There is a quote that I love by Theodore Hesburgh, which says, “The greatest thing a FATHER can do for his children is to love their mother.”
There is no questioning the power and influence of a strong husband/father in a child’s life. I am the product of a father who loved my mother deeply, and regularly did thoughtful and romantic things for her. It was (and still is!) powerful in my life.
I could focus on my husband’s role all day long. I know it is an important one–Research tell us that it is THE most important one. But there is only so much I can do, as a wife and mom, to affect that. We all know that we cannot “change” our husbands. If they fall short in an area or two, (or twelve,) what can we do to make sure our kids are still seeing healthy examples of loving parents?
As for me, I’ve decided to embrace the flip side of the above quote:
The greatest thing I CAN DO for my children, is to love their father well.
As we love our husbands WELL, we can not only make it easier for them to be good husbands and fathers, but we can also model to our own children a genuine picture of grace. Not perfect parents. But LOVE, covering a multitude of sins.
SETTING THE TONE: As women, we are the tone-setters of our homes. Though we cannot control dad’s mood, or stress level, we have more influence than we often think. We can establish a peaceful, cheerful environment for our whole family. I have found that when my husband comes in after a long day of work, the tone I set in the home will determine how things go for the rest of the day.
I have two choices:
I can greet him as the weary wife that I am, who also had a long day. As he walks in with all four boys chattering at him, he may not even greet me because he is busy responding to phone calls from the hospital. Feeling at least as needy as he does, it’s not beyond me to begin the “who has it worse” game, and a cold, stressful night begins. OR, I can make a choice to greet him with a smile. Instead of waiting for him to reach out to me, I can go straight to him with a big hug, and cheerfully announce (so that my kids can hear,) “Daddy missed me SOO much today! I wish he’d quit hugging me all of the time!”
At this point the boys giggle, and I giggle, and Dad is all caught in the middle of it, so of course he laughs as well, and hugs me a little tighter. My kids just watched us love each other. It doesn’t really matter who started it. The tone is set for the night.
FLIRTING: Not only am I the tone setter for the home, but I can also do my part to keep some romance in my marriage. We don’t have to wait for our men to initiate–there is plenty we can do to keep the sparks alive. Sometimes it is public (like the above scenario) and sometimes it is private. Recently, I needed my husband to stop at Costco on his way home from work. I texted him simply asking if he could. He texted back “Sure.” Suddenly I saw an opportunity: So I texted back “That is SO sexy.”
Sure, I could have just thanked him, and told him how much it meant to me, but he knew all of that. Imagining his reaction when he read my “sexy” text was way more fun!
Friends, let’s remember that when you’re married, ANYTHING can be “sexy” (or attractive, or whatever word you like to use–I just happen to think sexy is a hilarious word.) Taking out the trash? Oh yes. Mowing the lawn–a 10/10 on my sexy scale. Reading to a toddler: 12/10. It may take some effort at first, but when we maintain a fun and flirty relationship with our husbands, the kids notice. They may not know what exactly has been said, but they know that something is going on between mom and dad…And that is a good thing.
I have failed plenty in this area. I can be selfish, needy, and immature. There have been times where I put my kids, or a friend in need before my own husband. But I do believe that as we do OUR PART to make the BEST of marriage, (whatever it looks like!) our whole family will be blessed. Never forget the power and influence you have as a wife and mother.A few more ways we can LOVE OUR HUSBANDS WELL:
- Pray for him daily.
- Speak WELL of him in front of your kids.
- Compliment him IN FRONT OF THE KIDS, and privately.
- Make his favorite meals, just because.
- Laugh at his jokes.
- Go out of your way to serve him–find creative ways to be kind.
- Plan FUN dates.
- Reach out to him physically, don’t wait for him to reach out to you.
- Take time to look good for him. Both publicly and privately.
- Thank him for all of his good qualities.
What are some other ideas for loving our husbands well? Tell us in the comments!
With ALOHA! Monica, from www.thegrommom.com
(All this month, our MOB Society writers will be leaving you with a “Mission Minute” and inviting you to get involved in some of their favorite charities).
I am nearing the end of my training for the New York City Marathon in December! I will be running for the charity “Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy” in honor of my nephew, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Seeing all that my brother’s family has gone through, and all they have ahead, is heart-breaking. You can read their story on my blog HERE. You can learn more about DMD, or donate towards the cause, at the EndDuchenne website.
We have a few winners to announce from yesterday’s fun relaunch celebration! Congrats to these winners…
- Ultimate Boy Mom Book Bundle – Shari Z.
- Shatterpoint Entertainment Lego Bible movie set – Annette B.
- BrickStix set – Stephanie M.
- boy mom necklaces from The Rusted Chain – Janice N. & Libby B.
Winners – watch your email to claim your prize!
I love this Monica. It reinforces the idea that the only person we have control over, the only person we can truly change, is ourselves. Good word, mama!
Amen, Monica! I really love your heart for showing your boys what love looks like in action! And I’m praying for your marathon – SO inspired by you and what you are doing for your nephew!
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Thank you for sharing this, Monica! It was a a good reminder.
This was such a great reminder!! We have so much influence in our families. Our attitudes and actions can either be a blessing to our husband and kids or a curse. I am practicing making better choices every single day so I can model the right things for my kids and our relationship with each other and God are the two most important!
Great post, Monica! Our children will inevitably do as we do not do as we say. How I treat my husband and how he treats me is laying groundwork for the future marriage of my children. I want them to have a strong foundation to build on!
Oh Monica, this was so convicting… and so true. I am going to put this into practice, starting now, with God’s help. Bless you. e.
That is so true! I learned this lesson three years into our marriage, which was late but better late than never!
In a world where it seems that a central target for our enemy is the family, I appreciate your words which bring us back to the basics in a positive and proactive way! Nothing is too hard for the Lord and it is He that equips us to love even our enemies. Thanks Monica!
This is a great post and I agree with the other comments…very counter cultural. Loving our spouse instead of belittling him. One idea I think which has been good for our boys to see is how my husband stops before walking out the door for work…and we stand up, hugging and praying together out loud. Thanks Monica!
Yes! Yes! Yes! It is so easy to focus on our kids, and continually serve them without realizing that it needs to start with our hubs. Great post!
I’ve gotten strange looks before when I’ve said I love my husband more than my children, but it’s true! Other than God my husband is my number one, and I believe that is how God means for it to be! I do tend to shove our time to the side though or take a call when we are discussing something. I’m really going to work on that! He needs to know that he is as important to me as I say he is! Thank you for this!
Yes! LOVE this SO much Monica! So. Very. Much. And girl, the NYC Marathon! You’re amazing! When I did my Long Beach HALF Marathon, I was giving thanks at the 11 mile turn (when the FULL marathoners peeled off course to do miles 12-26) that I wasn’t going that way…I was so thankful I only had two more to go. Run on friend!! xo
I feel like I *might* be the winner of the Lego movies, unless there is another Annette B. But I haven’t seen an email. Have emails been sent yet? Thanks! 🙂
So true and simply said!
Wow, thank you so much for this post, Monica. We are celebrating 5 years of marriage this month and I can already sense how different things are now than when we first got married. Marriage is being in a constant state of self denial and serving our spouse. Then, a baby comes along…and yikes, he’s only been around 5 months but I can already tell how easy it can be to focus just on him and not on my marriage. Anyhow, I really appreciate the practical advice you have written and pray that I can be more intentional about keeping my marriage growing.
Oh, Monica! How your truth speaks to my heart. As a fellow homeschool mom of 4 boys, I often need the reminder that it is not all about me the moment that my husband and confidant walks in the door. All those things swirling through my head all day can wait a few more hours, so that I can warmly welcome him back to the family when he gets home.
We are in each other’s life for a reason. Thank you for showing up. You’re an angel (: