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Wife, Mother, Pastor

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To The Mother Of My Future Son-In-Law

To the mother of my future son-in-law,

Hello!  My name is Rachael and one day you and I will be ‘related’.  No, we might not share Thanksgiving dinners or Christmas mornings together, but we will share other events.  A wedding, grandchildren, birthdays, graduations, etc.  We will be forever linked.

Let’s get to the point-I love my daughter.  Being female myself, having been married 10 years, and consistently studying the state of our culture, I have some concerns.   Concerns for my fellow man and his male offspring.  At this point, I’m all for arranged marriages.

As a parent I ask myself, “What kind of adults do I want my children to become?  What skills/abilities/characteristics do I want them leaving my house with?”

But since I can’t arrange my children’s marriages (or can I?), I ask of you- the mother of my future son-in-law:

    • Please teach good finances– how to be a provider and a giver. One of the number one reasons for divorce is money.   No matter your view, men want to provide and women want to feel secure. Tithing and giving is the best way to learn selflessness. Budgeting teaches responsibility. Get him a checking account at 16 and budget it. Get him a credit card with a $100 limit and show him the importance of making sure this gets paid off. Allow him to fail in this area under your protection instead of the hard way after he has left. Check out Dave Ramsey on money and kids. This $100 allowance is also my favorite.
    • Teach him how to cook- I’m shocked at the number of young people I meet that leave their homes and not know how to cook (or do laundry, dishes, etc.). Eating is a pretty important skill to have. I wish I could just hand this over to my husband some days. He says, “If you’ll teach me I’ll do it.” A sweet gesture babe, but honestly, I’m your wife, not your mom. I don’t want to teach you how to cook. I’m trying to teach all of our children so they won’t live on Ramen Noodles forever. Your future daughter-in-law will thank you, whether she is my daughter or not.
    • Cut the cord and let him take risks-  seriously. Do we really need to be cutting our 5 year old son’s grapes? Cut. The. Cord. Allow him some freedom-with responsibility.  Let him try to figure things out. Budgeting, cooking and laundry are a start, but let’s take it further. I’m not super mom, don’t mistake me for her. However, all my children make their beds and clean their rooms in the morning before school. And it’s the alarm clock that wakes them up, not me. I just remind myself what I want my boys to be like as adults and I start now. This little thing at a young age will help them become individuals, build self-esteem, and know that I am their mother, not their maid- and their wives will be their wives, not their maids. This leads to-
    • A producer, not a consumer- “I love that my husband plays video games,” said no wife EVER.  I’m not against technology, but we need to help our children navigate it, not allow it to take over. What ever happened to making our children go outside and play with sticks? Oh yea, we’re too afraid of them getting poked in the eye or getting kidnapped that we isolate them inside and take away freedom.  I like my TV as much as the next person, but being in front of the screen allows more time for consumption, and no time to create. If we instill fear in our sons and put them in front of a screen to consume, how do we expect them to ever take any risks for Jesus as an adult?
    • Manners and social etiquette- Manners bring favor and gratitude. Manners like “Please” and “Thank you” and “May I have a snack please? Can you pass the ranch please?” Learning to shake hands with proper greetings. When you as the mom ask a question that they not answer you with “What?” but “Yes, mom?”   It takes time but start early. This is up to you. Yes, dad can help in this, but it’s up to you to respect your son as well as expect respect and manners from him so he knows how to treat the women (and future wife) in his life. Get this book for more help.
    • Prayer and devotions- We all want our children to have an amazing relationship with God, but it starts with an example. I struggle to pray and getting time to pray; but my children see me. They see me praying for the car accident we passed by on the road, they see me kneeling at my bed when I’m lost and don’t know what to do. They hear me fighting the enemy for their souls. I pray with each of them every night. They hear me. I’m still learning myself, but just as I tell the students in kid’s ministry, it’s nothing fancy-it’s just talking to God.
    • Give him something to fight for- We like our causes. We like to protest all sorts of things. GMOs, grain-fed anything. But like my boss/lead pastor says, “GMOs didn’t destroy the city of Detroit.” What did? Drugs and alcohol. I don’t see many protesting alcohol, yet it’s one of the leading killers and destroyer of families in America. What about sex trafficking? Abortion? There are causes out there destroying families and cities. My son is only six, but every night he chooses an unreached people group (a group that has yet to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ) and he prays. Even at six my son can fight a battle. As he gets older the battles will get bigger and harder. They will cost him more.
    • Teach him purity- not just abstaining from sex. You can be a virgin and not be pure. Pornography destroys marriages and intimacy. Oral sex is still sex (did a kid’s pastor just say oral sex?). He may ask, “How far is too far?” But that’s the wrong question. The question is not how far is too far, but, “How far can I stay away as to stay pure?” Part of respecting women is to respect boundaries. We are nowhere near perfect, but my husband didn’t even say I love you until there was a ring on my finger, and we didn’t even kiss until, “You may now kiss the bride.” Does that mean that’s what our kids have to do? No, but I guarantee there will be no regrets. This is part of him learning how to be a protector of a family.

There is so much more, but I hope this helps. Please know that I am working tirelessly with my daughter to be a mature, loving, amazing godly woman for your son. I am praying for you as well as your son!

Sincerely,

Your future daughter-in-law’s mother

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