Today I became aware that she's already got a man in mind! From what I've seen, this young man shows promise---he reminds me of my husband, for starters! It occurred to me today that I've not really talked to her about spiritual readiness---the most important part of being married! So, we went on to discuss how important it is that she pray for her future husband---in a general sense. I encouraged her not to pray for this specific boy in a way that indicated she was set on him, but instead to pray for "whomever God has planned" for her. I encouraged her to focus on having a good friendship with the boy but not to think of him as her future spouse---at least not yet! Wow, I totally can't believe I'm having this conversation with her already!
So, with all that in mind, I realized I really need to get into the Word and see what all God has to say about a wife. I've only been one for 13 years so I've got a lot to learn myself---and here I am already needing to train my daughter. Whew!
Genesis 2:24: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."
A wife needs to be prepared to become one with her husband. This requires coming out from under the protection and discipline of her parents and coming under the protection of her husband, standing beside him as his helper, comforter, lover and support, and taking the lead role in homemaking and mothering responsibilities. A wife should be prepared to make decisions alongside her husband and to consider his desires, preferences and feelings when making choices regarding areas in which he has given her responsibility.
Part of being one with one's husband is working as a team and making compromises and concessions where needed. One thing I always try to practice in my marriage is the truth that if my priority is always my husband and his priority is always me, then both of us are taken care of and neither finds themselves being selfish.
While it's always ideal that the new couple's parents agree and support this "leaving and cleaving", that is, unfortunately, not always the case. The new wife, as well as her husband, should be prepared and mature enough to respectfully remind the offending parents of this verse and be in agreement that their parents won't be allowed to become stumbling blocks in the early days of marriage.
While a loving parent is almost always full of valuable wisdom that a newlywed can surely learn from, it's important that the new husband and wife make final decisions on their own, based on what they have heard from God and what they believe is right for their own situation.
Someone remind my controlling self of this in another 7 or 8 years, please? Ha!