“The word ‘romance,’ according to the dictionary, means excitement, adventure, and something extremely real. Romance should last a lifetime.”
My sons…you have reached an age when the prospect of finding and marrying the woman of your dreams is very real. What a great time of life! If you choose wisely…if you measure up and if you are worthy to be chosen in return, you will experience a depth of love that you can’t even imagine. You have been taught most of your life by society to associate romance with short-term events…to imagine the starry nights alone with your sweetheart wrapped in each other’s warm embrace.
I have to admit that it sounds pretty good to me too but why limit your romance to a few hours on the beach or a candle light dinner? Why not live your life now so that your entire life with your wife will be romantic…romantic in its purest form…a romance that lasts for decades instead of hours…a romance that is filled with adventure, excitement, heartache and triumphs? Yours can be a true love story. It can be done. This long-term romantic life with your wife will be the backbone for the creation and raising of your own family. That is the prize…that is the fight that is worth winning. Prepare yourself for her now, perhaps before you have even met her. You can do it but like most things good, it does not come easy.
The prize is your future family.
There are many things that I think are worth saving for your future wife but I will only write of seven of them today. They are special gifts…some of them are gifts that only you can create and only you can give. They are all personal gifts that are made by saving certain things so that you can be in a position to give them to the right person at the right time. They are treasures. I want you to ponder the personal sacrifices that you are capable of making to ensure that the gifts of yourself for her constitute the most spectacular romantic framework a marriage could have.
I would like you to look me in the eyes as I am talking to you but since you are reading this just take your time and know that this is coming from my heart to yours.
Save Your Innocence
We knew you as children and remember with sincere joy the magical moments of the holidays and vacations…of watching the Wizard of Oz, Star Wars and Nemo. As you have grown older you have been exposed to the darker side of life…to wars and crime and poverty. Be aware and prepare yourself to be part of the solutions of life but don’t bring to your bride a heavy sided pessimism. Save the innocence of childhood, albeit tainted with the realities of life, so that you can provide a yellow brick road for her and your children…a believer that better days are possible…a hero of hope.
A light-hearted man does not make him less of a man…it just makes him and everyone around him a little bit happier. Bring your innocence to the table even if your shoes are muddy and dirty with the crud of the world…just take them off at the door. Save that part of your upbringing and it will help make for a happy home…and happy homes that survive the ups and downs of life are romantic homes.
Save your Money
You have learned to work since you were small kids. You learned to clean up the yard and feed the animals. You weren’t always the most willing participants but work is not always about having fun. You have earned some money along the way. Add to it and save it. There are so many temptations to spend your money. Some tend to think that there is always going to be more where that came from…don’t be fooled. You need to be building a nest egg to enable you to provide a home for your bride and family. You need to save your money so that you can be free from debt if possible and free from dependency on anyone.
Treat your money as if each dollar has a future purpose for your family. Treat it as if you are spending her money even if you have not even met her yet. She will not marry you for your money but it will give her a sense of security, especially if she knows that you saved it for the two of you. A man who has shown the discipline to save his money for the purpose of supporting a woman that he perhaps has not even met yet is indeed creating a treasure that will be worth more than just money.
I remember our talks regarding the birds and the bees. As awkward as that was, it was necessary to understand the beauty and magnificence of our procreative powers and our ability to have a family. What an incredible miracle that is!
Unfortunately there is a prevailing thought that men should be like Johnny Appleseed if possible, planting their seeds wherever and whenever possible. I may be a little old-fashioned but perhaps the best treasure you can give your future wife is your fidelity and purity. That’s right…save yourself for marriage. It will require discipline, work, planning and being smart but it is possible.
It is the one gift that you can give of yourself that nobody else can give for you. It is a maximum effort that many in this generation might find prudish and disappointing. Remember however that you are not preparing yourself for “the many”…you are preparing yourself for one women who will appreciate the effort and sacrifice you have made in her behalf. If you have not made the effort thus far I recommend that you start today. It is never too late. Your fidelity to her before your marriage will pay dividends in your lives together because of the remarkable power of trust that you each will share.
Make a plan for yourself to achieve this. A bond with your parents or with your church is generally not strong enough to achieve the result you desire. It must be a gift that you want to give your wife that comes deep from within your heart. If you save yourself for her, a lifetime of trust will exist and trust is one of the main ingredients for long-term romance.
Save Your Thoughts
I waited many years to find your mom. At some point I began to collect my pocket change and put it in jars. Occasionally I would write a note to my future wife and add it to the jar. Over time the money piled up and the notes were buried. As the years passed the number of jars began to add up and I eventually put them in a safe deposit box. Milk jugs and apple cider bottles were filled with coins, dollar bills and notes all the way to the top.
A few days before your mother and I were married I presented her with these multiple jars. Soon it was apparent that she cared very little about the money which was sometimes hard to even get back out of the containers. She wanted the notes and worked to get the money out of the way so she could get to them. We later added up about $5000 in cash and coin, which as a newly married couple we really needed. But it was the notes and the thought of the notes that was the real wealth that I passed on to her.
Write down your thoughts to your future wife now. Dream of her and save your dreams in your journal or in a safe place even if a jar is your treasure chest. Be a romantic. Look forward to the day when she will be on your arm and you will be standing before an altar. Know that she is out there somewhere and hope that she is preparing herself for you. When you actually experience her reading these notes you will know that I was right. Your thoughts are a treasure and will help you have the energy, resolve and motivation to save everything else for her.
Save Your Faith
Faith is a sensitive and very personal topic. At the same time it is a very important and universal issue. Your relationship with deity is yours to discover and develop. Do not be intimidated by those that would appear to know it all or those that would appear to dismiss it all. Your faith can not be “outfaithed” by others, neither can it be destroyed by others. Spiritual journeys are personal and important, the result of which should create in you a more tolerant, loving and kind disposition.
Let your doubts deepen your faith instead of undermining it. Not having all of the answers does not make you stupid or naive…it makes you human and humble and open to discovery. Your faith should be inclusive not exclusive and should be a gift and a blessing to your future wife even if her faith is not the same as yours. This gift is a treasure for both of you.
Save Your Mom
Your mom still worries about you. Did you make your beds? Are you cleaning your rooms? Are you studying hard? Are you being gentlemen? Save your mom from all of these concerns by putting into practice the two decades of teaching that she has given you at great personal sacrifice to herself. She has had countless sleepless nights filled with worry and concern… unlimited hours driving you to and from events and activities…numerous hours sitting and talking with you in her bed or on the phone.
She has imparted to you a lifetime of teachings on both how to treat a woman and how to be a great husband and father. Implement her teachings and you save your mom. Don’t mistake being a mama’s boys with being a good man well-trained by a loving mother. The two are not the same. This will be a gift of sweet consideration to your future wife if you are man enough to do it. A clean and considerate home with a clean and considerate man is a treasure. Get there.
Save Your Excuses
You are not marrying me or proving anything to me. My dream has already come true and I want yours to come true also. I do not want to hear any excuses why you cannot make this happen for you. Your mom and I have not had a perfect life…that is not the promise or reason for saving yourself in the ways I described above. Life is meant to be hard.
You will most likely not be 100% successful in all of these goals but don’t be a man of excuses. Give her the gift of a noble man but remember that a noble man is not a perfect man…he is just working his heart out to be one.
If you are the “knight in shining armor” you are not a gift to your future wife because your armor is shining. In fact your armor will be dented and scarred and weathered from intense battle. You will be a prize simply because you are still on your horse and still wearing your armor and still fighting the fight. Only your future wife will get you off the horse and get you to hang up your armor.
The fight for you to prepare for that day is going on now. Envision it. The question to answer is simple: How valuable can I make myself become as a gift for my future wife? You have been a gift to your mother and me. We have prepared you the best we could. Follow the example of your older brother who has found the love of his life. Follow the example of other good men around you that you respect and admire.
Our hope and prayer is that you will accept the challenge and continue to prepare your life so that you are ready to make your relationship with your wife a long-term romantic love story. We love you. Remember the prize. Give her the treasure of a noble man. Take charge of this process and make it happen.
The prize is your future family…always keep that in mind
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