My dearest daughters,
Just the other day, you were babies, and now you are young women. How or when that happened, I have no idea, but it did, and so now you are getting to the age when you might start thinking about the kind of man you want to marry someday, should that be God's will for you.
When I was your age, I had no idea what to look for in a husband. I knew he needed to be a man after God's own heart, but beyond that I didn't give very much thought to the kind of mate I should be seeking.
I didn't know I needed these things in a husband. But our God of grace gave them to me anyway in your wonderful dad, so now I can tell you that you might want to look for them, too.
I didn't know I needed a husband who would be patient with me even though I am so often impatient with him.
I didn't know I needed a husband who would spend more time reading the Bible than any other book.
I didn't know I needed a generous husband who would put gas in his teenager's car and would never even once make me feel I wasn't contributing to our household just because I "stayed home."
I didn't know I needed a husband who would serve God and his family by serving his local church as deacon and elder and Sunday School teacher and kids' club leader and pastoral search committee member and prayer room volunteer.
I didn't know I needed a husband so truly kind that when he would be out to lunch one day with our children, someone would come up to their table and tell them, "You do know you have the best dad in the world, don't you?"
I didn't know I needed a husband who would tell me I'm beautiful not because he thinks I expect it but because he thinks it.
I didn't know I needed a husband who would go to work every day to provide for his family without ever complaining or grumbling. Even when he was tired... or it was his birthday...or he had to drive through a snowstorm while the rest of the family had a snow day.
I didn't know I needed a husband who would rearrange his work schedule to attend all his children's events.
I didn't know I needed a husband who, when I called him at his office to tell him there was a bat hanging on the window curtain, would say "I'll be there in 10 minutes"--even though the drive home took 15. (Sometimes, Batman wears a business suit.)
I didn't know I needed a husband so steady and calm that his standard response to panicked messages from me would always be "no problem."
I didn't know I needed a husband who, on a cold Sunday morning when I was running behind getting ready for church, would move the dress I'd chosen to wear out of an unheated closet and into the warm bedroom AND make the bed because he knew it drove me crazy to leave it unmade.
My beautiful brides-to-maybe-be, look first and always for God. He alone can give you everything you need and will never fail or fall short. But if someday, you bring a future husband home to meet your dad and me, I hope he's a lot like the man I didn't know I needed...the man I didn't know to look for. Because a man who is these things and does these things is someone worth finding and holding onto.