Friday, October 17, 2008

Arranged Unions

My daughter Alex and I were at a wedding last week. I performed a portion of the ceremony, which Alex watched from the back. When my bit was done, I turned it over to the Father of the Bride, who was also a pastor, and he officiated the vows while I took my seat.

Suddenly I discovered Alex slipped into the seat next to me, because she carefully took my hand, and kissed it. “I love you, Booger,” I whispered. “I love you too, Daddy,” she whispered back. Then I turned back up to watch the ceremony, where the Father of the Bride choked up a bit recounting his personal joy over his daughter, and her choice of a husband.

For the briefest instant, I saw myself in that role (a blubbering mess) and I saw my baby girl standing with joyful pride next to her man. In that moment, I prayed silently the same prayer that I’ve prayed hundreds of times: That God would guide my daughter and protect her, that He would ground her in wisdom, courage, and graceful strength; that He would carry her to that day when she leaves my care and enters the adventure of covenant. And I pray for that special, God-favored man, that he is growing even now in wisdom tempered by grace, strength tempered by gentleness, great joy tempered by great responsibility. Most of all, I pray that He knows God and pursues Him with all his heart.

I realized as I was praying that my daughter probably didn’t know as an eight year old that her mommy and her daddy were praying for the man that she would someday wed. So I decided to tell her. “Baby,” I lean down and quietly whisper, “I want you to know that your mommy and I are already praying for the man that you’re going to marry.”

She leaned her head forward and eyed me from over her glasses. Her expression was curiously skeptical, serious, and I could tell in this matter, she didn’t completely trust my judgment.

Deadpan, she asked, “Who is it?”
Even at eight, it seems, arranged marriages don’t land on receptive soil.

My son Caleb informed us last night that he has found the girl he’s going to marry. “She’s everything I ever wanted.” My six year old tells us. “She’s blond and she knows God.” Cool, bud. So that’s done.


Lisa said...

that was a great post.

i teared up ... and then laughed at the end.


i'm always touched with how reflective you are in your everyday life.

thanks for sharing that with the people who know you.

The Unlikely Pastor's Wife said...

thats really cool. what a wonderfully tender moment you had with your daughter beside you. As a woman, watching my husband officiate marriages i often say the same prayer.....except my kids would never sit through a wedding. lol
I love Caleb's response.....ahhhh the important things in life :-)

Ginny said...

That is a sweet tale. But it also raises the question: How would you react if your adult daughter falls in love with and chooses to marry someone who doesn't believe in God? Or is a Jew? Or a Muslim? Or follows another faith? Please know that I'm not being mean or even playing devil's advocate. I'm honestly curious as to how parents react to this. Especially when their faith is so central to their life. It happens.

Lyonslove said...

I love it. We were a wedding last Saturday and during the father/daughter I thought about our baby girl and my hubby. Then I watched as the groom danced with his mom and I thought about the privileged it is to get to be the parents of a little boy and a little girl!

Diane Davis said...

i love it when you share your heart about your kids. it's always tender. good stuff.