All little boys are in love with their mommies at some point. My son was no different. He asked me to marry him when he was five-years-old. At five, I was the center of his universe. I cared for his heart. He came to me when he was hurt, unhappy, afraid, or troubled. I cooked for him, danced with him, and played Legos with him.
Even then I was knew I laying the groundwork for relationships he’d have with other women in his life, especially his wife. He’s 12 now. And while he’s far from the age of matrimony, I’m already praying for his future wife.
One day I’ll hand his heart over to her. I have no idea who she’ll be, but I know I’ll love her because she’ll love my son. And he’ll love her back. I pray for her because she’ll have a large role to fill in his life.
I’ve taken the responsibility of raising him seriously. If I’ve done my job well, he’ll feel responsible for his wife. He’ll work hard to take care of her and their children.
If I’ve done my job well, he’ll be secure so he can make tough choices. His choices may not always be popular, but I am raising him to stand on principle and not to pander to the popular vote.
If he’s anything like his father, he’ll be his own man. And some days his wife may wonder what she’s gotten herself into. Maybe she’ll even doubt her decision to wed him. On those days, I hope she looks to me for counsel. I know things about him she doesn’t yet know. I promise to share what I know of him so she’ll understand his quirks and be equipped to love him well.
So I pray my future daughter-in-law will have a desire to stand by my son through the sunshine and the storms of life. I pray she’ll support him in his decisions and love him through his mistakes.
I pray she has a pure heart, loves God, and desires to align her life with His will for her. That she’ll lean on Him when the hard times come, and love Him more than she loves my son.
My son will look into her eyes when he’s hurt or afraid. He’ll reach for her hand when he’s happy, and he’ll share his dreams with her.
I know my son. He’s a loving, sweet boy. But he won’t think twice about diving for the last piece of pizza or eating the last cookie out of the package, and leaving the empty box sitting on the pantry shelf. Like all of us, he can be selfish and willful. It’s really hard to think of him with a wife. He is still such a boy. Sometimes he wants his own way and fights with his sisters. In the process, he’s learning how to respect women and apologize when he is wrong.
He isn’t a perfect boy, and he won’t be a perfect man either. He’s a work in progress. That work will not be complete when he takes a wife. Inevitably, he’ll let her down. My prayer is she’ll love him in spite of his flaws.
I will always be his mother, but when he takes her as his bride, I’ll no longer mother him. I pray I’ll be able to relinquish that place in his life so where my journey with him ends, hers will begin.
I will seek a relationship with his wife that encourages open communication and trust. I want to be a mother-in-law she looks to for guidance and friendship.
I will pray they delight in one another, love each other well, and hold onto each other tight as they journey through life together.
If I’m successful, my son will be a man worthy of his wife’s respect, and after God, she’ll be the center of his universe.
A civilian journalist and former editor for the U.S. Army’s award-winning paper, The Cannoneer, Sheila Qualls is now a stay-at-home mom, speaker, and writer. She writes from the experience of 30 years of marriage, five kids, ten corporate moves, home schooling, and two dogs and a ferret. (May they rest in peace.) She shares her life through a window of humor and transparency, one awkward moment at a time. Follow her on sheilaqualls.com.