Once you have children, your life changes.
You begin to do things differently in an effort to care for, provide and guide your children. Of all those things, a father can do one thing that will provide the greatest impact on his children’s lives.
The single greatest thing a dad can do for his children is to love their mother. Plain and simple!
But what are the results of this action? And what are the responsibilities that follow?
Kids Notice True Love in Action
When the kids see dad loving mom, they see what love looks like.
Your sons will know how to relate to women as they grow older. Your daughters will know how a man should talk to her and how a man should treat her. Nothing less will be acceptable.
Loving your children’s mother frees her to love and nurture them, and know their love languages too. Your love encourages and inspires her to do so in the best way she can. Nothing should be allowed to get in the way of this love being expressed to them. Now the love of your children is exponential, and you are having an impact well beyond your marriage.
How Peace Comes in Your Household
Peace comes in the household when dad loves mom.
When you love someone, you care that their needs are met as much as you care that your needs are met. You make a constant effort to meet the other person’s needs. Anytime mom’s and dad’s needs are met, the children’s needs usually are too.
We can do much more when we work with others striving for the same thing. Our children feel the bond of a team and know if they falter there is not just one person to pick them up but two people working together to get them back on track. That team is a wonderful foundation that much can be built from.
I encourage all my fellow fathers not just to love your children but to love your wives, love the mothers of your children. You will create a solid foundation for your children that will provide lifelong benefits, greater than anything else!
Be the Role Model
As a kid, I always had an athlete I wanted to be like. Somebody I looked up to. When I became an adult, I began looking up to successful entrepreneurs. Sports were my biggest interest as a kid and entrepreneurship one of my biggest as an adult. So naturally, I looked to those who did it best, who were successful and who really loved what they did.
But what about marriage?
Vastly more people get married than go pro in a sport. The same can be said for entrepreneurs. Yet, have you seen or heard a child say, “When I grow up, I want to be a husband just like that”? You may argue that many young girls have a desire to get married, but do they have a “wife role model”?
Take Responsibility in Your Marriage
Some debate whether athletes or entertainers should be considered role models. I’m not sure, but they are thrust in the spotlight and into the role model position so with that does come a level of responsibility.
The same goes for marriage.
Whether you like it or not, other people are watching your marriage. Your coworkers, your friends, other married couples, singles and most importantly, your kids. When you commit to marriage, you have responsibilities: first to God, your wife and the children you bring into that marriage. Then you have responsibility to everyone else looking at your marriage.
Model Your Marriage to Your Kids
If your kids are to play and be passionate about sports, you have to expose them to it. Take them to games, practice with them, sign them up for a league, talk to them about the sport.
If your kids are to have someone to look up to in marriage, you have to expose them to a marriage worth looking up to. That should be your marriage.
Model dating after marriage. Model communication when you agree and disagree. Model joy and happiness. Model problem solving. Model money management. Model learning. Model trust and respect.
“Nobody Told Me”
More than likely your kids are going to get married some day. When they do, you want them to be as prepared as possible for what marriage brings. The good and the bad. If you are married, at some point you’ve probably said, “Nobody told me it would be like this!”
We prepare our kids for almost everything else. Marriage should be included in that.
I don’t want our kids ever to be able to say, “Nobody told me.” Just like everything else in life, I want them to be as prepared as possible for marriage. I may not be able to prepare them for everything, but I will do my best to equip them to handle everything as best they can. And if they have a marriage like ours, then they can feel comfortable they can live with that.
Excerpted from The 7 Rings of Marriage by Jackie Bledsoe. Copyright B&H Publishing Group 2016.
Learn More About The 7 Rings of Marriage
Author and blogger Jackie Bledsoe outlines the seven stages, or The Seven Rings of Marriage, that will equip couples for all stages in marriage. He challenges couples to keep moving through each stage for a lasting and fulfilling marriage.