Moms play a key role on the journey of men becoming faithful fathers, so I have asked Linda, my bride of 37 years to share ways wives can encourage husbands on the journey. Number one is affirmation:
- Affirm Dad in front of the kids. It may be for making an activity, stepping up to coach a team or consistently getting home on time. Men do appreciate ‘ATTADAD’s. If there are work schedule issues or anything you feel may be wrong priorities that have impacted family time, talk about those away from the kids;
- Make time for a daily debrief about the kids’ activities and issues. Over the years, this time has helped us stay in tune with each other around the kids’ development, dreams and set-backs. Our dog still takes us for a walk just about every evening;
- A great way to encourage your husband is to make sure kids greet him with a warm welcome. Rick talks often about how wonderful it was when our daughter would hear him walk through the door and run to meet him wanting her ‘up-hug’. Of course, if I was the last one home, it was his job to make sure they welcomed me as I came through the door as well;
- Schedules are always a challenge. To minimize surprises, it helps to lay out the calendar at the beginning of summer and each school year making note of school holidays, major events and extra-curricular activities as much as possible. Discuss priorities as a family and review the calendar regularly. This is one area where electronics can help mom and dad operate off the same calendar;
- And while you are looking at the calendar, schedule time to invest in your marriage – possibly a marriage conference or simply a weekend getaway. Dad and mom provide the first glimpse of what a relationship with Christ looks like to the kids through marriage. It is important to prioritize the marriage relationship and to let your kids see the intentionality behind keeping it strong.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; – Proverbs 31:25-28. In Genesis 2:18, the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Then Solomon gives us a glimpse of how this lifelong relationship works throughout Proverbs 31. Paul sums it up saying, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her … and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:25 & 33).
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for my bride, the mother of our children and partner on this life-long journey of understanding how to live our relationship with You in the flesh. Guide me as I continue learning to love as You love, selflessly and sacrificially. And be with my bride as she shows respect for me even when I may not be as respectable as I should be. I am a work in progress and I praise You for the patience shown through her in marriage and family. Help me become the man, husband and father my bride wants and my family needs. Amen.
A faithful father embraces encouragement from his bride as he learns to love.