When Your Kids Near Marrying Age


I don’t recall where I picked up the idea, but for several years I’ve been drying the petals of flowers my girls (or myself) have received so they can be used on their wedding day. It was a fun activity with a “someday” thought attached to it. Now, it’s a closer reality as my baby just turned 20. These are the years they will likely meet their future spouses (or perhaps know them already).

Like all the thoughts plaguing my mind in an increasingly quieting nest, the thought of them marrying is both exciting and nerve-wracking. I’ve always told my kids that you can easily change your wardrobe, food, house, location, job…but when you marry, it’s serious business. Follow God. Fall in love first, not lust. Be friends. Be sure. Really observe their parents, their friendships. Watch how your boyfriend/girlfriend handles a crisis, disappointment… how they treat others.We hope all of our investment in our children’s lives leads them to God’s best. One of my investments has been considerable prayer. I was praying about their “future spouses” long before they were dating. What I don’t know is who they will each choose. Free will is real and many pained parents have watched their beloved children suffer through horrible marriages. It’s not only the free will to choose poorly, but it’s the “big reveal” that sometimes happens to the poor souls who gave their heart to one person who turned out to be an entirely different human being once they married and lived together. Heartbreaking.

Marriage is unpredictable. The early years with young children can be tough. What we need at 25 isn’t always what we need at 45. It takes effort to evolve together. Marriage can be difficult.We want to save them from all the hardship. We want to talk and talk and talk in preparation to protect them from the miserable stuff. But, we know the reality. They will walk their own walk.

As my kids live out their early 20’s, I’m still doing a lot of talking 😉 even when they say, “I know, Mom. You’ve told us a thousand times.”  I’m still praying. Our society is increasingly hurtful and as they marry and create their own nests, I pray those nests are safe places…warm, accepting-of-faults places. The place where they can escape from the cold, judging, desensitized world and rest and play and laugh.

I pray they marry into unconditional love.

And, I pray they give it in return.

Attention Brides-to-Be and those: “Serious about my Boyfriend”

Apparently, Christmas is among the most popular times for marriage proposals. I heard about a few of them over the holidays. Then, Valentine’s Day is just up ahead. That got me thinking…

The following statements contain things that a few mid-life women I know wish they had asked themselves and their potential spouse when they were dating or engaged… Sometimes, things that you don’t think about at all now might become issues in your future.

In between make out sessions, ask him strange questions like:  “What should we do about childcare when we’re both building our careers?”

“How and where will we spend the major holidays each year? With your family? Mine?”

“Do you believe in God?”

After you tell your friends, “Oh my gosh, he is soooo hot!”, call and ask him, “Will you still date me after we’ve been married ten years? Twenty?”

“Do you want to relocate to another state? Another country? How often are you willing to move for a career?”

“Do you support abortion? Do you think it’s okay to drive while buzzed?”

If you haven’t yet, ask yourself these questions:

How important is it for you to live near your parent(s) and/or sibling(s)?

Does he fully support your work? Will he after you have children?

Does your groom-to-be or serious-boyfriend have faith? Do you? Can you do this life without it?

“You accept the love you believe you deserve.”
If your “love” isn’t treating you as well as he should be, why keep dating him? Why do you think he’s the “best you can do”?

Have you fallen “in love” or “in lust”?

During any of your dates, has he watched the TV at the restaurant more than look at you? No, not “all guys do that”…

Be sure about your life mate. Be choosy. You deserve the best.

(Photo credit: Tiffany & Co.)