Our relationship with our in-laws can be difficult to navigate at times even when we genuinely love them. Therefore, as parents, we need to decide ahead of time how we will receive and treat those who marry our children. When we do this, we create a great foundation for a healthy relationship with not only our son/daughter-in-law but we will also cultivate and keep a strong and balanced bond with our grown child. As a mother of four boys, I’ve thought a lot about who God will lead them to marry and what I want those precious women to know. So, I decided to put together a letter to “her,” and I wanted to share it with you today.
Dear Future Daughter-in-Law…
Wherever you are in the world, I want you to know that I can’t wait to meet you, and you are already loved by our family.
From the moment our son was born, we not only prayed for him, but we prayed specifically for you. We know that God has amazing plans in store for both of you someday. As we all patiently wait for that glorious day you two walk down the aisle, your father-in-law and I want you to know a few things:
1. We support you in your autonomy as a couple.
To put this plainly, I want to resist being “all up in your business”. When you two marry, you become your own family. Your father-in-law and I want to support you two wholeheartedly in any way we can, but we also want to respect your privacy and have healthy boundaries in place. I promise we will call before we come over and try to only offer advice when you ask for it.
“This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” Genesis 2:24 (NLT)
2. When you marry our son, you will be more than an “in-law”; you will be our DAUGHTER.
We firmly believe that when two people fall in love and join each other in a marriage covenant that two truly become ONE. You will instantly become not only our son’s precious wife but our daughter too. We don’t see you as just a girl who is legally wedded to our son; we see you as his chosen beautiful bride for life.
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.
“At last!” the man exclaimed.
“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’”
Genesis 2:22-23 (NLT)
3. We want to be a blessing to you!
More than anything, we want to bless you and our son as much as we possibly can. God has so graciously blessed us with the two of you, and we want to be a blessing right back. In-laws get such a negative stigma sometimes, but we don’t want to be that stereotype at all. We are for you all, not against you! You can come to us for anything.
“And now, it has pleased you to bless the house of your servant, so that it will continue forever before you. For when you grant a blessing, O Lord, it is an eternal blessing!” 1 Chronicles 17:27 (NLT)
4. We will all make mistakes.
When two families are joined together, it can be complicated and messy at times. All of us will make mistakes. Sometimes, we may inadvertently say hurtful things, not do something the way it was intended, and so on. In those moments, I promise to seek your forgiveness and to be truthful with you if my feelings have been hurt. I ask you to do the same in order for our families to have peace. I want you both to feel like you can communicate freely with us. Please don’t “walk on eggshells”.
Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. James 3:2 (NLT)
5. Yes, I am his mother, but I want to be your FRIEND.
I know you have your own mother, and I, in no way, want to try and fill that special place in your life. I want to be your friend…your much older friend. I want to take you out to breakfast and go shopping. I want to watch the grandkids and let you have a break. I want to be on the other end of the phone when you need someone older, and hopefully wiser at that point, to talk to. Let’s please be friends. I so look forward to that.
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9 (NLT)
6. I am your prayer warrior.
I will continue to pray that God prepares your heart as you grow up, Dear Daughter. I pray that you grow in wisdom and knowledge of the Lord. I pray He bestows many blessings in your life. I pray He protects your heart and mind from sexual sin. I also pray that if you make mistakes, and many of us do, Sweet Daughter, that you will seek His forgiveness and know that you are indeed forgiven. When your heart is broken, I pray you surrender it to God. Only He can make you whole. No man, including my son, can fill this hole in your life. You are a child of God. You are precious. I pray you don’t lose sight of this.
Hold on to the hope of knowing that God has an amazing plan for your life. Please know that I am praying the very same prayers for my son, and I greatly look forward to the day when he brings you home to meet us for the very first time. I. Can’t. Wait.
But, until then, please know that you are already loved by our family. With love and anticipation for the blessings to come,
Your mother-in-love, Ashley
What would you write in a letter to your future daughter/son-in-law? Try writing it down and give it to him/her on the wedding day. I’m sure it will great a great blessing to them.