RITE OF PASSAGE: To Adrian, my daughter-in-love
Our youngest son, Caleb, has just announced to his mother and me that he has found the love of his life, his soul- and help-mate. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, he got down on bended knee and proposed. I am not sure whether he got engaged last year or this year. That depends on which side of the stroke of midnight the young lady said, “Yes.”
Her name is . . . Adrian.
“My dear Adrian,
I want to welcome you to our family. I know that legally, you’ll be my-daughter-in-law. But I don’t want us to refer to ourselves that way. I would prefer that we call ourselves “daughter-in-love” and “father-in-love.”
I like the term “daughter-in-love” because you were the first one who made that son of ours realize that he can’t live life alone. The Bible tells us that after God created everything He said, “It is good.” The first thing God found that wasn’t good (even before Adam and Eve sinned) was for man to be alone.
God knew that it wasn’t good for Caleb to be alone. His mother and I prayed for you even before we knew your name.
We men like to think we are tough and can live by ourselves on a desert island for a thousand years. I have to confess to you: it’s not true. About five minutes after Cathy leaves for the grocery store, I find myself wandering the house mumbling . . . “This is not good.”
Caleb knew what he was doing. He was waiting patiently for God’s gift. He knew that it takes a very special woman to be the wife of a pastor. He knew she would have to be kind-hearted, selfless and understanding. He was looking for that special lady who would help him raise little kingdom builders. He was waiting patiently for the one who would complement, yet challenge him in his spiritual growth. When he found you, Adrian, he found all of those qualities wrapped into one of the cutest bundles he had ever laid eyes on. Just as God pronounced His judgment when He surveyed His creation, Caleb said, “This is goooood!”
I know that you two had some struggles in the early days-well, actually, Caleb did. Don’t be too hard on him. He gets that from his dad. We Moore men take an hour and half to watch “60 Minutes.” So when it comes to the second most important decision of our lives, my son and I both took a little longer than most people.
It is only fitting that I call you my daughter-in-love, because you are the one prepared by God for Caleb from eternity past. You are the one designed by Him to come alongside our son in ministry-in fact, He says your ministry will be better together than apart. You are the one who will make him a more complete man. You are the one who will give him a legacy through your children (and you know you can never have too many-legacies, that is). That is why I call you my daughter-in-love-because of who you are. Adrian, you are my Heavenly Father’s favorite child! And very soon, our son will have the privilege of calling you . . . his wife.
There are many challenges ahead, even during this engagement period. But I would like to give some father-in-love wisdom to you both:
1. Hold hands when you pray as a couple. You have already witnessed this. Whether Cathy and I eat at home or in a restaurant, we hold hands when we pray.
2. Leave room for grace. The longer you are married, the more you will discover that your “perfect” mate has faults. Bless one another with plenty of grace.
3. Eat your meals together. That way, when you have children, this tradition will be well-established. The dining table is a place to exchange ideas, build relationships and hear hearts.
4. Kiss often, especially after you are married. Say goodbye with a kiss, greet each other with a kiss and say good night with a kiss. Even after 33 years of marriage, your mother-in-love and I still practice this. Family traditions can be . . . fun.
I would like to share more, but we will have a lifetime to learn, love and laugh . . . together.”