A Dad’s greatest joy

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Little did I know how profoundly meaningful it was when I answered, “Who gives this woman in marriage?” That day 15 years ago, my answer was spoken with tears of joy, “Her mother and I.” Then, Marcus took our daughter as his wife.


He took her far away from us. From southern California to northern Washington, close to the Canadian border. Judy and I cried when we watched him drive her away to their home. Tears of joy, tinged with grief, we cried over this change of Mary Margaret’s presence. For 24 years, we had deeply invested our lives in her for this very moment—that she would thrive as a godly woman, a loving wife, and a mom. There she went, snuggled next to the love of her life. There Judy and I stood holding up one another waving good-bye. It was so right, this rite of passage for all of us. But it was so hard for us as parents, now second to her husband, to see her leave. It seemed that we were becoming less to her, as she saw us getting smaller in their rear view mirror, the farther he drove her away. I kept asking myself, “Is this what I meant when I answered that wedding ceremony question ‘who gives this woman?’?”

I knew that day would come. I knew it would be emotionally difficult. But, what I didn’t know was how wonderfully satisfying this new relationship would become. Profoundly meaningful. Now, Judy and I are the in-laws and grandparents to the Brotherton clan. And that’s okay. More than okay. It is beyond and above all we could have asked or imagined when Judy and I began praying for children, praying for Mary Margaret’s development, future—her husband and children the Lord might give them. Our daughter and grandkids are deeply loved and cared for by a very godly man. Our loving Father has mercifully and graciously fulfilled our greatest hopes for our daughter by bringing Marcus into our lives. (And I can say the same for our dear daughter-in-law Carrie, our son’s wife of ten years!) But, let me focus on Marc in this blog.

Marc has just written an ebook, The Marriage Manifesto: 10 simple commitments husbands can make that lead to stronger marriages. I can tell you that Marc is loving our daughter with these 10 commitments and I couldn’t be happier for Mary Margaret, and Marc, and our three grandkids. Please download this link it and pass it on to the men in your life:

During the first years of our marriage, I was extremely privileged to take a class taught by the late Howard Hendricks at Dallas Seminary, “The Christian Home.” Prof powerfully made the case for the importance of putting our family first before ministry by investing quality, quantity time in our wives and kids. For example: Dating them weekly. Praying for them. Modeling godly manhood. I tried. I’ve been dating Judy once a week during our 46 years of marriage. Trying to show our kids how important it is to spend that kind of time with their spouses. I tried to take my daughter, then my son, David, on dates each week from the time they were able to walk until the time as teenagers when being alone with Dad was not cool. During those times, I tried to show them how important they are, how much Judy and I loved them, and model relational skills to help them develop healthy relationships. Quantity time to give opportunity for quality time—in hopes that they would choose a life mate who would love them with Christ-like love. They did.

We gave our kids to wonderful partners. Now, I am thrilled to know that they are loving one another and raising our grandkids for in loving, godly homes. That’s a Dad’s greatest joy. And a mom’s.

Judy and I urge you to put your family before work and ministry and invest your life in them to grow up loving the Lord with all their being. It is well worth the investment.

For His glory,
Pastor Mike