While I may not be ready to think about my daughters getting married, I'm afraid that the time for courtship and marriage will arrive all too soon. If it is God's will that they marry, then I need to spend the coming years preparing them for that future.
Just as I want them to develop discernment when it comes to choosing friends, so I want them to be able to recognize the type of young man who would make a Godly husband, This is the man who will be her life's partner and, should it be God's will, the father of her children. What an important decision choosing a spouse is!
Here are a few ideas I hope to use in teaching our daughters what to look for in a husband.
1. Give them Godly male role models. Hopefully their father, grandfathers, uncles, pastor, etc., are men that our daughters can look to as examples of spiritual leaders in their homes. Make a habit of discussing with your daughters the spiritual traits that these men - especially their father - have. Use Bible characters to show men who made good and bad choices and how it affected themselves and, in many cases, their families.
2. Emphasize character. Begin by teaching your girls how important it is to develop their own character, then teach them how to look for it in others. My girls and I had an interesting discussion about this last week after several girls in my older daughter's VBS class seemed to develop an attraction for a new boy who attended the class. I'm trying to help them understand that, while someone's looks plays a part in the initial attraction, the most important quality to notice is the young man's character.
3. Make prayer a priority. Just as my parents did for me, I began praying for God's choice of a spouse for our daughters from the time they were born. However, not only can my husband and I pray for this, but we can also teach our daughters to begin praying for their mate. They can ask for God's leading when it comes to the young men they interact with, that He will give them wisdom and clear guidance on which relationship to give their time and attention.
I know that the coming years will hold many challenges in this area (times two!), but I hope to lay a strong foundation now that we can build on as our girls grow.
What other ideas do you have for helping prepare your daughter for choosing a husband?