My 25-year-old self cannot believe I am writing this post.
She would disagree with me whole-heartedly. She would say that my thinking is archaic and insulting.
She would want me to write about a college education, self-confidence, happiness, or pursuit of dreams.
She would be ashamed and disappointed in my 1950’s thinking.
But my 25-year-old self, didn’t know Chad yet. She had only experienced loss, betrayal, disappointment, and hurt. She had to be strong and self-reliant and tough. She had to pick herself up, clean up the wounds and press forward. She had to give herself control.
Even my 30 or 35-year-old self still wouldn’t have let herself feel this way. It’s way too vulnerable to completely love and need someone.
However, my 40 something self knows better. She has finally given in and accepted the biggest blessing in her life:
Her husband. My husband.
If I could bestow one gift to my daughters, if I could bestow one wish on their futures, I would wish for them, above all else, to find a husband like Chad.
Yes, I said it.
More than education, more than confidence, more than talents, more than following their dreams, my biggest wish for my girls is that they find a man like their dad.
I don’t wish for education, confidence, talents, or dreams for my daughters because these goals are largely within their control. These accomplishments don’t take ‘wishes’ they take ‘work’. My daughters can get an education based on their efforts. They can develop their confidence based on their understanding and experience. They can develop their talents based on their drive. They can follow their dreams based on their courage. They have control of so many parts of their lives.
I purposely used the word ‘wish’ in this case because finding an awesome husband is largely luck. We can’t force it or teach it or control it or will it. And while being a great person increases one’s chances of scoring a great guy, one’s personal character is no guarantee. Just ask my 25-year old self. Finding a quality guy is in God’s hands.
So that is why I wish a beautiful marriage for my daughters.
I wish that they find someone like their dad.
Someone that is so confident in himself that he is also confident in her.
Someone that is strong yet soft.
Someone that puts her needs above his.
Someone that is an equal partner in parenting.
Someone willing to learn and someone willing to listen.
Someone that takes babies from crying moms and helps old ladies out to their cars.
Someone that is not threatened by her strength or confidence, but attracted to it.
Someone who stays late to vacuum the church and gets there early to shake hands.
Someone who trusts her spending because she can be trusted.
Someone who changes diapers, cooks meals, does laundry and helps with homework.
Someone who says, “Whatever you do looks good” when she decorates the house.
Someone who realizes that she must have had a hard day if they are eating fast food, yet someone that appreciates the time and effort of a home-cooked meal.
Someone who thinks she is beautiful fat or thin, with or without makeup.
Someone who walks in the door from work, puts down his bag, gives her a kiss, and then jumps in to help with dinner.
Someone who is gentle and forgiving of erratic moods.
Someone who helps her keep her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds.
Someone who risks and works hard.
Someone who stays up late to provide for the family and gets up early to take out the trash.
Someone who wrestles on the floor with the boys and snuggles with the girls at night.
Someone who asks, “What can I do for you?”
Someone just like their dad.
Now I get that Chad could go off the deep end and leave me stranded. That has happened to more than one good woman. No marriage is forever safe. Marriage always takes work and effort and safe guarding.
I know there is death. There is divorce. There is disappointment.
But that doesn’t diminish the beauty of happy marriages. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate and enjoy what is happy today. And because I have an education, confidence, talents, and dreams through my own efforts, if it all goes south, I will still be okay. I can survive without him. I can even be happy and successful without him, but I don’t want to have to. Why suppress a current joy for a future fear?
So, Elle and Croft, may you be blessed to find husbands as good as your daddy. Let your 25 year-old self and your 35-year old self and your 40-something self completely love him and need him. Give in earlier than I did. Let yourself receive the gift, and let yourself be vulnerable. It is not weak or archaic; it is beautiful.
This is my wish for my daughers.