The Declaration of Independence starts out with these words, We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident… In other words, 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 automatically put yourself at odds with common sense and logic. So it is with the following statement, “The Most Important Thing a Dad Can Do…”
How would you fill in that blank? You can read the various responses of my Facebook post of this very question here, and even offer your own thoughts. The responses were great, and most of them typical- “be present, honest, forgiving, loving, etc.” A few people read my mind though. 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, listen, forgive, model, say, or display anything if they are not there, and the only way to truly “be there” is to do everything in their power to protect the stability of their family. As a result, kids are direct beneficiaries of the love shown between a husband and wife.
To prove this point even further, simply take mental notes as to how your dad either did or did not love your mom. 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 true test is, do you believe it based on your own life experience growing up? Remember the old adage, “do what I say, not as I do?” 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 modelled in me. If he rarely sees it in me, then the chances of him being that kind of man are terribly low. If my daughters really 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. They will likely be attracted to a man that reminds them of the characteristics and traits of their father. The hard question I have to ask myself is, what kind of man am I modelling before them?
I want my kids to see a man who adores his wife. I want 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, we cry, we hug, we kiss, we 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 is an extension of 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 well, and I am fully aware that I need as much practice as possible in doing that well.