Yes, our home is a flurry of activity as we prepare for another child to be married – this time, a daughter. Being a traditional family, we are putting on the event, and with great joy! We are preparing to release our daughter, in a sense, giving the responsibility of protection and provision to her beloved.
So what advice would I give to a family with lots of children, especially several daughters? Since some have asked, I would say to begin the conversation now, between husband and wife, regarding courtship (what is it?), budget, expectations and more. Some have lumped dating and courtship together. But the big difference is that a man and a woman in a courtship are heading towards marriage. Dating, however, seems to imply a lack of commitment. Yes, some who “date around” end up marrying that one, but dating around can leave great wounds.
Why talk about the budget when your children are young or teens? Because this is a big issue. We know folks who have gone into debt to put on their child’s wedding. We know folks who spent $40,000 on the wedding only to be divorced a couple years later. A wedding is a wonderful celebration, but it can be lovely and memorable even on a modest budget. So, set a budget now, while you are thinking clearly, and when the time comes, make every effort to stick to it. Pray, be creative, do some research.
In our case, our daughter wanted lots of guests, 100’s in fact. So, the sit down dinner option was nixed. But we will have delicious food for the guests: fruits, vegeys, crackers, cheeses, shrimp, desserts, hors de voures, etc. The setting is our home church for the ceremony and reception. Since children are very important to the bride to be the wedding party includes 2 ring bearers and 4 flower girls, in addition to 7 bridesmaids and 7 groomsmen, ushers, musicians, and 2 ministers presiding.
This is also a time to let go……….to realize that the couple is establishing a new home. It’s time to say, “I’ve raised you and love you and will continue to love you. But if you want advice from now on, you will need to come to me and ask.” That can be a very hard thing to grasp for a parent, especially a controlling parent. But do you really want to treat your 20 something child like he/she still has a diaper on? Cut the apron strings, in fact, start to loosen them little by little as the years roll on from ages, let’s say 1 , until the late teens.
Rejoice with us at this time!!
My husband and I recently learned that we’ll be Grandparents next April!! But, then I was thinking, actually we are already! Little Munchkin (as we all call him or her) is already a person so we are Grandparents already!! It’s funny and interesting some of the comments we’ve received: (My thoughts in response are in parenthesis.)
Already?! They just got married! (Well, you’re right, but God gives His gifts even on honeymoons!)
You’re too young to be Grandparents! (Why, thank-you.)
When is the baby due? (Well, most babies are born at around the 9 month mark!)
Being Grandparents is easier than being Parents. (Who said I want the easy way in life?)
on and on…….
How thankful I was (and my husband) to receive the following note from very good friends yesterday:
Congratulations! We are so happy for you and your family. There is a whole new world waiting for the two of you. God is truly great and His blessings beyond compare. Wishing you both all the best as you anticipate the first child of a new generation….Love.”
Then, tucked into a little pocket was this passage from the Bible: “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with THEIR CHILDREN’s CHILDREN – with those that keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts. Psalm 103:17-18”
How refreshing it was to get that special card!! Children truly are a gift from God!!
This Spring and Summer has been full of weddings! Is it love that makes the world go round or is it Someone Else? Yes, it is the Triune God who is in control. Yes, yes. Anywhoooo, back to weddings. In May, I, a middle aged faun, was a bridesmaid in a wedding. The couple met online and it wasn’t too long before they were engaged then married. They met on a reformed internet info. group. The Lord was glorified as these servants covenanted together to be husband and wife and to serve the Lord together. They even sang a beautiful duet together during the service. There was congegational singing of a psalm, also. My family was able to assist with the congregational singing by playing stringed instruments: guitar, cello, viola, violin. There was a pianist, too.
After that wedding, is was time to prepare for my son’s wedding to his sweetheart. Their courtship lasted 16 months and it was God – glorifying. As mother of the groom, my responsibilities were quite different than being a bridesmaid. And, I did some special things to bond with my daughter in law. Once the engagement happened and was announced (March 30, 2006), I began a special keepsake journal – letters to my (then future) daughter in law. I wrote what my responses were to the engagement, the unfolding wedding plans, the details, the bridesmaids, the colors of the wedding, etc. By writing these letters I was able to process what was happening! My son was getting MARRIED! Wow!
God had blessed him with a godly woman and he was going to become the head of a new covenant home! My husband and I had prayed about the provision of a godly spouse since before his birth. Seeing the answered prayer come to fruition was truly a blessing, a gift from God. (By the way, in case you wondered, the wedding colors were lilac and silver, there were 8 bridesmaids (one being a junior bridesmaid), a flower girl, a ring bearer, 4 musicians playing piano, guitar, flute and violin, Scripture passages were read from Ephesians 5, a fantastic message was given, ……) Oh my!! The message made it clear that the couple not only leaves mother and father and cleaves to eachother, they also become a new entity, a new family.
Planning a rehearsal dinner 11 hours away from where the wedding occurred was not as hard as it sounds. The young couple made an initial list of possible venues. I made several calls to narrow the options to 3. Then, we discovered their first choice venue was going to be closed that night so we went to the next option. We received menus in the mail, chose 3 entrees (a chicken, a fish, and a beef option), planned a program for the rehearsal dinner and made a seating plan. We also had considered preparing food in the church kitchen for the dinner, but it did not seem practical, coming from a distance. So, all in all, the rehearsal dinner went very well.