An Open Letter To My Future Daughter-In-Law

(This post first appeared on my blog on July 6, 2016.)


Dear Carly,

We go way back you and I.  Far beyond the 6 years you’ve been dating my son. We go back to before you were even born.  Let me explain….

an open letter to my future daughter-in-law

I remember my first thoughts of you.  I was alone in the hospital with my new little baby boy.  He was sound asleep in my arms and his life flashed before my eyes and I thought about all the possibilities that awaited my sleeping baby.

And I prayed.  I prayed for his life, I prayed he’d accept Christ as his Savior and tears ran down my cheeks.

I prayed for you.  That’s right, 8 months before you were born, and for 16 years before I’d see your beautiful face, I prayed for you.  I prayed that you were being taught about God by a family that loved you deeply.  I prayed God was molding you into a wonderful young lady that would love my son unconditionally.

I pray for you still.  I pray as you enter life together that each argument draws you closer together – each compromise has you meeting in the middle where marriage blossoms.

I pray for your strength as you become the woman of your new home. I promise to call before I come over and respect your home as just that – YOUR home.

I pray you won’t kill him when you find his boxers on the floor…. again.

Pretty soon you’ll replace me.  Oh, I know I’ll always be his mom but in so many ways you’ll replace me. It’ll be you he hugs and kisses goodnight.  It’ll be you he goes home to after work and shares about his day.  He won’t be sitting in the dark living room with me having deep discussions at 1 a.m. on anything from God to money to youtube videos – you’ll be the one listening now.

You’ll hear his dreams and his fears – please allow him to still dream. Listen as he shares his heart and encourage his pursuits. Allow him to share his feelings of inadequacy as a husband and father.  Don’t rub his nose in it, instead, encourage his heart and I can guarantee he’ll do the same for you. It’ll only make him love you more.

Protect his heart.  I’m trusting you with it now.

But please remember I was his first love.

I kissed his boo-boos, rushed him to the hospital with a bloody face when he was attempting stunts on his bike, sat up nights holding a bucket by his bed and giving him medicine at 3 a.m. to treat a fever.

I held his little hands and taught him how to walk.  Now it’s you who will hold his hand and together you’ll learn how to navigate a marriage.

I want to warn you, there will be days you don’t like him very much. But I pray on those days you remember your deep commitment to each other. Satan will try to tear you apart. And the days you don’t like each other or don’t necessarily feel “in love” will be his door in.  Slam the door hard. Keep him out.  Fight for your marriage.  You’ll like him again and feel the mushy “in love” butterflies again.  It ebbs and flows like the tide.  But true love in a committed marriage is as deep as the ocean, so the ebb and flows will happen, but the depth is still there.

Try to show him grace as you’ll be faced with the fact that he runs on “Austin Time”. Always a little late and never in a hurry. You see, he takes after my dad that way. He even entered the world on “Austin Time” – my fourth trip to the hospital.  After going into labor three previous times only to be sent home because he was in no big hurry to leave the womb, I was laying on the couch, insisting I wouldn’t go to the hospital until I knew for sure he was ready to pop out.  That night my dad knelt by the couch and held my hand in his large grasp and comforted me and let me squeeze the blood from his fingers as I moaned in pain.  My dad who was a man of few words was also a man who deeply loved his family.  See, there are so many worse people he could emulate.  So to me “Austin Time” has always been a bit precious.

I held him as he cried when he lost his grandma, aunt, and grandpa.  One day you’ll hold him as he loses me.  Please hold him tight that day and assure him I’m with the Lord and it’s only “see you later” and not a final goodbye.

I want you to know his dad and I are always here for you and we’ll support and encourage you as a couple anyway we can. We’ll allow you both the space to work through the life you’re crafting together. You’ll have pieces of your home and how you were raised and pieces of ours that will meld into a new life that’s a perfect fit for the two of you.

Keep God first above all and hold on for the wild, beautiful ride He has planned for you.

I hold his past – but you hold his future.

With all my love,



Categories: Adult Kids

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