03 Aug A Letter to my Children: Please Choose Marriage
Someday I hope my children make it a priority to get married. I know it will only get harder to keep the traditions of family-building alive, rampant as societies are with self-serving choices. I wanted to write a letter in hopes of expressing to them why I think marriage is important and why I hope they choose this path when the time comes.
My dear sweet babies,
I know you will only be babies for a little while. I know when this letter becomes really pertinent to your life you will be grown and moving into adulthood. I hope you are happy. You can do this by making choices that lead to overall happiness. Unfortunately the world around you is full of sophistries that try to lie about ways you will be happy. These ways are generally self-serving and focus on immediate pleasures rather than true, long-term happiness. One of the things that I truly hope for your futures is that you make it a priority to find a good spouse and create a family together.
Many voices around the world say that marriage isn’t important, that it is too binding, that people need to be free, that relationships should be fluid. Please don’t listen. Your mother (who loves you more than you will know until you have your own children) begs you to turn away from these ideas. Marrying your father was the best decision I’ve ever made and has brought me some of the single greatest blessings in this life—especially all of you! Many people will also say that you don’t need a spouse to have children, that you can co-habitate with multiple partners of any gender at any given time, even simultaneously. Again, please don’t heed these selfish lures. They may tout happiness and freedom but they are meant only to ensnare and enslave. Women & men were made to be together—mating for life, as it were! When you follow the ends of these purposes you will find happiness!
I love your dad so much and I know he loves me, but these are only words. Real love also comes through actions, not immediate pleasure. It’s the support of one another through difficult choices or trials. It’s encouraging each other to set lofty goals, both individually and as a couple, and seeing it through in attaining those goals. It’s intimacy on a much deeper level than can be found anywhere else. It’s putting the needs of another human ABOVE your own. This will be preparation for becoming a mother or father to your own children.
As an example, while writing this letter I have been interrupted several times by one of you when it is way past bedtime (no, I won’t tell you who) and each time I have been stern and annoyed at the disruption. Finally when it came to tears I realized that I wasn’t practicing what I preached—putting someone else’s needs above my own. So I asked my sweet child, “what do you need?” The reply, “a hug,” was a sweet reminder of the lessons I’ve learned as a mother about selflessness and how those actions truly bring peace and happiness. Now he is in bed and we are both filled.
Family life may not be the only place to learn these important lessons but it is specially created to be the most intensive course in learning and joy that we can ever have. I want the best for all of you, I hope you want the best for yourself and never settle for any counterfeit. I hope your father & I present to you a positive image about the joy & benefits of marriage and that you’ll want that life for yourself. We love each other and we love you. Don’t ever settle for anything less yourself.