daughtersDo you believe that mothers (or parents) know their daughter more than she knows herself? It got me thinking do I really know my daughters well enough that I can advise them on the ideal spouse? I recall my dad often spewing advice like “marry someone who is intelligent “. I even thought my dad was such a snob. My romantic ideals were such that “love will find a way” and “love will prevail”.

So I posed that question to one of my daughters.

Her reply ” I think so , mom. You know me more than I know myself.”

Most married women would agree with me that an ideal husband is one that is a nice, tender, forgiving, passionate, hard-working, honest, peaceful, generous, understanding, pleasant, warm, intelligent, humorous, attentive, compassionate and truthful person. Of course, good looks is a bonus but isn’t the ultimate clincher.

I guess there is no such thing as an ideal husband . I can guide them though.

So I told my daughters,

“It’s best if your husband is spiritual or have a personal relationship with God”. Then I added, “This is with the assumption that you also have close relationship with God as well.”

(They say they do despite the fact that they are not too religious. Their rigid high school Catholic education riddled with fear brought them further away from the Catholic Faith.)

Why? A couple with a strong faith in God believes in the sanctity of the marriage vows. I am not talking about a guy who goes to mass every Sunday, says the novena or kneel all the way to the altar without actually living in the spirit of God. Or a religious fanatic who has strange paganistic rituals which bear no relevance to one’s spiritual health. Do I mind if the man is Muslim, Jewish or any other religious sect? I don’t have any religious prejudices but it makes child rearing less confusing if the basic religion is similar. Which means that Christianity is preferable over other religions just so it makes married life simpler. I also don’t believe that the guy should be a Catholic. Like I said, a personal relationship with God is more important than religion. Besides, a lot of my good friends are non-Catholics who live by God’s word.

So why is the “God factor” so important?

The marriage vow of for ““better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health….” surely took a different spin when one has actually lived through it and survived it as a couple. I should know because without divine intervention, I don’t think our marriage would have gone this far. I was stubborn in my ways, neglecting my spiritual health only because I was drowning in self pity and turbulent grief for many years.

With God in their married life, it makes it easier to work together as partners, where both make adjustment and aim not merely to please each other, but to be better human beings and to make a solid teamwork, such as

1. If there is a competing relationship , say an interfering mother-in-law, the couple know that their priority is their spouse and if need be, should learn to choose each other above everything else. Most Mama’s boy or daddy’s girl face this dilemma but if God is in their lives, they know that their spouse is their first priority now.

2. Marriage means a relationship of “one flesh” which means enjoy the relationship through sexual intimacy and protect it through moral purity. I guess most philandering husbands (or wives) don’t actually know the meaning of “one flesh”.

These are just a few important highlights of the work involved in a marriage. With God in his life, he won’t turn to compulsive behaviors, addiction, womanizing, verbal or physicial abuse or anything that will destroy the marraige.

I do not envision a perfect partner, because my daughters are not perfect either. I do pray that they find a partner with whom they could grow together.

About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

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