What I Want My Daughter to Know About the Start of Marriage

I both shudder and celebrate when I perform a wedding. A beautiful couple stands before me who has worked hard to arrive at the start of their marriage. They deserve to be celebrated!

A few rows from the stage sits a beaming and beautiful eight-year-old girl with a toothless grin. That beaming and beautiful eight year old is my daughter. I shudder because I know that entering into marriage, while glorious, is no easy task. I pray that when that day comes for her, she and her future husband have prepared correctly for the start of their marriage. Below are a few thoughts I hope to share with my daughter before the start of her marriage.

Another person cannot ultimately complete you. Only God can do that.

It is strongly Biblical for any husband and wife to obtain a deep sense of joy from being with their spouse (see Song of Songs). However, anytime a husband or wife places the joy and contentment they receive from their spouse above the joy and contentment they receive from God, there is a problem. That problem is idolatry.
Another person cannot complete you. Only the God-who-created-you can complete you. He knows what you need because he intimately made you in your momma’s womb. Turn to him before you turn to your husband.

Another person cannot complete you. Only the God-who-created-you can complete you.

Grow in deeper knowledge of your husband AND yourself.

Ephesians calls for spouses to mutually submit and love one another. And we can help our spouse by clearly indicating how they can best submit and love us. Too many couples rush into marriage and forget about self-development. I have found that I am a better spouse when I am able to tell my wife what I desire within our marriage. My wife has an easier time loving me when I am able to tell her how I best receive love. I am only able to do so because I continually work to understand my own desires.

Hard times will happen. (And your marriage will grow!)

As a dad, I wish I could protect my daughter from hard times. I will cringe a lot when the hard times of marriage hit her relationship. But, I will also be praying that she and her husband use the hard times to grow their marriage and trust in the Lord. I once heard therapist Diane Langberg declare, “God does his best work in tombs.” God will do his best work in my daughter’s future marriage, my marriage, or any marriage when it seems the darkest. Those are 1 Peter 1:6-7 moments; when their faith in God and one another will be forged and strengthened.

God will do his best work in my daughter’s future marriage, my marriage, or any marriage when it seems the darkest.

For the love of all that is good and holy, HAVE FUN!

While marriages grow the most in the hard times, marriages heal the most during the fun times. I pray that my daughter’s marriage will be full of laughter and joy. My hope is that she and her husband have cheerful hearts and that their marriage is full of “good medicine” (Proverbs 4:22). I pray that they explore the different ways they bond most effectively, whether it be through hiking or baseball games or painting. May their marriage be full of fun family trips that are life-giving parts of their marriage.

Your mom and dad will be your biggest cheerleaders!

This one almost goes without saying. We love our daughter and as long as we are physically able, we will always be there for her and her future husband. The power of a consistent supportive presence cannot be overemphasized. Our goal is to model the consistent caring presence of God as much as we can to our little girl.
What do you desire to tell your daughter about marriage before she marries? (I will address what I desire to tell my son before the start of his marriage in my next post at startmarriageright.com!)


Paul is the husband to Tara, father to Natalie and Isaac, has an average jump shot, and enjoys running. His secret wish is to one day become a Jedi Knight. Paul holds a doctorate in marriage and family counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and serves as senior pastor of Harrodsburg Baptist Church. Paul desires to help young couples navigate the early crucibles of marriage, especially when one or both of the spouses are engaged in vocational ministry. You can follow Paul on Twitter or visit his website at healthymarriagehealthyfamily.com.

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