The 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:
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