My oldest son, Conor, left for Mexico this morning. He’ll be there for a little over three weeks. It’ll be our first Christmas in 23 years without him. We’re a bit sad, but also rejoicing. Why? Because he’ll be asking a wonderful young lady for her hand in marriage. I was able to spend some time on the phone with this young woman’s father and one thing we both agreed upon was that we were blessed. Both he and I have been praying for godly spouses for our children since before they were born. My son asked me to write a letter to his soon-to-be-fiance’, welcoming her to our family. He wanted to present it to her after he pops the question. I thought I’d include that letter here. I pray it blesses you.
We don’t know you well yet, but already, we love you. We love you so much, because you love our son. And he returns that love.
Even when Conor Christian was very young, we began praying for you. We always knew there would come a day that this sticky, messy, silly little boy would be yours. He will always be ours, but you will take our place in many ways.
Someday your hand will replace ours. Your eyes will be his peace and your heart will be his home.
It’ll be you he kisses goodnight.
It’ll be you he shares his dreams with.
It’ll be you who comforts him when he is scared.
It’ll be you who holds his heart. The same heart that beat against our chests as we held him each night, trying to get him to go to sleep.
Now, Diana, that will be you.
We want you to know we now pray for you every day, just as we pray for all our children.
Right now, you’re everything to your own parents, just as our children are everything to us. We pray you are cherished. Delighted in. Upheld and believed in. We pray you’ve been taught to love Jesus first, because without that strong love, you will not be as equipped to love our son successfully. We pray you’ve been shown every day what a gift you are. We pray that if that message is somehow missed by those around you, you always know that when God looks at you, He sees His princess.
We have raised our son to view you that same way. He does.
We pray you understand your worth and that you respect yourself. That you have been shown to respect others just the same. We pray that you are not afraid to share your voice, but that you use it to speak life; not only to yourself and others you encounter, but to our son. Men need you to speak life into them.
We want you to know that although we probably made a lot of mistakes, we have been committed to raising our son to love Jesus passionately, and to honor you whole-heartedly. We cannot take full credit, nor blame, for his beauty or his flaws. These are things, we believe, the Lord has had a hand in too.
Conor is his own man. He has his own quirks and idiosyncrasies. You’ll figure those out as you go; and someday, you too will know him better than anyone else in the world. Give him the space to be himself, and know that we’ve taught him to do the same for you.
He won’t complete you. And you won’t complete him. Only God can do that. But we pray you edify each other and encourage each other to be even better together than you are on your own.
We promise to let you in. To share our secrets and knowledge of him so that you can love him best. We will trust you with his heart, just as you will trust him with yours. We do not take this heart exchange lightly, and we pray you don’t either. We have raised him to understand the value of a woman’s heart. That it is priceless, and once broken, can never go back to the way it was before.
That’s not always a bad thing, but if we can avoid it, we don’t want our son to be the one who breaks your heart. We also want you to remember that he can’t be the one to heal it. Again, only God can do that. But we have raised our son to forever cherish the gift that is you and your love. We’ve taught him to understand your value. To honor and respect you, as you do him.
We strove to raise all our boys in such a way that they learned how to be strong, yet vulnerable. Brave, yet humble. Courageous and fearless, yet unafraid to ask for help. That they are leaders but know how to follow. We pray Conor leads you well and understands the honor it is to be in that role. We pray he serves you, but that you never take advantage of his sacrifice.
We pray he fully understands his role as a man and that he lives his life with integrity, honor, humility, honesty, faith and humor. That he knows who he is first in Christ, and then within himself. We pray he follows his dreams and passions and that nothing stands in the way of that, to include you. We pray the same for you.
We have been committed to raising our son to be independent and never to look to you to be his mother, because I ( Kelli ) have stood in that role to the very best of my ability. We vowed to be fully present for him. Teaching him what he needed to know about women and how special they are. We promise that we raised him in such a way that he should always remember you are someone’s daughter, and that you only belong to him after you belonged to God and your parents.
We pray that with each day you love our son, your love swells and overflows. We pray the same for him. We hope as the two of you build a life together, that you never forget how that life was built. Stand strong together. You will need each other in this life. Though we have taught him to want you rather than to need you, there will be times that he will need you. And you will need him. Please be there.
Support each other. Love each other. Choose each other.
The noise of the world will be loud. It won’t always be easy. There may be days that you look at him and question every decision you ever made. In those moments, we pray you will fall back on the foundation you built together and remember why you chose to stand there.
We promise you that each day we have tried to teach our son these same lessons. We have planted seeds of love in his heart every moment we could. We’ve shown him how to take care of himself. How to do the laundry and the dishes, and to never expect you to do it all. How to be your partner. We’ve tried to foster his sensitivity while praising his strength. To teach him how to be open and to hold your words when they spill from your lips and into his hands. We’ve tried to teach him how to catch them. To hold you. To love you. All of you. To see you for you, not what you can offer him.
We have done our very best to raise him to be enough within himself so that he can then be enough for you.
We’ve got a lot of years to get to know you better. Please know that each day between now and then, we will pray for you. We will love you. And when we next see you, we will love you even more than we already do. Because you love our son. And you’ve become our daughter.
With all the love we possess,
Michael & Kelli Craft
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