Ephesians 5: 25-27 ~ Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
The Declaration of Independence starts out with these words; We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident… everything that comes next doesn’t have to be proven; it’s just fact. We know these things to be true just from making observations of others and looking within. We know this to be true. To argue is to put yourself at odds with common sense and logic automatically. So it is with the following statement, “The Best Thing a Dad Can Do….”
How would you fill in that blank?
The Self-Evident Answer
My Facebook post on this very question had quite a few responses from people. The reactions were great, and most of them were typical- “be present, honest, forgiving, loving, etc.” A few people read my mind, though. So here is what I believe is the most adequate, self-evident answer: The Best Thing a Dad Can Do is Love His Wife Well.
That’s it. It’s not rocket science. Men cannot spend time, listening, forgiving, modeling, saying, or displaying anything if they are not there. The only way to truly “be there” is to do everything in their power to protect the stability of their families. As a result, kids are direct beneficiaries of the love shown between a husband and wife.
Take mental notes on how your dad either loved your Mom to prove this point even further. How did that model affect you? I could pull out the sociological facts; we could look at the direct correlation between the stability of the family and the effects on children. The social sciences prove this concept ten times over, but the genuine test is, do you believe it based on your own life experience growing up?
The Power of Modeling
Remember the adage, “do what I say, not as I do?” It doesn’t really work. Kids do what we do. If my son has any chance of being a humble servant to his future wife, then he has to see it modeled on me. If he rarely sees it in me, then his chances of being that kind of man are terribly low. Likewise, if my daughters want to know what to look for in a man as they get older, they should be able to look to their father as the number one example.
It will probably attract them to a man that reminds them of the characteristics and traits of their father. I want my kids to see a man who adores his wife. To constantly serve Stacey out of joy, not out of guilt or begrudgingly. I love to spend time with her, and I know my kids are watching. We laugh, cry, hug, kiss, and hold one another often- right in front of them. We tell each other sorry; I love you, and I forgive you. I want my kids to see that our love for them extends the love we have for one another. As it pertains to the goal of protecting my kids, I believe the most protective thing I can do is to love their Mom. I know fully that I need as much practice as possible to do that well.
So the hard question I have to ask myself is, what kind of man am I modeling before them?
Do I put on a show when they are around? Or am I authentic in loving their Mom?
I challenge us all to examine our relationship with our wives because our children are watching. They are modeling their path to marriage based on what they see from their parents.