I have prayed for my children’s spouses since my kids were in the womb. So far, two of my four children are married. These two sons-in-law of mine are both far beyond anything I asked the Lord for. There are not enough superlatives to describe the faithfulness of the Lord to me in regard to my children so I won’t bore you with the attempt.
But today I want to show you a specific example. My daughter, Joanna, writes a blog called Honey & Salt. One of her recent posts described how Brad took care of her when she was sick. I want you to go and read that post. It is short and will only take a few seconds. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Read it here.
There is an old saying that a son is a son ’til he’s married but a daughter is a daughter for life. When I find out my son is sick, I think, “He’ll suck it up. He’ll live.” When I find out my daughters are hurting, my heart goes out to them. When I read a post like this and find that her husband cares for her like this, it does something to my heart that is difficult to describe. There is a swelling, an enlargement, a tidal wave of love for this young man, who is, himself, suffering so much with health issues. Yet, despite his own difficulties, he concerns himself with my daughter. Now, clearly, he is not serving her simply because she is my daughter but because she is his wife. I don’t care. I am taking it personally.
I was not prepared for grandchildren. Everyone tells you they are different than your own children. You know they aren’t lying but you also don’t know what they are talking about until you have your own. Then, when you are swept away by your love for this snot-nosed, dirty-diapered little rug monkey, you say, “Oh, that’s what they meant.”
In the same way, I was not prepared for sons-in-law. Except for this I had no warning. I was not prepared for young men with such integrity that they so often set aside their own interests to love and serve my daughters with all their heart. I wasn’t prepared for young men who continually placed their wive’s interests above their own. And I wasn’t prepared for the incredible rush of emotion I feel each time I see or hear about this. It’s not my fault! No one told me. I was prepared for the idea that I would, at some point, have to spend the rest of my life in jail because a young man disappointed one of my daughters. But I was not prepared for what I got. Jonathan is the same as Brad in this respect; it’s just that he doesn’t have blog posts written about him.
Brothers! Do you want to impress your father-in-law? Love and serve his daughter. You know, like Christ did the church when he loved her and gave himself up for her. Ephesian 5:23 clearly states that the husband is the head of the wife. Too many of us stop reading the verse there. Headship is about being the boss, the big Kahuna, the top dog. My way or the highway. Headship is about authority. But the latter part of the verse qualifies the former. “As Christ is the head of the church.” V 25 further defines Christ-like headship. The authority of headship is not about being the boss. It is, as John Stott has said, “the authority to serve.”
When you serve your wife, you are serving her father. And you are serving the Lord.