One of the times inlife when a man seeks to muster all of his wisdom, is when his only daughter is getting married. Marriage is a wonderful opportunity, littered with pitfalls that can be avoided or at leastanticipated. You are my only daughter; my treasure and blessing in my life. My deepest desire isyour happiness. I pray that your husband-to-be will value, love and cherish you as much as I do. You can help him make that happen.
Men and women to not think alike. Women generally focus on 'how to have a happyrelationship' and men focus on 'how to fix problems'. Men want happy relationships, butusually see them more like cars, than living things. Most men do not see the point of fixingthings that do not seem to be broken. Women are far more adept at building strong relationshipsfor the future. After thirty years of marriage, that is about all I know about women. This is thebest I can share with you about life and marriage:
Put your trust and faith in God. As much as we love you and want your happiness, yourhusband, father and brother will let you down. God will never let you down Expect love, perfection and consistency from God; expect love from us. God's plan for marriage is for the twoof you to seek union in Christ; the third corner of the marriage triangle. When that happens, youwill draw closer to God and each other. With Christ in your marriage, resolving the differencesbetween men and women can become a matter of forgiving as Christ forgave us. Without Christ,forgiveness often only means 'remembering later'.
People manufacture their own happiness in life and marriage. Life and marriage are influenced by many people and situations one cannot control. Happiness is a choice that everyperson makes, usually in response to other people and circumstances. Joy and happiness are notthe same thing. Christians are to "rejoice in the Lord always" (Phil 4:4). Since the Lord isalways the same, joy in the Lord and life can always be the same (Heb. 13:8). Joy in the Lordreveals our confidence in him. Your husband will see your happiness as a direct indication of your confidence in him. Show God and your husband your confidence that they will make thingswork out in every situation. God will not fail you and your husband will do his very best to fulfillyour expectations.
Be your husband's best friend and most avid supporter. The world does not hesitate totell a man when he is wrong, fails in an endeavor, does not meet expectations or makes poordecisions. Be a forgiver and supporter. Tell him over and over that he is right, has succeeded andwill continue to succeed, meets your expectations and (next to your father, of course), is thesmartest, most capable man you know. He will do the best he can to be the man you describe. Ifhe makes a mistake, tell him he will get it right the next time; if he fails, tell him he will succeedthe next time. If he is less loving, considerate and sensitive that you hoped he would be, tell himyou know he is doing the best he can and that you are happy that he is trying so hard to pleaseyou. A man needs a best friend and avid supporter. Be that person.
Truly commit to yourself to this marriage and your husband for the rest of your life. There are too many temporary living arrangements titled "marriage" that depend on feelings,rather than commitment. Feelings change. Tell each other from the onset that this is a lifetimecommit- ment, not simply an arrangement that depends on feelings and circumstances Live thecommitment! (#413)