My son is getting married. Someday. And "someday" is going to be here sooner than I think.
Last week I subbed in an English class that has been reading Romeo and Juliet. The homework assignment that night was for the students to write out the type of qualities they hope for in their future spouse. Then they had to predict what their parents would say they want in a future spouse for their son or daughter.
As I passed out the homework assignment, I chuckled and said, "I bet my son could fill this out--and he's only six."
Not because he's some prodigy who can do high school English. But because I already talk to him about the type of woman I hope he marries, and the type of husband I want him to be. By the time he has a girl in mind for whom to purchase a ring, he will know my heart on the matter. And I pray he will take it to heart.
These are some of the conversations we're having now:
* You get to practice how you'll treat your wife one day in the way you treat Mommy and Liley. If you don't plan on treating your wife poorly, then don't treat us poorly. We are your training field. Practice now treating Mommy and your sister with kindness, so that treating your wife with love and consideration one day will just be the natural extension of what you've practiced all along.
* Read your Bible. I want you to attract the heart of a young lady who LOVES that you read your Bible--and that you do what it says.
* Watch what Daddy does. You have been BLESSED to have the example you have in him. Of course nobody's perfect--but he's getting it right. He is an awesome husband and father. Follow in his footsteps.
* Have a teachable heart. Please, please do not be stubborn--that will never serve you well long-term. I promise. Own up to your brokenness, selfishness, and your need for the LORD to refine you where it's needed.
* Say you're sorry. Not saying you are sorry when it's necessary will be a snare to your feet. Humble yourself when you've been out of line. Ask for forgiveness, and be willing to give it.
* Be a gentleman. Open doors. Use your finest manners. Tell her she looks lovely. Bring her a flower. Seriously, this stuff still really works.
* If she doesn't love Jesus, she is not an option for you. Period. You are a follower of Christ. Pursue another follower of Christ, or no one at all.
* She must LOVE you, Trev. I hope she makes you laugh until your sides hurt. I hope she's considerate of others. I hope she wants to be a mom who builds into her children for the long-term. But more than anything, I hope you choose a girl who loves Jesus and loves you.
I'm having these conversations with him now, because time is flying by. This covered-in-green-finger-paint little guy has become this:
And it won't be nearly long enough before he goes on a first date. And then another. And eventually he will have his last first date. And then that tiny hand I held will take another hand in marriage.
So I'm starting the conversation early.