The Most Important Thank a Father Can Do For His Children is to Love Their Mother.
A quote from Rev. Theodore Hesburgh (also credited to many others)
My husband gave me this on a sweet embroidered sign one year and it made my heart melt.
Because when you get married for the first time, you think to yourself – there’s no way I could love this person anymore. And then, you have a child together. And you watch your spouse’s love for that precious infant and you fall in love all over again. Parenting a child together truly grows the love you have for each other in unexplainable ways. And it also brings an all new ball game.
We get it. Not all dads are going to be good at diaper changing.
Or playing princess memory match a million times.
Or sitting patiently while a frustrated toddler learns to use a spoon.
Or knowing how to talk to their teenage daughter when her BFF hurts her feelings.
Parenting. Is. Hard.
Perhaps the toughest job ever. And the best thing both parents can do is to remain a team and to love each other through it.
But even more so, in a society with so many absent fathers and single mothers, truly the best thing a father can do is to demonstrate to his children how to truly love a woman. To respect her with his words and actions. Because together you are raising little girls who are learning from both of you how she should expect a man to treat her. And little boys who are learning how to treat a woman.
Some of you may be raging inside at how sexist this sounds. It’s not. It doesn’t say anything about what profession these moms and dads hold. The wife could be a firefighter or pilot or engineer. Her husband should still be treating her with respect. The husband could be a teacher or nurse or other female dominated profession. The wife should still respect him as a leader in their household. And it doesn’t take away any of her ability as a woman to do amazing things when she does.
I resisted this for many years as I was a strong independent woman doing well on my own and fresh out of a messy divorce when we met. And I had never really known what it was like to be “loved well” by a man. The struggle of power between us caused big fights. Then I read a book (written for men by the way) called “Wild At Heart” by John Eldridge. I totally hated it the first time through because I felt like girls could be empowered too (they can!). But then I re-read it just trying to understand my husband better and it clicked. Here’s a summary of the book. You can pick it up here.
A battle to fight.
An adventure to live.
A beauty to rescue.
These are the core desires panting deep in the heart of every man. From the Amazon to Parliament, from the academy to the factory, these desires are universal, true for every man. And they are essential in order to live life as a man; they provide the power for his life. Misplaced, forgotten, or misdirected, they do not go away; they go underground and surface later in anger, addiction, compulsion. You pay a high price when you neglect these desires.
Men NEED these things. They want to love us. To protect us and rescue us. No matter how much us women have got it all together.
Ladies, have you taken this gift away from your man? Think about it.
When I observe young couples, I see a disturbing trend. Wives who are mega type-A, all over pinterest, doing a great job of raising their babies with all the right stuff – baby gear, classes, cute clothes and all. And then we get together in a social setting and they snap at their men non-stop. Grab that diaper bag. She can’t have that bottle. We’re leaving in 10 minutes so we don’t miss the nap window. And these husbands, bless their gigantic hearts, are at these women’s beck and call. Now granted, they are trying to rescue their beauties. That’s in their nature. But ladies, the snippy commanding voice needs to stop. Where’s the respect? It’s ok to say “Are you ready to leave in about 10 minutes?” or “Can you please grab the other bottle? I think she’ll prefer that one.”
It’s a balance. Men who need to rescue. Wives who are living in a world telling them they can do it all. What holds it all together? The love of course.
It’s so simple when we let our desire to love our spouse well be bigger than our selfish needs to have our own ego stroked. When we love our spouse well, in turn we are loved back (this may not happen overnight if you’re stuck in a valley or it has been out of balance for some time…..keep up the good fight).
The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
The best thing a mother can do for her children is to respect their father.
Play like a team when you parent.
You are raising the next generation of husbands and wives and parents. And that title, father or mother, may be the most important job title you ever have.
If you want to be part of a community of firefighters who are honoring their wives and families, join our free Honor Guard community.
Spouses of firefighters, join our free Fire Wife Sisterhood to be inspired by a community of women who get the blessings and challenges of this fire life and are on a mission to lower the divorce rate in the fire service.
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