. And I know those who have very little to the world, but live the most enriched life. The key to staying content is looking inward at what you do have, not gazing outwardly focusing on what you don’t have. For when our eyes wander we begin to play the comparison game and that is not healthy for any soul.
You know your Daddy is a quiet man. He never likes to be centre of attention. No, he’s the one clearing tables, emptying bins, pouring drinks and rolling up his sleeves to wash up dirty dishes – but don’t be fooled by this silent love thinking he lacks strength. For strength is found in the integrity of a man. In the laying down of himself in order to love you.
Strength is when a man sees an attractive woman walking down the street and doesn’t look twice as he’s keeping his mind pure. He chooses to honor you in the quiet moments when temptation comes flirting. He chooses to have safe guards on his computer so airbrushed images and touched up pictures portrayed as beauty aren’t luring him into sin. When a flirtatious comment is made towards him, he places boundaries, a fence around his heart protecting you, his bride, from ever feeling second to another woman – That’s strength my Charlotte, my dear daughter.
Strength is found in the quietness of contentment. When your love grows deeper over the years and you wear wrinkles and grey. You begin to feel self-conscious yet he still whispers “That you are his top shelf girl – his number one.” He’s sees your changing body and embraces you, all of you. He can still make you feel like a young bride on her wedding night…
He’s the one who you look for when your world is spinning and chaotic – he’s your safe place. All it takes is his gentle hand to touch yours briefly to still your anxiety or gives you a glance, a wink from across the room which speaks a thousand words – you share a private love language creating intimacy.
Charlotte never stop laughing with your husband as its instant medicine for your marriage. It lightens the mood and brings you closer. Laugh at one another, with one another and at yourself. Be playful and embrace each day given, find the small gifts in one another and celebrate them. See his best and build it up. He needs you to cheer him on. Be his loudest supporter, always edifying him in public, never demeaning, as this will embarrass him, crush his soul. Be a safe wife, a predictable wife who wears his name like a badge of honor.
And be determined my girl, for love is a daily choice, never become complacent for that is foolish. Fight for your love, your wedding vows are for the tough times – honor them. Give him reason to fight for you.
This world will tell you, that if you are unhappy then sign papers and walk away. I am telling you not to.
For if you have chosen wisely in the first place, then you would have chosen a man who loves Jesus with his whole heart, and you know with God all things are possible – just look at your father and I. We have been to the darkest of places, yet we chose to see beauty in those moments, to find beauty in one another. When your relationship fails and you feel like it’s a crumbling mess, build it back up again – one stone at a time. Be a praying wife and watch the hand of God repair and restore your relationship.
But most of all, remember that the wife who is admired and praised is the one who loves and lives for the Lord.