Dear Future In-Laws

Dear Future in-laws

5 Keys to Raising Future Husbands

As the father of two little girls, my mind is often torn in two directions. One says (in monotone robot voice), “Kill all boys. Resistance is futile.” Somehow I don’t think that is a viable option, so I’m left to try and piece together some plan for preparing my daughters for…gasp…dating, and someday marriage.

Here’s the thing though, no matter how well I prepare my girls, my future son-in-law needs just as much preparation for marriage. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the little guy yet, but for those of you who do, here are a few things I really hope you’re teaching him:

1. How to work

My girls will know what it means to work when it comes time for marriage. A wife needs her husband to delight in her abilities, rather than feel intimidated by her or become overly dependent on her. As a father, my greatest hope is that when my daughters enter into marriage, it will be a partnership. Partnership means shared responsibility and that can only happen if your son knows how, and is willing, to take his share of the work load.

This is not just about working a job. There will be plenty of effort necessary for building a thriving family. All kinds of energy will be poured into raising kids, keeping the house, paying the bills, you see where I’m going… Partnership and load-sharing in all of this is what produces quality marriages. Above all, God honors and rewards diligence. I do to.

2.How to honor authority

Please teach him how to honor and respect you, so that later he will honor God, his spiritual leaders, and his boss. If he can get this down now, it will save him and my daughter so much frustration in the future. God places authority in our life for very specific purposes and one of the greatest of those is protection. Rebellion always leads to pain. My daughters will know that very well because they’ve been allowed to feel controlled pain when they’ve rebelled as children. I’ve allowed them to experience controlled pain now so they will refuse to open themselves up to the uncontrolled pain that comes later in life by continuing down a path of rebellion.

But what about when that authority figure is not worthy of honor? I love this quote from Kris Vallotton’s book, The Supernatural Ways of Royalty: Discovering Your Rights and Privileges of Being a Son or Daughter of God. “Whenever we treat people honorably even if they refuse to honor us, we demonstrate that we have a standard within us that isn’t determined by the people around us. We don’t just honor people because they are honorable, we honor people because we are honorable.”

Teach him to be honorable. Model it for him.

2. How to honor women

At the heart of honor is an understanding of value. When you understand the value of people, you honor them naturally. Jesus honored God as his authority and even told the disciples in Mark 12:17 to “Give to Ceaser what is Ceaser’s.” In other words, honor the law of the land and your earthly authorities. Jesus didn’t stop there. He honored the poor and broken as well. He showed honor to people regardless of stature and made a point of protecting and honoring women. Why? Because people were his mission. Jesus understood that people were not only created in the image of God, but he was about to lay down his life for each and every one of us. That core understanding of the value of individuals was what drove him to honor the woman who washed his feet with perfume while everyone else stood in judgement (Luke 7:36-50). Jesus’ recognition of her value is what motivated him to step in to protect and save a woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11).

All that is to say, you can teach him what honor is and force him to behave for a while, but that behavior won’t stick. Instead, please teach him the VALUE of my daughters so he will WANT to honor them.

Teach young men the VALUE of our daughters so they will WANT to honor them naturally. Click To Tweet

3. How to protect his purity

Do. Not. Let your boys “just be boys.” Trust me, he needs your input. He is waiting for you to get into his business. He needs you to have awkward conversations with him. He needs to know how important it is that he finds ways to do what is right regardless of what his hormones are telling him. My girls need you to explain to your boys the importance of avoiding the pitfall of cheap physical encounters and pornography. Please don’t let your boys engage in behavior that will eventually damage his soul and break my daughter’s heart. Hurting her is not okay with me.

Pornography is a killer of healthy relationships. Here is a good read on some of the studies that have been done showing how destructive it can be. Porn is everywhere and way too easy to access. As parents, we have to be the gatekeepers of what is allowed into our kids lives. Check phones. Monitor computers. It is too important.

4. How to dream big

Teach God’s boy, your boy, that he has greatness on the inside! Your son was created to do extraordinary things. Lead him! Encourage him! Don’t let him settle! Your son has a strength and calling that no other young man has. My girls need him to be all that he was created to be to unlock all that my girls were created to be.

  • Lana Daniel