Little Eyes Are Watching – Marriage Message #153

Little eyes - Pixabay little-girl-2198058_1920The primary influencer of how the kids see dad is mom! The way she views her husband and the manner in which she treats him is very often mirrored by her children. A woman is counted wise if she carefully builds her house. This includes her husband’s reputation. However, she is counted a fool if she tears it down with her own hands. (Connie Grigsby) Beware, little eyes are watching.

The above quote is based upon the scripture verse from Proverbs 14:1 which reads: A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

This Sunday in the United States we’re celebrating Father’s Day. We thought it would be good to focus this week’s Marriage Message on this subject as it applies to marriage.

We’ll be sharing a portion of a chapter from the excellent book, The Best Thing I Ever Did for My Marriage: 50 Real Life Stories, which features 50 real-life stories from different women’s lives, written by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby, published by Multnomah Publishers.

Little Eyes are Watching

The chapter (titled, “Little Eyes Are Watching”) starts out by talking about how the kids often see their dad the way mom sees him. In it, Gerri Shope talks about her husband’s easy going ways. She talks on how that has positively affected their marriage. She writes:

The good qualities I brought to the relationship were encouragement, motivation, and organization. I was the one who kept track of the details that kept the family running. Additionally, I was the head cheerleader! I cheered everyone on and motivated them to do what needed doing.

My husband’s easy going ways made it hard for him to make decisions and get things done. I tried to motivate him, but my cheer-leading quickly turned into nagging. This arrangement seemed to work for us. I took over some of the responsibilities he wasn’t getting to, and he said that he probably needed my nagging.

Although this arrangement worked for a time, it wasn’t in line with God’s plan for marriage. It also had serious implications for our children. I didn’t realize it, but they saw my overzealous “motivating” of their dad as a sign of disrespect. If I wasn’t treating their dad in a respectful way, why should they?

Something had to be done, but I wasn’t sure what. I turned to God. My prayer sounded something like, “God please help.” No, not profound —but you don’t have to be profound to talk to God! The process began with me learning not to say everything that came into my head. God gave me that tiny fraction of time after a thought came into my head to decide if I wanted to say it. I’d like to say that I always made the right choice, but old habits die hard.

Saving the Day

I also stopped jumping in to “save the day” and allowed some things to go undone if they weren’t my responsibility. My husband eventually got around to what needed to be done without me “motivating” him.

As a result, the tension level in our household decreased. How has this impacted our children’s lives and how they see their dad? They are grateful for a more peaceful home and have come to appreciate their dad’s strengths. Respect is no longer a stranger; whenever I treat my husband with regard, my children do well.

I grieve the lost years! But I’m thankful for the fresh start the Lord provided —and continues to provide —day after day. When you choose to respect your husband, you’ll discover he is blessed, you are blessed, and your children are blessed as well.

Your decision will influence future generations because your kids will take with them what they saw lived out at home. This trickle-down effect —whether good or bad —will filter through countless generations. Why not do all you can to make sure what trickles down isn’t just good, but great?

What a wonderful testimony of how God can teach us how to “live a life of love” giving each other Christ-honoring respect. This is something we’re told to give in the Bible in Ephesians Chapter 5. It’s a lesson God taught me (Cindy) years ago.

A Lesson Learned

I came to realize that as Steve’s wife, I’m not only to be his cheerleader for his sake, to help him to be all he can be in Christ, but also to build him up for our sons’ sake. As the authors say, “the kids see their dad how mom sees him.” And that’s what the Lord showed me years ago. I’m appointed by God to be their dad’s best cheerleader. But in order to do that, I need to be respectful to him in all my ways “as unto the Lord.”

Authors Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby conclude this particular chapter by saying something that we should all pay attention to. They write,

“Don’t be a foolish woman! Invest in your husband’s stock —especially in front of your children. It will stay with them for a lifetime and will significantly alter they way they see Dad.” The question is, “HOW IS YOUR HUSBAND’S REPUTATION AT YOUR HOUSE?”

We pray this message is a blessing and benefit to you and your entire family.

Cindy and Steve Wright

— ALSO —

There is a video that you might find entertaining to watch on the following Church on the Move YouTube link:


Print Post

Filed under: Marriage Messages

Join the Discussion

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.

We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.


8 responses to “Little Eyes Are Watching – Marriage Message #153

  1. (SOUTH AFRICA)  WOW!!!!!!!!!! What an eye opener. I would sometimes wonder why my husband got so little respect at home and now I see that I am to blame and it breaks my heart. I thought our easy going conversations were good for our relationship but now I see that they were hurting us and how our kids relate to their father!!!!!

    From this day on wards, I will pray daily for strength and wisdom to make the right choice in respecting my love (husband).

  2. (CANADA)  And when you stumble- GET RIGHT BACK UP!!

    Thank you Cindy and Steve- I can’t believe how the topic relates to what I felt led to blog today!

    …Tired, a bit “cranky” and short with your beloved?…and oops…one of those nasty little “tudes” that Patsy Clairmont lovingly terms, raises their ugly little head!

    And you have a choice, you can justify the nasty little comment, complete with little “anger tiff” because the other person was being inconsiderate- and-they-should-know-better-than-to”….

    OR you can “step up to the plate” and say, will you forgive me? Regardless of how I perceived the situation, I didn’t need to be angry or short with you. Can we start again?

    God’s amazing grace immediately steps into the situation, and there in front of you is a very “present opportunity” to cultivate honor in your way, and in your home… When you ask the Lord to ‘check your own spirit first, and shine a light on your own ways and motivations” (Psalm 139:23) He will make you aware of those attitudes and expressions that are not a reflection of His peace, and His ways. In that moment of a ‘stumble” you can be alert to a “short fuse” in yourself. You can then take that to the Lord, and he will exchange it and “upgrade it” as Graham Cooke likes to say…He will also help you to be very aware of how a “gentle response turns away anger” (Proverbs 15:1) and leads immediately to a flow of love and respect.

    Here are some important truths from God’s Word. I encourage you to take God at His Word! You will see that He IS faithful!

    Some important cautions and guidelines from Galatians:
    5:15, “but if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another”
    5:25, 26 “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another…”
    6: 9, 10 “and let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore as we have opportunity let us do good to all! (especially in [our] household!)

    Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that today I can be the change that I want to see, because I have the effective power of the Holy Spirit present and active within me bringing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to the surface in every situation in my life.

    Thank you that You are present and faithful.

  3. (KENYA)  Thanks Steve and Cindy, You have always been a blessing to me and my husband. We are very new the marriage (1 1/2 years) and we take every message you guys write as a gift.

    We have no kids yet, but I can relate to this article. Giving my husband the due respect, sometimes I ask him to do something for me and when he would take long to act on it I would get hurt and respond rudely. However, with time I have learnt to let go and know everything does not have to be done. And so thanks for sharing this. Your audience, Immaculate

  4. (USA)  I will likely always wonder why, when God set the stage for the man to be the head of the house, that the woman is the villan for taking over after repeatedly begging for the man to lead. And protect her and the children and the man refuses. I wonder why there is not a column about how the children disrespect the mother because of the disrespect the husband shows to her.
    I see this played out often with the mother carrying the load on her shoulders for the safety of the children and the spiritual learning and many other important things, and the answer is so often about what the wife is doing wrong in trying to salvage the family that the husband is leaving to flounder. God gave the man the responsibility to be the leader. When he fails, it is not his wife’s fault. If she faulters under the load, why not spend time building her up in finding her strength in the Lord more fully and applaud her for caring about pointing her children to the Lord in the midst of great hardship.

    1. (CANADA)  Janie, If you are a born again believer, there is a miracle of love that the Lord is waiting to pour out through you. In my own marriage when I was really willing to come to the Lord and commit to love for the sake of loving and allowing the grace of the Lord in my life- I changed…then I was able to “be the change that I wanted to see” … I figuratively “took my hands off my hips and stopped pointing my finger at my husband”, saying “what about him?”…to getting on my knees, saying, “Father, what about me? What is it that you want to do in my life, and change in my heart?”

      I want to encourage you to read Cindy and Steve’s Marriage Message #138, ut before you read anything else, I encourage you to pray and ask God to give you a willing heart that is able to “hope in God” and “yield in love”, sacrificial love possibly, but with prayer that it would be your heart that would be changed…and then you just watch how the Lord’s grace comes through …in ways that you would never expect!

      I came to a point in my own life where my health totally broke down, because of the stress of working long hours, and then trying to direct change within my home in my own strength. As a “people-helper’ I knew all of the right answers, but I felt so helpless to effect change in my own home. From my husband, I could see this “defensiveness and passive-aggressive anger” coming against me, and a harsh discipline coming towards my children. I could see where the difficulties came from, I could see the fear that was behind his ways, I wanted to “correct” and ‘reason” and “give good advice” and have my husband “read this” and “do that.”

      But as I came before the Lord and was finally willing to yield my ways for His ways, I felt God ask me to just get “still”, “get low”, and love…learn to really love.

      In the “posture” that I took, grace was able to begin to flow. Yes, it was a sacrifice of love on my part. I realized however, that as I was willing to take “this posture” that my self-centered ways were slowly being transformed into giving and loving ways that may have never otherwise been present in my life. As I have chosen, “loving-on-purpose” I have been able to see more clearly as Christ sees. I asked the Lord that I would be able to see my husband as the Lord sees him, and respond to my husband with a deep love and a heart of gratitude for his faithful provision in our lives.

      My tender responses began to break down walls in my husband’s life in very real ways, and allow the deep tenderness that was “latent’ in his life to surface. He has grown immeasurably in the area of trust, willing to reveal his heart to me in ways that I would have never expected, and very willing to respond to areas of difficulty because he has felt safe, honoured, truly appreciated, loved, and not threatened.
      Today we still have our little “road bumps”, but we are a “union”; we approach life as a “team”. I have a quieter, more peaceful approach to people and to life, and a heart that truly hopes in a very present and real God who brings His peace and grace into every life that will give Him room, and top priority. Through one yielded life, God will bring His grace and peace to an entire family. You can hope in Him.
      We have to take God at His Word, and believe Him when He says that love is the most powerful force that there is in life. He never asks us to do something that He was not willing to do; He sacrificed His life for you…for me…We can trust a love like that- we can sacrifice of our life to Him… and the exchange? joy unspeakable, and full of glory. “Christ in us is the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) It is hope in Him, and for His Presence in you, not just for immediate change or outcome that actually changes and purifies us (I John 3: 1-3 AMP)

      And my prayer for you: “ As the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another…above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…be thankful…and let the Word of Christ dwell richly in you….whatever you do in word or deed, do in the name of the Lord Jesus {as his representative of love and peace}, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:12-17

      He who has called you is FAITHFUL; trust in HIM. May His love flood your heart and His deep peace cover you.

  5. (USA)  I absolutely agree completely w/u Janie. Is this the 1950’s? I’m very forgiving but not soooo forgetful. I’ve been married for 21yrs. I’m no expert and highly believe in prayer. These women must of had their husbands standing over their shoulders when their responses were typed.I’ve been w/him for 23yrs. I still love him like the first time but am I suppose to be the only submissive one? Our 5 children know their mother truly loves their dad and let me just add to the fact that I do agree the children do learn more from how they see mom/mommy interacting. Enough is enough when the husband learns of this and then uses it to his advantage, some take sides and its gets you to worrying if your giving in too often. I don’t want my boys thinking when it’s time to be in a relationship that it’s up to the wife to keep the peace while they do whatever. I also don’t want my girls to feel if its all up to the female to handle most things and wear themselves out for the sake of a pleasing their man to keep him happy and disregarding your truths.

  6. (ZIM)  Thank you for this wonderful article. My view is that as much as we are living in the mordern times, God’s principles still stand. The reason we as man are sometimes dormant is that wife turns out to be bulldozers. You are quiet for the sake of peace.

    All we need is respect, love and assurance from our spouses. As much as wifes needs love and security from their husband, we also need to be loved and respected and all the other things will fall into place.

    I am not saying that we have to run away from our responsibilities, no. We are still responsible and we love our families.