Dear Son, As You Dream About Your Future Wife, Remember This…
I love that you’re thinking about the special traits you want in your future wife as you dream of who she will be. I remember doing the same thing for years, creating an ideal list of important qualities I wanted in my husband.
But anyone who has said their vows and walked down the aisle and out into the world to do life together for more than a minute- knows marriage is far from what we imagine it to be.
Through each new experience you have together, your marriage will reveal new layers of depth that go beyond any checklist you ever had. Love does that. It takes our pre-conceived expectations and changes our perceptions about what forever love actually means.
And as you grow to discover the truth about marriage and the veracity of love, you’ll slowly learn what really matters.
Sure, there might be a handful of characteristics on that list your forever girl has and that’s all wonderful. But since your dad and I have been married for over 20 years, I’ve learned that having a happy and healthy marriage isn’t about that initial list or the ideal qualities you search for in a spouse. It’s about your commitment to one another and your devotion to nourishing the love you have in ways you wouldn’t know until you’re smack dab in the middle of it all. This is where the good stuff of love transpires. This is where the strength and endurance of love come through. But it takes hard work to experience this kind of love, and I want you to understand this profound truth when you think about your future wife.
When you say you want your wife to be beautiful…
I bet she will be utterly beautiful, but make sure you find a girl who has inner beauty too. There’s so much more to beauty than what you’ll see, and you won’t truly understand the immensity of it all until you’re married. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, and your idea of what is beautiful will be defined and refined in so many new ways. True love teaches us that physical beauty only goes so far and it’s the beauty in who we are that continues to grow. You’ll fall more in love with her kindness and her generosity, her perspective and her perseverance, and you’ll discover these qualities are more captivating than how she’ll ever look. When you find the right girl, you’ll fall for both, but you’ll quickly discover that her attractiveness increases with age, as your eyes focus more and more on her beauty that shines on the inside.
When you say you want your wife to be smart…
I bet she will be so smart, but make sure you find a girl who is wise too. For anyone can have intelligence and learn all they want to learn about things they are interested in, but wisdom requires the hard work of self-awareness and growth. Wisdom leads to developing our character and maturing from the lessons we learn. Wisdom finds meaning in our mistakes and purpose in our pain. Wisdom reveals all the intricate details we discover in who we are and what we do, through our circumstances and our relationships, and it takes introspection and intention to put it to good use. Wisdom requires a special strength and bold courage to dive into self-examination and reconstruction and allow both to enrich your life. And someday, you’ll realize that growing together in wisdom will bring out the best in you both.
When you say you want your wife to be athletic…
Having similar interests is a wonderful thing in a marriage. You can do many activities together and enjoy your partnership in them all. But having diverse pursuits allows you both to appreciate your differences too. It’s always fun to share things in life that you two both like, but there will be times when you support one another’s endeavors that are entirely their own and that might take sacrifice and compromise. Compatibility is important, but compromise is key when it comes to growing older together and helping each other build your own individual dreams. Make sure you see the value in honoring your differences because you will find so much fulfillment in believing in the unique talents and aspirations of the one you love.
So, dear son, keep creating your list of traits you’d love to have in a wife, but you’ll find that true love doesn’t come with a list of expectations or conditions, rather, it is all about learning how to love each other well. When you dream about who your wife will be, remember that marriage above all, is a life-long commitment, and you will grow and change with every year you are together.
Those initial traits can change, some might grow stronger, while others might fade away. There will be new ones added as you get older and experience both the joys and the challenges of life along the way. And as you travel the long road with each other, you’ll soon realize that true love is a choice you make every single day.