An Open Letter to My Husband for Father’s Day
There are a million ways I used to imagine my life playing out. There were those years I thought I should go into business, work in a high rise, and sip coffee at board meetings. There was a time I thought I might join the military and travel the world in uniform. There was even a time I imagined myself as a struggling artist in a studio apartment and loving every minute of it.
Being a mom was something I feared for a long time. I didn’t want the opportunity to “mess anyone up,” or so I told my friends.
This might be hard for you to imagine because motherhood has been in my mind for as long as you have known me. We met when the desire to become a mother was barely inching into my heart. I was still career driven, competitive in my field, eager to prove myself as an accomplished professional.
But God was doing a lot of remodeling in those days.
I have shared many times since then of the books God used to shape my passion for motherhood and marriage. You know it was a process, and that embracing the woman described in Proverbs 31 or the virtues mentioned in Titus 2 did not happen overnight. I wrestled with their priorities while I stressed over how their goals would look nothing like my goals.
I cringed at these women. I avoided these women.
You’ve heard all this before, though. Today, for Father’s day, I want to tell you the part of the story that you have probably never understood before — the part where God put you into my life and used YOU to finally convince me that this calling to marriage and motherhood was worth my passion.
There was a moment, back in college, when we were barely dating and I was barely hanging on to the things of God. We were driving down Monks Avenue, probably on our way to your house or back to campus after eating lunch, and we were talking about our views on family. We were stopped at the red light near the church where the Pastor who would one day lead us in wedding vows was probably hard at work in his office.
We were stopped at that light, and you told me that you wanted your someday-wife to be a full-time wife and mother. As our conversation continued, it became clear that what you really wanted in a spouse was one of the women I was avoiding in God’s Word.
You probably don’t remember this moment, but in that conversation God used you to pry my heart open wider to the possibility that my purpose was not wrapped up in the career path to which I aspired. I had been struggling through what it would really look like to be a woman of God in a world full of men I did not respect, and God put me in a conversation with a different kind of man, one who somehow made biblical womanhood easier for me to imagine for myself.
At that time, my greatest struggle in accepting God’s plan for marriage and the roles of husbands and wives was not that I didn’t want to be that woman, but that I had never in my life met someone that clearly aspired to be a biblical man.
Simply knowing you and witnessing your passion for God and His Word changed my life. It was not that you exemplified Christ-like living at the time, but that you desired to exemplify Christ-like living more than anything else.
It was not that you showed me a picture of the perfect man I thought I was looking for, but that you showed me an imperfect man who was not afraid to admit his need for God’s grace and mercy amidst his struggles and failures.
It was not that you exhibited strength and endurance as I had imagined men should, but that you failed and grew weary and were brave enough to pray tearfully in front of me for more of God in your life.
I never expected to fall in love with someone so imperfect, but I realize now that there is no better husband, father, and leader than one who is fully in need of Christ for his power and righteousness.
As my husband, you love to praise me as a wife and mother. You think I’m “the best” and you tell me all the time. I love that you see me this way, but I would not be this person I love to be — keeping our home, loving our children, or encouraging you each day — if you had not led me here. By showing me your love for God and your passion for His plans, you have inspired me every day to love God more and grow in my passion for His plans.
Which brings me to the point of this entire ramble: You are an incredible father.
You are a father who seeks God daily in prayer and the study of God’s Word, setting an example for your family as you rise before the sun every day to focus your heart on our perfect Father.
You are a father who loves your children by loving their mother like Christ loves the church, passionately and sacrificially.
You are a father who loves his children by leading their stubborn mother to love God more.
You are a father who inspires the mother of your children to want to be a better mother.
You are a father who fails and is not afraid to admit it and seek forgiveness, restoration, or change.
You are a father who sincerely grieves over sin and hungers for righteousness.
You are a father who demonstrates integrity and godly character in every area of your life, and you lead others to want to do the same.
You are a godly father whom I love and respect above any other earthly father, and I am extremely grateful to be able to make that statement and proclaim it to the world. I never imagined this would be my life, but God clearly had this in mind as he formed us into being.
Someday, our children will grow to understand how very blessed they were to be led and loved by you. A father like you is a gift that many children will never have. I pray that our sons will become just like you and our daughters will not settle for anything less than a man of your character and love for God (if God leads them to be married).
I know there are days you see more of your own failures than the grace that overcomes them. I look at you and see the power, grace, and worth of Jesus Christ. I respect the man you are because of the Man who died, and I pray our children will grow to do the same.
I love you, my husband and the father of my children, and this Father’s Day I am overcome with gratitude for who you are in my life and to our babies. I could not be prouder to be your wife.
Happy Father’s Day, my love.